Tech

Trump administration eyeing China-free national 5G network

Trump administration eyeing China-free national 5G network”

National security officials working in President Donald Trump's administration are reportedly considering building an ultrafast, nationwide 5G network within the next three years.

Under the first option, the USA government will pay for and build a single network, in an unprecedented nationalization of a historically private infrastructure. The second (which could take longer and cost more, the memo argues) would be to have wireless providers build their own 5G networks that compete with one another.

Another option includes having a 5G network built by a consortium of wireless carriers, the USA official said.

Citing documents the report says, "The best way to do this, is for the government to build a network itself".

The official, confirming the gist of the Axios report, said the option was being debated at a low level in the administration and was six to eight months away from being considered by the president himself.

Shares of the biggest USA wireless carriers fell at the start of trade on Monday, with Verizon and AT&T down 1 percent.

According to the documents, the United States needs a centralized 5G network within three years to guard against China. It's hard to imagine the government hastening that process, considering its track record on the FirstNet nationwide mobile broadband public safety network.

In 2012, concern about possible Chinese interference in the U.S. led government authorities to issue a report describing Huawei Technologies Co. In the model now under consideration, the owner of the network would not directly provide telecommunications services to consumers.

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With discussions still underway, the plan by Trump's national security team goes against the grain of industry efforts to draw up a universal 5G mobile standard. What government can and should do is to push spectrum into the commercial marketplace and set rules that encourage the private sector to develop and deploy next-generation infrastructure.

Upgrading to new 5G networks capable of handling massive amounts of digital data wirelessly and instantly is seen as essential for the success of innovations from virtual reality and self-driving cabs to "smart" cities.

Earlier this month, AT&T had been expected to announce it would make available Chinese-based phone maker Huawei's flagship Mate 10 Pro smartphone on its network in the USA, but the plan was scrapped, reportedly because of US pressure on AT&T to cut ties.

The company didn't comment on whether it was in talks about a government-run network. It is not clear if the government would have sufficient spectrum to build a 5G network of its own. "They're smart, they're aggressive, and they're not to be underestimated", he said.

Ever since a Senate report claiming Chinese state influence over Huawei and ZTE was published in 2012, the two companies have struggled to do business in the United States and Australia.

Telecomm giant, AT&T, has been working on developing this new technology, announcing that, "Industry standards have been set, trials have been underway since 2016, and later this year AT&T is set to be the first to launch mobile 5G service in 12 USA locations".

China has denied that its companies are trying to install spyware.



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