WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein welcomed the assembled congregation at the Washington Hilton last night who came to honor, in Adelstein’s words, “the first class of the Mobile Infrastructure Hall of Fame.”
“Tonight, we’re honoring pioneers in the relatively short history of mobile infrastructure,” he said. “We’ve grown so fast, that each of them complained they’re too young to be in a Hall of Fame,” he said, “But, like the industry, they’re maturing gracefully.”
The honorees included John Kelly, former CEO of Crown Castle, Steven Bernstein, founder and former CEO of SBA, Neville Ray, Executive VP and CTO of T-Mobile (introduced by T-Mobile CEO John Legere) José R. Mas, CEO of Mastec and Steven Dodge, Founder and former CEO of American Tower.
“They all began at companies, or started companies, that were relatively small businesses just thirty years ago when the first flip phones came out…These five leaders are inducted tonight because of their foresight, their vision, and their tenacity,” Adelstein said. “Each faced down challenges and overcame them all.”
“With your support, we’ll build the next generation of wireless networks. Networks that connect our communities, families and schools, keep us healthier, keep us safer and keep our economy growing.”
“So tonight, as we thank the leaders who laid the foundation for our success,” he said, “we pave the way for the next generation. We’ll meet our customers’ need for more data by having the skilled workers to build more cell sites, and the fiber to connect them all!”
Keynote speaker FCC Chairman Ajit Pai cited Steven Jobs’ quote “it just works” in talking about the wireless industry. Pai said that can be attributed to the hard work completed at tower sites, the $35 billion invested in the market and the engineers who keep it all moving. Pai recently toured sites around the country and developed an even deeper appreciation for the sacrifices made by honorees and attendees.
Crown’s Executive Vice President Ben Moreland opened for John Kelly, American Tower CEO Jim Taiclet introduced Steven Dodge and Jeffrey Stoops, current CEO of SBA presented Steven Bernstein. Neville Ray followed an enthusiastic John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile who said Ray, “has seen all the G’s.” FCC Commissioner O’Rielly presented Mastec CEO, José Mas.
By Jim Fryer, Managing Editor, Inside Towers
November 15, 2018