By Satyen K. Bordoloi
CHICAGO --June 5, 2006--Increasing competition from their Asia-Pacific counterparts has forced telecom industry to ask for greater federal funding for basic research in communications technologies so that the U.S. can remain a leader in the competitive global marketplace.
This seemed to be the crux of all the messages delivered at the new GLOBALCOMM exhibition and conferences organized by the 600-member Telecommunications Industry Association
(TIA), the leading trade association for the information and communications technology industry.
Speaking at a press conference with seven top TIA Communications Research Division (CRD) executives, TIA President Matthew J. Flanigan said, “Research is the backbone of the communications industry, a critical national resource and the fuel that keeps America's innovation engine running.” The panel conference was a part of their five-day information and communications technology trade show at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
Flanigan called basic research “the building block for the future development of advanced telecommunications products and services,” and urged “more focused funding and new partnerships between industry, government and universities ...”
Incidentally, the trade association created the CRD to advocate more federal funding for communication-specific, pre-competitive, basic research; the intention being to ensure that the U.S. communications industry retains its position of leadership in advanced research.
The chief technologist panel represented by ANDA Networks, Bechtel Telecommunications, Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies (News
), Global Consultants Inc., Qualcomm (News
), Telcordia Technologies and Westell; have called in for dedicated federal research funding in broadband technologies, interoperable mobile communications, networking architectures, network and homeland security, and nanotechnology.
The basic view propagated by them is that since basic research has a 20-year horizon period, publicly traded companies, being vulnerable to market pressures and desire of shareholders to improve short-term profitability, have no option but to deemphasize basic research, thus resulting in the need for critical federal funding.
Satyen K. Bordoloi is a contributing writer for TMCnet