President Trump-led White House added the fifth generation of mobile networks to the list of its high-priority domestic strategy goals, as revealed by the latest iteration of the National Security Strategy published earlier this week. Among other things, the report signed by the President vows the current government will deploy “a secure 5G Internet capability” on a national level, thus improve stateside infrastructure and create an environment that’s more conducive to competition and will improve the average American’s quality of life. The 5G-related remark is part of a much more comprehensive report but the upcoming wireless revolution is only referenced once, with the highest office in the country not elaborating on how it intends to facilitate the deployment of 5G infrastructure.
The upcoming tax reform that’s set to benefit the majority of mobile service providers in the country may provide an indirect boost to 5G deployment efforts by easing the effects of aggressive infrastructural investments on wireless carrier’s bottom lines in the short term while the networks are still being deployed and aren’t generating any significant revenue. Still, none of the telecom giants in the country planned their 5G strategies around additional tax breaks and would have likely made identical moves in the segment even if their other expenses remained unchanged, most industry watchers believe. In regards to more direct federal decisions conducive to 5G deployment, the United States Federal Communications Commission allocated 1.7GHz of additional high-frequency spectrum for 5G use cases in mid-November and may make additional holdings available going forward, depending on how deployment efforts develop.
The 5G standard has yet to be finalized by the 3GPP but is generally expected to deliver consistent gigabit speeds and ultra-low latency that will allow for entirely new implementations in healthcare, autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things, and various other industry segments. According to recent estimates, experimental 5G networks will start being tested in select urban areas in the second half of 2018 while the commercial deployment of technologies compliant with finalized standards should begin in 2019, with tech giants like Qualcomm and the rest of the industry already committing themselves to these availability windows. Ultimately, 5G networks should be commercialized on a nationwide level by 2020. Six years from now, 5G infrastructure will serve over billion subscribers around the world, according to a recent projection from Ericsson.