CTIA says 400MHz of mid-band spectrum for 5G will add $274 billion to America’s economy
Feb 5, 2019
WASHINGTON – Making 400 MHz of mid-band spectrum available for commercial 5G networks will add $274 billion to the U.S. economy and create 1.3 million new jobs, according to new research from Analysis Group. Mid-band spectrum is critical to 5G but the United States trails other countries in mid-band availability. A 2018 Analysys Mason study shows other countries plan to make over four times more licensed mid-band spectrum available than the United States by 2020.
“Thanks to the investment of America’s wireless industry, and the leadership of the Federal Communications Commission, we lead the world in 5G deployment and the first commercial 5G networks are live in cities across the country,” said Meredith Attwell Baker, CTIA President and CEO. “Making more mid-band spectrum available will secure our long-term wireless leadership and boost our economy. The FCC is already making great progress freeing up mid-band and we’re confident that under the leadership of Chairman Pai, we’ll can quickly close the close the gap.”
Next-generation 5G networks rely on a mix of high-, mid- and low-band spectrum. Low-band spectrum carries signals over long distances and was the foundation for the first four generations of wireless networks. High-band spectrum travels much shorter distances, but offers the greater capacity required for data-intensive applications. Mid-band spectrum blends the attributes of both, delivering high capacity across larger geographic areas.
To determine the potential economic impact of mid-band spectrum on America’s economy, Analysis Group modeled the investments wireless providers will need to make in order to deploy networks using 400 MHz of mid-band spectrum over a seven year period, the jobs created in the building of those networks, and the resulting economic benefits. Key findings include:
- Wireless providers will invest greater than $150 billion in infrastructure to deliver 5G services over mid-band spectrum
- The wireless industry will create 1.3 million new jobs—on a direct and spillover effect basis—to deploy mid-band infrastructure
- The economic activity resulting from this investment and job creation will add $274 billion to America’s GDP
“Newly allocated mid-band spectrum will complement the spectrum wireless providers are currently using, allowing the blend of coverage and capacity necessary to bring revolutionary 5G services to the U.S.,” said David Sosa, Principal at Analysis Group. “The investment required to build out 5G networks to use this spectrum will generate substantial economic benefits in the form of higher GDP and job creation in communities large and small.”
In 2018, Analysys Mason compiled the mid-band spectrum plans of 13 countries, including the United States. Key findings included that by the end of 2020:
- On average, countries included in the study will make four times more licensed mid-band spectrum available than the United States.
- Japan is planning to make 10 times more licensed mid-band spectrum available than the United States.
- China is planning to make more than seven times more licensed mid-band spectrum available than the United States; the United Kingdom is planning to make nearly five times more licensed mid-band spectrum available.
“Resources available to U.S. operators are improving, but spectrum in the mid-band remains limited compared to other leading 5G markets,” said Janette Stewart, a Principal with Analysys Mason and the lead author of the report. “Mid-band spectrum will be key to wider-area 5G coverage.”
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