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This Freshman Will Be Who We’re All Vying For In 3 Years

by Tricia Whitlock

Raed Badr is one of those students that reminds you what it’s like to be 19 and feel like the world is your oyster.  Read his passionate profile below and then give this kid an internship and let him sip some of ATL’s sweet startup Kool-Aid. 

“I have always had a keen interest in mobile technology and smartphones for as long as I can remember. At the onset of my high school years, I used to fix iPhones and all types of Android phones that had problems ranging from cracked screens to water damage. I could also “flash” Android phones because Verizon and Sprint, having the best CDMA Android phones around, weren’t as cheap as their competitors’ Android smartphones so flashing them would allow the phones to be used on a different carrier’s service. Nowadays, I’m an undergraduate at Georgia Perimeter College where I am only completing my prerequisite courses so that I may transfer to Georgia Tech, which is guaranteed admission. My particular field of study is Computer Science. I would like to better understand the current mobile landscape because I vehemently believe that in this day and age, we shouldn’t be limited to 1GB or even 3GB of LTE data coverage and moreover, we shouldn’t deal with the ridiculous monopolies in existence that limit our capabilities of making international and domestics calls. If we do harness the true power of the internet and our current software engineering abilities, we should not be paying cell phone bills that ridiculously cross the $100 threshold, no matter how many lines are subscribed. I would like to do for the mobile services landscape what WhatsApp Messenger so disruptively did for the texting platform. How? That is a question I have yet to answer myself.”

Class of:
2017

What is your major?
Computer Science/Software Engineering

What are you currently working on outside of class?
I have a few ideas, but I’m still honing the art of programming.

What are your best technical or creative skills?
I can take apart almost any piece of hardware and identify its components and reassemble it back together. I am learning to work with Arduino and some of its sensors, but overall I enjoy software related problems over hardware.

What’s next on your list to learn?
I hear the Swift programming language might be important in the near future. So, definitely a skill that should be acquired.

Why the interest in startups?
Why not? I read the Entrepreneur magazine from time to time and sometimes think about how we as humans can leverage our intellectual capacity and create something out of nothing. It’s about making the nonexistent or yet to exist, actually exist.

What’s your ideal internship?
I’m currently looking for software engineering internships although my coding skills are primitive and I’m just taking my second programming class this semester. I am a quick learner so I’m also teaching myself things that I’d be taught later in class.

The recap of his experience as our GSMA ticket winner:
My first day at GSMA Mobile 360 was exactly what I expected! I definitely learned new things to say the least. The first session that I attended that appealed to me was titled, “Keynote session: LTE – Creating New Opportunities for Innovation”. The panel consisted of the CTO of Alcatel-Lucent, a highly recognizable telecom equipment company that also holds the prestigious research organization known as Bell Labs, the CTO of Verizon, and the President of ZTE, a mobile devices hardware provider. These 3 luminaries in the mobile services realm spoke on the current state of 4G and LTE and how long it’ll be before we can even begin to consider 5G. I learned that certain frequencies actually get absorbed by oxygen molecules in the air which contributes to the degradation of the signal quality of a wireless device. There was also a startup pitch session in which 3 individuals from their respective startup companies came up on stage and gave a brief 3 minute overview of their product or service. It was a fun and insightful experience to say the least. Everyone there kept mentioning the GSMA conference in Barcelona which is supposedly the main one. So, I’ll definitely be considering attending that one in the near future. I’d recommend this conference to anyone interested in building a startup in which a smartphone or mobile device would be involved. The programming or software engineering facet to a startup will always be important if that’s its focus, but having a working knowledge of the technicalities of a mobile service provider or mobile device and working based off of that knowledge can give any startup just the leverage it needs overcome its competitors.

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