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September 11, 2018

Q&A with 5G Wireless Champion Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner .

Q&A with 5G Wireless Champion Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

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We sat down with 5G Wireless Champion Award recipient Mayor Sylvester Turner to discuss how wireless technology and 5G will impact his city of Houston, Texas. Mayor Turner is committed to fostering an environment that enables wireless industry investment and accelerates the deployment of 5G in Houston, encouraging innovation and advancement for all who live, work, and play in the city.

Q: What role does technology, and wireless technology in particular, play in your vision for the future of Houston?

Mayor Sylvester Turner: Technology innovation and a vibrant startup community are key drivers of our city’s present and future as a leading global city for economic development and quality of life.  To stimulate growth in those areas, we need to create an environment that makes it easy to do business in Houston.  That includes building next-generation foundations for technology infrastructure – including 5G service – that will connect people and businesses to each other across the internet.

Q: Next-generation 5G wireless networks are key to enabling the Internet of Things, smart city technologies, self-driving cars, drone deliveries and more. What impact do you think 5G and/or these technologies will have on Houston?

Turner: We are expecting explosive growth in IoT devices that will be installed in connected cars, homes, and public and private infrastructure, including both business and consumer products.  Research has suggested that Smart City solutions applied to the management of vehicle traffic and electrical grids could produce billions of dollars in benefits and savings through reductions in energy usage, traffic congestion and fuel costs.  5G is predicted to enable cities to reduce commute times, improve public safety and generate significant smart grid efficiencies.

Q: Why is streamlining the deployment of wireless infrastructure important to Houston?

Turner: First, working together to streamline will speed up the deployment of 5G fixed and mobile services to the citizens and businesses of Houston.  Second, it provides an opportunity to ensure that 5G infrastructure buildout will include historically underserved areas.  I want Houston to be recognized as a digital city for all, and for underserved communities to have access to the same high-speed internet and wireless connectivity as more affluent parts of our city.  5G connectivity can help bridge the digital divide by allowing low-cost, high bandwidth services to stimulate the growth of small businesses and education in the areas that need it the most.  Faster Internet connections allow citizens – adults and children alike — to transform their knowledge and skillsets by simply having access to free e-learning courses and content that helps them build additional skill sets or certifications.  Their employability and earning power increases, which in turn will attract higher-paying jobs to Houston.

Q: How will it improve your ability to attract new investment and job creation?

Turner:  The multi-year 5G infrastructure projects will certainly create jobs in Houston to design, build, and maintain the new technology.  But more importantly, a robust wireless service offering will also make Houston more attractive to companies considering moving their business to Houston.  5G infrastructure will enable all sorts of smart city applications and new innovations like drone commerce and self-driving cars.  Low-cost, ubiquitous 5G service will also stimulate a more educated, tech-savvy workforce for employers to draw from.

Q: What 5G-enabled innovations are you most excited about?

Turner: All of it!  The things we’ve talked about will enhance the quality of life and prosperity of the citizens and businesses that choose to call Houston home.  My vision for Houston is a “digital city for all”, where people from all walks of life benefit from being connected to the world through technology.  5G will promote education, service, public safety, and commerce.

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