IEEE Austin Texas Section Hosts the IEEE ComSoc Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (IEEE WCNC 2022) by Damian Valles, Texas State University, WCNC Social Media

By Amit Patel - IEEE North Jersey Section ComSoc Chapter Chair, USA and Damian Valles - Texas State University, WCNC Social Media Chair

Greetings from Austin, Texas. Home of this year’s world wireless event, the IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (IEEE WCNC) 2022. The conference was a four-day event from April 10–13, 2022, held in person and virtually. For those who attended, the location was the beautiful Hilton Austin, located in the heart of downtown. Details about the event, keynotes, events, and topics are detailed online

The conference not only enjoyed the warm and sunny days of spring, but its attendees also had access to Austin’s vibrant culture as the Live Music Capital of the World and the city’s 6th Street entertainment district. The conference was offered as a hybrid event with attendance from over 46 countries, with nearly half of the participants being virtual.

This year’s theme was “Boosting Verticals into Wireless Orbit.” Many vertical industries are rolling out 5G applications and using its support of ubiquitous mobile data traffic. Near meteoric growth has fueled exciting new services and solutions. Furthermore, on the heels of 5G is the new 6G standardization efforts defining the technology landscape for the next few decades.

The organizing committee chairman Fawzi Behmann — TelNet Management Consulting and his team of fellow volunteers pulled together an excellent technical program with industry sponsors and exhibitors. The Organizing Committee was able to work in providing online and in-person services for each event of the conference and provide a great experience to all that traveled to Austin, Texas. The conference also offered for the first time a Women in Communications Engineering (WICE) Panel and the Hottest Start-up Session to provide an exchange of information on new ideas and career experiences.

The technical program committee chair Jeff Andrews — the University of Texas at Austin, and his team organized a diverse set of programming that covered a hybrid offering of keynotes, technical sessions, tutorials, workshops, industry-centered panels, presentations, and executive interviews and discussions. There were awards for best papers and generous student travel grants to enable increased participation.

In-person technical session at WCNC’22

The conference included Dialogue with Industry Leaders, 9 keynote speakers, 2 executive Forum sessions, 12 Industry Panels and special sessions, Startup Forums, 7 industry presentations and over 361 technical papers, 12 Tutorials, and 11 workshops.

The technical sessions and panels covered a variety of topics. Just a sampling of which included: 5G and Beyond Applications for Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0, Scaling in public and private networks with ORAN, AI for Network and Network for AI, 6G Cloud-native and AI-native Networks, Non-terrestrial Networks in 5G and 6G, How to Secure Future Communication Networks, From Theory to Practice: Emerging Antenna Array Technologies for 5G-Advanced. Papers from the conference covering these and many other topics can be found in the published proceedings.

Opportunities to participate in tutorials, workshops, and industry sessions were not in short supply. Many activities for each area allowed participants to see and hear great content and insights from leaders in the field.

Industry session panel at WCNC’22

The technical sessions occurred in person and on-demand. Many that attended in person were provided a great experience to engage with presenters and connect with colleagues with the same research work. Presenters represented all spectrums from industry and academia. The on-demand technical sessions were pre-recorded to offer asynchronous sessions that attendees could watch at their own pace.

The industry sessions provided an excellent opportunity to learn and see new technology ideas from many industry partners in wireless and communication research. The sessions provided experts showcasing industry methodologies and providing an exchange of ideas with colleagues. Audiences interacted in-person with specific questions and had opportunities to attend different industry-focused research discussions.

Most of the tutorials were offered for virtual attendees, along with three in-person tutorials at the conference. Most of the tutorials were pre-recorded for the virtual attendees to select specific topics and offered specific times where attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the tutorial developers online.

On-demand tutorial from the Australian National University

This year’s WCNC was a spectacular success and showed the efforts of the volunteers and committee leadership in putting together a program with something for everyone. The technical program was packed with a balanced focus on academic presentations, industry perspectives, and educational sessions.

The best part is that WCNC will be back next time on the 26–29th of March 2023, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, covering a variety of technical topics for all attendees and participants.