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April 25, 2019

Our 5G Future Has Arrived .

Our 5G Future Has Arrived

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Nick Ludlum
Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer

Leading policymakers and executives from across the wireless industry came together at CTIA’s 5G Summit to discuss the incredible progress the industry has made to roll out 5G and the policies needed to ensure American leadership in next-generation networks.

5G is Here

The U.S. is a global leader in large-scale commercial 5G deployments. By the end of 2019, we will have 5G deployments in communities across America such as Harrison County, Mississippi; Waco, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana and Los Angeles, California. Speakers from all parts of the wireless ecosystem celebrated the arrival of 5G on the national and global stage this year, after twelve months of intense investment and innovation:

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“[This is] the biggest year ever for the wireless industry with the launch of 5G …The country that leads in 5G will be a global hub for innovation and investment.” – Michel Combes, President & CEO, Sprint

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5G is here, and it’s getting bigger quickly… All major U.S. carriers have already announced that they’re in the middle of deploying 5G.” – Mo Katibeh, AT&T Business CMO

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“I want to acknowledge the role that the FCC, including Chairman Pai, have played in helping streamline rules that will enable the U.S. industry to deploy 5G in cities and towns nationwide even faster.” – Ronan Dunne, President, Verizon Wireless

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“2019 is the year of 5G. 5G is here. We don't have to wait for it anymore.” –Cristiano Amon, President, Qualcomm

Removing Barriers to 5G

Industry leaders noted America’s 5G progress was helped by policymaker actions—at all levels of government—to streamline siting rules for 5G’s small cell deployments and unlock new spectrum to support 5G’s capacity needs:

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“So we’ve had great progress … the accelerating wireless broadband order issued in January of this year—thanks to great work by Chairman Pai and Commissioner Carr—and over five gigahertz of millimeter wave auctions, just in 2019 alone. And the presidential memorandum on spectrum strategy.” – Mike Murphy, CTO, Nokia North America

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“Zoning and permitting—see a great effort by FCC Chairman Pai. [I’m ] a big supporter of how they are driving the acceleration of small cell deployments.” – Niklas Heuveldop, President & CEO, Ericsson North America

But We’re Not Done Yet

These industry and policy advancements propelled America from third place in the race to 5G to a tie for first with China. But the global competition is still fierce. As speakers noted, policymakers must continue efforts on spectrum and infrastructure:

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“[Our 4G success] happened because we created that environment where we are attracting the best engineers, the best architects, the investment, and the entrepreneurs. We need to run that same playbook with 5G. And of course it starts with spectrum and the mid-band spectrum is so critical.” – Sandra Rivera, SVP & GM of Network Platform Groups, Intel

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“This race has barely begun. And so there's going to be an intense phase of running this race and investing in these networks. And you've heard about what's necessary to do that. The spectrum resources that can provide you a breadth of experience as well as a depth of experience.” – Neville Ray, CTO, T-Mobile USA

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“To push this further, what do we need? … We need spectrum, spectrum and spectrum.” – Ken Meyers, President & CEO, U.S. Cellular

To cross the finish line and mark a decisive win in the race to 5G, American wireless providers need policymaker action on three key areas:

  1. Creating a five-year schedule of spectrum auctions that puts more high-, mid- and low-band spectrum in the hands of America’s wireless industry.
  2. Recommitting federal 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.
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