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November 20, 2020

CTIA 5G Summit: Nationwide 5G is Here, But it’s Only the Beginning .

CTIA 5G Summit: Nationwide 5G is Here, But it’s Only the Beginning

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Nick Ludlum
Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer

This year’s CTIA 5G Summit, part of GSMA Thrive North America, brought together policymakers and executives from across the industry to examine the latest developments in 5G and the policies needed to fulfill the promise of the 5G economy.

Many speakers touted the U.S.’s remarkable 5G progress. Over the past four years, the wireless industry has invested a staggering level of private capital—over $100 billion—to bring 5G connectivity to communities from New York City to Cedar Rapids, IA. Today, the U.S. is the largest nation to have three nationwide 5G networks, covering 270 million Americans, along with regional 5G efforts from providers like CGI, C Spire, and UScellular.

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The 1st commercial 5G deployments were here. The fastest 5G services are here. The first nationwide network was here. All remarkable progress, enabling what will be a decade long economic transformation. – Meredith Attwell Baker, President & CEO, CTIA

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America’s doing very well on 5G... Our technology advances are the best in the world and remain so. – Larry Kudlow, Director, National Economic Council

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Here we are at the beginning of a 5G decade... We are past the academic, the theoretical, and we’re up and running as an industry with large, nationwide networks built on the foundation of hundreds of billions of dollars in the U.S. across capital and spectrum investments. – David Christopher, Executive Vice President and General Manager, AT&T Mobility

Executives spoke of their work with partners in other sectors of the U.S. economy to apply 5G to new applications and use cases and start to really explore its potential—from manufacturing to education.

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From automotive to energy to retail, 5G enables an entirely new cycle of innovation leading to new business models, new services and new ways to engage and interact with customers... – Cristiano Amon, President, Qualcomm

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With 5G-enabled technology, manufacturers can minimize equipment downtime, improve safety and security, reduce defects and make the most of automation, AI and IoT. – Jude Buckley, Executive Vice President of Mobile Business, Samsung

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We see connected autonomous vehicles, supercharged IoT and smart factories, mobile applications using augmented and virtual reality and so much more that can be built on this foundation. – Neville Ray, President of Technology, T-Mobile

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We all believe that the true promise of 5G is in new use cases, in particular in vertical industries. – Mike Murphy, CTO, North America, Nokia

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5G’s potential for education is much vaster than anything we can see today. Using emerging technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality, educators can create interactive learning environments. Those might replicate a traditional classroom, or depending on the subject matter, they might replicate a coral reef or the surface of mars of the battlefield at Gettysburg. – Ronan Dunne, Executive Vice President & CEO, Verizon Consumer Group

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Our customers want to educate their children remotely, keep their loved ones healthy, drive more efficiency in their businesses… There’s a great deal of excitement for 5G, and the innovative solutions that it will enable. – Laurent Therivel, President & CEO, UScellular

Speakers from across the wireless ecosystem celebrated 5G’s potential to bring major economic benefits to communities across the country.

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We’ve seen the number before—$275 billion worth of investment by the service providers over the coming years in building out the [5G] network platform. More importantly, $500 billion in GDP growth opportunity… and 3 million jobs… and $13.2 trillion in value created on top of the platform globally by 2035. – Niklas Heuveldop, President & CEO, Ericsson North America

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5G is an engine for economic growth. – Asha Keddy, Corporate VP & 5G Executive Sponsor and GM, Next Generation and Standards, Intel

And as Commissioner Starks noted, our 5G success to date and the future of 5G depends on smart policies—to release spectrum, streamline infrastructure deployment, and promote private sector innovation—as well as committed industry investment.

Our collective 5G success will rely on smart policy decisions and industry’s execution. We have made available hundreds of megahertz of spectrum in the low, mid, and high-bands. Our capital investment per capita is on par with, or ahead, or other developed countries and our wireless companies spend far more on research than development than their overseas counterparts.
Geoffrey Starks, FCC Commissioner

Doubling down on this mindset is key to realizing the full potential of America’s 5G economy.

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