What is 5G:
China wins the 5G race, admit U.S. officials. However, before going into detail we need to discuss what is 5G? Many developing countries are in the race to develop 5G technology at a fast pace. 5G is the fifth generation of mobile wireless system that will enable users to communicate through fast and reliable network. It is in the developing stage and is not widely available. Even in developed countries, it is available in specific areas. However, China has taken the lead by making widespread availability in the country on Nov 1, 2019. Not only they made it available nationwide, but China has announced to launch research and development effort into 6G network as well. Currently, 4G is a widely used network in the world.
See Article about 5G: http://onetechsip.com/2019/12/23/what-is-5g-the-key-information-you-should-know/
U.S. Concerns about Chinese 5G:
In an interesting development regarding 5G, U.S. has admitted that China has won the race in 5G technology. China has a clear dominance in the Technology sector. However, its dominance is now acknowledged by the U.S. According to U.S Security experts, China has the best infrastructure of 5G technology. They have warned the U.S. and its allies about China’s dominance and hoped to get a quicker response in this field. According to Tom Ridge, the former US Secretary of Homeland Security and Governor of Pennsylvania, in a conference call to Global Cyber Policy Watch said, “ The challenge we have in the development of the 5G network, at least in the early stage, is the dominance of the Huawei firm”.
5G Developments in U.S
U.S. Department of Defense has already allocated $500 million budget for the development of end-to-end software and other technologies. Though experts think that this budget is insufficient and is too late for the U.S. However, according to some experts the U.S. still has opportunities in this field. According to Adam Segal, director of the digital and cyberspace policy program at CFR said, “There will be a tendency to cast these developments as another sign that the United States is losing the race for the next generation of communication technologies”. However, Segal is still hopeful that U.S. can dominate this field. He said,” The United States still has strengths to play, U.S. companies can dominate the application and services that run over 5G”. He thinks the U.S. is still in the race, and though China is first in the race, but competition is not over yet.
U.S. Innovative Strategy
Innovation is the key to success in technological advancement. U.S. takes the lead in innovative technologies. Paul Triolo, geo-technology practice head at Eurasia Group thinks that the innovative capacity of the U.S. gives it an advantage. U.S. companies have started working on developing some killer applications of 5G like autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, and virtual reality. Although China has taken the lead to roll out 5G technology first, the U.S. will roll out with enough breadth and scope that will take the U.S. on top. According to Eric Ross, chief investment strategist at Cascend Securities said, “U.S. corporate sector like Google and Facebook is well equipped and better to develop more advance services to fulfill the future generations demand of more bandwidth and faster speed. Segal also suggested U.S. companies to focus on software development.
5G Transmission System in China and U.S
According to Ross, the main difference between China and the U.S. is the transmission system. China uses the lower band 5G spectrum, which is more consistent and have large coverage, whereas the U.S. uses a high-band spectrum for 5G. He proposes that the U.S. should switch to the mid-band spectrum which is currently in use by military and weather forecast purposes. He also stressed that it is not that China is using better technology, but they are using a better strategy. He also said that more investment into domestic technological manufacturing is critical for the U.S. to take advantage.
According to Ross, China has won a definite advantage by starting a 6G transition. China has a large customer base spread worldwide, building that market will give them experience in developing future products.
We have to see what strategy U.S. adopts and how their innovative technology gives them an advantage in the future.