A leaked memo that revealed the U.S. administration was considering building its own 5G network to bring super-fast Internet to consumers and businesses — a government effort designed to thwart what the Administration and some lawmakers say is potential Chinese espionage — was fast and pointed.
A secure 5G network is critical to US competitiveness and after seeing slow and expensive 4G and broadband, the Trump administration is considering a US government built 5G network.
A 5G network will allow much faster speeds—up to 20Gbps—versus the current 4G maximum bandwidth of 1Gbp.
Trump national security officials are considering an unprecedented federal takeover of a portion of the nation’s mobile network to guard against China, according to sensitive documents obtained by Axios.
The leaked memo shows that the US government does not trust AT&T and Verizon to build a 5G network competitive with China’s or South Korea or Japan’s 5G.
History would back this up.
The US deployment of 4G took longer to fully build it out.
The US 4G network has slower communication speeds and has a higher cost for consumers.
This could also be a tactic to make the telecom providers step up to a faster deployment of 5G.
However, there needs to be policies to create true broadband competition. Most of the USA only has one broadband option. There is also not enough competition in the provision of high speed cellular service.
The documents say America needs a centralized nationwide 5G network within three years. There’ll be a fierce debate inside the Trump administration — and an outcry from the industry — over the next 6-8 months over how such a network is built and paid for.
Two options laid out by the documents:
1. The U.S. government pays for and builds the single network — which would be an unprecedented nationalization of a historically private infrastructure.
2. An alternative plan where wireless providers build their own 5G networks that compete with one another — though the document says the downside is it could take longer and cost more. It argues that one of the “pros” of that plan is that it would cause “less commercial disruption” to the wireless industry than the government building a network.
The PowerPoint presentation says that the U.S. has to build superfast 5G wireless technology quickly because “China has achieved a dominant position in the manufacture and operation of network infrastructure,” and “China is the dominant malicious actor in the Information Domain.”
The memo argues that a strong 5G network is needed in order to create a secure pathway for emerging technologies like self-driving cars and virtual reality — and to combat Chinese threats to America’s economic and cyber security.
The memo also indicates the US government fears China’s Belt Road Initiative to build outside of China and they fear China’s investments in AI.