The top 10 women in wireless By Martha DeGrasseSponsored by:
FEATURE REPORTThe U.S. mobile economy is a powerful engine of job creation and technicalinnovation, and many of the most important initiatives are driven byoutstanding women. There are hundreds of women who are making significantcontributions; here we highlight our Top 10 Women in Wireless for 2012.Listed in alphabetical order. that a less competitive market could Women in the telecommunications mean higher prices and less service for industry have found that working hard 1 low-income subscribers, small businesses in a rapidly evolving industry can lead to Mignon and rural areas. She also voted in favor amazing opportunities and achievements. of net neutrality rules earlier this year, This describes the career path of the Clyburn despite the protestations of the nation’s second woman on our list, AT&T Chief FCC Commissioner largest carriers. Marketing Officer Cathy Coughlin. Before her political career, which be-Advocating for wireless customers gan with an 11-year stint as a utility Mignon Clyburn’s decisions may regulator, Clyburn spent 14 years run-not always please the companies she ning a community newspaper that she 2regulates, but it’s not because she isn’t owned with her father, Representativelistening to them. When Sprint Nextel Jim Clyburn (D-SC). Cathyasked the Federal Communications Those years as a small business owner CoughlinCommission to put conditions on Verizon inform Clyburn’s work at the FCC, where CMO, AT&TCommunications’ proposed $3.9 billion she is always on the lookout for opportu-spectrum purchase from a group of cable nities for smaller companies. This springcompanies, Mignon Clyburn was the when the FCC heard comments on a pro- Driving innovation and impacting policyCommissioner who heard the company’s posal to reallocate 40 megahertz of spec- Cathy Coughlin has seen a lot of changearguments. Later, when Verizon rebutted trum in the 2 GHz band from mobile satel- during her 33 years with AT&T. For onethose arguments, it was again Clyburn’s lite service to mobile broadband, Clyburn thing, the company name has changed –office that met with the company. Reports asked if small business bidding credits she started at Southwestern Bell long be-that the spectrum deal is near approval are would enable new companies to start of- fore the company became SBC and thena sign that Clyburn did not hear anything fering mobile service. She also wanted to bought AT&T. But Coughlin says the lastto make her think the deal would result in know how the reallocation of the spectrum five years have brought some of the mosthigher prices for consumers. During her could benefit rural wireless service. exciting changes.three years with the agency, Clyburn has Clyburn is also committed to helping “Technology has advanced so far thatdemonstrated a consistent commitment women advance in telecommunications. it enriches people’s lives, whereas a fewto consumers, particularly low-income She has made a point of meeting with short years ago technology was veryAmericans and rural communities. female telecom executives to discuss intimidating,” she says. “We do a lot Clyburn opposed AT&T’s $39 billion bid mentoring programs and the promotion of research with our customers. Whenfor T-Mobile USA because she thought of women. we were doing research for our current
FEATURE REPORTadvertising campaign just a few years changes. We are very specific in our phone is our camera, our credit card andago, we were testing the notion of ‘do urging to require spectrum holders to will manage activities throughout ourpeople want to do more with phones?’ put the airwaves to work.” homes, cars and offices.”Our customers said ‘I don’t want to do One spectrum holder that has not hesi- Dillon says her company’s greatestmore; I’m already connected all the time.’ tated to put its airwaves to work is U.S. contribution to the industry is providingNow people love technology. They say ‘my Cellular, one of a handful of regional car- great customer service and “delighting”phone is just an extension of who I am.’” riers that is leading the way to LTE. The customers. She has been customer- Coughlin’s research eventually led third woman on our list is U.S. Cellular focused throughout her career, overseeingAT&T to its “Rethink Possible” market- CEO Mary Dillon. global marketing at McDonald’s beforeing campaign, which she says is not just joining U.S. Cellular.a message for customers, but a call for “I continue to learn from the manychange in AT&T’s corporate culture. mentors who helped guide my career,” “We have marketed it as much says Dillon. “I encourage people to 3internally as externally,” she says. “Our reach out to others in their field to gain250,000 employees are very important Mary as much information as they can. Forstakeholders … and innovation is part women in wireless, currently you get the Dillonof everyone’s job.” She says that more perk of enjoying the short women’s room CEO, U.S. Cellularthan half of AT&T’s employees have lines at industry events (which you don’tparticipated in the company’s Innovation see in many other parts of life), but thatPipeline, which encourages workers Blazing the trail to LTE will change.”to submit product or service ideas. Mary Dillon decided early last year While Mary Dillon and her team workCoughlin says AT&T has funded about to accelerate her company’s LTE to bring the next generation of wireless50 of these ideas, including the highly deployment. While many regional service to the Midwest, the next womansuccessful AT&T Toggle, which allows carriers are delaying LTE investments on our list is helping to extend mobileusers to “toggle” their smart devices due to concerns about device availability broadband to the developing world.between work mode and personal mode. and interoperability, Dillon has forged Coughlin herself seems very ahead without ever looking back. Shecomfortable toggling between work mode says that by the end of this year moreand personal mode. She loves the camera than half U.S. Cellular’s customers will 4on her white Nokia Lumia 900, and have access to LTE.says she has more communication than After famously saying “no thank you” Peggyever with her 10 nieces and nephews to Apple’s iPhone offer last year, U.S. Johnsonsince they got smartphones and started Cellular is saying “yes please” to the EVP and President,texting her. But she worries about the Samsung Galaxy S III, an LTE Android Global Marketnetwork’s ability to handle the increasing phone that should make efficient use of Development, Qualcommtraffic, particularly video. “The [Federal precious spectrum on U.S. Cellular’s LTECommunications Commission] has network. Dillon carries a Galaxy S III asforecast that the demand for spectrum well as a Galaxy Tab 10.1. “I think devices Extending the mobile revolutionwill exceed supply by 2013,” she says will become integrated with all facets of “Every person on the planet is going“We are … very vocal about policy our lives,” says the mother of four. “Our to be connected by broadband,” says
FEATURE REPORTPeggy Johnson. “The dynamics that will developed apps and got paid and circled sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1,produce will be startling, especially for around and developed more apps,” and followed it up the next week withareas that never had access to education says Johnson. Apple, of course, took a similar injunction on the Galaxyor healthcare.” the app store to a whole new level by Nexus, the Android smartphone that As president of global marketing for making it part of the iconic “iDevices.” Samsung developed with Google. As ofQualcomm, Johnson spends a lot of Now Apple is fighting to make sure this writing, Samsung and Apple aretime on planes, and a lot of those planes its innovations are not overshadowed headed back to Judge Koh’s courtroomare headed to India. She is proud of her by less expensive competitors, as the for a jury trial, with Apple demand-role in Qualcomm’s recent agreement to Macintosh computer was 25 years ago. ing $2.52 billion in damages fromsell spectrum in India to Bharti Airtel, And many of those battles are being Samsung, and Samsung claiming thatand knows that the sale is unlikely to fought in the San Jose courtroom of Apple couldn’t have developed the iP-be the end of her trips to that country. Judge Lucy Koh, the next woman on hone without leveraging the KoreanQualcomm has five offices there, and our list. company’s patents.Johnson likes India so much that she In the time since Koh’s last decision,vacationed there with her husband and the highly respected Judge Richardchildren this year. Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of “You literally step off through time into Appeals has dismissed patent lawsuitsrural villages, “ she says, “but I would 5 filed in his court by Apple and Google,get 3G access. When you look around saying he will not hear argumentsyou see people in varying states of eco- Lucy because the companies are usingnomic ability. But everyone has a phone. Koh patents as anticompetitive tools. HisFood, water, shelter and a cell phone are U.S. District Court decision may encourage some companiesthe priorities.” Judge, San Jose, CA, to pause before they file new lawsuits, Northern District For Qualcomm, one of the world’s but it remains to be seen whether it willlargest providers of chipsets and influence Judge Koh.related software for mobile devices, On the front lines in the patent wars Koh, the first U.S. District Court Judgethe opportunities in the developing Lucy Koh made headlines earlier this of Korean descent, was nominated for herworld are clearly very compelling. And year when she held two tablets above her position by President Obama in Januarythe company is committed to bringing head in her courtroom. One was an iPad 2010. At that time she was a judge in thehigh-end capabilities to the lower end and the other was a Samsung Galaxy Superior Court of California in Santaof the market. Johnson is excited about Tab 10.1. Koh asked Samsung’s lawyers Clara. She received her B.A. and herthe latest iteration of BREW, a software which tablet was which and the response J.D. from Harvard, and is married to aplatform for mobile devices designed was not immediate – apparently the law- Stanford law professor. She protects herto boost the performance of mass- yers had a hard time distinguishing their courtroom and her privacy by not givingmarket feature phones to smartphone client’s product from Apple’s. interviews to the media.levels. She was part of the team that Judge Koh has since found that two When it comes to the media, the nextdeveloped the original BREW platform Samsung products infringe on Apple’s woman on our list is as outspoken asalmost a decade ago. Long before Apple patents and are likely to cause finan- Judge Koh is reserved. Selina Lo of Ruck-had an app store, “We pioneered the cial harm to Apple. In June Koh is- us Wireless loves to talk about her pas-idea of an ecosphere of developers who sued a preliminary injunction banning sion for her company and her industry.
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FEATURE REPORT is the de-facto indoor solution for wireless, Lucent’s Sandy Motley is committed to if we want any of the commercial apps helping carriers of all sizes forge a path 6 to work such as coupon sending and to LTE. Selina promotions and payments, we need to do a much better job with location services,” Lo says Lo. Ruckus is working on new CEO, Ruckus Wireless software that will help pinpoint a network user’s exact location. “Our partners are 7Wi-Fi evangelist very interested but they haven’t seen the Sandy “Middle-of-the-road” is not a phrase that applications that are going to make this acomes to mind when talking about Selina new revenue stream, but I think they are Motley COO, Wireless Division,Lo, the high-profile CEO of Ruckus Wire- going to see that emerge by the end of this Alcatel-Lucentless. But the middle of the road is exactly year,” says Lo.where Lo’s company found the route to Lo is also very excited about the effortsuccess with its Wi-Fi hardware, software five of the nation’s largest cable compa- Champion for LTEand services. “We were one of the first to nies are making to create a nationwide Sandy Motley remembers a time whenfocus on the mid-tier enterprise,” says Lo. Wi-Fi network. “When these guys start wireless devices were primarily for “road“Prior to Ruckus coming into the market adding their footprint together they are warriors,” and says she still carries anin 2008, if you looked at Cisco, Aruba and going to offer a public access footprint “army of devices,” when she travels. ButHP, they were all chasing tier-one univer- bigger than AT&T,” she says. now, many of her trips are inspired by thesities and Fortune 1000 companies. We Selina Lo was born in Hong Kong and new reality of wireless communications.were the first to say ‘we want to go after received her B.S. in computer science “Today the mainstream use of this tech-the mid-tier enterprise.’” from the University of California at nology is phenomenal,” says Motley, and Now Lo is on a mission to bring Wi-Fi Berkeley. She co-founded Centillion Net- as consumers demand constant wirelessconnectivity to everyone. “Wi-Fi is the works and then sold it to Bay Networks. communication, Motley is frequently onnew Ethernet,” Lo says. “The new genera- Lo then served as VP of marketing for the road calling on regional U.S. carri-tion, when they sit down in a public place, Alteon Networks, where she was very ers who are thinking about LTE. “Thisthey look for Wi-Fi first. All public facing involved in the company’s initial public is the year for competitive carriers,” saysenterprises are finding it necessary to of- offering and subsequent sale to Nortel Motley. “4G is really starting to go main-fer Wi-Fi hotspots.” Lo thinks the trend Networks for $7.8 billion. stream and they’re all moving to LTE.”toward Wi-Fi-only devices will accelerate Lo won’t comment on the timing of a As the new COO of Alcatel-Lucent’sduring the next five years. “More people possible IPO for Ruckus, but she does ex- wireless division, Motley says she’llare going to carry devices that do not have pect her company to make some headlines continue her work to help smalleran Ethernet port,” she says. this year one way or another. “We like to carriers approach LTE thoughtfully and While more and more companies now make a ruckus,” she says, “so there will successfully. In her previous role as VP ofsee Wi-Fi as a cost of doing business, many be news. ... I can just promise that there U.S. wireless sales, Motley made a strongalso see a revenue opportunity. Retailers will be news.” case for LTE as the way for carriers toare especially interested in using Wi-Fi If Selina Lo is a Wi-Fi evangelist, the keep up with the growing demand fornetworks to deliver real-time promotions next woman on our list is an equally video, which she says will represent 70%to customers in their stores. “Since Wi-Fi articulate proponent of LTE. Alcatel- of data traffic by 2014. “This will explode
FEATURE REPORTthe needs on the carriers’ networks, so cell space: microcells, apps in light radio, Walden arrived in Verizon Wireless’we all need to get ready for that and ... that’s an area where we are absolutely New York headquarters in late 2010 toLTE is the solution,” Motley says. “It leading and we have a lot of objectives.” serve as CMO, and was promoted a yearwill bring great services and great user Finally, Motley singles out machine-to- later to COO. She had a primary role inexperiences for video.” machine as an important focus area for creating and delivering the media cam- Motley knows it will not be easy for re- Alcatel-Lucent. “M2M is a very critical paigns that raised public awareness ofgional carriers. This spring she began her market for us and we will continue to be LTE. Walden has maintained a consis-keynote address at the RCA Spring Expo a major player in defining the standards,” tent focus on securing and promotingthe way Charles Dickens began “A Tale of she says. iconic devices, particularly LTE devices.Two Cities,” saying that for smaller carri- The next woman on our list knows “From the beginning, our strategy hasers it is “the best of times and the worst of all about setting the standard. Under been clear: to have the very best network,times.” Motley says Alcatel-Lucent works her leadership, the nation’s largest the best lineup of devices and the best cus-with carriers to help them free up spec- carrier convinced millions of Ameri- tomer experience,” says Walden. “Smart-trum so that they can deploy next-gen- cans that 4G LTE is the new standard phones, tablets and Internet devices areeration services. “Tier-two and tier-three for wireless connectivity. quickly becoming the new necessity. For(carriers) do have some unique needs,” she an industry still in its infancy, the growthsays. “Some are certainly able to get addi- and changes have been explosive but theretional spectrum but they don’t have large is still a lot more to come.”volumes of spectrum. ... We need to work Walden played a key role in developing 8with them to free up spectrum. There are Verizon’s new shared data pricing plan.ways to free up (3G) spectrum so they can Marni “Our new ShareEverything plan is a greatuse it for 4G. They need to have interoper- option for customers who have a number of Waldenability between 3G and 4G; they have to data devices or who want unlimited voice COO, Verizon Wirelessdo some data handoffs.” calls or text messages,” says Walden. “It’s Motley says much of the work that has a whole new pricing framework, but it of-given her the most satisfaction at Alca- Setting the standard fers customers the simplicity and flexibil-tel-Lucent has been centered on mak- Marni Walden is a Wyoming native who ity they tell us they want. Verizon Wire-ing customers successful. “I was part of has crisscrossed the country on her rise less’ contributions in advancing wirelesssome very early development on what we to the top of the wireless industry. With communications have always centered oncalled the first mini cell,” she says. “I was Verizon Wireless, Walden served as pres- the customer.” And customers, of course,part of the team that was able to produce ident of the company’s Southern Califor- are what Verizon has more of than anyand deploy the first mini cell to satisfy nia region and the Midwest area. Before other U.S. carrier. “The most impressiveour customers’ drive in going from analog that, she worked at several other wire- element of Verizon’s growth .. has beento digital technology.” less service providers, including AT&T growth from the core retail (and until the As she approaches her new role as Wireless and McCaw Communications. iPad, postpaid) wireless business,” saysCOO of her company’s wireless division, “My advice to women is to be open to analyst Jim Patterson.Motley identifies several key focus areas. new opportunities and new roles, ap- Developing and maintaining“I really can’t talk about my role without proach your work with passion and con- relationships with a wide range of deviceus being successful in LTE,” she says. viction, and be accountable for the deci- manufacturers has been another big job“We are looking to grow. Also, the small sions you make,” says Walden. for Walden. Verizon Wireless has the
FEATURE REPORTcapability to make or break a new device, Patents are a major priority for Wang, this could make the company a leader inand the carrier’s support has made a huge who recently told employees that her selling the “network as a service.”difference for some of the Android device company plans to acquire and register a Warrior says a cloud-intelligent net-makers. One of these, HTC, is led by the large number of patents in a variety of work of networks is needed to architectnext woman on our list, Cher Wang. fields. Wang saw shipments of the compa- the mobile network of the future. “We ny’s flagship LTE phone, the HTC One X, have now entered the post-macrocell delayed by U.S. customs officials because era, in which ‘small cells’ will play a of HTC’s patent disputes with Apple. critical role in delivering the next-gen- Competing with Apple remains perhaps eration mobile Internet,” she says. “Ex- 9 the biggest challenge for smartphone and isting mobile network infrastructures tablet makers. The “iDevices” continue to simply cannot sustain the growth we’re Cher attract first-time buyers as well as the seeing on their own. Tomorrow’s mobile Wang technically sophisticated. The iPhone is Internet must span multiple networks Co-Founder and the device of choice for Cisco System’s and deliver seamless and highly secure Chair, HTC Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, mobile experiences.” the final woman on our list. Warrior has been CTO at Cisco sinceQuietly brilliant late 2007; she was previously CTO at Mo- HTC’s tagline might describe its chair torola. In preparation for her new role,better than its products. Taiwan’s Cher Warrior picked up a copy of “Thinking,Wang has quietly transformed HTC from Fast and Slow,” by Daniel Kahneman,a contract feature-phone manufacturer 10 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economicinto a premium smartphone brand, and Sciences. The book contrasts intuitive,she’s done it while staying out of the Padmasree emotional thinking with deliberate,spotlight. “Her contribution was to hire Warrior logical thinking, and explains how boththe right people and get them what they Chief Technology and types of thought can have a role in theneeded. And outspend some of their larg- Strategy Officer, corporate environment. Cisco Systemser competitors,” says William Stofega, Warrior says she’s “passionate aboutwho manages IDC’s mobile device and helping women in technology.” She al-technology trends research program. Leading the charge to the cloud most missed her calling because she HTC reported a sharp drop in earnings “Moving Cisco into becoming a leader thought that as a woman she wouldn’tfor its most recent quarter, and Stofega in cloud, developing our architecture have much opportunity to advance in asays that Wang’s next challenge could strategy and most recently developing technical field. Warrior was working onbe narrowing the company’s focus. “On our Cisco ONE strategy have all been key her doctorate when she took a summerthe last earnings call they talked about highlights for me,” said Padmasree War- job at Motorola, and ended up stayinggrowth market countries like India and rior, who recently added the role of chief there for 23 years.China,” Stofega said. “The problem there strategy officer to her job description atis that margins are tight and you need Cisco. Cisco ONE refers to the company’s RCR Wireless was honored to receive many outstand- ing nominations for the Top 10 Women in Wireless forbig volume.” Stofega is not sure HTC is Open Network Environment. Cisco has 2012. Many of these women are making amazing con-ready to simultaneously address both emerged as a leader in the push to open tributions and we hope to highlight several of them inemerging and mature markets. network architectures and analysts say our upcoming report, “Women to Watch in Wireless.”