Jim has had a life-long passion for enabling wireless broadband connectivity. A recognized designer and entrepreneur in the fixed wireless industry, Jim has spent the last 20+ years developing, building and marketing wireless telecommunications systems for remote and rural users around the world. In 1986, Jim and his team began building the industry’s first low-cost wireless local loop products. In 1990, Jim founded Carlson Communications to produce the OptaPhone, a product line of point-to-point and multipoint analog wireless telephone systems used in 55 countries, which was sold to Zhone Technologies in 1999. Jim then worked with engineers at Harris Semiconductor to convert its Prism WLAN chipset into a full-duplex, digital TDMA technology for “Trailblazer,” the industry’s first low-cost transparent nx64 kb/s wireless extension from a Class 5 telephone switch.
In 1999, Jim founded Carlson Wireless Technologies (CWT) to focus on wireless R&D and equipment manufacturing for service providers in rural and hard-to-reach areas throughout the world. Beginning in 2008, Jim has worked closely with U.S. and foreign regulators to pass laws opening the TV “white spaces” spectrum — with its exceptional signal propagation characteristics — for unlicensed broadband uses. Under Jim’s leadership, CWT has successfully demonstrated the new technology in 65 trials and 20 countries in conjunction with Google, Microsoft, and other market leaders. CWT’s current Gen 2.0 and 2.5 product has achieved more than 50% of the total market sales of TV white spaces units in the world. Jim is also a founding member of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance and a long-standing member of the WhiteSpace Alliance, the leading industry trade groups advocating for white spaces deployment in countries throughout the world. Further, he is a frequent speaker before regulators and symposia around the world regarding the industry and market trends critical to the deployment of white spaces and dynamic spectrum sharing technologies.