5G: Revolution or Hype?
15 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2019
Date Written: August 1, 2019
Is 5G revolutionary? Will the “fifth generation” of wireless technology not only update our network from 4G, but spark deep and widespread change across economies, industries, and the lives of consumers? 5G hype certainly abounds. But the theory of 5G is difficult to put into practice. Despite the drumbeat of hype, it is not clear how quickly 5G will be deployed. Just as unclear is how transformative 5G will be when it does arrive. This paper will explore the promises and limitations of 5G through the lens of four critical issues: first, the question of how network operators will build 5G, if they do build it; second, ways that governments can use policy to make sure 5G networks get built; third, 5G’s potential impact on network architectures and competition among computing infrastructure providers. Finally, this paper will explore 5G’s role in the rise of China, international competition, and related debates over network security.
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