2013 Wireless Hall of Fame inductees range from GSM pioneers to ex-senator

The Wireless History Foundation (WHF) has named four new inductees into the Wireless Hall of Fame, honoring their efforts in areas such as building the first GSM networks.

The Hall recognizes outstanding achievement across all disciplines of the wireless industry. This year's inductees join 36 current members of the Hall, including industry luminaries such as Craig McCaw, MCI founder William McGowan and "Father of the Cellphone" Martin Cooper.

[ SLIDESHOW:Whirlwind tour of telecom and computing's major awards, honors and prizes]

The 2013 inductees are the following (with WHF descriptions of their accomplishments):

* George Schmitt: "He has broad telecom experience in wireless and wireline companies gained over a 40-year career. At Pacific Telesis, he was responsible for building the first GSM system in the world in Germany for the Mannesmann consortium. As President of Omnipoint, he built the largest American PCS network at the time and was on the forefront of advanced wireless technologies including GSM, GPRS packet data, EDGE, positioning, and Internet access. As Executive Vice President of International Operations for Airtouch he built the world's first CDMA network in South Korea. He also served as the first American Chair of the GSM Association."

*Kris Rinne: "With more than 30 years of experience in the telecom industry, Rinne's early leadership in deploying GSM technology in the U.S. set the stage for the success of the 3GPP family of technologies. She has served many roles at AT&T, where she is currently SVP - Network Technologies, AT&T Labs, and oversaw the HSPA rollout. She formerly held the position of Vice President--Technology Strategy for SBC Wireless and Managing Director--Operations at Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems. She has also contributed to the industry as the Chairperson of the Board of Governors at 3G Americas, LLC, and as a Director of the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS)." (

* Mark Warner: "He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008 from the Commonwealth of Virginia and served as Governor of Virginia from 2002 to 2006. Before entering public office, Senator Warner was Managing Director of Columbia Capital, a venture capital firm, and invested in many startups in the cellular telephone business. He was one of the initial investors in FleetCall, the company that became Nextel. Through these ventures, he either founded or co-founded MRW Enterprises, Capital Cellular, and Columbia Cellular."

* Craig Farrill: "He has a long record of leadership and experience in the wireless industry. Early in his 38-year career, he worked with Communications Industries, one of the first modern wireless companies. He also served as Chief Technology Officer for major international wireless carriers, including Vodafone AirTouch Plc, PacTel Corp., and AirTouch Communications. He is a founder of the CDMA Development Group (CDG), an international industry association furthering digital wireless technology. He is one of the original board members of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), and served as acting general manager during its organizational phase.

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