The Global Race to 5G
Why it's important and how the U.S. can win
America invented the cell phone, the smartphone, and the app industry—and today's 4G networks were deployed here first. We lead the world in wireless, and that leadership brings significant benefits. Today, the U.S. wireless industry supports over 4.6 million jobs and contributes roughly $400 billion annually to our economy—more than the auto manufacturing, agriculture, and oil and gas industries. No industry is more central to our daily lives.
But without swift action and sensible policies, America's continued wireless leadership is at risk. The race to deploy tomorrow's 5G networks is on—and we're at a critical moment. Proposed FCC rules modernizing the federal review process move U.S. wireless companies closer to helping us win, but the EU, China, Japan, South Korea and others are doing everything they can to seize our wireless leadership. We need similar action by cities, states, the FCC and Congress to update local siting rules, and we need to identify a pipeline of new low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum.
The 5G Opportunity
America's wireless companies stand ready to invest $275 billion into building these next-gen 5G networks, according to Accenture. This will create 3 million new jobs and add $500 billion to the economy. In fact, roughly 1 out of every 100 Americans will benefit from a new 5G job.
Compared to today's 4G networks, 5G will be up to 100x faster, support 100x more devices, and provide a 5x faster response time. That means 5G will enable breakthrough advancements in health care, transportation, energy, manufacturing and beyond. One study estimates the next-generation of wireless will drive $2.7 trillion of new economic benefits to American families and businesses.
$2.7Tin economic benefits when
we win the race to 5G.
How to Win the 5G Race
The U.S. can make all this possible and win the global 5G race if policymakers move quickly on key policies:
- Spectrum is the critical input for wireless service, and we need a pipeline of low-, mid- and high-band spectrum auctioned to meet Americans' growing demand for more mobile services. Mobile data usage has spiked more than 200% in the past two years and will grow 5-fold by 2021. Freeing up new airwaves will help carriers meet America's mobile needs today and tomorrow.
- Tomorrow's 5G networks rely on small cell antennas the size of pizza boxes. The same rules that govern yesterday's 200-foot cell towers shouldn't apply to them. Every level of government should modernize their rules for the deployment of modern wireless infrastructure.
- Setting permanent, common-sense federal regulations for interstate services like mobile broadband that preserve an open internet and protect consumer privacy will help safeguard wireless consumers while promoting innovation and investment in tomorrow's networks and services.