FCC to hold big 5G auction, spend $20B for rural internet

Trump Says U.S. ‘Must Win’ Race to Develop 5G InfrastructureMore

Trump Says U.S. ‘Must Win’ Race to Develop 5G InfrastructureMore

"Our goal is to maintain American leadership in 5G technology", said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Friday on a call with reporters.

US President Donald Trump said during the press conference that no other country should outcompete the United States in the race to develop 5G networks.

5G data speeds are up to ten times faster than 4G LTE speeds and will eventually help birth new companies and services.

Rosenworcel, a frequent critic of Pai's, applauded the FCC for selling off more high-band spectrum, but said the federal government is writing off mid-band spectrum - which offers lower speeds over longer ranges - potentially costing the United States a competitive advantage.

President Trump shot down the idea of a nationalized 5G network at the White House event on Friday.

"The White House has yet to offer a workable plan for USA leadership", Rosenworcel said.

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The government's "5G Fast Plan" also highlighted its mission to support the widespread development of 5G with a special focus on rural America to help close the digital divide with a $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

One challenge is the lack of US manufacturers of 5G network equipment, an arena where China's Huawei and ZTE are set to dominate. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind.

"Qualcomm is the country's only hope for 5G and 6G leadership and with the FTC about to potentially hobble it, the US will never be a leader, China will", predicted Morehead, a former industry executive. "But the U.S. is focusing 5G efforts on high-band spectrum, while the rest of the world is focusing on mid-band airwaves". The rollout started last week in the US and South Korea but will take years. He also took the opportunity to discuss Huawei.

Amid concerns over Huawei's links to the Chinese government, the FCC is mulling regulations to block the firm from networks in the US. South Korea-based Samsung is offering itself as a global alternative to Chinese equipment manufacturers, but it still lags Huawei and ZTE, as well as Sweden's Ericsson and Finland's Nokia. The FCC is taking very bold action, bolder than theyve ever taken before, to make wireless spectrum available.

In October, the president signed off on a memo directing the creation of a national spectrum strategy for keeping the United States at the forefront of 5G wireless network technology, a move the administration says is vital for the good of the economy and national security. Pai said that proposal is still pending.

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