BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: A useful voice of skepticism on the viability and timeliness of 5G. Here's the simple point: Our nation don't have enough fiber, deep enough, in order to capitalize on 5G. As the article says later on, "federal, state, and local governments have policy and regulatory levers that can hasten investment."
The U.S. Isn’t Ready for 5G Technology, from Fortune:
When fourth generation (4G) services launched early this decade, the U.S. led the way. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unlocked valuable spectrum, and carriers responded by accommodating a radical, 20-fold growth in global mobile data traffic. The massive investment in wireless network infrastructure rewarded American consumers with faster wireless speeds at affordable prices. In addition to speeding up smartphones in our pockets, the U.S. economy saw an estimated increase in GDP between $73–$151 billion and up to 700,000 new jobs as a result and America was established as the test bed for innovation in the global digital economy.
Now our country faces a similar opportunity and challenge with fifth generation (5G) mobile networks, and it warrants the attention of consumers, the mobile industry, and policymakers. The economic stakes for 5G may be significantly higher than for 4G, led by large-scale job creation and incubation of new devices, applications, and business models that could dramatically stimulate the U.S. economy.
However, the U.S. is not as well-prepared to capitalize on this opportunity. The U.S does not currently have sufficient fiber to densify the network with thousands of new small cells and hot spots, increase network capacity, and accommodate the projected four-fold growth in data traffic through 2021. Investment in “deep fiber” pushed closer to the customer could help the U.S. continue to lead in wireless innovation and foster the economic boost generated by 5G.