Albert Gustafson is a Young Voices advocate and policy writer based in Marion, Indiana. He joins the Young Voices podcast today to help break down Sunday’s Axios Scoop that the President has weighed nationalizing the 5G network in the interest of security against China.
Follow Albert of Twitter @apgustafson to learn about this topic and more
Technological advancement that changes the way everyday consumers live seems to come in pairs — affordable automobiles and television, the internet and cellphones, autonomous vehicles and ultrafast 5G mobile data networks. And where there’s innovation, regulation tends to follow.
A group of auto manufacturers and tech companies including Intel, BMW, Nokia, and Huawei recently announced the formation of the 5G Automotive Association aimed at speeding the development and adoption of 5G networks by overcoming both technical and regulatory obstacles. Auto manufacturers and mobile companies alike envision a future where autonomous vehicles and 5G networks — which will offer up to 100 times current mobile data speeds — work together to improve safety, efficiency, and in-vehicle entertainment. However, while the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to create a favorable regulatory environment for 5G networks, local governments play a critical role in allowing the technology to revolutionize people’s lives.
It’s a decision governments will have to make since autonomous vehicles and 5G networks are becoming a reality. Currently, 5G networks are still in development. T-Mobile and Ericssonannounced on Sept. 20 that they have reached mobile data speeds of 12 Gbps, which is ridiculously fast. Huawei estimates that the first 5G networks will roll out in limited settings as early as 2018 and reach consumers in 2020.
Interestingly, 2020 is also the year some of the first autonomous vehicles will likely go on sale. Audi, for instance, promises to have a fully autonomous electric Sedan available for sale in 2020. The technologies will grow together since consumers, freed from the demands of driving, will increasingly demand more data at faster speeds. Plus, the vehicles themselves will use the ultrafast networks to communicate with each other and smart infrastructure.