Wireless @ Virginia Tech is planning several events to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Wireless Personal Communications Symposium and Summer School on May 27-29.

On Wednesday, May 27, University Libraries will host an open house called “Blast from the Past”, featuring a vintage equipment exhibition in the multi-purpose room from 6 to 8 p.m. in Newman Library. Exhibit items will focus on the last 80 years of wireless technology and will feature the Albert Gross exhibit. Gross was a pioneer in the field of wireless technology and is credited as one of the first inventors of the walkie-talkie, the first pagers, and the infamous “Dick Tracey” watch, all of which will be on display at the exhibit and will be free and open to the general public.

The Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association and Charles Bostian, Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech, will provide a hands-on tutorial.

In keeping with the overall theme of Then, Now and Future, Wireless @ Virginia Tech has scheduled keynote speakers that have collectively influenced the last 25 years of technological advancement in wireless communications, and are also poised to influence the next 25 years.

  • Wednesday, May 27, 8 a.m., in Alumni Assembly Hall in Holtzman Alumni Center. Arogyaswami Paulraj, professor emeritus of engineering at Stanford University, will deliver a keynote address that reflects on the achievements over the last two decades. Jeffrey Andrews, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, will follow up with a look at the future evolution of wireless technology in the coming two decades.
  • Thursday, May 28, 8 a.m., also in Alumni Assembly Hall, keynote speaker Preston Marshall, principal wireless architect at Google Access, will explore the new fourth-generation business opportunities in the wireless industry.
  • Friday, May 29, 8 a.m., also in Alumni Assembly Hall, keynote speaker John R. Treichler of Raytheon Applied Signal Technology will provide an education in what not to do when starting your own business. This talk is slated for 8 a.m. in Alumni Assembly Hall.

Wireless @ Virginia Tech is considered a leader in the advancement of wireless technology for the past 25 years and continues on this same path, according to Jeffrey Reed, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech.

“Spectrum is a limited natural resource, and with the explosion of new wireless devices, the airways have become heavily congested. The next generation public safety network requires a strategic shift in sharing and managing the spectrum. The new spectrum-sharing policy of the Federal Communications Commission to open up an additional 150 megahertz of spectrum has presented a new opportunity to develop technology to meet the requirements of the public safety network,” Reed said.

A demonstration scheduled for Thursday morning showcases a low-cost way to show the feasibility of 3.5 gigahertz spectrum sharing on a secondary basis. The purpose of this demonstration is to establish two-way communication in the 3.5 gigahertz band between the end user and the base station using currently available products in the marketplace, Reed explained.

Wireless @ Virginia Tech is one of the largest and comprehensive university wireless research groups in the United States. The primary mission of Wireless @ Virginia Tech is to develop a research environment that produces high-caliber students as future leaders in academia, industry, and government. Wireless @ Virginia Tech continues to lead in producing the future innovators and developers by refocusing our research efforts to focus on the opportunities as well as the obstacles in newly emerging wireless technology.

Written by Joyce Donathan.

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