WIA’s “5G-Readiness Program” pilot consists of 80 hours of training material including hands-on exercises and a “fieldtrip” to a cell site. It incorporates content from a catalog of 30+ courses that were designed with the help of 5G subject matter experts (SMEs) from the industry and academia.

Participants will earn “5G Readiness” certificate from WIA that bundles ten (10) industry-recognized certificates from WIA’s Telecommunications Education Center. The training will lead to the competencies required to understand, plan, and implement telecommunications solutions, including mobile broadband and 5G.

WIA will enroll the students/participants in its Learning Management Systems (LMS) where they can access the course material, quizzes, and course completion certificates. The training content may be mapped to the Related Technical Instructions (RTI) requirements of a variety of occupations under the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP). WIA is the national sponsor of the TIRAP.

Program Features

    • 80 Hours of curriculum
    • Hybrid delivery options
    • Delivered through eLearning modules and WIA instructors
    • Train-the-trainer option available

Curriculum Overview

Wireless 101
Wireless 101 is designed to familiarize participants with the practical aspects of wireless communication systems and their industrial applications. This course provides a review of current industry practices around macro cell sites, how cell sites are designed, the hardware components at a typical cell site, and the RF measurements necessary to maintain the integrity of a cellular network.
Cellular Communication Theories
Concepts and techniques involved in wireless digital communications with emphasis on cellular and PCS systems. Properties of Mobile radio channels; inter-symbol interference, multipath, and fading effects; interleaving and diversity; multiple access schemes; inter-user interference, traffic issues, and cell capacity; power control strategies; frequency reuse and an introduction to modern cellular standards.
Macro Site Fundamentals
Macro Site Fundamentals introduces the foundational theories related to macro tower planning, construction, and troubleshooting process. The course introduces different types of cell site infrastructure and identifies the role of key stakeholders of the wireless industry. The course examines different parts of a cell site, how to read and interpret RF plumbing diagrams, role of typical hardware components and more.
Drive Testing Fundamentals
This course will focus on optimizing an operational cellular network by collecting drive-test data and analyzing the results in detail. Students will learn to use drive-test equipment in a real-world environment and will study the behavior of 3G and 4G networks in varying conditions. Students will also learn details of the GSM and UMTS physical and network layers as they relate to optimization.
LTE and 5G RF Engineering Fundamentals
While 5G is under development, features and capabilities of 5G Base Station (gNodeB) are being suggested and tested. Students in this course will explore the advancements achieved in the Base Station technologies since the inception of LTE. The course will allow students to perform advanced testing and troubleshooting using industry accepted tools from Anritsu, CommScope, and EXFO.
5G Ecosystem Overview
The 5G rollout will be instrumental across industries, from retail, healthcare, entertainment, automotive, manufacturing to tech and real estate. This course was designed to provide an overview of 5G technology, what to expect, and the impact on businesses and consumers.
DAS and Small Cells Systems
Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) and Small Cells are addressing the number one challenge faced by the cellular industry – how to provide more capacity and solve coverage problems where service from macro tower is not enough due to limited radio resources. This course provides a system level understanding of different types of DAS and Small Cell architecture.
Spectrum Fundamentals
Frequency bands and spectrum are at the center of Mobile Broadband Ecosystem. “Spectrum Scarcity” is a known issue and yet it is often misunderstood. This course will provide an overview of key aspects of spectrum bands – auctions and allocation, coverage vs capacity, propagation, and future-readiness. The course also helps understand how the selection of frequency bands affects the design of multiband cell sites.
Edge Computing, CBRS and Private Networks
This course will explore connectivity solutions and the benefits of Edge Computing. Cellular networks’ presence near the users through cell towers – from macro sites to DAS hubs, makes a compelling case for connecting edge infrastructure with cellular infrastructure. This course will introduce key benefits of integrating edge computing with 5G networks.
In-Building Wireless Solutions
Designed for those who work in Cellular, Wi-Fi, DAS and Small Cells; this course provides a basic understanding of the technological, business, indoor environmental, and management ecosystem issues and challenges that are part of every initiative. This module provides an understanding of both the history and future of the In-Building wireless solution space.
5G Technologies
5G New Radio (NR) specifications introduce new ways to use spectrum in sub-6 GHz and mmWave frequencies. This course reviews 5G NR coexistence with other wireless communication systems. Three primary use cases of 5G will also be reviewed with greater detail – enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), ultra-reliable and low latency communications (URLLC), and massive machine-type communication (mMTC).
Fiber for Wireless
5G wireless networks and fiber optic networks complement each other, together offering a more cohesive broadband experience for both, fixed and mobile applications. The course will review the role of fiber at the existing macro towers and how to do the capacity planning. We will define fiber optic, 5G wireless networks, and role of fiber in small cell densification to explain how they complement each other.
Outdoor DAS and Small Cell Implementation
This course streamlines the implementation process, illustrates key considerations for each step of the process, and highlights external factors with material impact. Topics will include access rights and easements for street furniture and pole attachments, relevant standards and codes for compliant implementation and implementation of all system components.
Wi-Fi Integration
This course covers engineering concepts and business-practices related to Wireless LAN technologies. The first half of the course will go into engineering details of Wireless LAN protocols. In the second half of the course, Wireless LAN Security will be covered with an examination of current practices and standards in use. Industry-accepted software and hardware-based tools will be provided to the students for group projects.
RF Awareness and Safety
Personal safety is extremely important when working in an RF environment. OSHA requires business owners to maintain a comprehensive RF program which includes training for all employees who work on or near wireless and broadcast communication sites. The training is specifically designed to assist wireless personnel in developing a comprehensive RF Safety Plan.
Line Sweeping and PIM Testing Hands-on Exercises
Coverage and capacity are extremely important for mobile communication. This course provides a technical understanding of various line sweeping measurements. The course covers fundamentals, step-by-step procedures for efficient cell site troubleshooting and introduction of measurement units and required hardware for cell site technician and tower climbers.
Operator-led Field Trip to a LIVE 5G Cell Site
At the end of the cohort, a field-trip to a live cell-site will be scheduled, where students will be able to see all the RF components in action and relate the RF theories to the practical applications.

Meet the Team

Dr. Rikin Thakker
Dr. Rikin Thakker

Dr. Rikin Thakker is the Chief Technology Officer at the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA). He…

Phil Ziegler
Phil Ziegler

Phil Ziegler has 35 years of experience in wireless communications that include tactical military systems,…

Barbara Burba
Barbara Burba

Barbara Burba is the CEO of Amerisite Wireless Development. Amerisite is a diversity certified woman…

Dr. Michael Dellomo
Dr. Michael Dellomo

Dr. Dellomo is the Associate Director and Advisor to the Masters in Telecommunications Program at…

Tom Oser
Tom Oser

Tom Oser is a consultant, educator and professional speaker on emerging technologies, innovation, and business…

Ryan Tyson
Ryan Tyson

Ryan Tyson is a dynamic young executive with over seven years of experience working in…