Marconi Day Ceremonies Mark WINLAB’s Tenth Anniversary

WINLAB held a twin celebration at the Twin Lights Historic Site above Sandy Hook on Thursday, Sept. 30. It marked both the 100th anniversary of Guglielmo Marconi's Twin Lights transmission, the first demonstration of practical wireless telegraphy in history, as well as the 10th anniversary of the founding of WINLAB.

In a statement by U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) to Congress, read by District Representative Joe Deckelnick, he said, "As they share both significant anniversaries and missions, WINLAB honors Marconi for providing the basis for wireless communications and creating the very object of their research. I urge all of my colleagues to join me in recognizing WINLAB's commitment to Guglielmo Marconi's vision and continued contribution to wireless technology throughout the world."

Scientific Attache Alexander Tenenbaum brought greetings from Italian Ambassador to the U.S. Ferdinando Salleo, which stated, "The so-often-cited picture of the present world as a global village relies on a communication infrastructure, the hardware of which would simply not exist without the work of Guglielmo Marconi. May his name be a good omen for a fruitful scientific and technological cooperation of our two countries."

The day opened with a series of presentations by some of the greats in the world of wireless communications (see table below for links to the talks).

Larry Greenstein, a pioneer in cellular radio communication with AT&T Labs Research, told the over 100 attendees, "What Marconi started, changed the world forever. " QUALCOMM Vice Chairman Andrew Viterbi added, " In the century that followed Marconi's invention, our lifestyle and culture has been modified dramatically by a series of wireless applications including broadcasting, both audio and video, radar and mobile telephony."

Leading Japanese researcher Fumiyuki Adachi, complemented this historical perspective with predictions for the future. He said, "Twenty-first century mobile communication networks must provide not only voice conversation but also the various types of data communication services via the Internet," a sentiment voiced by many of the other speakers.

Stanford Professor Donald Cox spoke about the pervasiveness of wireless applications. "Wireless is the rage -- wireless is for everything," he said. "Everyone is on the bandwagon with wireless to the car, to the handset." He discussed the many uses of wireless, and suggested which of these he felt would be most important in the future.

Cellular pioneer Richard Frenkiel, currently a researcher at WINLAB, showed how “sacred beliefs” on cell grids, radio channels and spectrum efficiency have evolved over the years. Robert Lucky then concluded the talks with a fascinating (and typically humorous) discussion of Marconi, wireless telegraphy and the regulation of spectrum.

The day concluded with a reception and dinner. In a fitting conclusion to this landmark day, Electronics Consultant Michael Feher, president of EOZ Inc., displayed his remarkable collection of antique radio equipment, including the famous “Marconi correlator.”

Presentation Title


The History of Multiple Access and the Future of Multiple Services through Wireless Communication Andrew Viterbi
Challenges of Wireless Communications Fumiyuki Adachi
Wireless or Radio, Mobile or Fixed:
Some Observations
Don Cox
Stanford University
One Hundred Years of Radio Larry Greenstein
AT&T Labs
When Hexagons were Hexagons, and
We Knew the Truth
Dick Frenkiel
Spectrum Regulations Then and Now Bob Lucky
Telcordia Technologies, Inc.