Mobile Devices

In order to beat China in 5G deployment, US must act fast, advocacy group warns

14 January 2020

5G Action Now, a newly formed advocacy organization established to fight for rapid deployment of 5G technology, said that it is urgent that the U.S. government take an active interest in the development of 5G deployment in order to compete with the Chinese.

5G Action Now highlighted a recent study where 5G once fully deployed by 2035 will enable $13.2 trillion of global economic output, supporting 22 million jobs and opening a host of new possibilities in electronics and fields outside of communications.

The issue today is if China or the U.S. will take the lead in deploying 5G technology. Although China was one of the last of the major countries to begin commercialized 5G rollout, ABI Research and other analysts believe the country will quickly dominate deployments this year as it is already ahead in terms of infrastructure development for 5G technology.

ABI said China has 5G deployed in 50 cities even before the official launch. Chinese operators expect to have 143 million subscribers at the end of 2020, representing 70% of total connections worldwide. By contrast, U.S. operators will reach about 28 million subscribers by the end of next year and by 2025 China will amass 1.1 billion 5G subscribers with the U.S. at 318 million, according to ABI Research.

"The Chinese understand how important 5G is to America's economy, national security, and global leadership," said Mike Rogers, a former Congressional Intelligence Committee chairman and chairman of 5G Action Now. "That's why Beijing poured massive subsidies into Huawei, worked to undercut international competition, and waged a campaign of unprecedented economic espionage to dominate 5G. It is crucial that we don't allow China to outspend and outplay us on the 5G field."

The organization supports the Federal Communications Commission’s goal of holding an auction this year for the allocation of the C-band, the frequency needed for more 5G services to be implemented.

"Ensuring American leadership in 5G is not about that next killer app or faster download speeds. It is about securing and strengthening our country's economic future," Rogers said. "We, as a country, need to have a critical conversation about how to prioritize the race for 5G. Leadership of 5G and its rollout is not a Republican or a Democratic issue, it's an American issue. If we cede victory in this race to Beijing, no one wins."

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