The Texas Senate Business and Commerce Committee held a hearing on May 15, 2018 that reveals a wide gap on the 5G preparedness of Texas cities.
Major cities provided updates on the implementation of the new state law as well as deployments of fiber and small cell nodes, the backbone of 5G enabling technology.
As of May 15, 2018, the Cities of San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Austin provided the following numbers under invited testimony:
Houston: 580 applications received, 548 permits approved
Dallas: 305 applications received, 288 permits approved
San Antonio: 130 applications received, 66 permits approved
Austin: 80 applications received, 2 permits approved
“We are closer today than ever before in being able to deliver an unprecedented wireless experience,” stated Ambre Blatter, Director of Engineering and Operations at T-Mobile. “This bill has allowed us and the industry to add capacity to our networks with small cells to help ready our networks for the densification that will be required to meet 5G standards, which is even lower latencies and faster speeds.”
Houston is clearly setting the statewide pace for 5G readiness and was recognized as a model for other cities to follow. Amandus Derr, Government Relations Manager for Crown Castle in Texas, stated, “The City of Houston, under Mayor Turner’s leadership, has been a leader and a model for other cities to follow. Houston is processing and approving between 50 and 100 nodes per week for Crown Castle. Because the City has embraced SB 1004, Crown Castle has certainty in process, timelines, and fees resulting in Crown Castle deploying almost 1,300 small cell nodes supported by over 1,000 miles of fiber in the city, totaling approximately $150 million of capital investment over the next 12 months.”
“Texans expect their technology to work when making a video call, finding a ride home after a late night or calling 911 in an emergency,” said Scott Dunaway, spokesperson for the Texas 5G Alliance. “Texans should also understand the cooperative commitment necessary from local governments across the state to make this reliability a reality for the future. Small cells are the answer to a growing complexity on data demand by increasing capacity for more reliable service.”
Texas 5G Alliance partners that testified included Ericsson, Crown Castle, Tech Titans, the Austin Chamber of Commerce, and T-Mobile.