Press Release

The Road to 5G: A Primer

The importance of a robust internet infrastructure has never been clearer, not only for the increasing demands and uses of our current technologies, but for a wide array of emerging technologies. In a new primer, Technology and Innovation Policy Analyst Juan Londoño examines the foundational questions regarding 5G, why it’s important for the United States to lead in 5G implementation, and how policies can help or hinder 5G development and deployment.

Key points:

  • 5G refers to the fifth generation of cellular broadband network technologies and will include higher speeds for downloads and lower latency—both of which will be needed to power the technologies of the future, such as telehealth and autonomous cars.
  • There are clear economic benefits to the United States’ leadership in the implementation of 5G; there are also significant security advantages—ensuring that U.S. 5G technology remains competitive will reduce allies’ reliance on Chinese government-supported firms, such as Huawei or ZTE, thus reducing those systems’ vulnerability to decryption.
  • The widespread adoption of 5G has faced multiple hurdles, but lessons from the deployment of 4G networks and America’s leadership in that process can shed light on strategies to facilitate deployment.

Read the analysis