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Unlocking the 5G future

A National Spectrum Strategy to Lead in 5G .

A National Spectrum Strategy to Lead in 5G

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Introduction

5G wireless promises to transform the way we live and work. From new smartphone uses, automated vehicles, and the Internet of Things to remote healthcare, augmented and virtual reality, industrial automation and more, the innovations of the future will be built on 5G. And 5G requires an influx of more spectrum to support Americans’ mobile needs and our global wireless leadership.

With smart government policies focused on free market spectrum auctions, the U.S. won the race to 4G, growing our economy and spurring American innovation and leadership of the technologies that defined the decade, such as smartphones, apps, and mobile services.

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America's 5G leadership relies on spectrum.

While 4G connected many things, 5G will connect everything. Recognizing 5G’s potential, and that “the real advances will be made by innovators across America using spectrum in unforeseen ways,” the Administration is engaged in an ambitious project to develop a National Spectrum Strategy that gives “industry more freedom to innovate” and “reach the full potential that 5G offers.”

To secure America’s 5G leadership, we need a National Spectrum Strategy, based on free market principles, that includes the following key steps:

  1. The creation of a 5-year schedule of auctions that puts more high-, mid- and low-band spectrum in the hands of America’s wireless industry
  2. Recommitting U.S. spectrum policy to proven free market approaches that harness the power of competition to enhance our nation’s economic and national security
  3. Modernizing government policies and procedures to ensure optimal use of spectrum

This plan will unleash a significant spectrum stimulus that will create jobs, grow our economy, and help America lead the industries of the future.

The 5G Challenge

A year ago, China and South Korea were leading the 5G race, with the U.S. close behind. This year, America is now tied with China in overall 5G readiness.

This improvement is thanks to significant investment by America’s wireless industry and to policymakers’ quick action and visionary leadership, which is empowering America’s commercial wireless industry to challenge each other to compete to build the world’s biggest, most robust, and most secure 5G networks.

America is tied with China in the race to 5G.
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America is tied with China in the race to 5G.

By the end of 2019, the U.S. will have nearly twice as many commercial 5G deployments than the next nearest country—and in communities from Harrison County, Mississippi and Indianapolis, Indiana to Phoenix, Arizona and Nashville, Tennessee.

U.S. policymakers have also stepped up to the 5G challenge with decisive action on modernizing our nation’s infrastructure rules for new 5G networks—reforming federal reviews, prohibiting local moratoria, and adopting guardrails for state and local reviews of small cell projects.

But the work is far from done. While America ranks strongly in some key 5G-readiness metrics, China retains significant advantages in wireless infrastructure, with far more cell sites per person than the U.S., and is ahead—along with many other countries—in making critical mid-band spectrum available for 5G. Rectifying the mid-band spectrum deficit should be central to the Administration’s efforts, and a renewed commitment to free market solutions will help secure our long-term 5G leadership.

A Spectrum Stimulus

Benefits of Making 5G Spectrum Available

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Benefits of Making 5G Spectrum Available

Today, America’s wireless industry supports over 4.7 million jobs and contributes $475 billion annually to the economy.  The contributions of America’s wireless industry make it equivalent in size to the 24th largest economy in the world.

This tremendous success story is the result of decades of policies that enabled the competitive wireless industry to develop licensed spectrum into innovative products and services that deliver value throughout America’s economy. The U.S. wireless industry competes to build the best networks, devices, and service offerings—and Americans benefit.

Looking ahead, substantial economic benefits will come from freeing key low-, mid- and high-band spectrum at regular intervals in the coming years. Reallocating this additional spectrum for commercial use by the U.S. wireless industry will add nearly $400 billion to the U.S. economy and create over 1.8 million new jobs. The full economic impact will be even greater as U.S. entrepreneurs leverage the new 5G platform to lead the world in tomorrow’s advancements across health care, transportation, robotics, and every other key economic sector.

Download our full recommendations for the National Spectrum Strategy to learn more.

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