By Richard Adler
Since the late-1970s wireless telephone communication has seen a steady progression in speed, bandwidth and services offered to the public. The next generation of wireless innovation, called 5G, promises a significant leap in what it will provide in capacity, speed and performance for wireless networks, massive machine communications and the Internet of Things. Many companies and organizations have already begun to create and test 5G technologies and have made commitments to early deployment. Yet, this shift in technology raises a number of legal and regulatory issues that will have to be resolved, both domestically and internationally, to realize the full potential of this technology. To address these regulatory (and related) issues, the 2015 Aspen Institute Roundtable on Spectrum Policy (AIRS) met October 26-28, 2015 at the Aspen/Wye River campus on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Leading communications policy experts took a close look at the range of needs that 5G is intended to address, attempting to understand what the technological options are for meeting those needs. Participants then focused on defining the key policy issues raised by the move to 5G and recommended actions to address these concerns.