LONDON — The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) announced that Tiago Rodrigues has taken the helm as CEO, following a unanimous vote at the wireless industry group. Rodrigues, who has been with the WBA since 2004, replaces CEO Shrikant Shenwai, a WBA founder and long-term advocate who will continue working closely with WBA and the wireless industry.

“Wi-Fi is the most ubiquitous wireless technology in mankind’s history,” said Rodrigues. “It has become a fundamental part of daily life for people across the world. Yet there are still challenges ahead, which I would like the WBA to further address.

“For instance, we need to continue our good work on Wi-Fi roaming — accelerating the adoption of a clean, simple, and easy to use experience for everyone in the ecosystem, including consumers, enterprises, and carriers, when Wi-Fi is used,” Rodrigues continued. “When I’m connected, my experience should be seamless and secure. To achieve that, the WBA has to continue to enhance the quality of experience on Wi-Fi roaming.”

Under Rodrigues’ leadership, the WBA plans to extend its relationships with enterprises across various vertical markets as well as consumers, building upon its extensive membership of service providers and technology providers. The WBA has recently made important in-roads to the enterprise sector with the first Wi-Fi 6-based industrial IoT trial undertaken with aerospace manufacturer, Mettis Aerospace. The WBA also recently published its Wi-Fi 6 deployment guidelines to help key vertical markets including hospitality and retail, as well as service providers, best address the Wi-Fi 6 opportunity.

Rodrigues also plans to continue the WBA’s focus on Wi-Fi convergence with 5G. Many of the world’s leading service providers have recently signaled their interest in increased convergence between 5G and Wi-Fi’s next iteration, Wi-Fi 6, to deliver the best quality of service to their subscribers in the most cost-effective manner, with each wireless technology playing to its strengths.

Before joining the WBA, Rodrigues spent 15 years at Portugal Telecom Group as Head of Business Innovation as well as managing the public Wi-Fi sector. He holds an M.Sc. in economics and management of science & technology and a degree in business administration from the Technical University of Lisbon. Rodrigues has been one of the pioneers on enabling Wi-Fi roaming and, together with WBA members, has been the driving force behind the deployment of Passpoint’s Hotspot 2.0 and SIM-authentication over Wi-Fi.

According to JR Wilson, Chairman of the WBA, Rodrigues was chosen from a strong list of candidates: “Overall, the WBA needed a leader with deep insight into the Wi-Fi industry, someone who could recognize Wi-Fi’s biggest opportunities and challenges and guide our membership in addressing them together. We also needed someone with the right blend of strategic thinking and technical knowledge. Tiago fit the bill. He has been involved with WBA for more than 15 years as a member, project lead, workgroup chair, member of the board of directors, and member of staff, and his contributions over that time have been outstanding. We look forward to his continued contributions and leadership.”

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