The Wireless History Foundation’s Wireless Hall of Fame dinner on October 10th, 2011 was like the academy awards of the wireless industry. Everyone was there from Dan Hesse, TV commercial famous CEO of #Sprint to Marty Cooper, father of the cell phone. Every carrier’s executives and longtime industry veterans broke bread, reminisced and sincerely honored those among them who have worked so hard to change our world as we know it through mobile. It wasn’t easy to build this industry.
Washington had a major presence there with one of their own being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Nick Kauser.
From http://www.WirelessHistoryFoundation.org: Nick Kauser served as Chief Technology Officer of four major wireless carriers including Rogers Cantel, McCaw Cellular Communications, AT&T Wireless Services, and Clearwire Corporation, which he also co-founded. Kauser built the first nationwide network across both Canada and the United States. He led U.S. standards processes, aggressively explored new technologies, and laid the basis for nationwide automatic roaming.
Nick is now retired, but serves on several boards including Ivycorp’s board.
Nick Kauser was recruited by Craig McCaw to take cellular to the next step – build a seamless national network as he had done in Canada with Cantel. Each of the four inductees was introduced by a close friend. Craig introduced Nick. Filled with humor and charm Craig described Nick as someone everyone trusts and everyone loves. “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t love Nick Kauser?” he asked. The close personal bond between them was obvious as Nick thanked Craig, voice crackling and then proceeded to give all the credit to Craig first, and then the teams of people who worked with him and for him. That is so Nick – humble to the core.
The shared history in the room was palpable as old friends and arch rivals all reunited with the spirit of having just spent the last several decades conquering the world in the wireless industry’s version of the Amazing Race.
Timed coincident with the CTIA Enterprise and Applications show, it was clear that there is a changing of the guard. There were many newer faces mixed among the industry veterans, many of whom have now retired.
There was something different about this group – a sense of dedication and family. They didn’t just do it for the money – it was an adventure – a chance to really change the world. Sure, many people in the room have made fortunes, but you got the sense that they’d have done it without that because they believed in the potential of wireless to change the world. They certainly weren’t wrong about that.