APCO generates excitement – industry is back on the road 


By John Foley SBC Managing Director

Posted on August 30, 2021

The industry (and Safer Buildings) is back on the road, and the energy is a much-needed shot in the arm after more than a year of Zoom calls, webinars, and virtual networking. 

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APCO – Expo Hall buzzing, Sessions featured good engagement 

Arrived Saturday night so I could attend the Sunday sessions. The public safety radio sessions were stacked to Sunday – while the rest of the week seemed to focus on ECC operations and NG-911.   

The first panel of the day featured talk about the transition from LMR to LTE, featuring Steve Devine of FirstNet by AT&T, Don Griffis of L3 Harris, and moderator Neil Horden – formerly of Federal Engineering and now doing direct consulting work.  

The discussion was lively and featured many questions from the audience that had a good number of FCC License holder – radio system administrators.  

The next session featured a NPSTC update from Don Root. Don is also the co-chair of one of our No Noise Task Force Work Groups, and I was thrilled that Don’s presentation featured three slides and a 10-minute segment about the NNTF.  

Another session later that day featured a fascinating deep-dive into the role 5G and private networks might play in public safety communications and dispatch. This presentation featured Fabricio Velez of Nokia. We agreed to have a follow up session in the coming weeks.  

Dream Team Dinner 

On Sunday evening I was delighted to host a dinner featuring radio industry legends Don Root of NPSTC and Harlin McEwen The table was rounded out by industry analyst and First Responder Ken Rehbehn, and Neil Horden. The stories were better than the meal, and the meal at Ostra, on the River Walk, was outstanding!  

APCO Dinner
L-R Don Root, Harlin McEwen, JF, Neil Horden, Ken Rehbehn

Expo Day 

The APCO Expo opened on Monday and the anticipation in the convention center lobby was palpable as people queued up to enter the hall at the 10am opening.  


Many Safer Buildings Coalition member organizations were exhibiting, and we had a chance to visit the all. These included Alliance, Anritsu, Cel-Fi by NextivityComba Telecom, Enersys, Fiplex / Honeywell, G-Wave, PCTEL, Winncom, and Wireless Supply. Several more SBC members were in attendance but not exhibiting.  

We look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming industry events:  

What  Where From To
NASFM Stowe, VT 9/14/2021 9/16/2021
IWCE Las Vegas , NV
9/26/2021 10/1/2021
ConnectX Orlando, FL 10/4/2021 10/8/2021
MWC Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 10/26/2021 10/28/2021
FFMIA Ft Lauderdale, FL 11/1/2021 11/3/2021
Enterprise Wireless Alliance Austin, TX 11/3/2021 11/4/2021
IWCE In-Building Forum Washington DC 11/9/2021 11/10/2021 

SBC will also be announcing between 10-13 SBC Seminar events for the balance of 2021 – watch for an email blast.  

Tentative Cities – To Be Confirmed shortly: 

  • Boston  
  • Raleigh NC  
  • Columbia, MD [near Baltimore]  
  • Atlanta  
  • Las Vegas  
  • Minneapolis  
  • Austin  
  • Kansas City  
  • Chicago  
  • NYC  
  • Nashville  
  • LA/Orange County, CA  
  • Houston, TX