Published: Tue, January 30, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Government 5G Network Unlikely, Despite Reports

Government 5G Network Unlikely, Despite Reports

The US national security team could create a 5G wireless network in an attempt to fight against China spying on phone calls, a senior administration official has said. A leaked National Security Council memo published by Axios news website on Sunday said China is the dominant manufacturer of network infrastructure and notes the importance of building the network with "equipment from a trusted supply chain".

"The U.S. government pays for and builds the single network - which would be an unprecedented nationalization of a historically private infrastructure". The only trouble that the US government now foresees is that if the 5G networks are not nationalized, it could open up multiple doors to foreign bodies like China to compromise the multitude of products that will eventually be taking advantage of 5G networks.

"ZTE's 7% correction and similar drop in other 5G-related Chinese shares seemed to be related to Trump's plan to build a government-owned 5G network in the U.S.", said Edison Lee, a Jefferies analyst in a report.

The plan includes the government building a super-fast 5G wireless network, a senior administration official told Reuters.

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Trump recently began making good on his aggressive "America First" trade agenda, with China as a primary target by imposing steep tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels.

According to "sensitive" documents obtained by Axios, the USA is looking at the possibility of building a national 5G network amid growing concerns about China.

President Donald Trump is all set to fast-track the launch of 5G network service, in order in a bid to stop the invasion of Chinese telecom businesses into the US. Additionally, the mobile industry would probably raise quite an outcry over the next six to eight months about how such a centralized network would be funded and built. The federal government would use national security rules to override town, city, and state regulations on tower placement, and would rent space on the network back to the major network providers.

The PowerPoint slides reviewed by Axios suggest that the USA must be quick to build a superfast 5G network because China has already become dominant in both the manufacturing and operation of network infrastructure.

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A leading trade group, with members including AT&T and Verizon, pushed back on the plans saying it sees a competitive marketplace as the best option for ensuring United States leadership in 5G technology.

The best way to do this, the memo argues, is for the government to build a network itself.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that he opposed any federal proposal to run a national 5G network, instead recommending that government support the ongoing industry projects.

The telecom industry, which is powerful in Washington, is already working on 5G. The 5G network concept is aimed at addressing what officials see as China's threat to US cyber security and economic security, Reuters reported on Sunday.

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"Instead, U.S. commercial wireless companies are the envy of the world and are already rushing ahead to lead in 5G", O'Rielly said.

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