The Global Race to 5G

We all want access to faster wireless speeds and wireless coverage. And that’s the promise of 5G—speeds that will be between 10x-100x faster, and a more resilient network that will provide enhanced wireless coverage.

But other countries want to lead the world in 5G, and right now the United States is behind China and South Korea in the global race to 5G according to a new study from Analysys Mason. What does this mean for us?

The United States Must Win the Race to 5G

Winning the 5G race is vital to the U.S. economy, driving significant job creation and significant contributions to our GDP. By realizing the potential of 5G networks and enhanced infrastructure, we can create 3 million jobs and generate approximately $500 billion in annual GDP.

The Benefits of America’s 4G Leadership

The U.S. won the race to 4G, boosting our economy by nearly $100B and spurring an 84% increase in wireless-related jobs, according to a new study from Recon Analytics. These are tangible benefits that affect us as consumers and could have gone to other countries had the U.S. not led the world.

Thanks to that leadership, our industry now supports over 4.7 million jobs across the country and contributes $475 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

We Need Significant Reforms to Win the Race to 5G

Policymakers can take immediate steps NOW in order to help drive the U.S. back into the global lead for 5G.

Here’s How We Win

Swift action in two key areas—spectrum and wireless infrastructure—will help the U.S. leapfrog China and build on the significant investments that wireless providers are making in 5G networks.

Spectrum. The U.S. needs a long-term spectrum plan to provide the certainty companies need to invest in 5G services. To that end:

  • Congress should set a timeline for auctioning a series of critical low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum.
  • The FCC should promptly auction five already-identified high bands and follow through on identifying and making available additional bands. The agency should also act quickly to provide access to more mid-band spectrum.
  • Finally, the Administration should identify existing government spectrum that can be repurposed for 5G.

Infrastructure. We need new rules for new networks. 5G will require new small cell antennas—about the size of a pizza box—attached to street lights and sides of buildings.  These small cells takes 1 to 2 hours to install but can take 1 to 2 years to get government approval because many rules are still based on 200-foot cell towers.

We need localities, states, the FCC and Congress to modernize their rules to support new 5G networks with updated timelines, and cost-based fees.

Take action now and sign the petition to encourage all levels of government to support reforms in order to win the race to 5G.