GSMA THRIVE NORTH AMERICA: US mobile industry players and authorities must focus on challenges and affordability issues hampering segments of the country’s population benefiting from the 5G economy, CTIA president and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker (pictured) highlighted.

Speaking in the first keynote for the GSMA event, which runs alongside the CTIA 5G Summit, Attwell Baker said the US should now focus on the economy around the technology after getting “a little carried away with China and the 5G race”, though she noted the industry should “never lose sight of spectrum deficits or supply chain inequities”.

The executive hailed the rollout of 5G by operators in the country alongside moves by the Federal Communications Commission to free-up spectrum, while stating the need to ensure “everyone is along for the ride”, particularly with restrictions related to Covid-19 (coronavirus) hampering everyday activities.

She added the pandemic had “reminded us the digital divide has never been more stark”, noting: “As a nation we need to do more, it’s incumbent on our industry [and] incumbent on the government, we all must help bridge affordability and adoption challenges; we don’t have time to spare, the pandemic is happening now.”

“Let’s be practical and resourceful: how do we get more Americans online to do their jobs, teach their kids and talk to their doctors? We can’t let another week go by without ensuring all Americans are connected.”