Dr. Rikin Thakker is the Chief Technology Officer at the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA). He leads the activities related to emerging technologies and advises WIA members on 5G strategies including densification, spectrum allocation, and broadband deployment. He analyzes impacts of future use-cases of 5G and provide recommendations on broadband infrastructure deployment strategies. He helps WIA member companies and their CTO offices identify future technology trends and shape their product, services, and real estate portfolio to make them ready for 5G and beyond.

Dr. Thakker possesses nearly 20 years of experience in the field of cellular and wireless communications. He has helped design, deploy, and maintain cell sites, from 2G to 5G, for major cellular operators in the United States.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai appointed Dr. Thakker as the Co-chair of the “Broadband Infrastructure Deployment Job Skills and Training Opportunity” working group of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC). Dr. Thakker helped the working group create recommendations on how the industry and government could implement effective steps to address the growing demand of skilled workforce for 5G and Broadband deployment.

Dr. Thakker teaches, as an adjunct faculty, for the interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Telecommunication at the ECE department at the University of Maryland. He has created and have been teaching (since 2009) numerous graduate level courses, such as “Next Generation’s Cellular Systems Infrastructure”, “5G Technologies and Deployment”, Microwave Backhaul Systems Design and Planning”, “DAS, Small Cells, and 5G Systems”, “Wireless LAN: 802.11 Fundamentals”. Dr. Thakker received Best Instructor of the Year Award in 2018 and 2014.

Dr. Thakker earned his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering with a concentration in Mobile Communications and Spectrum Management from George Washington University, his M.S. in Telecommunications from UMD, and his B.E. in Electronics and Communications from the Gujarat University.