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The President’s National Spectrum Strategy Will Give America a Boost in 5G

October 25, 2018
David Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator

The demand for more spectrum capacity is intense, and its wise allocation is a top priority as our nation builds out fifth generation (5G) wireless networks. By 2021, Cisco projects that global mobile data traffic will increase sevenfold, with 5G generating 4.7 times more traffic than 4G.

5G promises new capabilities and possibilities for our Nation’s innovators. Americans, ever the pioneers, are pushing forth a renaissance in space exploration and development, with our commercial satellite industry continuing to flourish and creating thousands of new jobs.

Meanwhile, federal agencies require access to spectrum to support 21st century missions that protect our nation, make transportation safer, and pave the way for vital scientific research.

To put it mildly, we have our work cut out for us as we address all these diverse and important needs.

To meet this challenge, President Trump has called for a comprehensive national strategy for managing spectrum resources. This strategy will help ensure America’s national and economic security and fortify our continued leadership in wireless communications technologies. The Presidential Memorandum addresses immediate needs and sets goals that will carry us well into the future, so our nation can build a long-term, sustainable spectrum access framework.

With smart planning and whole of government collaboration as bedrock principles, the strategy will lay the groundwork for future development, moving the U.S. forward in advanced wireless communications, space commerce, and emerging technologies we are only beginning to imagine.

The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will work with members of a new Spectrum Strategy Task Force in a multiyear effort to develop and implement this national strategy.  The strategy will be informed by examinations of spectrum use, and will help policymakers meet our needs both now and in the future.  It will also help align research, development, testing and evaluation efforts.

The Presidential Memorandum directs the Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, in coordination with the Office of Management and Budget, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Federal Communications Commission, to provide the President a report on existing and planned spectrum initiatives. We look forward to close consultation with all spectrum stakeholders on this work.

The Department welcomes President Trump’s leadership and direction, which will shape our ongoing policy, planning, and research efforts and boost our collaborative efforts. We have a talented team of spectrum experts at the Commerce Department and in NTIA who are excited to get to work alongside our partners across the executive branch, including with the Federal Communications Commission.

The President’s national strategy comes at a pivotal time in the global race for 5G. We are committed to ensuring America is a pioneering leader in the development of 5G and the communications technologies of tomorrow.