New House bill aims to make US more prominent in 5G space, combat China

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A new House bill proposed by Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul seeks to make the U.S. more prominent in 5G networking -- and specifically to deflect Chinese influence.

HTC 5G Hub


If approved, the bill would push the Secretary of State to increase the "representation and leadership" of the U.S. at international telecommunication organizations setting 5G standards. The State Department would have to employ existing funding for the task.

"China's majority control of the world's 5G networks, interconnected devices and cloud storage is a risk we cannot accept," McCaul told Reuters. "We have to show up and compete with them."

The bill is co-sponsored by Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, also from Texas.

Chinese firms like Huawei have reportedly sent large contingents to standards body meetings, hoping to establish their own footprint in 5G. The Trump administration has actively opposed this and the use of Chinese 5G infrastructure in general, worried that it could compromise security domestically and abroad. U.S. companies are technically banned from buying Huawei telecoms equipment without special permission.

The Department of Defense issued an April report highlighting not just security concerns, but the possibility of weakened market competition and higher supply chain costs.

In May a bipartisan bill proposed outright banning rural carriers from using Huawei or ZTE equipment for 5G, simultaneously extending as much as $700 million in grants to encourage alternatives. The Rural Wireless Association has argued that real-world costs could end up between $800 million and $1 billion.

Apple is likely keeping an eye on government proceedings as it works toward its first 5G iPhone, expected in 2020. The company is even thought to be developing its own 5G modem, but that may not arrive until 2022.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    Could Apple pick up these free $700,000,000 grants?
  • Reply 2 of 12
    ZooNetZooNet Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    Pretty sure you have to have a product in order to be leader in any market -
    cornchipGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 3 of 12
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,833member
    Could Apple pick up these free $700,000,000 grants?
    No, it's specifically for rural carriers to replace their existing Huawei 4G telecom infrastructure.
    1STnTENDERBITSchasm
  • Reply 4 of 12
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,061member
    5G in the U.S from a strategic perspective isn't all down to the current administration's errors, although they have done more harm than good. The errors though are there and glaring.

    Now it is trying wild west tactics and doing even more harm to allies as it tries to bully countries into following U.S orders.

    There's a basic rundown here:

    https://moneymaven.io/mishtalk/economics/uk-philippines-side-with-huawei-why-is-the-us-behind-on-5g-7EP1sCvvGECO1v7CpnxiWg/
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 5 of 12
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,124member
    This initiative is a sad commentary on what happens when politics precludes proficiency. Rather than putting forth an offensive initiative that demonstrates the superiority of US-conceived 5G technology the US has deployed a chaff cloud against rival organizations/states that are taking the offensive on the development of a new 5G standard. This is a rather crude and neanderthal reaction played from a position of weakness and the dilution of any semblance of a coherent strategy. In all likelihood US participation in a standardization effort would be focused on slowing down the approval process and giving US-based organizations greater influence over the standardization process and  licensing models.
    cornchipGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 6 of 12
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,361member
    dewme said:
    This initiative is a sad commentary on what happens when politics precludes proficiency. Rather than putting forth an offensive initiative that demonstrates the superiority of US-conceived 5G technology the US has deployed a chaff cloud against rival organizations/states that are taking the offensive on the development of a new 5G standard. This is a rather crude and neanderthal reaction played from a position of weakness and the dilution of any semblance of a coherent strategy. In all likelihood US participation in a standardization effort would be focused on slowing down the approval process and giving US-based organizations greater influence over the standardization process and  licensing models.

    Legislating progress...
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 7 of 12
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,643member
    "Crude and neanderthal" ... might just be me, but I'm picking up on a theme that resonates in many other areas of US life ...

    More seriously, this House bill has little purpose other than to try and "shine a light" on the issue, which will hopefully garner some commitments from US companies. I'm a little unclear on how China's dominance of the makers of 5G equipment is more of a threat than their existing dominance of the makers of existing telecom equipment used by LTE, but certainly there could be more to that than I'm aware of.

    America doesn't have net neutrality anymore anyway, so the country is (sadly) in no position to take a leadership role in any aspect of the internet at this point in time.
    n2itivguyGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 8 of 12
    croprcropr Posts: 954member
    ZooNet said:
    Pretty sure you have to have a product in order to be leader in any market -
    Indeed.  And the suppliers of 5G are Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia: 2 European and 1 Chinese company
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 12
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,061member
    chasm said:
    "Crude and neanderthal" ... might just be me, but I'm picking up on a theme that resonates in many other areas of US life ...

    More seriously, this House bill has little purpose other than to try and "shine a light" on the issue, which will hopefully garner some commitments from US companies. I'm a little unclear on how China's dominance of the makers of 5G equipment is more of a threat than their existing dominance of the makers of existing telecom equipment used by LTE, but certainly there could be more to that than I'm aware of.

    America doesn't have net neutrality anymore anyway, so the country is (sadly) in no position to take a leadership role in any aspect of the internet at this point in time.
    The U.S miscalculated strategically and its leadership in communications is waning as a result. Huawei began 5G R&D 10 years ago, it has amassed a vital 5G patent portfolio and taken some risks (polar codes for example). It has invested more than any single competitor and is reaping the rewards of that planning. The U.S is by far a bit player here but it has nowhere near the kind of influence it demands.

    The strategic miscalculation is not the fault of Trump. The management of the situation is wholly his fault, though and has brought about an abrupt right turn in approach from onlookers worldwide.

    As a result, plans are already afoot to drastically reduce dependency on U.S policy and technology specifically.

    Therefore, leadership will wane in other areas too and no amount of persuasion from future presidents will radically change anything. The damage has been done and in a major way. To be fair, areas like the EU were already planning a change in course to become more technologically self sufficient. Trump has simply made governments accelerate their plans.

    This means that influence via standards committees will also be harder to exercise.

    A decade ago there was debate about the U.S wanting to 'control' the internet. Today, it still wants to 'control' things but just doesn't seem to have any scruples about how it achieves its goals.

    Time to start 6G planning.
    1STnTENDERBITSDAalsethGeorgeBMaccornchip
  • Reply 10 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,953member
    How about $700Million to help rural America gain full and modern, state of the art access to the internet -- rather than conducting a non-shooting war against a foreign country and one of the world leaders in that technology?

    The former benefits America and the American people.   The latter benefits politicians.  
    While we never seem to have money to benefit the country or its people, we always seem to have money for wars.
    cornchip
  • Reply 11 of 12
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,295member
    Yeah, way to go: government industrial policy has worked great. Especially in tech.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,953member
    Yeah, way to go: government industrial policy has worked great. Especially in tech.
    Actually, it did in a similar situation.
    100 years ago America was being electrified -- but it was focused on heavily populated urban areas and the sparsely populated rural areas were neglected because it just wasn't profitable to string lines out there.   But, that was solved by the government's TVA program and all of America got electricity.

    Today's cable/internet access are in a similar situation and another TVA authority is needed.
    But that is not this proposal -- which is merely an extension of Trump's $12Billion handout to farmers to keep them quiet about how his trade war is affecting them.
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