Wasting no time in capitalizing on new FCC rules designed to free up spectrum for high-speed wireless, the Obama administration is pledging $400 million to drive 5G research. And an industry consortium is lining up private sector partners for the effort.

5G “has the potential to result in up to 1000x improvement in throughput over current wireless networks,” the trade group says.

In other words, gigabit speeds.

The FCC moved to ease access to high-frequency spectrum for 5G efforts on Thursday, a decision warmly embraced by AT&T and Verizon as well as some industry groups. Unlike the ongoing net neutrality debate, the 5G initiatives are advancing on common understandings reach by the public and private sectors as well as federal regulators.

North Carolina-based CommScope, a big developer of wireless technology, has joined the new group known as US Ignite.

AT&T and Verizon have joined as well along with T-Mobile, Sprint, Intel, Qualcomm and many others.

The Obama Administration is hoping to accelerate 5G research and development with its Advanced Wireless Research Initiative that includes $400 million in support from various agencies. The funding was disclosed at the White House on Friday.

Led by the National Science Foundation, the effort is committed to deploy four “city-scale testing platforms” over the next decade.

AT&T, Verizon and others are already testing 5G technology, which has demonstrated the capacity to deliver data at ultra-high speeds.

The initiative includes:

  • An $85 million investment in advanced wireless testing platforms by a public-private effort, including NSF and more than 20 technology companies and associations
  • NSF investing an additional $350 million over the next 7 years in academic research that can utilize these testing platforms
  • Complementary efforts by other federal agencies

The private sector’s role in the Platforms for Enabling Advanced Wireless Research will be led in part by the US Ignite group.

“We expect this effort will speed up the transfer rate of breakthrough ideas from university research to industry end users, overcoming what is sometimes called the ‘valley of death’ between basic research and commercialization,” said William Wallace, Executive Director of US Ignite, in a statement.

“This consortium will help to increase the number of potentially disruptive applications and the number of innovators and entrepreneurs in the wireless space.”

What can 5G do?

Here’s what the White House says 5G can deliver:

  • Mobile phones and tablets that can download full length HD movies in less than 5 seconds, 100 times faster than 4G (6 minutes) and 25,000 times faster than 3G (26 hours).
  • First responders and emergency room doctors who get live, real-time video and sensor data from police vehicles, ambulances, and drones, along with patient vitals and medical records—all before the patient arrives at the hospital door.
  • Semi- or fully-autonomous vehicles that can communicate with the outside world and with each other to improve travel efficiency and safety.
  • Factories equipped with always-connected smart manufacturing equipment that self-diagnose and repair themselves before they break.
  • Gigabit-speed wireless broadband available in businesses, public transportation stations, stadiums, campuses, schools, malls, parks, and other public spaces.
  • Virtual reality training environments and simulators that allow entry-level workers to develop and demonstrate skills in high-demand fields like solar energy installation—anytime, from anywhere.

Industry partners in US Ignite include:

·      ATIS (Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions)
·      AT&T
·      Carlson Wireless Technologies
·      CommScope
·      CTIA
·      HTC
·      Intel
·      InterDigital
·      Juniper Networks
·      Keysight Technologies
·      National Instruments
·      Nokia Bell Laboratories
·      Oracle
·      Qualcomm
·      Samsung
·      Shared Spectrum
·      Sprint
·      TIA (Telecom Industry Association)
·      T-Mobile
·      Verizon
·      Viavi Solutions

For more information on the Platforms for Enabling Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR), visit: