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July 22, 2019

The Fastest 5G in the World? It’s in the United States .

The Fastest 5G in the World? It’s in the United States

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Nick Ludlum
Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer

A recent report found that the U.S.’s 5G networks are the fastest in the world. We’re not surprised. The U.S. wireless industry is hard at work investing in and building out 5G networks to continue our global leadership in the next generation of wireless.

The Opensignal report found that U.S. 5G speeds are 58 percent faster than the next nearest country’s 5G speeds and nearly 70 percent faster than South Korea’s 5G speeds. And speeds are a huge upgrade from 4G networks—one reporter downloaded an episode of The Office in HD in just 8 seconds.

Data collection period: April 1 - June 30, 2019. Source: Opensignal
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Data collection period: April 1 - June 30, 2019. Source: Opensignal

As providers deploy broader networks in more locations—providers announce new 5G communities seemingly every week—these speeds will become more widely available. And coupled with 5G’s capacity and real-time responsiveness, the potential for this generation of wireless is unprecedented.

5G will open the door for new American innovations in industries across the board, from manufacturing to smart cities to connected cars and beyond. This year’s initial 5G network deployments are our first stepping stone on that journey.

And we can thank key policy developments for putting us in this position.

In 2018, historic reforms to wireless infrastructure siting helped pave the way for providers to more efficiently deploy small cells, the building blocks of 5G. And the FCC recently concluded the first high-band spectrum auctions, which provided wireless companies with the high-band spectrum that is powering our world-leading 5G speeds.

To fully realize our 5G future, we must build on the playbook we’ve written over the last 12 months: continue to streamline infrastructure deployment and make more spectrum—in low-, mid-, and high-band frequencies—available for commercial wireless use.

Other nations are scrambling to catch up. Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Norway (among others) are on track to make key high-band spectrum available for 5G. And China plans to make 2,000 megahertz of high-band available per wireless service provider.

And while they’re all catching up on high-band, we have our own work to do on mid-band. Analysys Mason found that on average, other countries will make over four times more licensed mid-band spectrum available than the U.S. by the end of 2020.

Removing regulatory barriers to 5G deployment and making sufficient high-, mid- and low-band spectrum available will enable U.S. providers to secure our lead and bring world-class 5G networks to more Americans.

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