Mission Specialist award winner: Chris Szymanski, Broadcom
June 25, 2020 by Christopher Szymanski
Wi-Fi Alliance® welcomes 2020 honorees into our Wi-Fi Alliance Hall of Fame. This series highlights the companies and individuals who have brought invaluable contributions to the Wi-Fi® industry, and have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to advancing the Wi-Fi Alliance mission to “connect everyone and everything, everywhere.” Wi-Fi Alliance recognizes Hall of Fame honorees in the following categories: Industry Impact, Mission Specialist, and Quality of Service. Read more on this year’s winners.
The Mission Specialist award recognizes exemplary contributions to our mission by individuals who have, over a period of at least five years, demonstrated leadership and developed significant initiatives for Wi-Fi Alliance or the Wi-Fi industry. Awarded individuals have been involved in a range of activities outside of program development, bringing their unique subject-matter expertise to bear in contributing to the Wi-Fi Alliance mission in an impactful way.
What do you consider to be your proudest Wi-Fi accomplishment?
I am most proud of my involvement in enabling Wi-Fi 6E, which operates in the 6 GHz frequency range. It was a multiyear effort, which spanned the globe, involved collaboration with some of the brightest minds in the Wi-Fi industry, and has led to tripling the amount of spectrum available for Wi-Fi in the United States - and hopefully soon the rest of the world.
The goal was clear - to unleash Wi-Fi that is capable of fueling digitally immersive and next generation user experiences in the 2020 timeframe. Countless hours were spent in meetings with my industry colleagues and regulators around the world. It was extremely gratifying to achieve this goal, with FCC Chairman Pai enabling the whole 1200 MHz of spectrum for Wi-Fi, and Broadcom’s launch of a full ecosystem of Wi-Fi 6E silicon solutions, including the world’s first Wi-Fi 6E mobile phone chip―the BCM4389.
What drives you to help proliferate Wi-Fi around the world?
Over the past fifteen years, I have visited over forty countries, and lived for almost five years in China. Wi-Fi has played a critical role helping me to remain engaged with my loved ones. With my Wi-Fi enabled smartphone and laptop computer, I could connect to anyone, anywhere. It just worked.
Recognizing that Wi-Fi is a core part of keeping our world connected in all facets of life, I am driven to continue to develop next-generation Wi-Fi technology to meet the growing demand for enhanced connectivity.
In particular, I am excited about the development of portable devices that will produce the digitally immersive experiences that will transform the way we will educate students, provide healthcare, conduct business, and entertain ourselves in and outside of the home. This connectivity will do more than make our lives easier and make our live streams faster. It truly is the missing link that will revolutionize the way we live and interact with technology.
In your eyes, what is Wi-Fi’s biggest impact on the world?
Wi-Fi is an integral part of the way we work and live and the power of Wi-Fi is truly just getting started. By 2022, Wi-Fi is expected to carry over half of all Internet traffic in the United States. Now more than ever, we realize how important Wi-Fi is to keep us connected to one another, keep us working, keep our kids learning, and keep our communities together.
Wi-Fi also is poised to be a huge contributor to our economy. With the 6 GHz band, Wi-Fi will be able to handle increasing Wi-Fi traffic, contributing at least $13.25 billion to the GDP in the United States.
As the world emerges from crisis, we are seeing a demonstration of why telecommunications networks, in general, are critical to the economy and how Wi-Fi is doing its part.
“Broadcom is honored to be recognized by Wi-Fi Alliance for the role it and its key staff have played in advancing the future of Wi-Fi. We are appreciative that my efforts to enable Wi-Fi 6E were recognized in the mission specialist role. We also appreciate the recognition that Vinko Erceg and Thomas Derham have materially contributed to the success of Wi-Fi Alliance through the Quality of Service Award.
Finally, Broadcom is heartened that its deep commitment to enabling Wi-Fi operations in the 6 GHz band over the past four plus years was recognized by the Industry Impact Award. We are excited about the exciting innovations that will manifest as a result of these accomplishments.”
What is one technology that you think will transform the Wi-Fi experience?
I am especially excited about the impact portable devices will have on the Wi-Fi experience. These technologies will serve as a bedrock to innovation in a variety of sectors—including education, healthcare, automation and more.
Such technologies will allow employers to provide immersive training experiences to their employees in times of social distancing, assist doctors with visual guidance for medical treatments with augmented reality and give immersive location experiences to car drivers. The potential use cases are endless and diverse.
At Broadcom we look forward to continuing to work with the FCC in the coming months to finalize rules in the 6 GHz band that will make this possible.
Christopher Szymanski is Director of Product Marketing and Government Affairs for the Mobile Wireless Connectivity Division at Broadcom Inc., where he is responsible for leading Broadcom’s development, and regulatory affairs. As Broadcom’s representative, Mr. Szymanski serves as on the Wi-Fi Alliance Board of Directors and as alternate Director on the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance board. Before joining Broadcom, Mr. Szymanski worked for Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) at its headquarters in Shanghai. He also served as a congressional aide focused on policies related to economic competitiveness, telecommunications, foreign relations, national security, and trade.