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December 28, 2017

A Look Back at an Important Year in Wireless .

A Look Back at an Important Year in Wireless


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Nick Ludlum
Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer

What a year. From our perspective at CTIA, 2017 will be remembered as a critical year for the next generation of wireless, 5G. Preparing for 5G has become the centerpiece of our work as an industry and a cornerstone of wireless investment. Just last week in fact, the White House said 5G is key to America’s national security and our global competitiveness.

And it was a big year for wireless in a number of other areas, too. Let’s look back at some of the highlights from the last 12 months of wireless.

Leading the Charge on 5G. America’s wireless industry worked double-time this year to set the stage for 5G. Carriers and equipment manufacturers conducted more than 30 trials, from Houston to Philadelphia and Ann Arbor to Atlanta.

Policymakers took action too. Eleven states passed legislation modernizing wireless infrastructure rules. The FCC made infrastructure siting simpler and rolled out new spectrum. And members of Congress launched a bipartisan 5G Caucus and introduced a flurry of bills to support wireless deployment.

Convening the Industry. The inaugural Mobile World Congress Americas, co-hosted by CTIA, brought over 20,000 people from around the globe to San Francisco to experience the latest wireless technologies, hear from the world’s leading wireless voices, and discuss all the important policy issues that can impact our industry and our consumers.

Offering More for Less. In September, the FCC found what everyone already knows: that the wireless industry is competitive. So competitive, in fact, that we helped drive the first decrease in the average price of core consumer goods since January 2010. In fact, as of April, wireless service prices had fallen 12.9% year-over-year—the largest pricing decline in 16 years.

Responding to Natural Disasters. In anticipation of a historic hurricane season, carriers pre-staged equipment, fuel, and response teams—helping keep our networks online given the hurricanes’ severity and the power outages that followed. Our industry worked 24/7 to restore service and connect people to loved ones and the brave emergency responders that rely on wireless to communicate.

Enabling our Connected Life. The wireless industry looked to our connected future this year, through events and resources focused on cybersecurity, virtual reality, and drones. In April, CTIA convened the industry for a Cybersecurity Summit to ensure we stay at the forefront of mitigating cyber threats. In May, we launched the Stolen Phone Checker to help consumers and law enforcement determine if a phone has been reported lost or stolen—to date, over 125,000 devices have been checked. In November, wireless companies came together to demonstrate VR-enabled health and education applications, and we called on federal agencies to recognize the reliability and security of wireless networks for drone communications.

This was also my first year at CTIA and I’m proud to be part of an industry that is so committed to providing the best possible wireless experience today and in the future. Until next year, happy holidays!


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