Key players from across the wireless industry community came together on Wednesday, May 17 at HONORS to celebrate the use of wireless technology as a force for impactful change. Hosted at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., CTIA Wireless Foundation’s annual awards reception celebrated two important names in the rapidly evolving wireless industry and provided attendees with a fun evening of outstanding food, drink and live entertainment.
This year, CTIA Wireless Foundation selected two honorees who have long been champions of wireless innovation. Congressman Greg Walden accepted the 2017 Wireless Champion Award and FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn received the 2017 Mobile Life Award.
NBC4’s Jim Handly kicked off the evening by welcoming guests and introducing CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker.
Baker addressed the crowd, emphasizing the potential that wireless has to improve healthcare, increase community connectivity and boost the economy. Next-generation 5G wireless networks will help save over $300 billion in health costs, and self-driving cars could save more than 20,000 lives annually, Baker said. “That’s why the Foundation’s work is so important. From PulsePoint to our Drive Smart campaign, the Foundation shows how wireless can transform lives.”
Baker also debuted a video reel highlighting the Foundation’s achievements in the last year.
Marcelo Claure, President and CEO of Sprint, welcomed the crowd after Baker. Claure, who is also CTIA’s Chairman, said that Sprint is a huge believer in the power of wireless broadband, adding that Sprint is “determined to bridge the digital divide.” Claure also emphasized the dedication CTIA Wireless Foundation has shown in using wireless technology to enhance the lives of Americans through promotion of safe driving practices and the deployment of other informational and safety services.
Baker returned to the stage to introduce Congressman Walden, who serves as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden has been a leader on issues like spectrum allocation and siting reform, and he emphasized the need for access to spectrum to usher in the civic and economic benefits of 5G.
“I think we’ve all marveled at the explosive growth of wireless technology in recent years,” Walden said. “As policymakers, we strive to craft good legislation that allows you to do what you do: to grow and innovate and to help bring new technologies that improve our lives in every way.”
Throughout the evening, speakers emphasized the need for continued wireless innovation. Handly returned to the stage to introduce Mike Finley, President of North America and Australia for Qualcomm, the evening’s presenting sponsor.
“[5G] will revolutionize industries. It will help change the way we live, work and relate to each other, to intelligently connect in ways we’ve never before imagined,” Finley said while describing the countless ways next-generation networks will transform our world.
Mobile Life Award recipient Commissioner Clyburn also touted the power of connectivity. Clyburn has been a leader on ensuring access to wireless services for communities across the country and has worked tirelessly on mHealth initiatives over her career.
“My goal is, and always will be, to bring communities closer together to ensure that no one is denied the opportunity to communicate, to be connected to the technologies and tools they need to be educated,” Clyburn said.
To conclude the program, Handly thanked the more than 250 guests for their support of the Foundation and its mission to improve lives through wireless technology. Attendees then continued the evening with dinner, a live musical performance and virtual reality demonstrations thanks to Qualcomm.
CTIA Wireless Foundation HONORS is a unique opportunity to thank those policymakers who champion the wireless industry as a tool to foster communication and improve public safety and the lives of Americans.
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Thanks to the evenings sponsors for making HONORS 2017 possible: