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December 21, 2018

Year in Review: 2018 Ready for 5G .

Year in Review: 2018 – Ready for 5G


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Nick Ludlum
Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer

It’s probably no surprise to anyone that if I could only use one word to describe the events of 2018, I’d say, “5G.” It’s been a historic year – with both providers investing and policymakers acting – to prepare for and launch the next generation of wireless. Let’s look back at some of the highlights from 2018:

Making the U.S. 5G Ready

At the beginning of the year, we had no 5G deployments planned, no spectrum auctions scheduled and were contending with 30 year old infrastructure rules not designed for today’s small cells.  Now, thanks to policymakers, we’ve made tons of progress in 2018 to get the U.S. ready for 5G. You can read more about that in our policy round up from our SVP for Regulatory Affairs, Scott Bergmann and SVP for Government Affairs, Kelly Cole.

Advancing the Industry

In addition to these incredible policy moments, wireless continued to advance major industry developments, including the launch of the IoT Cybersecurity Certification Program, an industry-led program for cellular-connected devices, designed to set a baseline for IoT security.

To help save lives and enhance the safety of Americans, the industry announced that wireless providers would leverage commercial technologies to make it easier for first responders to find you with new location-based tools for 9-1-1.

And the Stolen Phone Checker, a service designed to combat smartphone theft, hit a major milestone this year: over 1 million wireless devices have been checked using the tool since the service was launched in May 2017.

Modernizing Wireless Accessibility

This year, the industry launched a new accessibility service called Real-Time Text (RTT), which enables a user to see text as it is typed by another user, instead of when they press “send.” The update allows for faster response rates and a more conversational flow of communication, continuing to ensure that people of all different abilities can participate in our wireless future.

Convening 5G Experts

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Highlights from the Race to 5G Summit

In April, we hosted the first Race to 5G Summit, bringing together leaders from across the wireless landscape to address the global competition to lead the world in 5G. Later in September, nearly 22,000 gathered in Los Angeles for Mobile World Congress Americas to discuss the issues impacting our industry and consumers.

5G is Here

To round it out, 2018 saw the launch of 5G in select communities across the country. This time last year, we were only just talking about the next generation of wireless. Now, we’ve seen major deployments of 5G around the nation, with more to come in 2019.

We have a lot to look forward to in the next year, and I continue to be proud to be part of this innovative and thriving industry. Wishing you happy holidays!

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