America believes 5G network will cut China spying on phone calls

A 5G logo display during a Qualcomm press event for CES 2018 in Las Vegas Nev. on Jan. 8 2018

Documents obtained by Axios showed that Trump's national security team had proposed a couple of options, including one where the U.S. government funds and constructs a single network, aimed at protecting United States networks from Chinese cyberattacks.

The alternative, according to Axios, is that wireless providers in the USA build their own 5G networks that would compete with one another - an option the document said could be costly and more time-consuming, but would be less commercially disruptive to the industry.

In a separate report, Reuters confirmed the plan from a senior administration official who said it was "six to eight months away from being considered by the president himself".

USTelecom, another wireless trade group, said "there is nothing that would slam the breaks more quickly on our hard-won momentum to be the leader in the global race for 5G network deployment more quickly than the federal government stepping-in to build those networks".

But the proposal - which would run counter to the longstanding U.S. policy of relying on private telecom networks - drew immediate rebukes from the industry and even from United States regulatory officials.

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A leading trade group, with members including AT&T and Verizon, pushed back on the plans saying it sees a competitive marketplace as the best option for ensuring U.S. leadership in 5G technology.

The U.S. government is exploring the possibility of building a secure 5G network amid concerns about China, news outlet Axios reported, citing sensitive documents it has obtained. One of the slides reportedly describes the move as a digital version of China's One Belt, One Road Initiative, which includes the massive China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

BERNSTEIN/REUTERS/NewscomSomebody in the National Security Council wants to use some nebulous threat from China as an excuse for the feds to seize control of the nation's mobile network.

An investigation into Huawei and ZTE Corp took place in 2012, examining whether the devices created by the Chinese companies could allow foreign espionage and threaten American infrastructure.

The document, first reported by Axios last night, called for the US government to effectively nationalize a portion of the telecom sector - a radical departure from current policy - in a bid to combat Chinese influence.

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China early this month warned that American protectionism was on the rise after congressional documents showed that Chinese tech giant Huawei's designs on the USA market were causing national security concerns in Washington.

The telecom industry, which is powerful in Washington, is already working on 5G.

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.

"It is necessary and possible to build a secure, high-performance, world-leading 5G network platform by the end of the first term", the memo states.

"I oppose any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5G network", FCC commissioner Ajit Pai said Monday. "We have no doubt that America will lead the 5G revolution".

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