There have been many things that have slowed 5G adoption: competing types of 5G, available spectrum, security concerns over Chinese vendors and more. One of the biggest issues, however, may be surprise to some. Evidently, there is a serious shortage of “tower climbers” available, according to VentureBeat.
Tower climbers are the term for individuals who climb cell phone towers to install new equipment or maintain existing components. The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation heard testimony from various witnesses “that there aren’t enough workers to actually build the 5G infrastructure U.S. citizens are expecting over the next decade.”
FCC commissioner Brandan Carr said the industry needs “20,000 additional tower climbers and telecom techs to complete the U.S. 5G buildout.” The agency is planning to address the shortage by offering 12-week training programs that will be available at technical schools and community colleges. Earnings potential—for a job that does not require a four-year degree—is more than $70,000 a year.
With that kind of opportunity, it’s a safe bet the FCC will have no trouble coming up with 20,000 climbers.