Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Mobile & Wireless Forum - 20 years of research and standards development

1998. Market penetration for mobile phones in the UK was 25%. 2G was the standard and in Finland, the first downloadable content - a ring tone - was sold to mobile phones.

In that year, the major players in the sector also decided that they would need an industry body to coordinate their RF research efforts and that could present a common voice for the mobiles sector: the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF) was born.

The MMF took on questions related to

  • research on the 
biological impact of electromagnetic fields ('EMF')
  • the development of technical standards and methodologies for product compliance
  • the promotion and development of accessibility within wireless devices and services
  • the integrity of wireless devices when operating on networks

20 years and a slight name change later, the Mobile & Wireless Forum (MWF) is active in almost 60 countries around the world and has become a respected stakeholder for governments, regulatory authorities, standardisation organisations, civil society organisations and other industry bodies.

Some of the main achievements include:

  • supported an extensive and global research program on behalf of members
  • promoted the advancement of scientific knowledge and the open discussion of issues through sponsorship of workshops, conferences, collaborative research projects and visits.
  • initiated several inter-laboratory comparison projects to promote consistency and new methodologies for compliance testing
  • created an industry-wide SAR Reporting program with information for consumers on the specific absorption rate (SAR) of mobile phones
  • promoted the widespread adoption of harmonised science-based RF exposure standards 
  • developed more than 50 brochures, booklets and other information resources many of which were co-branded with other national associations, technology specific associations, government agencies, consumer organisations and network operators
  • continuous engagement around the world with regulatory bodies on technical questions and issues;
  • production of thoughtful and research-based submissions to government on issues impacting on members
  • promoted awareness of the threats posed by counterfeit devices and accessories and engaged with governments on the implementation of national responses.
  • developed the Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI) program and database involving information on the accessibility features of more than 1,100 mobile phones, tablets, apps, Smart TVs and Wearables

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, the MWF is preparing a new publication that will provide a concise and informative overview of its various research efforts relevant to wireless communication, including our work of new compliance methodologies for future 5G devices.

We will also have workshops on a number of topics, including 5G, tackling counterfeits and accessibility. Follow the @MWFupdates Twitter account and the website for announcements and updates.