Will US nationalise 5G network?
The top US communications regulator, wireless companies and some lawmakers opposed an idea by members of President Donald Trump’s national security team for the government to build a 5G wireless network to counter China spying on phone calls.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Monday, January 29, that discussions were at “the very earliest stages” to ensure a “secure network,” and “absolutely no decisions” has been made.
The government has blocked a string of Chinese acquisitions over national security concerns and the 5G network concept is aimed at addressing what officials see as China’s threat to US cyber security and economic security.
“Any federal effort to construct a nationalized 5G network would be a costly and counterproductive distraction from the policies we need to help the United States win the 5G future,” Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican appointed by Trump, said in a statement.
A US-built 5G network could in theory is more resilient to Chinese government intrusions. The primary suppliers for the 5G networks in the United States are expected to be firms such as Nokia and Ericsson, with networking firms such as Juniper Networks, Cisco Systems and Qualcomm Inc supplying chips and back end equipment. It was unclear whether the option discussed would involve working with those companies.
Apart from FCC chairman Pai, three of remaining four FCC commissioners also said on Monday that they opposed nationalizing the 5G network.