What 5G Means for the Future of the Telecommunications Industry
November 20, 2019
By now, we’ve all heard a lot about 5G, or fifth generation mobile network technology. All four major carriers have some form of 5G wireless coverage, although it is limited to certain cities and the bugs are still being worked out. Cities increasingly are testing 5G capabilities, but it is not yet widespread and those in the testing areas may experience inconsistent coverage.
While the transition from 4G to 5G is exciting for consumers, it also provides an increase in opportunity for the telecommunications industry, one that will only grow in the years ahead. The transition means increased opportunities for businesses and contractors. The reason why is simple: much of the infrastructure still needs to be built. The process, however, is not simple. Cell tower sites need to be upgraded to meet the demands of 5G coverage, and each site location will vary based on consumer usage. For example, demand in rural areas is different from urban areas and high-tech areas differ in use from areas where tech use is low.
The length of time to proceed with these upgrades and additions also will vary. Some companies may choose to slowly upgrade, while others may do so quickly. All, however, will require ongoing maintenance, which is not accomplished overnight, and current workers will need additional training.
Infrastructure investments will require an increased workforce as well. According to Brendon Carr, a commissioner on the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, the domestic 5G rollout will require 20,000 new “skilled workers,” based on estimates from wireless workers. That means new workers must be recruited and trained to develop the skilled cell tower crews needed. As a result, it is important for telecom companies to stay connected with training facilities that develop workers as well as with clients that provide opportunities for their current crews to develop needed skills. For example, one program focuses on training military veterans.
With the transition in technology comes changes to the climbers’ environment, so continual safety initiatives will be needed to mitigate risk and protect workers, especially in their outdoor working environments.
While it may be a lot of risk and information for telecom companies to stay current on, insurance producers who specialize in the industry are encouraged to talk with clients about their short- and long-term strategies as they relate to 5G coverage. All parties should stay active in local, regional, and national municipal conversations about 5G opportunities and growth as it develops over the next few years.
Here, at USA Telecom Insurance Services, we welcome any conversation you wish to start with us about 5G opportunities and the specialized insurance we have available for this growing area within the telecommunications industry. We can be reached directly at 800-645-8699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.