Speakers warn labor shortages could hamper 5G rollout

Last week, several speakers addressed the tower labor shortages and provided solutions in sessions held at the South Wireless Summit in Nashville. Crown Castle’s Jay Brown said labor shortages will get worse in the future, and he recounted a conversation with a Federal Reserve banker who noted that the shortage will span across all industries. “In the next 15 years, our aging, non-immigrant workforce will decline by almost 5 percent per year,” Brown said. “GDP is the labor force times efficiency of production. If GDP is going to stay at zero, efficiency must go up 6 percent per annum.” To deal with the labor problem, the tower industry must increase efficiency and lower costs, according to Brown, who has been advising his staff to work faster and smarter. “Ultimately, we are a bank for the carriers, and providing infrastructure at the lowest cost possible is the only way we are going to be successful,” he said. “This will help solve the labor shortage and will be critical as there is a significant deployment of small cells coming.”

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