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What Are The Challenges, Opportunities For 5G Integration In San Antonio?

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The City of San Antonio is working with communication providers to integrate the next generation of wireless technology into the existing cityscape. 5G is expected to boost processing power and reduce lag time, but faces infrastructure and security-related challenges.

How does 5G work, and how is it different from previous 3G and 4G iterations? Who and what is involved in San Antonio's 5G integration, and where are we now in that process?

Once deployed, 5G connectivity will have near zero latency or response time from the sender to the receiver but will require some heavy lifting when it comes to cybersecurity risks and outfitting cities with the necessary infrastructure.

What physical infrastructure is necessary for 5G expansion and how does "Right of Way" factor in? What are the aesthetic concerns?

What is the cost of adopting this new high-speed network? How will wireless providers be charged for additional power use? 

What are the cybersecurity risks associated with 5G and how are telecommunications companies addressing these issues?

How does the deployment of 5G fit into San Antonio’s "Smart City" plan? What effect could this technology have on San Antonio's stark digital divide? What additional opportunities could 5G provide?

Guests:

  • Craig Hopkins, chief information officer with the City of San Antonio's Information & Technology Services Department 
  • Brian Kelley, associate professor and assistant-associate dean fellow in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Scott Dunaway, spokesman for the Texas 5G Alliance
  • J.D. Salinas, regional vice president for external and legislative affairs at AT&T

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Thursday, December 19.

Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.