The United States has regained global leadership in 5G readiness, putting it on par with China as network operators and policymakers embolden the effort to deploy 5G networks, according to a new report from CTIA. The report compiled research from Analysys Mason, Analysis Group, and The Brattle Group.
By year-end, the United States is scheduled to have 92 5G deployments, almost double the amount compared to South Korea, its closest rival, according to CTIA. While the United States has an early lead in the availability of high- and low-band spectrum for 5G, the wireless trade association says China and other countries are making 4-times as much mid-band spectrum available than the United States and is calling on regulators to increase spectrum activity to embolden efforts.
“The U.S. has made impressive strides in the 5G race thanks to the commitment of the administration, Congress, and the Federal Communications Commission to smart policies that unlocked the power of free-market competition,” CTIA CEO Meredith Attwell Baker, said in a prepared statement. “We can’t be complacent as the 5G race has really just begun. We must redouble our efforts to combat the 5G ambitions and investments by China and others.”
By freeing up more spectrum during the next five years, the U.S. wireless industry could add $391 billion to the U.S. economy and create 1.8 million new jobs, according to research by Analysis Group.
CTIA also called for a renewed effort to increase the number of cell sites that power networks across the country. China has more than 14 wireless cell sites per 10,000 people, compared to 4.7 in the United States, it said. Moreover, the trade association added that Chinese operators have installed more than five sites per 10-square miles, compared to 0.4 in the United States.
The research cited by CTIA is being used to build a case for a detailed five-year schedule of spectrum auctions that would amplify efforts to stimulate the economy and empower the mobile ecosystem with policies that foster more investment and 5G deployments.