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Trump announces plans to boost 5G wireless leadership

Oct. 26, 2018

The White House on Thursday revealed that the Trump administration will create a National Spectrum Strategy that will “position the United States to lead in next-generation wireless networks for years to come.”

A statement briefing posted by the White House Thursday said that President Donald Trump has directed the Secretary of Commerce to work with agencies and policymakers on all levels to develop the U.S.’ radio frequency spectrum policy in the years to come. The two key points of that plan are outlined as:

  • The Secretary will report annually to the President on efforts to repurpose spectrum for more efficient and effective use
  • President Trump’s memorandum is also creating a Spectrum Strategy Task Force

The statement quotes Trump saying, “We’re on the verge of new technological revolutions that could improve virtually every aspect of our lives, create vast new wealth for American workers and families, and open up bold, new frontiers in science, medicine, and communication.”

The very first line of the statement sets up the rest by saying, “Leading the Global Race to 5G:’

Thursday’s statement is based around the aforementioned leveraging of spectrum. It advocates for increased network coverage and efficiency with the following points:

  • With the advent of new wireless technologies and the continuously growing demand for data, the spectrum that fuels these networks must be used efficiently and effectively.
  • Fifth-generation (5G) wireless technologies will have higher speeds and greater capacity than ever before, but is only possible with an adequate supply of spectrum.
  • Wireless broadband connectivity brings benefits to nearly every sector of our economy including transportation, agriculture, education, healthcare, and manufacturing.

The statement doesn’t provide a timeline for this National Spectrum Strategy, but does outline what it plans to achieve. The Trump administration goes on to elaborate on how this plan will boost U.S. national security and the military, as well as create jobs and help the economy. The rest of the statement is posted below:

FUELING INNOVATION AND INVESTMENT:  President Trump’s forward-looking spectrum strategy will provide a playbook for developing innovative technologies in the years to come.

  • The Strategy will examine how to improve spectrum management and assess research and development priorities to create new technologies and improve United States competitiveness.
  • The Strategy will provide a comprehensive roadmap for policy makers on all levels, so that we can successfully lead the way to a connected future.
  • President Trump understands that we need a forward-looking approach to managing spectrum that promotes our economic interests while still protecting our national security.

PROTECTING NATIONAL SECURITY AND EQUIPPING OUR MILITARY: President Trump will ensure that our military and Federal agencies have the necessary tools to protect our nation.

  • President Trump’s Memorandum directs federal agencies to report on their current and anticipated spectrum needs.
  • In the modern era, national security is dependent on technological superiority, as the military and Federal agencies rely on spectrum to carry out their missions.
  • The military and Federal agencies use spectrum for a range of activities, including radar detection of threats, monitoring severe weather, and management of national airspace.

CREATING JOBS AND IMPROVING THE ECONOMY: President Trump is committed to enabling emerging technologies that will better the lives of all Americans.

  • The President has directed a report on how new technologies will impact spectrum supply.
  • Spectrum fuels industries that create high wage jobs every year and new technologies.
  • Wireless technology enables opportunities across the country, including rural America.
  • The Strategy will play an important role in furthering American leadership in space and commercial space exploration.

This isn’t the first time the White House has been sourced in 5G developments. In January of this year, Axios reported that Trump’s National Security Council discussed the possibility of building a 5G network that would guard against Chinese spying on U.S. mobile devices. But that idea quickly received harsh criticism from analysts all all five FCC commissioners, along with Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who said, “I oppose any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5G network. Any federal effort to construct a nationalized 5G network would be a costly and counterproductive distraction from the policies we need to help the United States win the 5G future.” In March, Trump blocked a proposed acquisition of San Diego-based Qualcomm by Singapore-based Broadcom, citing national security concerns and Qualcomm’s importance in 5G development. And less than a month ago on Sept. 28, the White House held its own 5G Summit that brought together industry executives, government agency leaders, lawmakers and Trump’s advisors to discuss policies and strategy around the next generation of wireless technology.

Along with the National Spectrum Strategy statement, the White House doubled-down on 5G Thursday by posting a piece from Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios with the headline of, “America Will Win the Global Race to 5G,” in which Kratsios echoes the sentiments of the Spectrum statement.

It appears the Trump administration is certainly all-in on 5G. Stay tuned.

About the Author

Mike Hockett | Former Editor

Mike Hockett was Editor in Chief for EE from September 2018 to Sept. 2019. Previously he served as editor for two manufacturing trade publications: Industrial Distribution, and Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation. He began in sports writing for a trio of newspapers in Wisconsin and Iowa and earned a BA degree in print journalism from UW-Eau Claire.

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