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The IEEE Communications Society’s 65th Anniversary

The IEEE Communications Society’s 65th Anniversary

The IEEE Communications Society, or ComSoc, is currently the third largest Society (29,000+ members) within the 420,000 member IEEE.  IEEE itself was formed on January 1, 1963 from the combination of the AIEE (American Institute of Electrical Engineers, founded 1884) and the IRE, (Institute of Radio Engineers, founded 1912). 

Founded in 1952 (65 years ago) with the formation of the IRE’s Professional Group on Communications Systems, ComSoc was approved for elevation to Society status in the fall of 1971 and officially began operations on January 1, 1972.

The Society currently operates with a 21-voting member Board of Governors. We are heavily involved in the communications area through our many conferences, workshops/symposiums, technical committees, publications, and standards activities.

Our conferences embrace cutting-edge technologies at ComSoc sponsored global events. Every year, thousands of participants come to discover new ideas, explore innovative solutions, and network with the leaders who are changing the world of communications. Our workshops and symposiums provide small, intimate settings and a relaxed ambiance, where participants can concentrate on technical interchange with their colleagues and enjoy unique social events and experiences.

For many years, ComSoc has been a leader within IEEE in developing and delivering innovative and effective educational offerings with a global reach. ComSoc’s educational activities facilitate professional development opportunities for both learners and instructors through a variety of programs, like the IEEE ComSoc Training Program, that allows practitioners to grow through various stages of their careers whether that be from the perspective of gaining or sharing knowledge and expertise. Programs engage practitioners throughout the lifetime of their career, from establishing university accreditation in telecommunications; hosting ComSoc Summer Schools and Young Engineer & Scientist Initiative (i-YES) Panel Sessions at conferences for graduate students and young professionals; to IEEE WCET professional certification and continuing education programs helping practitioners stay up to date and competitive in the industry. Students, young professionals and practitioners from every IEEE Region have participated in ComSoc’s educational programs and continue to benefit from the technical leadership of the Society.

Our technical committees define and implement the technical directions of the Society. As a fundamental element of the Society, all members are invited – and encouraged – to participate in one or more of our technical committees. These committees, networks of professionals with common interests in communications, usually meet twice each year at major conferences. Throughout the year, these committees also play a major role in determining which events (conferences, workshops, etc.) are technically co-sponsored by ComSoc.

Our flagship publication is IEEE Communications Magazine, which was first published in 1975. It offers technical and general interest articles, Society news and events, featured topics, and advertising that partially subsidizes its cost. It is sent to all ComSoc members as an added benefit of membership. Originally a paper publication, IEEE Communications Magazine is now also available in a digital version and 80% of our members receive it in this form.

Communication standards enable the global marketplace to offer interoperable products and services at an affordable cost. Standards Development Organizations bring together stakeholders to develop consensus standards for use by a global industry. Because of this, standards are extremely important to the work and careers of communications practitioners and are an important part of ComSoc’s effort to bring more practitioners into the Society.

What is new for the IEEE Communications Society going forward is our work with IEEE on new initiatives.  We are developing these new areas, covering multiple Societies, as major areas of interest and work. Foremost is our current IoT Initiative consisting of seven major Society contributors (ComSoc, Signal Processing, Consumer Electronics, and 4 others) and 10 minor contributors (Power, Industrial Electronics, and 8 others). Meetings, conferences, a magazine, and other related offerings are in the pipeline.  Other initiatives that we are working on are 5G, Green ICT, Smart Cities, Smart Grid, and Fog Computing.

From telephone communications advances in 1962 to today’s gigabit transmissions, wireless phones, miniaturization, and other technological advances, our Society has been a major contributor.  We look forward to being a part of these game-changing industry advances by our 75th Anniversary.




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