Innovation makes networks the unsung hero of today's connected society

Rick Aspan
27 Jan 2017

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Regular readers will have noticed a theme in this space over the last several weeks. Let’s call it an “Ode to Innovation.” The 40th anniversary of CommScope’s founding was an ideal time to highlight some of the creative, groundbreaking and industry-changing technologies and solutions that the company has spawned over the past four decades. To do that, we solicited suggestions from our employees in efforts to compile a list of the Top 40 innovations that have come from CommScope or one of its acquired companies over the past 40 years.

It wasn’t easy, but it sure as heck was rewarding. Personally, despite my many years in this business, it taught me a lot about the company and the industry as a whole. It also was inspiring to hear and read the passion and pride that was shared by so many engineers and technicians in telling their stories. It also reminded me of the vast importance of what we and others in the industry do on a daily basis to create the connected society of which we all are part.

DAS. Structured cabling. Fiber optic connectivity. Advanced antennas. Yada yada yada…The list of impactful innovations from CommScope is long and noteworthy. Our competitors and partners also can lay claim to their own lists of innovations (but ours is better, of course—haha.)

The point is that as we all embrace and crave bright, shiny gadgets and consumer tech toys, we tend to overlook that there are powerful networks running behind the scenes that provide their magic. That magic is connectivity. Gaming, video streaming, photo sharing, online shopping, connected vehicles, IoT and so much more—all enabled by fast, efficient, reliable networks built through innovations from companies such as CommScope.

We rarely think of the network as the epicenter of an ongoing series of innovations, but that is exactly what it is. Its continued evolution—fueled by innovation—enables the services that people have come to love.

CommScope’s highly subjective look at its own Top 40 innovations was fun, sure. But it was more than just a fond trip down memory lane. First, consider how many of those innovations are in use today, and how widely adopted many are. More importantly, the best way to show how we will lead through innovation in the future is to demonstrate the outstanding track record of innovation from our past—innovation that has fueled the powerful networks we enjoy today.

Speaking of the future, our Top 40 Innovations project led to an interesting development. Several of the suggestions from employees were quite good, yet the innovation was deemed to be too early in market adoption to properly rank it compared to others that have been around for a while. Nonetheless, these innovations are considered very promising and perhaps will have a sizeable impact on the industry, much like some of the others from our past.

So, voila! We created a separate list of the Top 10 Promising Innovations from CommScope. In two weeks, we will begin unveiling these promising innovations right here on CommScope Blogs.

I won’t get into specifics here as to what is on that list, but I will note that all 10 are focused in two areas—wireless and fiber optics. And that fits perfectly with how we view the future of infrastructure. We believe fiber and wireless technologies will be the essential building blocks of virtually all bandwidth-intensive networks of the future. Who knows, maybe far in the future, some of these Top 10 Promising Innovations will have earned a place right alongside some of our biggest of all time!

Thanks for following along during our “Ode to Innovation” and celebrating the value of networks in today’s connected society. And thanks to all you engineers, technicians and creative thinkers out there—within CommScope and every company—that work hard to come up with the next big thing that will benefit our world in the future.

Have any thoughts about network innovation and its impact on our world? Share a comment below.

Rick Aspan, APR, is vice president of Corporate Communications of CommScope

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