The High Stakes of 5G Technology

5G, Spectrum

With the constant evolution in the world of wireless technology, 5G connectivity is now more important than ever. As 5G can be used to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues, like climate change and food supply issues, the stakes for the future of 5G are very high. With many nations competing for control over this technology, the future of 5G freedom and innovation depends on who maintains leadership in the space.

The Players:

First, let’s look at who’s competing in this race.

China, our main competitor in the space, is urgently scrambling to catch up to the U.S. for 5G superiority. While they hold the advantage over the U.S in the availability of licensed mid-band spectrum, the technology that allows for better wireless performance and reliability, they are hindered by the government’s stifling approach to innovation.

Europe, who led the world in the 2G era, has since fallen behind. Spectrum mistakes coupled with a fragmented regulatory environment has resulted in splintering effects, stifling investment and innovation.

The United States currently leads as the world’s 5G innovation hub thanks to fierce competition across all sectors of our economy. This drive for the best technology brings us faster wireless speeds, heightened cybersecurity, and greater reliability.

The Race:

The U.S. should learn from China’s suppressive control and Europe’s splintering regulations that have led to failures in wireless innovation, putting them behind in the race. One way to do this is to avoid intrusive federal regulations. Instead, we must maintain an innovation-oriented structure at the federal and state level to achieve 5G leadership, proving that free market democracies lead in developing advanced communications technologies.

Reaching The End Goal:

So, how can the U.S. win and ensure that 5G reaches its full potential?

  1. Make licensed, exclusive use, mid-band spectrum available. This encourages more investment in the technology, ultimately resulting in more reliable wireless connections, faster speeds, and lower prices.
  2. Re-establish the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as the federal government’s primary authority for commercial spectrum allocation. Centralizing the management of spectrum allocation leads to more efficient use and harmonization of licensed spectrum.
  3. Solidify that free-market democracies are the most effective environments for advancing innovative communication technology. As learned from China and Europe, excessive and non-cohesive government regulation can stifle innovation. We must work together to promote a competitive marketplace that fosters investment in research and development.

To ensure America maintains 5G leadership, making additional licensed, exclusive use, mid-band spectrum available must be prioritized. For more information about a national spectrum strategy, read our recent blog.

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