Wireless trade associations are scheduled to be established within months to serve the states of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina, thanks largely to the creation of the state wireless association program (SWAP) that unveiled a new Web site this week.

The new state associations are following the lead of state wireless associations in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, said Pat Tant, a vice president for AAT Communications and a driving force behind the creation of the first state wireless association in Tennessee in 2001.

Tant said the state associations include members from all aspects of the industry, including carriers, tower companies and vendors. The associations are valuable for networking, realizing efficiencies such as tower collocation opportunities and creating an industry consensus that is important for lobbying on all levels--be it a municipality considering a tower site location or state lawmakers on proposed regulations.

“It’s not just about having a speaker and eating lunch; they’re really making a difference,” Tant said, noting the impact the Tennessee association has had at on proposed state legislation.

Wireless industry leaders in other states can access the SWAP web site at www.swaprogram.net to view and download guides for creating their own state wireless association, including sample bylaws.