Does It Matter If China Beats The Us To Build A 5G Network?

Wired takes a look at the stakes in the global competition to deploy the next-generation wireless service.

TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR the next generation of wireless services aren’t even finalized, yet the US and China are already locked in a crucial race to be the first country to deploy a so-called 5G network.

Or at least that’s what both the US government and the wireless industry say. “The United States will not get a second chance to win the global 5G race,” Meredith Attwell Baker, president and CEO of the wireless industry group CTIA, warned in April, when the group released a report concluding that the US trails China and South Korea in preparing for 5G (fifth generation) networks. If that doesn’t change, the report warns, the US economy will suffer.

Full article is HERE.

Still no discussion of 5G limitations to meet rural broadband needs. Millimeter waves planned for 5G implementation are blocked by vegetation requiring a clear line of sight. Millimeter waves have limited range, measured in yards rather than miles. The 5G technology is better suited for population dense urban neighborhoods, than less dense rural communities were users are distributed over broader areas covered in vegetation.

The Sierra hills and valleys covered in vegitation will present evan greater challanges to 5G installers.  When will this all become clear to rural community leaders counting on 5G to bring broadband to their constituents?

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G5 Update: How many mini-cells can a light pole hold?

BYTE-SIZED INTERVIEW: CTIA’S MEREDITH ATTWELL BAKER – The head of the trade group that represents wireless giants like AT&T and Verizon spoke with Margaret about next-generation 5G service and what industry wants from policymakers. Here are a few of the highlights:

– How did you learn about the proposal to nationalize 5G? What was your reaction? We have people all over the city all the time. I think one thing about this is everyone wants to help us build out 5G. We need some help in spectrum and we need some help in infrastructure. We are in a global race. The proposal recognized the right problem and the right focus, it was the wrong solution. But we do appreciate that people are willing to step up with us to make sure we win this global race.

– Where does the U.S. stand in the race for 5G? We’re in a global race with South Korea, Japan and certainly China. I am confident that America has a track record of winning and I’m confident if we put our shoulder to this and get the help that we need in streamlining infrastructure, both the cost and the timeliness it takes to site, and the spectrum bands we need, we will win the race.

– What danger does China pose? China is granting large swaths of spectrum and it’s a national build; they can put their sites wherever they want to whenever they want to. But the ingenuity and economy of the U.S. has won so far, and I think we will win again. I’m not worried.

– What does the industry need on changes on infrastructure policy? These small cells may take an hour to install, but they may take up to a year or two to get permitted. Clearly that needs to change, it needs to be streamlined. And Congress and the administration has a focus on what we need. …There are lot of proposals for us, what is really important is acting. We need to see the action.

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech

There is a lot of pressure being asserted to remove local control of the 5G small cells permitting process. The telcos want permission to put them anywhere they are needed, rather than where people want them. Streetlight poles are the obvious location. The street light pole in front of your house could become the host to an AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile minicell. Each provider digging up the street to bring the backbone fiber to your street light pole. How many mini-cells can a light pole hold?

The Federal Government Shouldn’t Build a 5G Network

The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal on Government control of communications networks:

National security officials reportedly are considering federal funding and construction of a faster, higher capacity nationwide wireless network to counter a similar effort by the Chinese government. But expanding government interference in telecommunications would not advance national security or technological innovation.

[…]

Those in the administration considering such a policy ought to abide the lessons of history.

That is, government intervention in telecommunications has been a major factor for America trailing Asian and European nations in deployment of the most advanced wireless and broadband technologies. Political and regulatory processes always trail the pace of technological change.

A government network, protected from competition, would also be immune from the financial pressures that drive private firms to innovate and maximize efficiency.

Moreover, a government-designed system directs resources into favored technologies, which impedes both competition and innovation.

The federal government shouldn’t be set loose to seize private property to site a new network under the guise of national security. The loss of property rights could, arguably, pose a greater long-term threat to liberty than China’s 5G network.

News of the National Security Council proposal met with swift opposition from Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, who (wisely) stated:

I oppose any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5G network. The main lesson to draw from the wireless sector’s development over the past three decades—including American leadership in 4G—is that the market, not government, is best positioned to drive innovation and investment.

[…]

Read the rest of the article HERE.  Of interest is China’s role in providing equipment to networks the government is trying to secure.  Buying critical network components from China is a huge opportunity for Chinees Intelligence to bake in a digital trojan horse in this hardware.