President Trump's newly appointed Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios on Thursday criticized Chinese surveillance and censorship in his first major international remarks, ramping up the Trump administration's intensifying battle to beat out China's fast-growing tech industry. Kratsios, who was confirmed as the White House's top tech adviser in August, spent the bulk of a keynote speech in Portugal urging Europe and the U.S. to "embrace innovation and defend our free system against our adversaries."
China has officially started researching sixth-generation telecoms technology, state media reported on Thursday, a move it described as aiming to promote the latest wireless innovation. Chinese government ministries and research institutes met this week in a “kick-off” meeting to establish a national 6G technology research and development group, according to a report by the Science and Technology Daily, which is published by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.
The superfast service is now available to consumers in 50 Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, with prices for monthly plans ranging from 128 yuan ($18; £14) to 599 yuan, according to state media Xinhua. More than 130,000 5G base stations will be activated by the end of the year to support the 5G network, the government said in the statement. This would make it one of the world's largest 5G deployments, it said.
The United States and Poland believe suppliers of 5G network equipment should be rigorously evaluated for foreign government control, a joint declaration signed on Monday said, as Washington pressures allies to exclude China from 5G networks.
As 5G wireless technology is slowly making its way across the globe, many government agencies and organizations advise that there is no reason to be alarmed about the effects of radiofrequency waves on our health. But some experts strongly disagree.
Emerging economies should not sit out investing in 5G just because the US and China are competing head on in the next-generation mobile network technology, as the ultrafast telecoms infrastructure will bring benefits to all, according to a Cisco executive. “[Smaller countries] sometimes don’t feel like they can win. But emerging economies can benefit … they [should] invest and compete,” Guy Diedrich, global innovation officer at Cisco, said in an interview last week in Hong Kong. “We have to change the notion that 5G is a sprint and only one winner is going to emerge.”
Closing the broadband gap has proved tricky because private internet providers often don’t have financial incentives to build broadband infrastructure over long distances in sparsely populated areas. Some technologists believe the super-fast next generation of wireless technology, 5G, could provide a solution. But there are many skeptics who worry that the same business model issues will leave rural America out, possibly widening the digital divide.
The bill, from U.S. Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, presses the secretary of state to boost the "representation and leadership" of the United States at international telecommunication organizations that create standards for the 5G cellular network. That will be necessary to combat attempts by China to gain influence in those groups, the legislation says.
Despite a lot of press in recent months about threats that China-based communications equipment maker Huawei may pose to the developing global 5G communications ecosystem because of the company’s close ties to the Chinese government, the U.S. is continuing to lead the world in 5G technology innovation, panelists at a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) event said on July 10.
The U.S.-China space race accelerated with Amazon applying to launch 3,236 5G and 6G satellites into orbit, following the U.S. Federal Commission Communication’s (FCC’s) approval for SpaceX launching 4,425 satellites. President Trump responded in February to China beating America to launch the first 5G broadband networks, in the same manner President John F. Kennedy responded to the Soviet Union’s beating America to launch the first Sputnik satellite. Trump declared an all-out space race to dominate the future for 5th and 6th generation mobile technology.