Gambling with our 5G Future

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AT&T is responding to a Request for Information from the US Department of Defense (DoD) that seeks comment on spectrum sharing technologies and leasing arrangements; asks whether the DoD should own and operate its own 5G network; and addresses myriad technical, statutory, legal, regulatory and policy issues associated with new approaches to spectrum sharing.  What’s really at issue, however, is the determination of a vested minority to roll the dice with American 5G leadership by upending the proven methods of delivering wireless service in the US in favor of unproven spectrum allocation approaches.

We share the DoD’s goals of ensuring the spectrum necessary to deploy 5G is being efficiently and effectively utilized. The answers sought will be found neither in a new national military cellular network nor in a broad scale wholesale/leasing scheme, which will not deliver the benefits its proponents claim.  Those approaches would, at this pivotal moment, be a huge step in the wrong direction.

Our 5G future lies on the paths that have been proven to incent deployment and foster innovation and wireless leadership.  There is simply no reason to take a gamble and rush through an unproven and barely tested change of course now.

[Joan Marsh is executive vice president of federal regulatory relations]

Gambling with our 5G Future