nsucurrent.com April 21, 2018

Trump turns to 5G to avoid network spies

30 January 2018, 01:25 | Ricardo Garza

Trump turns to 5G to avoid network spies

Trump turns to 5G to avoid network spies

Axios points this news out as a result of a presentation which was made to senior officials and agencies in the Trump Administration by a senior National Security Council official.

A Powerpoint presentation that is among the documents Axios obtained says that "China has achieved a dominant position in the manufacture and operation of network infrastructure" and that "China is the dominant malicious actor in the information domain".

The Axios report calls the first option "an unprecedented nationalisation of a historically private infrastructure".

However, according to reports, major wireless carriers have spent billions of dollars buying spectrum to launch 5G networks, and it is unclear if the United States government would have enough spectrum to build its own 5G network.

The second option would have mobile providers building their own 5G networks and competing with each other. On the other hand, having carriers build their own networks would avoid much of the commercial disruption involved in the first option. The government aims to decide on a plan by the end of September and build it out over the next few years, said one of the officials in one of the report.

Shares of the biggest USA wireless carriers fell at the start of trade on Monday, with Verizon and AT&T down 1 percent. An unnamed source reportedly told the news outlet that the document is now outdated that that there's a newer version that's neutral regarding whether or not the federal government should construct and own the 5G network.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. The Trump national security team is in the early stages of deciding whether or not to build and operate it, said a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to discuss internal deliberations on a national security issue.

Rumors can sometimes surface and then be quashed with an incredible amount of speed, and today, the best example we have of that kind of turnaround involves the future of the country's 5G networks. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is already seeking public comment on using that piece of available spectrum for mobile broadband use.

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.

Building a centralised and nationwide 5G network would involve numerous discussions regarding impact on market mechanism and government expenditure, according to Kelly Hsieh, a research director at consultancy TrendForce. 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.

Then, in mid-January, Texan Congressman and staunch Trump supporter Mike Conaway proposed new legislation that would prohibit USA authorities from buying any product or service from the Chinese companies.

A spokesperson for AT&T said that the United States is already working on a 5G network - with AT&T's set to be switched on later this year.

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