BYTE-SIZED INTERVIEW: CTIA’S MEREDITH ATTWELL BAKER – The head of the trade group that represents wireless giants like AT&T and Verizon spoke with Margaret about next-generation 5G service and what industry wants from policymakers. Here are a few of the highlights:
– How did you learn about the proposal to nationalize 5G? What was your reaction? We have people all over the city all the time. I think one thing about this is everyone wants to help us build out 5G. We need some help in spectrum and we need some help in infrastructure. We are in a global race. The proposal recognized the right problem and the right focus, it was the wrong solution. But we do appreciate that people are willing to step up with us to make sure we win this global race.
– Where does the U.S. stand in the race for 5G? We’re in a global race with South Korea, Japan and certainly China. I am confident that America has a track record of winning and I’m confident if we put our shoulder to this and get the help that we need in streamlining infrastructure, both the cost and the timeliness it takes to site, and the spectrum bands we need, we will win the race.
– What danger does China pose? China is granting large swaths of spectrum and it’s a national build; they can put their sites wherever they want to whenever they want to. But the ingenuity and economy of the U.S. has won so far, and I think we will win again. I’m not worried.
– What does the industry need on changes on infrastructure policy? These small cells may take an hour to install, but they may take up to a year or two to get permitted. Clearly that needs to change, it needs to be streamlined. And Congress and the administration has a focus on what we need. …There are lot of proposals for us, what is really important is acting. We need to see the action.
Source: POLITICO Morning Tech
There is a lot of pressure being asserted to remove local control of the 5G small cells permitting process. The telcos want permission to put them anywhere they are needed, rather than where people want them. Streetlight poles are the obvious location. The street light pole in front of your house could become the host to an AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile minicell. Each provider digging up the street to bring the backbone fiber to your street light pole. How many mini-cells can a light pole hold?