Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:

  • T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said that the federal government has a critical role to play in freeing up spectrum for the advancement of 5G networks.
  • 5G networks were the core theme of Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, where multiple firms unveiled hardware and software to fit the standard.

For 5G to become a reality, the US government must play an “enormous role” in freeing up spectrum to be used by mobile carriers, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray told our sister site ZDNet at the 2018 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

During MWC, ZDNet caught up with Ray and 5G Americas president Chris Pearson, who both spoke on the infrastructure changes needed to bring 5G to the forefront. According to Ray, the US Department of Defense freed up roughly 100MHz of spectrum this week, but much more will be needed in the future for 5G “to ultimately succeed in the US market, and that’s across all bands,” Ray told ZDNet.

During the interview with ZDNet, Pearson also said that the US needs to simplify the process for deploying infrastructure. This could help reduce the barriers to making networks more dense.

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According to Ray, one area that needs special attention is small cell deployments. There are currently 13 states that have legislation addressing these deployments, but Ray said he believes there is room for more government assistance to ease cell siting.

“Every operator is very conscious on how they deploy, and local community and aesthetics and all those things, and we work very, very hard to make sure we grow our wireless networks in a way that’s of minimal impact to communities,” Ray told ZDNet. “But there are times when we face resistance and we need more help, and government is stepping up in aspects. More to be done, though.”

It’s clear that 5G was a major theme of this year’s MWC. Firms such as T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, Telstra, and AT&T all announced efforts in deploying 5G networks. However, Pearson doesn’t want people to forget about the advances in LTE as well.

“We don’t want people to forget about the LTE innovation roadmap that’s happening,” Pearson told ZDNet.