Kris Rinne, Senior Vice President of Network Technology, AT&T Labs

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Kris Rinne AT&TKris Rinne, a long-time AT&T veteran, has deftly climbed the corporate ladder to her current position as senior vice president of network technology at AT&T Labs (NYSE:T). Rinne received this new title earlier this year, but she retained all of her previous responsibilities, including overseeing architecture and planning for AT&T's LTE network, handling standards and device certification. In her new role, she will also oversee network platforms, service platforms via AT&T Labs, as well as analysis and optimization of the network. AT&T combined her old position with these new responsibilities as a way to provide better integration between the company's design architecture and the delivery of its network technology.

Rinne also was just named chair of the board at ATIS, an industry standards body, where she will  provide the board with technology vision and interact with its member companies including AT&T, Verizon and the vendor community. Rinne is also active at a number of other industry associations including 4G Americas and Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN). 

Rinne, who has more than 30 years of experience in the telecom industry, has the daunting task of overseeing the launch of AT&T's LTE network. At the end of second quarter, the company reported that its LTE service is available in 47 markets (the company expects to cover around 150 million people with LTE by the end of the year). The company also is touting the fact that 90 percent of its mobile data traffic is now traveling over enhanced backhaul.

Another challenge for Rinne will be the addition of new network functionalities such as HetNets and SON to AT&T's network before year's end. During the FierceWireless "Path to 4G" conference in May, Rinne, a keynote speaker at the event, said that AT&T would begin adding those components as well as preparing for a Voice over LTE launch in 2013.