Information recently leaked about a plan for a national 5G network run by the U.S. government and perhaps leased out to carriers. In another article, it was stated that the government has backed away from saying they will run the network.
This is not surprising to us. We doubt the government would run the network in any major capacity. Why? A president who boasts about his deregulatory successes and won an election by promising to undo a government takeover of healthcare doesn’t take over the telecom industry.
In fact, it can’t.
In the leaked presentation, the authors talk about a race to 5G, one, China is winning. There is no one in our government or the private sector who thinks the feds can do anything better than independent companies and certainly not faster.
The presentation is fascinating as it shows the government really gets telecom. It acknowledges the close ties between Huawei and the Chinese government, including a $100 billion line of credit.
These are all the points you should know from the document:
- Huawei and ZTE get 70% of Chinese government telecom spending
- Europe led 3G, the US, 4G , China is poised to lead 5G
- The leader in 5G will likely also lead in Masive IoT, machine learning and AI
- The government can set network standards for 5G
- $200B will be required for 5G fiber deployment
- The goal is to build a secure 5G network in three years
- The $700B defense budget does little for people in terms of IT
- Even the DoD is unprepared for the information age
- The 5G revolution is more like the invention of the Gutenberg press than a move from 3G to 4G
- We have the ability to secure a 5G network but added assurance can be gained by creating an IT and telecom manufacturing base
- We must be sure the digital future protects our citizens – similar to the way the oceans help us with our physical security
- We must then share this technology with our allies to secure the free world
- An attack on our people or companies should be met with a fierce response. It must identify and and respond to the attack
- A secured, resilient, layered 5G network will transform how the Joint Force operates
- Cost dictates that the military and government utilizes these networks instead of building its own
- China’s most recent 5 year plan will help it win the AI arms race meaning they will dominate in 10 critical US industries such as robotics, fintech and commercial aviation
- Google building an AI research center in China is a concern relating to China’s dominance in this field
- A secure, high performance, world leading network needs to be completed by the first term
- We must work with our allies and in doing so, we will ensure the US is able to grow at 3%, creating millions of new jobs along the way
In short, even if the U.S. isn’t building the network itself, this document shows the government is extremely concerned about not being beaten by China. The country and its allies need to act fast to become the leader in 5G and the associated technologies that rely on it.
While the U.S. will not build a network on its own, what it will do is work with industry via funding and tax breaks to boost spending on R&D and deployment of 5G networks. In addition, it will work with states and it’s own assets to provide rights of way and other items needed to get more fiber in the ground quickly.
Companies like Cisco and Ericsson will get government access at the highest level to pull this off quickly. Israeli companies – existing and new will benefit handsomely from this deployment.
Trump may mention this in his State of the Union speech along with his overall discussion of rebuilding U.S. infrastructure. Expect him to unveil a massive budget to pull all of this off.