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The next generation of wireless is here.

And now, the race to lead the world in 5G is underway and countries like China, South Korea, and Japan are doing everything they can to win.

The competition carries real stakes.

Today, the wireless industry supports over 4.7 million jobs and contributes roughly $475 billion annually to the American economy.1

wireless-related jobs

economic contribution annually

5G will be even more transformative—making our lives better, our communities safer, and our nation more prosperous.

It’s important the United States do everything it can to maintain our wireless leadership.


Wireless Technology.

It’s never been more important to communicate with those around us. Wireless technology helps us do that by transmitting and receiving voice, data, video, and more across radio airwaves. And this technology is evolving so quickly that it is playing an even bigger role in our lives every day.

As we constantly push the boundaries of wireless technology, our lives will soon be powered by next-generation products and services that will provide unmatched levels of scalability, capability, and efficiency.

That’s what our 5G future looks like.


The Evolution to 5G.

From having the capability to make phone calls and send short text messages, to connecting to hundreds of millions of devices and delivering lightning-fast speeds, wireless technology has come a long way since its introduction almost four decades ago.


1Gor “first generation” wireless was an analog cellular system that launched commercially on October 13, 1983.

Lauched in



~19 kbps


2G introduced digital technologies that used spectrum more efficiently so that it could serve more people and deliver more applications, such as text messages, helping us all communicate.

Lauched in



9.6-14.4 kbps


3Gimproved communications by supporting even more diverse applications, including mobile internet access, mobile gaming, video calls, and streaming audio and video.

Lauched in

early 2000’s


~X kbps


4Gdelivered even faster speeds, improving experiences for customers when using data-intensive applications, increasing data upload and download speeds, and supporting HD applications.

Lauched in



100 Mbps


5Gwill support more diverse applications and more connections; providing more capacity, lower latency, and increased speed. 5G will handle the exponential growth in demand for capacity, connectivity, and capability – delivering a better, faster experience for all.

Lauched in

Late 2018


Peak of 10 Mbps

Connecting Everyone and Everything.

Huge amounts of money will be invested in installing and maintaining the pizza box-sized small cells to transmit 5G wireless signals and form the backbone of next-generation networks.

5G will bring a wide range of economic and social benefits, including millions of jobs in communities across America.

new jobs

new investment

in economic growth

America's wireless companies are beginning to invest an estimated $275 billion into building 5G networks. This will create three million new jobs and add $500 billion to the economy.2 In fact, it’s estimated that one out of every 100 Americans will benefit from a new 5G job.

100x Faster

100x Faster

With 4G, it can take almost six minutes to download a full movie. That same movie can be downloaded in about 15 seconds with 5G.

100x More Devices

100x More Devices

5G will be able to connect up to 100 times more devices, including everything from baby monitors to cars, smartwatches, drones, VR headsets and more.

5x More Responsive

5x More Responsive

5G’s low latency (or quick reaction time) will make breakthroughs such as remote patient monitoring and even remote surgery possible.

Industry Benefits.

Every industry, including healthcare, energy, transportation, law enforcement, e-commerce, logistics, and education will be positively impacted by 5G.

That’s the power of 5G. It will touch every facet of our lives, enabling us to be safer, think smarter, and react quicker.

Here are some examples.



5G technology will enable services such as remote patient monitoring and even remote surgery through connected healthcare devices. This could generate $305 billion in healthcare cost savings every year.4


5G technology will ensure self-driving cars reduce emissions by up to 90 percent, cut travel time by 40 percent, and save 22,000 lives annually. 5G will save $450B annually in transportation costs.5

Smart Cities

Wireless-powered smart city solutions will deliver $160 billion in benefits and savings through things like lower energy use and less congestion.6 Sensors will monitor the health and safety of critical infrastructure like buildings, roads, and bridges, while connected trash cans, bus stops, light poles and more will help cities operate more efficiently.


5G will give students expanded opportunities to learn through immersive applications such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) thanks to the lower latency of 5G wireless networks.


Drone commerce is expected to add more than $80 billion to the economy and create 100,000 new jobs as 5G will unlock this technology’s full commercial potential.7


5G allows the energy grid to be more accurately monitored, improving management, reducing costs, and adding $1.8 trillion in revenue to the U.S. economy.8

How to Win the Race to 5G.

With so many industries and communities standing to benefit from America winning the race to 5G, it’s important that we move quickly to make it happen.

We led the world in 4G and were rewarded for moving quickly. In fact, America’s 4G leadership added nearly $100 billion to our economy and brought significant economic and consumer benefits.9

China, Japan, South Korea and others are doing everything they can to secure 5G leadership. Last year, a report found that China was leading the world in 5G readiness, with the U.S. closely behind. This year, the U.S. is now tied with China—thanks to the investment and focus of America’s wireless industry and policymaker actions.


5G Readiness Index

Analysys Mason ranked 14 countries across key factors to determine which countries were in the best position to win the Race to 5G. Countries were evaluated based on their spectrum availability—including low-, mid-, and high-band, industry commitment, and government support—and their pro-5G infrastructure policies. For more details, download the full report, or the abstract.

Click a bubble to see more about each country.

Winning the 5G Race

Policy Solutions

It’s a tight race that’s still in the early stages. We need common sense policies to remain the global leader in wireless. Help us help America win the race to 5G by asking policymakers to move quickly on key 5G policies.

Some of the policies that need to be addressed include:

Freeing Up More Spectrum

Spectrum is the critical input for wireless service, and we need a pipeline of low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum auctions to meet Americans’ growing demand for more mobile services. Freeing up new airwaves will help providers meet that demand for the foreseeable future. That’s why the U.S. needs a National Spectrum Strategy.

Modernizing Rules for Wireless Infrastructure

Traditional 200-foot cell towers are governed by rules designed specifically for such towers. 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. While progress has been made on the federal level, siting rules across the country should continue to be modernized for the deployment of modern wireless infrastructure.

Creating Permanent Federal Regulations

Wireless consumers deserve to be protected. One of the ways to do that is by setting permanent, common sense federal regulations for interstate services like mobile broadband. Innovation and investment in tomorrow's networks also need to be promoted to ensure an open internet and protect consumer privacy.
  1. U.S. Wireless Industry Contributes $475 Billion Annually to America’s Economy and Supports 4.7 Million Jobs, According to New Report, Accenture, April 5, 2018, at
  2. How 5G Can Help Municipalities Become Vibrant Smart Cities, Accenture, January 12, 2017, at
  3. How 5G Can Help Municipalities Become Vibrant Smart Cities, Accenture, January 12, 2017, at For more information about the 5G Map methodology contact CTIA.
  4. Wireless Connectivity Fuels Industry Growth and Innovation in Energy, Health, Public Safety, and Transportation, Deloitte, January 19, 2017, at
  5. Wireless Connectivity Fuels Industry Growth and Innovation in Energy, Health, Public Safety, and Transportation, Deloitte, January 19, 2017, at
  6. How 5G Can Help Municipalities Become Vibrant Smart Cities, Accenture, January 12, 2017, at
  7. Commercial Wireless Networks: The Essential Foundation of the Drone Industry, CTIA, November 11, 2017, at
  8. Wireless Connectivity Fuels Industry Growth and Innovation in Energy, Health, Public Safety, and Transportation, Deloitte, January 19, 2017, at
  9. How America’s 4G Leadership Propelled the U.S. Economy, Recon Analytics, April 16, 2018.
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