Wi-Fi Alliance names Kevin Robinson as CEO

The Wi-Fi Alliance announced Kevin Robinson as president and CEO of the organization, replacing long-time CEO Edgar Figueroa, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

Figueroa joined as CEO in 2007. Robinson also is a 15-year veteran of the Wi-Fi Alliance and as its VP of Marketing for the past seven years, he led many of the organization’s most transformative initiatives. Prior to joining the Wi-Fi Alliance, Robinson served as a captain in the U.S. Army.

Kevin Robinson Wi-Fi Alliance
Kevin Robinson (Wi-Fi Alliance )

He said these experiences have one thing in common: “the opportunity to contribute to something greater than oneself and the fulfillment that comes from the impact made possible through a team committed to a common purpose.”

As CEO, he plans to instill a culture that feeds on that philosophy.

"I hope to inspire and encourage our organization to maintain its vibrancy, and to actively recruit the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators to ensure Wi-Fi continues to deliver socioeconomic benefits globally,” he said in a statement provided to Fierce. “I will focus on leading the organization from a place of industry outreach and unification, and help ensure that our relationships with member companies, other organizations, and regulatory agencies enable Wi-Fi to remain an essential part of people’s everyday lives.”

Robinson is stepping into the CEO role at a time when Wi-Fi 6E has seen “remarkable” regulatory momentum, he said, and pointed to large-scale Wi-Fi 6E deployments happening at healthcare facilities, universities and stadiums.

The 6 GHz band has been heralded for the wide channels that it offers and ability to alleviate demands on the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands that traditionally hosted Wi-Fi. But Fierce Telecom chronicled the challenges around the band, including scuffles between industry associations representing cable, broadcasting, utility and public safety interests.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, which has more than 900 members. would appear to have its work cut out for itself.

The association recently put out a white paper that noted the upper portion of the 6 GHz band will be under consideration at the upcoming 2023 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23) for a potential designation for 5G mobile networks. That’s created uncertainty and the Wi-Fi Alliance wants policymakers to consider that 5G can’t coexist with incumbent services in the 6.425 to 7.125 GHz frequency band and that Wi-Fi significantly outperforms 5G in energy efficiency through low power, cognitive radio techniques.

Robinson said Wi-Fi Alliance and its members are working to convey to policymakers how providing Wi-Fi access to the full 1200 MHz of 6 GHz spectrum globally will ensure that people in countries around the world receive the socioeconomic benefits only Wi-Fi will deliver.

“It’s no secret that Wi-Fi Alliance places incredible importance on access to 6 GHz spectrum for the boundless potential Wi-Fi 6E and forthcoming Wi-Fi generations deliver through the band’s contiguous spectrum, wider channels, and reduced congestion from legacy devices,” Robinson said. “Wi-Fi Alliance is seeing product development, network deployments, and regulatory momentum worldwide, and gaining access to sufficient, harmonized global 6 GHz Wi-Fi spectrum - estimated to produce more than $83 billion in economic value by 2025 - will be one of my main priorities as CEO.”

The 6 GHz Wi-Fi will contribute to global innovation, “providing the performance and capacity necessary to support digital transformation efforts and the next generation of demanding connectivity use cases like Industrial IoT and X Reality (XR), which is key to the metaverse,” he said.

Robinson assumes his new role on October 20.