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November 2011 - Volume 3, Issue 8

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CeliaA Message from Celia Desmond, IEEE WCET® Program Director and Steering Committee Chair

I am pleased to let you know that  as we move forward into 2012 it is clear that ComSoc's wireless certification and complementary training program are continuing to thrive. Your feedback over the year on both has been helpful and appreciated. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us. It is this continued dialogue that helps us shape our products and services to better meet your needs; and when we hit a homerun to borrow the expression from American baseball; exceed them (which is always our goal). 

For those of you interested in learning more about the WCET certification exam there is a new Candidate Handbook for 2012 that is now available. Request a copy today if you haven't already. For those interested in ComSoc Training events we have a lot in store for you in the coming year. New courses will be offered. To kick off January - we are offering another one day LTE course on 10 January and an updated 5-day Virtual Intensive Course on wireless renamed the 5-day Wireless Communications Engineering Intermediate Fundamentals Review & Current Practices course on 16-20 January. Registration will open soon and there is an early bird discount for those who secure their seats early. These have been very poplular courses and they do fill up. Seats are limited. The new courses will most likely be offered closer to the middle of the year but we will make you aware when they are being offered.

Finally, for those of you waiting for the new issue of the WEBOK, it is coming but we are slightly delayed as we are working to make it the best it can be. We will announce a firm release date here so stay tuned.

All the best to you as we enter a festive time of year. May you all have a wonderful holiday season - one filled with good health, much love, peace, and happiness. Happy reading!

Industry News

AT&T Creating New Division for Wireless Home Security, Health Care & Energy

"Hundreds" of new jobs will be created when AT&T Mobility launches a new division for wireless home security, health care and energy use services. The Digital Life Services division will be based in Atlanta, Georgia, and has already started posting for engineers and other applicants. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]


Cox Communications Shutters Wireless Division

Just two months after it launched 3G services, Cox Communications has announced it will close the doors of its Cox Wireless unit. The company, which offers mobile virtual network operator service, will continue to operate through March 2012. [TeleGeography]


Verizon Foundation Grant Supports STEM Education

A $75,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center will support STEM education to help train the next generation of engineers. [PR]


Union Says AT&T, T-Mobile Merger Would Create 100,000 Jobs

The Communications Workers of America has come out in favor of the planned merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, saying it would create 100,000 new jobs. Competitor Sprint Nextel disagrees, saying the merger would actually cost jobs. The merger is still pending the resolution of lawsuits from the Department of Justice, Sprint and C Spire. [CNET]


FiberTower Cuts Workforce 40% as Board Members Resign

Wireless backhaul services provider FiberTower Corporation sent out a press release announcing it has reduced its workforce by 40% as it faces ongoing liquidity problems. [PR] The same day, it announced that it has missed a $1.3 million interest payment and accepted resignations from three of its board members, including Chairman John Kelly. [Fierce Broadband Wireless]


TrainSignal Releases Cisco CCNA Wireless Training Course

A new 15-lesson course from TrainSignal offers networking professionals the chance to learn wireless networking skills. The Cisco CCNA Wireless Training Course contains more than eight hours of video instruction and covers Cisco unified wireless architecture, WLAN design, wireless security and maintenance. [PR]


Wireless Companies Recognized for Military Recruiting

G.I. Jobs magazine has named T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, Qualcomm and U.S. Cellular among the top 100 most military-friendly employers for their hiring of veterans and members of the military reserve. T-Mobile ranked tenth on the list. Verizon, which was listed at number 41, said it currently employs nearly 12,000 veterans, including more than 550 who were hired in the past year. [G.I. Jobs] [Verizon PR]


Sprint Seeks M2M Engineers

"We need engineers who understand wireless and can bring the technical ecosystem together," Sprint's Russell Mosburg recently told EE Times. The company currently employs 30 machine-to-machine (M2M) engineers, but it is hoping to increase that number as the M2M market expands. [EE Times] 


Intel: "Connected Cars" Are the Third-Fastest Growing Technology

Wireless services for automobiles are the third-fastest growing area of technology devices, according to Intel. Meanwhile, Glenn Lurie, president of AT&T's Emerging Devices division, says he expects that all new cars sold 3 or 4 years from now will have embedded wireless services. [CE Outlook]


iPhone Overtakes BlackBerry for Business Users

The iPhone now claims 45% of the business user market, up from 31% last year, according to Mobile Workforce Report. BlackBerry has slipped slightly, from 35% to 32%. Android has a 21% market share. [CNET]


Wateen Telecom to Build Nationwide WiMAX in Pakistan

Four-year-old Wateen Telecom is preparing to build a nationwide WiMAX network in Pakistan. The country currently has very low broadband penetration. The vast majority of Pakistan's population (60%) is under the age of 30, so Wateen will focus on infotainment services for this younger demographic.  [Mobility Techzone]


China Telecom Plans Offices in Los Angeles and Chicago

China Telecom will open a data center in Los Angeles and a "full service" office in Chicago as it opens up additional services for its Asian customers when they visit the United States. The company says it may even consider deploying its own U.S. network infrastructure. [RCR Wireless]


Wireless Information Networks Pioneer Honored

Amir Salman Avestimehr of Cornell University was recognized by President Barack Obama as one of 94 winners of this year's Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Avestimehr was honored for "pushing the frontiers of information theory through its extension to complex wireless information networks." [White House PR]


 Upcoming Meetings and Events from Around the World

IEEE Globecomm 2011
5-9 December
Houston , Texas

IEEE GLOBECOM 2011 expands agenda of New Industry Forum & Expo with New Industry Technical Presentations on Cyber Security, 4G Wireless, Aerospace Power Technology, Smart Grid Renewable Energies & Radio Prototyping. ComSoc will be exhibiting at Globecomm. Stop by and say Hi. Give us your business card and we'll give you a free online practice exam.

2012 9th Annual Conference on Wireless On-demand Network Systems and Services (WONS)
9-11 January 2012
Hotel Pavillon
Courmayeur, ITALY

2012 IEEE Consumer Communications and Networking Conference (CCNC)
14-17 January 2012
Planet Hollywood - Las Vegas, NV - USA

International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE)
Conference: 20-24 February 2012
Exhibits: 22-23 February 2012
Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV - USA

WCET Group on LinkedIn Grows to Over 700 Members
If you're not already a member of the WCET group on LinkedIn you are missing out on a great resource. This professional group has been growing nicely throughout the year. Membership is comprised of people who have passed the WCET certification exam, some who are interested in learning more about it, individuals who lecture for ComSoc Training courses and those who have taken courses and are looking for a place to network and collaborate. Visit us online to request membership to this unique group.

Save the Date: 6 December 2011 - IEEE WCET Alumni Annual Meeting

Next December 6, 2011 from 13:30 pm – 15:00 EST the IEEE WCET Alumni will have their annual meeting. This meeting is for WCET Certificate holders only. Those planning to take the WCET test and become certified in 2012 (exam application completed, and submitted/approved/paid) can participate as guests.WCPs can attend in person or via conference call. For those local to the Houston, TX - USA area, the meeting will be co-located with IEEE Globecomm. The meeting room number is 344 B / Level 3. The conference call bridge number will be email separately. Stay tuned on WCET's group on LinkedIn for more details and reminders.

Fall 2011 WCET Exam Results - Coming Soon
Candidates who sat for the IEEE WCET certification exam last month can expect to have their score reports by the end of November. Learn more about obtaining exam results, retaking the exam or duplicate / replacement certificates. Contact Marilyn Catis at if you have any problems getting your score report or if you have any feedback about the exam / testing center to share with us.