Report finds U.S. the third most-prepared nation for 5G
China and Korea are more prepared to deploy 5G than the U.S. is, according to a report conducted by Analysys Mason and Recon Analytics and commissioned by trade association CTIA. Report authors developed a “5G Readiness Index” based on how nations are allocating 5G spectrum and shaping policies related to infrastructure deployment.
According to the report, the deployment of 5G in the U.S. will equate to $275 billion in new investments, $500 billion in economic growth and create 3 million new jobs.
While lagging behind China and Korea, the research finds the U.S. outpacing Japan.
To understand the significance of being a 5G leader, the report looks back at previous generation of cellular networks. “Europe led the world in 2G and Japan in 3G. In 2010, however, America won the race to 4G. Today America’s wireless industry supports over 4.7 million jobs and contributes $475 billion annually to the economy.”
To the spectrum piece, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is making moves to open up a range of millimeter wave frequencies through auctions set for November and the second-half of 2019, and just yesterday adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking that could open up mid-band spectrum in the 3.7 GHz to 4.2 GHz range.
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said opening up mid-band spectrum is a move in the right direction but, “the United States is not in the lead when it comes to making mid-band spectrum available for next-generation 5G networks. If you want evidence, it’s right there, out in the open for all to see. You can start with South Korea, which just wrapped up an auction for the 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands last month, generating more than $3 billion by moving the two bands together. You can also look at the United Kingdom, which auctioned the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands earlier this year. In Spain, the process of auctioning 200 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.6-3.8 GHz bands is already underway. This morning Italy announced that on September 10 it will kick off an auction of 200 megahertz in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band. On top of that, China has already cleared and reserved the 3.3-3.6 GHz and 4.8-5.0 GHz bands for 5G service.”
In a recent piece, Nicol Turner Lee of the Brookings Fellow-Governance Studies, Center for Technology Innovation, opined that the U.S. needs a “5G game plan” comprising a three-pronged strategy:
- “The U.S. must rapidly adopt complementary public policies with timelines that address ongoing spectrum shortage concerns.
- “The deployment of small cell technologies must become a priority to accelerate 5G infrastructure.
- “Stakeholders involved in 5G deployment must keep top of mind the economic and social good that these next-generation networks can deliver.”
Rounding out CTIA’s top 10 from most to least ready are China, Korea, the U.S., Japan, the U.K. Germany, France, Canada, Russia and Singapore.