Deploying 5G in Greater Phoenix
How scaling this technology will benefit the regional economy
Verizon recently announced that Phoenix is one of 20 cities to run 5G by the end of year, just a year after Sprint announced that they will bring 5G to Phoenix and eight other United States cities. Since Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed AZ House Bill 2365 in 2017 to streamline the deployment of 5G, companies like Verizon and Sprint have seen Greater Phoenix’s commitment to growth and are making offers to expand the region’s technological bandwidth.
The deployment of 5G technology in the U.S. has continued to spark national interest. Find out how this technology will help advance Greater Phoenix as an economically thriving, tech hub:
What is 5G technology?
The term “5G” refers to the oncoming fifth generation of wireless networks and technology that will improve data speed, volume and latency over 4G and 4G LTE networks. There are two approaches utilized in 5G adoption, mmWave and sub-6. mmWave includes waves higher than 6GHz and sub-6 has waves under 6GHz. However, the sub-6 approach can cover a broad area network with a lower risk of interruption and a greater capacity to overcome obstacles.
According to the U.S. Defense Innovation Board, 5G will enable new technologies to change the standard of public and private sector operations, from autonomous vehicles to smart cities, virtual reality and more. Greater Phoenix already sees a use for 5G with the operation of autonomous vehicle ride-hailing.
As of May 2019, Waymo’s self-driving cars were made available for Lyft passengers in Phoenix. Dmitri Dolgov, Waymo’s chief technology officer, told Venture Beat that 5G could “help in terms of communication, latency and bandwidth. (Our cars) still have to rely on onboard computation for anything that is safety-critical, but 5G will be an accelerator.”
Shortly after Governor Ducey signed HB 2365 in 2017, Robert Fisher, senior vice president for the federal government affairs of Verizon, recognized Arizona as a state at the forefront of an environment encouraging 5G investment. It’s important that Arizona not only utilizes technology to maintain a competitive edge and serve as a model to other states, but continuously improves quality of living.
“5G is an asset to our citizens,” said Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat. “It allows us to be in touch with what citizens want. It allows us to customize our operations to what citizens need.”
How can 5G adoption benefit the economy?
The adoption of 5G technology could positively impact the national and regional economy by providing numerous new jobs for a variety of skill levels and revitalize the economy overall.
The wireless industry is expected to invest $275 billion to deploy 5G networks across the U.S., generating 3 million new jobs and $500 billion in economic growth. If this national deployment was to occur 12 months prior to the expected timeline, 5G adoption could generate an additional $100 billion in economic growth.
For Phoenix alone, 5G is expected to grow GDP by $2,476 million and create over 15,000 jobs.
Gilbert was the first AZ community to streamline the ability of wireless companies to deploy small cells, which previously could take over a year to obtain approval, in accordance with AZ HB 2365. The city also standardized fees, clarified the use of public rights-of-way for deployments, and set timelines for application review.
“We will continue to advance statewide policies while enabling regulatory framework to meet business at the speed of technology,” said Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels. “We’re intentionally putting our market in a competitive position.”
In 2018, CTIA awarded Mayor Daniels the 5G Wireless Champion Award for her focus on infrastructure modernization. This next-generation technology is expected to bring Gilbert $200 million in community investments, more than 2,000 new jobs and add $369 million to the city’s economy.
From Arizona making their own technological improvements to changes occurring at the state level, Greater Phoenix’s relentless pursuit to innovate won’t be stopping anytime soon.