Friends and associates throughout the high-frequency industry report a comeback in commercial business these last few months. The build-up of fourth-generation (4G) cellular systems such as Long Term Evolution (LTE) could account for some of this, along with the expansion of wireless communications into virtually every crack of large urban environments.

To an outsider, this field may appear to have a "Jekyll and Hyde" business personalitylast year, it was defense-related business that was on everyone's lips. But those who have worked within the high-frequency industry for more than a few years are well aware of the sinewave-like cycles of our business.

The industry's key trade showalternately referred to as the International Microwave Show (IMS), the Microwave Theory & Techniques Symposium (MTT-S), or IMS Weekis traditionally held in the middle of each year. The timing is ideal for comparing notes on business, and usually the first day on the exhibit floor is one massive question-and-answer session among exhibitors.

While last year's event was all about different military programs, this year's IMS in the Baltimore Convention Center offers a juxtaposition of commercial customers and potential opportunities. It is all part of the fun of being at the IMS.

For those who haven't lost sight of the importance of military business, don't miss the next edition of Penton's Defense Electronics, tucked into the April issue of Microwaves & RF. In addition, content from previous issues can be found online here.