Over 7,000 communications technology professionals gathered in Las Vegas for the 40th annual International Wireless Communications Expo to network, learn more about the industry and check out innovative technologies from more than 400 exhibitors, 100 of which were new to the event.

“Over the past 40 years IWCE has evolved from a dealer- only show to a communications technology event. The response we received from attendees and exhibitors last week shows that IWCE is as relevant as ever,” IWCE Show Director Stephanie McCall said. “We continue to be committed to delivering outstanding education and a platform for technologies innovators to showcase their technology.”

TJ Kennedy, president of FirstNet, delivered a keynote address discussing the latest updates to the nationwide public safety broadband network. The week’s biggest announcement was made Thursday morning in Washington, D.C., by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who announced that FirstNet would sign a 25-year contract to AT&T to build and maintain the nationwide public-safety broadband network. Leaders from FirstNet then held a Town Hall at IWCE on Thursday afternoon to discuss the announcement further.

The Conference Program offered five days of professional development opportunities on topics such as drones, IoT, 5G, smart cities, NG911, cybersecurity and network jamming detection. Dr. Preston Marshall, the technical program manager for spectrum access technology at Google, delivered the Opening Keynote Address, and Donny Jackson of IWCE’s Urgent Communications was joined by industry thought leaders from Motorola, pdvwireless, Verizon and Citrix to discuss how the next generation of connectivity and how changes to spectrum policies will impact day-to-day life.

IWCE also honored Chief Harlin McEwen with a Lifetime Achievement Award. McEwen is currently the Chairman of the FirstNet’s Public Safety Advisory Committee and has had a remarkable 60+ year career in public safety service, as both a law enforcement officer and administrator. He has been an advocate for public safety telecommunications issues and the unquestionable lobbying leader for public safety to Congress and the FCC.

The Exhibit Hall showcased the latest products and services in hardware, networks, applications, interoperability and integration that drive communications systems. In addition, an Apps Center and IWCE’s Wearable Pavilion within the Exhibit Hall showcased the newest technology innovations in these areas. Additionally, numerous partner organizations held meetings during the event, including the DMR Association, NXDN, NPSTC, the Wireless Innovation Forum, the Government Wireless Technology Communications Association, TETRA Today, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Radio Club of America.

Next year, IWCE will be moving from its home in Las Vegas to Orlando, Fla. from March 5-9. For more information on IWCE or to sign up for email updates, visit iwceexpo.com. Stay connected with @iwceexpo on Twitter and Facebook and be sure to follow the LinkedIn company page.

“This is a very exciting time for our industry, McCall said. “We are thrilled to play a role providing a forum for critical communications technology professionals.”

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