Michael S. Heutmaker
Lucent Technologies
Princeton, NJ

The 2000 IEEE Radio and Wireless Conference (RAWCON2000), held in Denver, CO, from September 10 to 13, explored interdisciplinary aspects of RF technology and wireless communications. Approximately 250 people from 18 countries took in a program of 44 oral presentations, 23 poster presentations, two tutorial workshops and two panel sessions, all accompanied by a technical exhibition.

Al Javed, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Access Networks, at Nortel Networks (Nepean, Ontario) presented the RAWCON2000 Keynote Address. His presentation "Technologies and Systems for Fourth Generation Mobile Wireless Systems" highlighted the evolution of wireless networks to an all-IP architecture as well as the new technology that is required to enable data rates 10 times faster than third-generation (3G) technology.

The RAWCON2000 technical program was assembled under the direction of Kari-Pekka Estola (Nokia), the Technical Program Chair. The program featured oral presentations and poster papers on a single track, in order to maximize the opportunities for presenters to get feedback on their work. The poster sessions were well attended, and were presented in the exhibit area so vendors and poster presenters received maximum exposure for their work. The RAWCON2000 program was enhanced by the contributions of invited speakers, comprising George Fry, Nokia Research Center, "Evolving the Capabilities of IS-2000: An Overview of 1XTREME," Theodore Rappaport, Virginia Tech, "Design Efficiencies for Indoor Wireless," Theodore Sizer, Lucent Technologies, "Steerable Antennas for Base Stations" and Earl McCune, Tropian Inc., "System Implications of Heat in Wireless High-Speed Data Networks."

Two interdisciplinary workshops supplemented the RAWCON2000 technical program. The workshop "Ultrawideband (UWB) Technology for Communications" included presentations from Paul Withington (Time Domain Corp.), Rexford Morey (Lawrence Livermore Laboratory) and Moe Win (AT&T Research Laboratories). The presentations included a mixture of tutorial background, hardware demonstrations and recent research results. The workshop "Tutorial on Wireless Networking" highlighted the ways that networking aspects of a communication system must be designed to account for the wireless channel and the mobility of users. The presenters were Gerry Christensen (SignalSoft), Tim Brown (University of Colorado), Barry Dropping (Symmetricom) and Kumar Balachandran (Ericsson).

The banquet address and Monday panel session addressed some topical issues in the wireless industry. Marc Holtzman, Secretary of Technology for the State of Colorado, talked about the Colorado Institute of Technology, which is the focus of a range of technology development efforts in Colorado. His address was an excellent lead-in to the panel session on "Education, Research and the Wireless Industry." Panelists and audience members discussed ways for industry leaders and educators to work together to meet the needs of the industry for skilled workers (from technicians to engineers to R&D) and the needs of academic institutions for talented students and faculty. The panel was moderated by Peter Staecker (former Director of R&D at M/A-COM), and included Misty Baker (Global Wireless Education Consortium), Lawrence Dunleavy (University of South Florida), David Falconer (Carleton University) and Theodore Rappaport (Virginia Tech).

The Tuesday Panel Session, "Accessing the Wireless Internet: Cellular, LAN or Other?" covered some technical, business and economic issues pertaining to the future of 3G cellular, wireless LAN and broadband fixed wireless. The panel was moderated by Brad Smith (Wireless Week), and included Kumar Balachandran (Ericsson), Jim Carlo (Texas Instruments), Gary Hand (IBM), Bruce Rowland (Lucent Technologies) and Durga Satapathy (Sprint).

Planning is underway for RAWCON2001, to be held in August 2001 in Boston, MA. Michael Heutmaker (heutmaker@lucent.com) will continue as General Chair, and Peter Staecker (p.staecker@ieee.org) is the Technical Program Chair. Details about RAWCON2001 may be obtained from the Web page at http://rawcon.org. *