By Outi Niemi, MulteFire Alliance Secretary and Director of Operations Management, Digital Automation, Nokia

The MulteFire Alliance made a good choice in coming to Finland for its Annual Member Meeting, Working Group meetings and Open Day the last week in June – the longest days of the year. Nokia was proud to host the Alliance in our Espoo headquarters. We had members and industry leaders from around the world join us to advance MulteFire by working on the specification development, get a “State of the Forum” update from board chair Stephan Litjens, and watch the World Cup once the day was done. It was a productive week, and I was so excited to see all my colleagues again that I did not even mind the early morning working group starts. (They’re all very dedicated!)

Making an Impact
One of the highlights of the Annual Meeting is when we recognize individual contributors who have made the biggest impact during the year.  This year’s recipients who were on hand to receive their awards in person included Scott Fischel, founding chair of the Certification Working Group, and Huaning Niu, key contributor and recently elected vice chair for the Radio Working Group.

Along with Alliance President, Mazen Chmaytelli, I was honored to be able to give the awards personally.

My colleague, Ashish Dayama, former vice chair of the Marketing Working Group, also received a recognition award. Since our beginning, Ashish has traveled the globe promoting MulteFire.

He recently changed jobs within Nokia, so was not at the Annual Members Meeting, but we were able to surprise him with the award at his home base at the Nokia office near Chicago. Handing the award to Ashish is Mark Hogenboom from the Nokia Small Cell business line – home of the Nokia MulteFire Small Cell. I wish Ashish well, and know he’ll continue to beat the drum for MulteFire in his new role.

Open Day Draws a Crowd
Following our tradition of hosting Open Days in conjunction with Members Meetings, we once again brought together individuals from across Europe who were interested in learning more about MulteFire technology. It was a great event with almost 80 participants. I even got a Twitter account so I could live tweet during the event – and sent out my first tweets ever! Here are some of the scenes from the event.

MulteFire Alliance Board Chair Stephan Litjens shared the vision for MulteFire, as well as provided a progress update on the specification work and announced products from Nokia and Baicells.

Our invited guest speaker, Alex Glaser with Harbor Research, shared his research findings on the market opportunity for MulteFire in the industrial IoT and Enterprise markets. You can download his presentation here, as well as the two associated white papers here.

Antti Toskala, Bell Labs Fellow and Head of Radio Standardization at Nokia, provided an update on 3GPP progress for 5G Unlicensed. It was good insight into 3GPP’s next steps, as well as the role for the MulteFire Alliance in the 5G era. I encourage you to check out his presentation, “5G Standards and Outlook for 5G Unlicensed.”

The event concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Alex Glaser. The panelists shared their thoughts on the most exciting use cases that MulteFire will enable, and engaged in good dialogue with event attendees on how MulteFire technology can bridge the digital divide.

My Alliance colleagues from Left to Right: Asimakis Kokkos, Head of Standards Steering, Nokia and Technical Specification Group Chair; Yi Shi, Senior Research Engineer, Huawei and Industry Working Group Chair; Prithu Prakash, Vice President, Business Development, Redline Communications; Derek Peterson, CTO, Boingo Wireless and MulteFire Alliance Board Member; and Nanda Menon, Director, Corporate Development, Athonet.

The event concluded with a live demo from Nokia of MulteFire technology being used to livestream attendees at the event.

Athonet also showcased a demo of its private LTE technology.

It was a great week of MulteFire activity in Espoo. We’ll next be getting together in Beijing for the MulteFire Alliance Members Meeting and MulteFire Open Day on September 25, hosted by Huawei. You can register now for the Open Day here. I hope to see you in Beijing!