The last few years have witnessed a tremendous growth of the demand for wireless services and a significant increase of the number of mobile subscribers. A recent data traffic forecast from Cisco reported that the global mobile data traffic reached 1.2 zettabytes per year in 2016, and the global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next 5 years. Based on these predictions, a 127-fold increase of the IP traffic is expected from 2005 to 2021. It is also anticipated that the mobile data traffic will reach 3.3 zettabytes per year by 2021, and that the number of mobile-connected devices will reach 3.5 per capita.
With such demands for higher data rates and for better quality of service (QoS), fifth generation (5G) standardization initiatives, whose initial phase was specified in June 2018 under the umbrella of Long Term Evolution (LTE) Release 15, have been under vibrant investigation. In particular, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has identified three usage scenarios (service categories) for 5G wireless networks: (i) enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), (ii) ultra-reliable and low latency communications (uRLLC), and (iii) massive machine type communications (mMTC). The vast variety of applications for beyond 5G wireless networks has motivated the necessity of novel and more flexible physical layer (PHY) technologies, which are capable of providing higher spectral and energy efficiencies, as well as reduced transceiver implementations.
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In last month’s newsletter, I wrote to you about our Board of Governors NOT being in favor of the upcoming IEEE Constitutional amendment. In this newsletter, I will tell you more about its proponent views and its opposing views because the ultimate decision on the amendment is yours, as voting IEEE members.
At this website, https://www.ieee.org/about/corporate/election/2016_constitutional_amendment.html, you can learn more about the amendment. The IEEE Board of Directors statement in support of the amendment posted there contains the following PRO points:
Proponents of the amendment present it as a way to improve the members’ voice in governing IEEE and allow future changes to the organizational structure to better respond to the demands of a complex and changing world.
The amendment, however, changes IEEE in a fundamental way. It transforms IEEE into a top-down organization run by a much smaller number of directors – about one-third of the present number. It gives these directors the power to re-organize and re-structure IEEE without the need for member approval. Only candidates that satisfy “diversity“ qualifications can run for election as directors, and these qualifications are set by the Board each time there is an election. It is not difficult to envision cases when these qualifications are used to shun some candidates and promote others.
The amendment eliminates geographic and societies representation from the Board. This makes it possible that no Asian, European, Latin American or Canadian representatives will be on the Board. Societies are instrumental to IEEE’s past and future success, and the reason why many of you joined IEEE. They bring 70 - 80% of IEEE’s revenue through volunteer efforts on publications and conferences. The removal of our grass roots geographic voices and technical societies’ voices from the Board will drastically reduce their influence on the decision process of IEEE resources and initiatives.
Much of the IEEE’s future structure is unknown, since new bylaws that should accompany the amendment have not been written. Opponents conclude, as did our Board of Governors, that the risks of unknown changes are too great. The existing IEEE constitution offers alternative, less complex ways of accomplishing intended improvements, while maintaining members at the core of the decision making process.
These are some of the reasons why the governing bodies of IEEE’s largest societies: Computer, Communications, Power and Energy, Signal Processing, Circuits and Systems, Electron Devices, Robotics and Automation, Solid-State Circuits, and more, have passed motions of opposition. Many smaller societies, councils, Region 5 ExCom, and also geographic sections have passed such motions. Four past IEEE Presidents have also been vocal in opposing the amendment. For their statements, please see https://ieee2016blog.wordpress.com/.
We urge you to do your own research and reach your own conclusion about the proposed amendment. It is very important that you vote between 15 August and 3 October in this critically important juncture for IEEE.
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