“If Telecom Council didn’t exist, we’d have to build something to replace it”
—Rob Hull / BT
TELECOM COUNCIL'S MISSION
The Telecom Council Forums connect global communication service providers and vendors with innovations that are pushing the industry forward. Since 2001, our Forums have been introduced to over 2000 executives from 750 communication companies including 60 carriers across 30 meetings each year.
The Telecom Council is built around a legacy group called the Service Provider's Investment Forum (SPiF) that was formed informally in 2000 by Rob Hull of British Telecom, Ursula Oesterle of Swisscom, Rob Trice formerly of Nokia Venture Partners, and Ian Foley formerly of Telecom Italia Mobile as a monthly lunch discussion on telecom issues, hot startups and trends they were seeing in Silicon Valley. The group grew quickly and by 2002 had over 10 carriers attend regularly, had outgrown restaurants and moved into conference rooms, and was being organized by The Kerton Group. By 2004, we added quarterly meetings to include telecom vendors which added Samsung, Sony, Motorola, Qualcomm, and Intel's venture groups among others. By 2006, prominent local telecom VC Tim Chang had recognized the value of the SPiF to his portfolio companies, and he suggested that a regional association could well be built with the SPiF as the “anchor tenant”. Tim was instrumental in pushing The Kerton Group to draw up the plan that would allow the entire ecosystem of telecom companies to join together, much as the carriers had for the SPiF. Tim and Liz Kerton drew the first rough plan for the Council on a napkin at Michaels at Shoreline. In the fall of 2007, the plan was set in motion.
Today, re-badged as the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley, we have 5 Forums, including the original Service Provider Forum, and our membership has grown to include startups, VCs, infrastructure companies, and companies who are not based in Silicon Valley but work here regularly.