Wireless Innovation Forum

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Wireless Innovation Forum
Founded 1996
Type 501(c)6 Mutual Benefit Corporation
Focus Commercial, Civil, and Defense Communications [1]
Origins Modular Multifunction Information Transfer System (MMITS) Forum, Software Defined Radio (SDR) Forum
Area served
Method Industry standards, Conferences, Publications
100+ Member Organizations
Key people
Lee Pucker, CEO
4 (plus contractors and consultants)
Approximately 1200 Member Representatives
Slogan Driving the Future of Radio Communications and Systems Worldwide
Website wirelessinnovation.org

The Wireless Innovation Forum (WInnF) is a non-profit "mutual benefit corporation" dedicated to technology innovation in commercial, civil, and defense communications around the world. Forum members bring experience in Software Defined Radio (SDR), Cognitive Radio (CR) and Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) technologies in diverse markets and at all levels of the wireless value chain to address emerging wireless communications requirements. The Forum acts as a venue for its members to collaborate to achieve these objectives.


The Wireless Innovation Forum was founded in 1996 originally as the "The Modular Multifunction Information Transfer System (MMITS) Forum".[1] The organization was created at the request of the US Military Services (led by US Air Force) as an industry association focused on advancing the development of software radio. In 1996 the Forum formed the Mobile Working Group to develop software specifications and standards supporting ground mobile radios.[2][3]

The Forum published its first Technical Report in 1997 outlining the current state of the art in software defined radio.[4] This document included a reference application framework for software defined radios, referred to as the Software Radio Architecture (SRA), that was developed based on the existing SPEAKeasy Architecture.[5] The late 1990s also saw the initial meeting between the Forum and what would later become the JTRS Joint Program Office (JPO).[6]

In 1998 the MMITS Forum changed its legal name to The Software Defined Radio Forum Inc. and began doing business as The SDR Forum with a broader focus on commercial and international participation.[7] The Forum created three new internal groups — Markets and Regulatory Committees and the Base Station Work Group. Also, the Forum published a revised Technical Report.[8]

In 2001, the Forum contracted with Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) to provide an SCA Reference Implementation (SCARI-Open).[9] The Forum also made filings with the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that helped form the FCC's public rule making on SDR.[10][11]

In 2002, the Forum hosted its first Technical Conference and Product Exposition, which has become an annual event with the presentation of technical papers along with tutorials, workshops and demonstrations.[12]

In 2004 and 2005, the Forum reorganized to support its members in exploring technologies that extend beyond SDR. A key part of this reorganization was the formation of the Cognitive Radio Work Group, which worked to support IEEE P1900.1 in defining standard definitions for Software Defined and Cognitive Radio and to establish a reference architecture for a cognitive radio system.[13]

Between 2004 and 2010 the Forum signed memorandums of understanding with multiple international groups to allow collaboration in areas of mutual interest. These groups included the European End to End Efficiency (E3) Program,[14] IEICE in Japan,[15] IEEK in Korea,[16] IEEE Standards Association,[17] JTRS[18] and the European Science Foundation.[19] In 2007, the Forum initiated the Smart Radio Challenge, a worldwide competition in which student engineering teams design, develop and test SDR or cognitive radio technologies that address relevant problems in the advanced wireless market.[20]

In late 2009 the SDR Forum was renamed the Wireless Innovation Forum, reflecting the fact that many of the projects undertaken by its members had moved beyond SDR to include Cognitive Radio, Systems of Systems, Ad Hoc Networks, and Dynamic Spectrum Access Technologies.[21] The Forum secured representation in China in 2008 and opened an office in Brussels in 2010 to provide better support for its European members.[22]

Mission and strategy[edit]

The Forum's mission is to support the "advancement of a compatible modular technology base for multimode multiband information transfer systems and devices" including "to promote national and international compatibility and interoperability, develop and/or promulgate uniform standards for such technology, coordinate with other organizations, advise regulatory agencies, conduct cooperative research, perform tests and prepare and disseminate informational materials".[23] The Forum's members serve these objectives through four pillars of strategy:[21]

  • Advocacy
  • Opportunity Development
  • Commercialization
  • Education

Organizational structure[edit]

The Forum is organized around five primary committees and a roadmap committee, whose responsibilities are summarized as follows:

  • The User Requirements Committee: Acts as the interface for requirements with the wireless end-users and the representatives of wireless end-users in their segment.
  • The Regulatory Committee: Works with the regulatory and public policy community to establish a global regulatory framework promoting the adoption of emerging technologies for advanced wireless systems.
  • The Technical Committees:
    • Technical Committee on Software Defined Radio (TC-SDR)
    • Technical Committee on Cognitive Radio and Dynamic Spectrum Access (TC-CR/DSA)
    • Coordinating Committee on International SCA Standards (CC SCA)
  • The Roadmap Committee: Defines and publishes the Forum's "Top 10 Most Wanted Wireless Innovations" list

These committees are managed by the Forum's elected officers, which include the Chair and Vice Chair of the Forum, the Technical Director, the chairs of the User Requirements and Regulatory Committees, the Secretary, and the Treasurer as per the Forum's bylaws.


The membership of the Wireless Innovation Forum consists of commercial, defense, and civil government organizations at all levels of the wireless value chain, including wireless service providers, network operators, component and equipment manufacturers, hardware and software developers, regulatory agencies, and academia.[24] Presently numbering more than 100, the Wireless Innovation Forum's membership spans Asia-Pacific (approximately 15%), Europe (approximately 25%), and North America (approximately 60%).

Achievement awards[edit]

Each year, the Forum presents achievement awards at its annual conference.[25] Awards are made in three categories:

  • Wireless Innovation Forum International Achievement Award - This award is presented to an individual, group of individuals, or organization that made especially significant contributions to international furtherance or acceptance of Software Defined or Cognitive Radio
  • Wireless Innovation Forum President's Award - This Award is presented to individuals in recognition of their sustained outstanding contributions in support of the Wireless Innovation Forum and its activities.
  • Wireless Innovation Forum Technology of the Year - This award is presented to an individual or organization for a breakthrough product or technology in the field of software defined or cognitive radio as selected by the members.

Winners of the Wireless Innovation Forum Awards over the years can be found here: Link to Awards Listing Awards are also made each year to the authors of the top papers from the previous year's Technical Conference, as determined by an independent panel of judges.


  1. ^ "MMITS Task Group Initial Meeting Minutes" (PDF). 
  2. ^ Software Defined Radio: Origins, Drivers, and International Perspectives By Wally H. W. Tuttlebee. 
  3. ^ "MMITS First Meeting Minutes — September 1996" (PDF). 
  4. ^ "MMITS Technical Report #1 July, 1997". 
  5. ^ Software Radio: A Modern Approach to Radio Engineering By Jeffrey Hugh Reed. 
  6. ^ "Ninth MMITS Meeting Minutes" (PDF). 
  7. ^ "Twelfth SDR Meeting Minutes (first meeting under SDR Forum name)" (PDF). 
  8. ^ "SDRF Technical Report 2.1". 
  9. ^ "SCA Reference Implementation". 
  10. ^ "Report on Issues and Activity in the Area of Security for Software Defined Radio". 
  11. ^ "FCC Docket — Authorization and Use of Software Defined Radios" (PDF). 
  12. ^ "SDR '02 Technical Conference Papers". ; "SDR '09 Technical Conference Program". 
  13. ^ "SDRF Cognitive Radio Definitions". ; "Cognitive Radio Definitions and Nomenclature". 
  14. ^ "MOU with the The End-to-End Efficiency (E3) Program" (PDF). 
  15. ^ "MOU with the IEICE Technical Committee on Software Radio" (PDF). 
  16. ^ "MOU with The Institute of Electronics of Korea (IEEK)" (PDF). 
  17. ^ "MOU with the IEEE Communications Society(ComSoc)" (PDF). 
  18. ^ "MOU with the JTRS Science and Technology Forum (JSTeF)" (PDF). 
  19. ^ "Agreement with European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) ICO902" (PDF). ; "MOU with European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) ICO905" (PDF). 
  20. ^ "Radio Challenge Website". 
  21. ^ a b "Wireless Innovation Forum 2010-2014 Strategic Plan" (PDF). 
  22. ^ "Infoex-World Services to represent The SDR Forum in China" (PDF). ; "Wireless Innovation Forum Opens Europe Office". 
  23. ^ "Wireless Innovation Forum Bylaws". ; "Wireless Innovation Forum Bylaws, Amendments from October 2009" (PDF). 
  24. ^ "SDR Products and Services Directory". ; "2009 Annual Report" (PDF). 
  25. ^ "Wireless Innovation Forum Achievement Awards". 

External links[edit]