Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Trump administration mulls nationalizing 5G wireless network

FCC's Pai Opposes Trump Administration Bid to Build 5G Network FCC's Pai Opposes Trump Administration Bid to Build 5G Network
Melinda Barton | 30 January, 2018, 20:32

Axios claimed it has seen documents that revealed security officials stating that the US needs a centralized nationwide 5G network "to protect America against China and other bad actors". The documents also consider China's dominance of Artificial Intelligence, and use that as part of the rationale for "nationalising" 5G networks. A national 5G network, secured from Chinese influence, could be viewed as a component of such a policy.

The US federal government is exploring the idea of building its own 5G wireless network infrastructure, according to documents obtained by Axios. The first is having the federal government fund and build a single network. To illustrate the current state of USA wireless networks, the PowerPoint uses a picture of a medieval walled city, compared to a future represented by a photo of lower Manhattan. After word got out of the reported plans, key voices in the federal agency spoke out against the idea, saying that any future 5G network should be left in the hands of the private sector, as the current 4G and previous wireless platforms have been.

"China has achieved a dominant position in the manufacture and operation of network infrastructure".

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

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.

Now many companies are already working on a 5G network with AT&T, Charter, and Verizon all launching 5G networks with others promising to have national coverage by 2020. Reports claim that though the US authorities have commenced discussions with major telecom giants, pivotal business decisions such as investments & control have not been finalized.

USA carriers are well into the standard-setting process for 5G, and testing is already under way. It is possible that under this structure start-up telecom companies and tech giants such as Google or Facebook could seek to compete with the traditional telecom companies for access to the network under this model, according to a person familiar with the plans. This collaboration is very unlikely as those companies have already been testing and strategizing to build a network.

Pulling this off would cost $200 billion and take three years. Huge investment and years of work are needed to lay a foundation for a nationwide network.

The report also unveils that the U.S.'s wireless providers have started the resources allocation for deploying 5G networks, like other countries like the Japan and Korea. As you probably guessed, Pai would rather the private sector handle our wireless networks and set "rules that encourage" them to developer the next-generation infrastructure, like 5G.