U.S. to Invest $400 Million in 5G Wireless Research
The Obama administration and NSF will partner with Intel, Oracle, AT&T, Verizon and others to accelerate innovation around advanced wireless networks.The Obama administration is launching a $400 million initiative to drive research into advanced wireless technologies that officials say will bring 100 times the speed of current 4G LTE networks, a move that comes a day after federal regulators voted to open more U.S. airwaves to 5G wireless networks and applications. The $400 million Advanced Wireless Research Initiative (AWRI) will be led by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and is only one of several government-led efforts unveiled July 15 that are designed to accelerate the development of lightning-fast, low-latency wireless, high-capacity networks throughout the country and drive innovation around such emerging markets as self-driving cars, virtual reality (VR), smart cities and the Internet of things (IoT). They also will make devices likes smartphones significantly faster. At the same time, the administration and government agencies will be working with a broad array of tech industry players—including top-tier carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile USA, and such tech vendors as Oracle, Intel, Qualcomm, Juniper Networks and Samsung—on a number of these initiatives, continuing the public-private partnerships that the government has leveraged in driving the adoption of 4G networks. The wireless and tech industries worldwide and in a growing number of countries are moving quickly on 5G, even though the standards for the next-generation broadband technology are not expected until 2020. According to the Obama administration, more than 98 percent of U.S. residents today are covered by 4G LTE, which was backed not only by government agencies but also almost $150 billion in investment by wireless operators since 2010.
More than 350 million smartphones, tablets and wearable devices are being used today in the United States—more than double the number a decade ago—and wireless networks are handling 100,000 times the traffic they were in 2008.