Wicker Convenes Hearing on the Race to 5G

February 6, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today convened the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for its first hearing of the 116th Congress. This hearing focused on key steps to maintain U.S. global leadership in next-generation communications technology, spectrum needs to accelerate deployment, and new applications and services consumers can expect with 5G deployments. The hearing also examined current efforts to modernize infrastructure siting policies and the security of 5G networks.


Excerpt from Chairman Wicker’s opening statement, as delivered, below:


In relation to existing wireless networks, 5G will provide significantly faster connections.

This means that healthcare providers, such as the University of Mississippi Medical Center, can extend the reach of life-saving telemedicine and support more cutting-edge medical services. As a result, people around the country will enjoy increased access to a better quality of care at reduced costs.

For the agricultural industry, 5G will enable the use of more precision agriculture technologies. This will allow our nation’s farmers and growers to be more competitive, maximize resources, and boost crop yields for a growing global population.

For the transportation sector, 5G will enable greater mobility, access, and most importantly, safety on our nation’s roads. 

The consumer benefits of 5G are limitless. In fact, the excitement surrounding this new technology stems from its potential to generate economic and social benefits across every industry and every sector. 

The ability to support other groundbreaking technologies, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, makes 5G even more valuable and revolutionary.

To realize all of these benefits fully, the United States must win the global race to 5G. China and others have seen the benefits America gained from leading the world in 4G, so they are challenging the U.S. for dominance in 5G. 

By some important measures, they have significant advantages. Failing to win the race to 5G would not only materially delay benefits for the American people, it would forever reduce the economic and societal gains that come from leading the world in technology.