John Saw, Ph.D., is chief technology officer at Sprint, responsible for technology development, network planning, engineering, deployment and service assurance of the Sprint network. Prior to this he was chief network officer.
Saw has more than 20 years of wireless industry experience. Before Sprint’s acquisition of Clearwire, he was CTO of Clearwire Corp. He joined Clearwire as its second employee in 2003 and was instrumental in scaling the company’s technical expertise and organization. In 2009 and 2010, he led the Clearwire team that built the first 4G network in North America, covering more than 130 million people.
Before Clearwire, Saw was senior vice president and general manager of Fixed Wireless Access at Netro Corp. (now SR Telecom) after Netro’s acquisition of AT&T Wireless’ broadband wireless group in 2002. He initiated the rollout of Netro’s broadband wireless products in Europe as part of Telefonica de Espana’s TRAC Migration project to bring high-speed internet and voice to suburban and rural Spain. He was chief engineer and vice president of Engineering at AT&T Wireless, and was instrumental in the development and rollout of AT&T Wireless’ Digital Broadband wireless service from 1997-2002 (one of the earliest OFDM-based wireless systems ever deployed and foundational to the subsequent development of OFDM-based 4G standards for WiMAX and LTE).
Before joining AT&T Wireless, he spent nine years at Nortel and Bell Northern Research, where he was involved in the development of TDMA, GSM and CDMA cellular infrastructure and microwave radio products. Under his leadership, Nortel was an early pioneer in the design and integration of Si/GaAs/HBT multichip modules (MMIC’s) into compact radio transceivers. Saw was awarded the Nortel Wireless President’s Award for Innovation in 1997.
Saw has a doctorate in electrical engineering from McMaster University, Canada. His dissertation on low-loss surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices is recognized as pioneering work that has helped enable a new generation of RF signal processing elements used in all mobile phones today. He has also published more than 15 technical papers and has six U.S. patents in wireless technologies. In April 2017, Saw was appointed to the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai. He also serves on the board of directors for Spectrum Effect, a pioneer in RF spectrum analytics; and he is on the advisory board of the Global TDD LTE Initiative (GTI), an international industry consortium. In 2018, he was voted the Top Rising Star in Wireless by FierceWireless.