June 18, 2020

WASHINGTON – Today, global tech trade association ITI unveiled a new set of policy principles focused on the development and deployment of 5G technology worldwide. As policymakers seek to promote 5G deployment, there are four key areas where sound policy approaches and government action are essential: innovation and investment; deployment and access to spectrum; security; and standards. ITI’s 5G Policy Principles for Global Policymakers offer an expert guide to help steer these efforts, while helping governments maximize opportunities and address challenges related to the deployment of this technology.

“As next generation communication networks take hold, policymakers are considering ways in which they can advance 5G technology and harness its promising benefits for innovation, from precision agriculture to advances in telemedicine to the realized vision of smart cities,” said Jason Oxman, ITI President and CEO. “Informed by our member companies’ expertise, ITI’s 5G Policy Principles can serve as roadmap for policymakers as they develop measures to advance this critical technology globally.”

As the premier technology trade association with a presence across the globe, ITI represents the full spectrum of technology companies, including those contributing to nearly every facet of 5G, from manufacturing the components and equipment that will power 5G networks to developing the applications and services that will run on top of 5G networks.

Among its recommendations, ITI calls for policymakers to create 5G security-related policies that are risk-based; address threats to the 5G ecosystem beyond those associated with specific supply chain actors and equipment; and leverage government and industry collaboration. On standards, ITI encourages policymakers to support globally harmonized 5G standards or technical specifications and calls on governments to uphold and promote best practices in all fora where standards and specifications are being developed. ITI also encourages governments to support open and interoperable solutions for 5G networks by adopting policies that promote R&D funding for open 5G architectures.

ITI’s principles address:

  1. Innovation and Investment. The basis for sound 5G policy rests on ensuring an environment that supports innovation and encourages investment in the foundational and new technologies that will facilitate the next generation of networks. Governments should consider a full range of policy options in order to support innovation, enable market competition, ensure a skilled workforce, and harness the transformative power of 5G.
  2. Enabling 5G Deployment and Access to Spectrum. Governments should also work to free up spectrum and take additional steps to streamline 5G deployment, including using targeted public funding to complement private sector investment and considering licensing and siting reform. This will help to accelerate the deployment of 5G infrastructure.
  3. Security. Cyber threats continue to impact network infrastructure, applications, and services, as well as customers/end-users, such as consumers and enterprises. These risks will grow with the scale enabled by 5G: increased network capacity and speed coupled with more connected devices will create more potential opportunities for compromise. As such, governments should endeavor to take a holistic approach to 5G security that is risk-based and fit-for-purpose, while leveraging public-private partnerships.
  4. Standards. Standards for 5G must be industry-led. Competition drives innovation in industry-led standards settings, as competition among contributions to a specific standard improves that standard, and competition among standards allows for optimal market-based choices. Ultimately, the information and communications technology (ICT) industry builds to voluntary, global, industry-led consensus-based standards that are accepted or chosen by the marketplace as the most effective or most appropriate. This is no different for 5G. Government policymakers can play an important role by supporting and promoting this industry-led standards development process, participating in it where appropriate, and by working to ensure that their country’s policies point to and leverage global standards.

In addition to its 5G Policy Principles, ITI released 5G Essentials for Global Policymakers, an informative tool that policymakers, industry partners, and other stakeholders can use to understand the policy recommendations that ITI sets forth.

Public Policy Tags: Broadband, Communications, & Spectrum