Wireless Communications Initiative

What are we doing?

Joint Venture’s Wireless Communications Initiative (WCI) is a coalition between the wireless industry, local governments, businesses, and residents. Together, we are working to improve the wireless network infrastructure in Silicon Valley. The coalition builds on existing relationships with technology companies and local government leaders to drive a coordinated public-private sector effort and to mount a highly strategic campaign to transform Silicon Valley’s wireless network infrastructure into a world-class showcase of speed, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

Focus areas

  • Emerging Technologies – IMT-2020 (5G), IMT-Advanced (4G), CBRS, SON, NFV.
  • Carrier Telecommunications – Cellular Voice and Mobile Data, Small Cells, DAS, CPRI/CRAN, HetNets.
  • Unlicensed Wireless Networks – Wi-Fi, LTE-U, LAA, LWA, MulteFire, non-traditional carrier models.
  • Backhaul Technologies – Wireless (sub 6 GHz, millimeter-wave, licensed and unlicensed), Gig-E, Point-to-Multipoint.
  • Public Safety – SAFECOM Interoperability, FirstNet, Wireless E-911.

Our strategies

  • Educate Public and Private Sector Stakeholders: Identify key stakeholders in cities and counties and educate them on technology and trends in the wireless industry. Similarly, educate the wireless industry on how to partner and work with cities/counties.
  • Locate New Technologies: Identify early-stage companies with compelling technology and bring those companies to the attention of the consortium.
  • Promote Model Ordinances and Processes: Work with cities and counties to provide best practices and guidelines for developing wireless deployment ordinances that encourage innovation and deployment.
  • Heighten Advocacy in Local Jurisdictions: Provide a strong regional voice speaking to the competitive and economic implications of a robust wireless network infrastructure.
  • Expand Coalition: Find common ground and encourage dialog between local governments, businesses, technology companies, and the wireless industry and build coalitions to improve regional wireless networks.

Why are we doing it?

World-class wireless networks are key to robust economic development. Networks are an important component in attracting and retaining the world's best talent, and are increasingly a key tool for ensuring public safety as citizens transition away from landline telephones. Nearly half of U.S. households are now only using wireless. While our economic growth is the envy of the world. Unfortunately our wireless networks are not. Dead zones, slow data, and dropped voice calls are common. Visitors from outside the area are often surprised that Silicon Valley's wireless networks are not more robust. After all, most wireless technology is developed right here. The reasons for this problem are complex, but in general they're rooted in the way that companies interact and partner with local governments. To remain competitive and foster innovation, the Wireless Communications Initiative provides education and works to build public-private partnerships so we can deploy world-class wireless networks. We also host briefings and publish documents to help educate municipal leaders, such as Bridging the Gap: 21st Century Wireless Telecommunications Handbook.

Why do we have this problem?

Wireless networks are now carrying enormous amounts of data traffic. In 2014 global mobile data traffic was eight exabytes per month and grew to nearly 80 exabytes per month in Q3 2021. We are placing ever-increasing demands on our radio frequency (RF) spectrum, a limited-yet-critical resource for wireless networks. Aside from the pandemic, our economic boom is being driven by the Mobile Economy; smartphones, apps, and the services enabled by them. Unfortunately, our wireless networks are not keeping pace. The proliferation of smartphones and connected devices requiring wireless data is pushing existing infrastructure beyond its limits. Yet the process of obtaining permits and negotiating contracts to deploy systems is complex and time-consuming. We need better networks, faster and more efficient technologies, and we need to remove obstacles to deployment so companies with innovative technologies can deploy networks that will feed our appetite for wireless data.

Who's involved?

Joint Venture Board Champion: Javier Gonzalez, Google
Co-Chair: Dr. Edwin Tasch, Chief of Neurology - Santa Clara Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente
Co-Chair: Hon. Lily Mei, Mayor, City of Fremont

Our project is guided by a Steering Committee consisting of:

  • Maureen Cruzen, Municipal Engagement Partner, Verizon Wireless
  • Nina D'Amato, Chief Information Officer, County of Santa Clara
  • Cody Einfalt, Management Analyst II, Town of Los Altos Hills
  • Dave Eller, Senior Director - GEMS Channel, Wave Broadband
  • Kathleen Boutté Foster, Chief Information Officer, City of Sunnyvale
  • John Gichuru, BDM NaaS Provider Program, Juniper Networks
  • Roger Jensen, Chief Information Officer, City of Mountain View
  • Kieran Kelly, Supervisor's Analyst, County of Santa Cruz
  • Adam Kostrzak, Chief Information Officer, City of Hayward
  • Hans Larsen, Public Works Director, City of Fremont
  • John Lang, Economic Vitality Manager, City of Mountain View
  • Rob Lloyd, Deputy City Manager, City of San José
  • Chad Mosley, City Engineer, City of Cupertino
  • Amy Olay, City Engineer, City of Campbell
  • Robert Ovadia, Director of Public Works, Town of Atherton
  • Dan Ripke, Director - Economic Development / Grants and Funding @ Institute for Innovation and Economic Development, CSU Monterey Bay
  • Tracy Scramaglia, Asst Public Works Director, City of Belmont
  • John Stefanski, Assistant to the City Manager, City of Dublin
  • Theadora Vriheas, VP External Affairs, AT&T Wireless
  • Josh Wallace, Fiber Optics Business Development, City of Palo Alto
  • Michael Wentworth, Chief Information Officer, County of San Mateo
  • Glen Williams, Asset Development Manager, County of Santa Clara
  • Paul Willis, Public Works Director, Town of Hillsborough

What are the latest developments?

What are the next steps?

  • We are recruiting additional members for the Initiative, and will seek new solutions from within Silicon Valley's robust technology ecosystem.
  • Technology companies, employees of local governments, businesses, and residents can contact us to find out more about the Initiative and factors affecting regional wireless networks.
  • We will be contributing to open State and Federal proceedings in order to support changes in law that will encourage faster, cheaper, and more wireless and broadband infrastructure.
  • Webinars, Roundtables, and Symposiums will be hosted on a regular basis to provide education and a forum for coalition-building.
  • We will meet regularly with elected officials to show how world-class wireless networks can have a positive impact on Silicon Valley’s economic vitality and competitiveness.
  • Steering Committee meetings are held every six weeks.

Where do I find out more?

To learn more about the Wireless Communications Initiative, to request a briefing, or to inquire about membership please contact:

David Witkowski

Wireless Communications

Joint Venture's Wireless Communications Initiative brings together the wireless industry, technology companies, local governments, businesses, and residents to improve wireless networks in the Silicon Valley.

Wireless Initiative Partners

  • AT&T Mobility
  • California State University
  • City of Campbell
  • City of Cupertino
  • City of Dublin
  • City of Fremont
  • City of Gilroy
  • City of Hayward
  • City of Morgan Hill
  • City of Mountain View
  • City of Oakland
  • City of Palo Alto
  • City of San Mateo
  • City of San José
  • City of Sunnyvale
  • County of San Mateo
  • County of Santa Clara
  • County of Santa Cruz
  • Google
  • Juniper Networks
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Mobile Experts LLC
  • Oku Solutions LLC
  • Silicon Valley Regional Interoperability Authority
  • Town of Atherton
  • Town of Hillsborough
  • Town of Los Altos Hills
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Wave Broadband
  • Wireless Communications Alliance