Access and Feeds

5G: Rollout Should be a Commercial and Political Imperative

By Dick Weisinger

The rollout of 5G and Fiber Broadband should be a “commercial and political imperative” for the United States, says PwC in a recent industry five-year outlook report.

5G is the fifth generation of network platforms. Since the first mobile phone network specification in 1982, there has been an update roughly every nine years. The current platform, 4G LTE, was rolled out starting in 2010. Rollouts of 5G were becoming more frequent in 2021, but this year, 2022, is the year that we expect to see a number of large 5G applications to be introduced. The big advantages of 5G should be lower latency, increased bandwidth, and faster speeds.

There is currently a global struggle between countries for who can control the ‘mindshare’ around the new technology. The three big players are China, the US and the EU. Many analysts foresee that the countries that hold the greater market share of 5G hardware and technology will have greater control about setting future technology direction and also be best positioned to utilize the benefits of 5G. But some people worry that hardware sourced from China could potentially provide a way for the Chinese government to engage in global surveillance. In some sense the struggle over the rollouts and the hardware used for 5G has become a game of international politics.

Rumana Ahmed, national security consultant, wrote that “technologies and infrastructures reliant on insecure 5G networks in particular have great potential to harm democracy. A central question for our time is how successful democracies can be maintained and strengthened as the internet pervades more and more of citizens’ daily lives. Focusing on 5G will have the most immediate impact—and curtail the worst results.”

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