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Section One

We Need to Prepare for the 5G Jobs Apocalypse
5G will create millions of jobs but destroy millions more. We need a plan.
Sascha Segan Icon
By Sascha Segan
February 21, 2017 12:32PM EST

What is 5G?

My taxi driver in San Diego had a plan. He was moving to Laredo to get back into long-distance trucking. He'd work hard for 10 years, save a couple of hundred grand, and retire to Mexico. I did the math: that put him around 2028. He might just make it before all the trucking jobs go away.

At Qualcomm last week, Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, extolled the virtues of the upcoming "5G economy," painting a picture of autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and ubiquitous augmented and virtual reality.

Prepared by: Coleman Bazelon and Pallavi Seth

Wireless infrastructure plays a crucial role in how businesses, citizens and governments operate in today’s mobile-first world. These networks are critical to everything from education and business to public safety and health care. Wireless networks in the U.S. delivered 42.7 petabytes of data every day in 2016, a figure expected to grow to 200.5 petabytes per day by 2020. To put that growth in perspective, a similar increase in New York City Subway ridership would see daily traffic grow from 4.8 million riders today to 22.6 million riders per day in 2021.

Section Two

Good morning. And thank you to the Department of Labor for hosting this morning’s workshop on apprenticeships and workforce development in the wireless industry. Ensuring that we have the skilled workforce in place to deploy, maintain, and upgrade our nation’s communications infrastructure is one of the keys to ensuring that all Americans have access to advanced broadband networks. And right now, we’re confronting a shortage of those skilled workers. So I welcome the chance to participate in today’s event and to highlight the work that DOL and its apprenticeship and workforce development programs are playing in closing this skills gap.