The Trump’s administration is looking at options to take over a portion of the United States’ mobile network to prevent China from snooping, Axios has reported.
The documents accessed by the outlet say that the US needs a centralised nationwide 5G network within three years.
According to the documents, the first option that the Trump administration is looking at is to build a single, super-fast mobile network that it could then rent to national carriers. This would mean government ownership of a part of the communication infrastructure that has historically been privately-owned.
The second option involves the development of 5G network by multiple wireless providers in the US, who can then compete with one another for services. This option, however, is unlikely to be selected because it would need more funding and longer time for implementation.
“China has achieved a dominant position in the manufacture and operation of network infrastructure,” and “China is the dominant malicious actor in the information domain,” the documents read. The officials responsible for formulating the policy note in the documents that “not building the network puts us at a permanent disadvantage to China in the information domain.”
According to CNBC, the Trump administration wants to work with the industry to figure out the best way to build the network.
"We want to build a network so the Chinese can't listen to your calls. We have to have a secure network that doesn't allow bad actors to get in. We also have to ensure the Chinese don't take over the market and put every non-5G network out of business," the channel quoted an official as saying.
A power point presentation, part of the memo obtained by Axios, says the play will be a digital counter to China’s One Belt One Road Initiative as it can be exported to other countries to protect them against Chinese threat and coercion.
As the world is moving towards a unified standard for 5G mobile technologies, China wants to have a greater share of the intellectual property behind it to increase its global influence and improve its bargaining power.
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