January 29, 2018
The federal government reportedly is considering nationalizing nascent commercial efforts in the development of a 5G mobile network under the guise of national security interests, among other factors.
According to Axios.com, which cited a National Security Council PowerPoint presentation regarding the issue, the feds would help expedite 5G development within three years in an effort to safeguard the nation’s burgeoning telecommunications network.
5G is about 1,000 times faster than the current 4G network and could enable the download of an HD movie in less than a second.
A 3G network has download speeds up to 384 Kbps, with 4G at 100 Mbps and 5G reportedly up to 10 Gbps.
Nationalizing a private and largely unregulated industry such as mobile communications would be unusual and run counter to the GOP-controlled small government Congressional mindset. Not to mention President Donald Trump.
Yet with China reportedly set to spend more than $400 billion on 5G, U.S. officials worry the pseudo Communist power could undermine similar efforts in the U.S. due in part to much of the technology being manufactured in China.
“[The government wants to] build a network so the Chinese can’t listen to your calls,” said one official as reported by Reuters.
While the report suggested private 5G development remains an option, it is believed rollout could take longer.
Trump reportedly will weigh in on the matter sometime this year.
Then again, he could call Verizon, which is rolling out 5G in five major U.S. cities in the second half of the year — the first wireless carrier to do so.
Verizon aims to harness 5G technology with its new Oath platform, whose content brands include Yahoo, HuffPost, AOL, Tech Crunch and Engadget, among others.
“The next industrial revolution will be on Verizon’s [5G] network and will positively impact society like no technology we have seen before,” CEO Lowell McAdam boasted on the fiscal call.