Within the last year, ten states passed legislation for the upgrading and deployment of the next generation of wireless networks. Although 5G networks will not actually happen until 2019, yesterday, U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, introduced a resolution to support the deployment of 5G mobile broadband technology across the country. The resolution emphasizes the importance of expanding all wireless and broadband technologies, increasing investment, encourages innovations and closing the digital gap of urban and rural areas.

Both senators agree their bipartisan resolution will obtain the full support of the Senate, as the upgrading of our wireless networks could potentially revolutionize our Internet connectivity.

Time to embrace

Studies have shown that the average household utilizes the Internet, and consumes more data per month, than the average mobile user. This consumption will more than likely multiply with the upgrading of our wireless networks. It has also been reported that nearly 10 million rural homes and 3 million urban and suburban homes have no way of connecting to the digital world. This digital divide can be significantly lowered with the continuing deployment of new technology. It is time for the government, businesses, and consumers to open the doors wider and embrace the next generation of technology, that will fundamentally change the way we work, live and play.

Digital age here to stay

5G networks require a massive deployment of small cell technology; more than 250,000 small cells are expected to be installed over the next few years in the United States. It also will require a constant flow of investment dollars in our fiber infrastructure that could run anywhere between $120 to $160 billion over a five year period.

Unfortunately, due to heavy regulations and rules, investment dollars from the wireless industry have been slow to come by. Hopefully, regulators at the FCC and lawmakers will work to correct the situation so that we can bring our technology infrastructure up to date at a faster pace.

Senator Schatz stated, “ We need to do more to expand and improve our wireless network, which includes both licensed and unlicensed spectrum.”

In this year's report from Accenture, 5G wireless networks could create as many as 3 million jobs and boost the U.S.

GDP by nearly $500 billion over the next seven years. There is no time to delay in the building of our technology infrastructure as we face rigid overseas competition for both investment dollars and good paying jobs.