Is 5G Overhyped?


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“We’re still seeing high consumer demand for spectrum. Some say 5G is overhyped,” said CTIA SVP/General Counsel Tom Power, to attendees of the 7th Annual Americas Spectrum Management Conference in Washington, D.C. yesterday. “We don’t know today what the killer apps will be,” he said.

Spectrum in low, mid- and high bands will be needed to deploy 5G, Power said. The new technology “brings all these bands together,” and carriers will “use new tools like network slicing, to enable remote surgery and connected cars.

Since the FCC passed the small cell streamlining order last week, Accenture raised its forecast to predict 5G will contribute $600 billion to the GDP and three million jobs here, he said. He praised the new C-band alliance announced Monday, calling it “really important.”  

Tom Stroup, president of the Satellite Industry Association, said the industry is investing “billions” in innovation. Satellites will help deliver 5G connectivity, he said, in addition to being used for backhaul.

Asked whether industry is still facing a spectrum crunch, FCC Office of Engineering & Technology Bureau Chief Julius Knapp, said the situation, “is more complicated today. Networks use multiple resources for connectivity.” The FCC “has been trying to get spectrum out there. I think what you’re seeing now is incredible innovation. Our job is putting it [meaning more spectrum] out there. I’m really confident growth is coming.”

October 3, 2018