5G Edges Closer to Reality
After an exciting week in Barcelona we are seeing new plans shaping up for a 5G network to be implemented in the United States. We saw keynote speeches from key players in this development such as Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC, and executives from major United States carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. There were two big 5G announcements and we’ll outline them for you real quick.
The 5G Auction
During the conference Pai expressed his desire to take the first steps in creating our nations 5G network. This first step is deciding who will be using the radio waves. This will be done with an auction that the carriers will all participate in. During this, each carrier will have the opportunity to purchase different spectrums of the wavelength. They will be bidding on the mmSpectrum, which has been previously unused.
This auction can’t take place unless Congress passes a bill, H. R. 4986, which would remove a requirement for auction payments to be placed in an interest-bearing account before the auction occurs. This is problematic as most banks and other financial institutions prefer to not open accounts like these. This bill has bipartisan support and is expected to pass on March 6th.
How Carriers are Proceeding
The Chief Technology Officers of Sprint and T-Mobile criticized their competitors AT&T for their zealous goals of launching their first 5G network this year. Both CTO’s expressed that they would rather launch their first 5G devices that are “more meaningful” as opposed to the 5G internet router that AT&T plans to launch. Both executives also shared that they would be planning on rolling out the 5G networks first in “places that matter” such as New York City, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. But they believe that their networks will have expanded into at least 30 cities by the end of 2018.
All of these announcements show that we are moving forward with 5G within 2018 and 2019 depending on what you consider a true 5G network entails.