"We are very excited about 5G at the FCC,” said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr to FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on Friday. “It’s a great story for the U.S. economy and it’s a really good jobs story as well.”
The new technology is expected to be up to 20 times faster than the current fourth generation (4G) and will propel new kinds of innovations from connected cars to the Internet of things, he said.
Although the worldwide launch is expected in 2020, mobile carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, are expected to fully roll out 5G phones this year.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson on Thursday said that their 5G Evolution service is already available in 400 markets across the U.S. and expects to roll out full 5G phones in more U.S. markets throughout the year.
“There aren’t any 5G, what I’ll call full 5G, phones available in the market,” he told Maria Bartiromo. “We’ll have some in the market this year – Samsung and some others are putting some phones into the market; we’ll be selling those and you can get a full 5G experience.”
Verizon also announced on Thursday plans to launch 5G in 30 cities this year.
Just as with 4G, Carr said, the stakes are even higher with 5G, because it will bring new competition to broadband.
“This upgrade to 5G is going to let providers deliver wirelessly, which is less expensive than bringing in new wired connections to every home,” he said. “The same experience that before they could only get with a wired connection.”
The rollout also requires a massive overhaul of network infrastructures, which has been the main focus for the FCC, according to Carr.
“When we came in our regulations were a bit outdated. They were geared around 3G and 4G deployments of the past,” he said. “We cut over [$]3.5 billion worth of regulatory red tape and that’s part of what’s enabling the private sector to push forward so quickly right now.”