Skip Navigation


May 21, 2018

Why We Need to Win the Race to 5G .

Why We Need to Win the Race to 5G


Backup alt text in Author.js
Nick Ludlum
Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer

CTIA recently hosted our Race to 5G Summit to discuss the global competition to deploy 5G networks and lead the world in the next generation of wireless.

Key wireless policymakers and senior business and technology leaders in the wireless industry spoke about what’s at stake for the U.S. and why it’s critical for America to maintain our global wireless leadership:

The Economic Promise of 5G.

Policymakers and industry leaders alike highlighted the positive impacts across the economy that will be unlocked if the U.S. wins the 5G race.


“Winning the race to 5G could mean three million new jobs, half a trillion dollars added to the GDP, and $275 billion of private sector investment, all without a penny of new taxes.” - FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr


“[T]here's going to be a lot of businesses that are launched because of 5G. And first, it starts domestically, but then you export globally. So 5G is important not just for the U.S. economy, but also for the ability to export globally.” – Mike Murphy, CTO North America, Nokia

The Benefits of 4G Leadership.

Policymakers and industry leaders also spoke about the jobs created and industries enabled—like the app economy—because we won the race to 4G.



“Our leadership in 4G helped create hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs and a booming market for American hardware and software.” – NTIA Administrator David Redl


“Without winning the race to 4G, you would not have an Uber today." – John Saw, CTO, Sprint


“The United States' decision to lead with 4G created new companies and business models that didn't exist before. There would be no Uber. There would not be the Instagram and WhatsApp that you see today.” – Cristiano Amon, President, Qualcomm

The Transformational Power of 5G

Speakers discussed how 5G’s greater capacity and better response times will have important connectivity and service benefits for Americans.



“[5G] has the potential to grow our economy, to help us innovate and ultimately that's always about changing lives. But in order for our people to truly reap the benefits of the technology, we have to, as a country, lead the way.” – Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH)


“[O]nce those [5G] capabilities are put in place, the sheer investment, capacity and power of innovation in the U.S. will come up with new types of services and applications that will ride on top of those networks.” – Niklas Heuveldop, President & CEO, Ericsson North America


“Winning [the 5G] race will mean more broadband for more Americans. It'll mean new opportunities for underserved communities, and it will mean unleashing the next wave of innovation and entrepreneurship in America." – FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr

What Policymakers Can Do to Help Us Win the Race to 5G.

The U.S. needs common sense policies to remain the global leader in wireless. Policymakers have already taken steps to help us get there, but more needs to be done.

Tomorrow’s 5G networks will rely on small cell antennas the size of pizza boxes, and they shouldn’t be governed by the same rules as the 200-foot towers of the past. Siting rules need to be modernized for the deployment of modern wireless infrastructure.

To meet consumer demand and make 5G and the Internet of Things a reality, wireless networks need hundreds of MHz of new low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum. Policymakers can help by acting now to create a dedicated pipeline of new licensed spectrum for commercial use.

As Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) said, “…if we don’t maintain that competitive edge, if we don’t have the advantage of innovation anymore, if we somehow get in the way of creating more opportunities for the American people, that next invention that we’re talking about, maybe it’s not here. Maybe it’s somewhere else. And when that invention, that next big thing, that next first that we’re talking about isn’t from the United States, but it’s over somewhere else, so will be the jobs and the supply chains, and the engineers, and the scientists, and the research, the development.” So let’s act now and ensure America leads the world in 5G.

CTIA Mobile Minute™ Subscription

Get features on wireless products and services by email.
1400 16th St NW #600, Washington, DC 20036(202) 736-3200
Copyright © CTIA 2021. All rights reserved.

Get in Touch