Skip to Content
Smart cities

The Trump administration says it wants to nationalize the 5G network

January 29, 2018

President Donald Trump’s national security team is considering how best to build a national 5G network. A senior administration official confirmed the initiative and provided Axios with a PowerPoint outlining some of the proposal.

The motivation: The primary reason cited is to stay competitive with (and guard US networks against) China. The document argues that a strong 5G network is the gateway to advancement in technologies like self-driving cars and virtual reality.

The network: The report outlines two possible paths for developing 5G:

1. A network built and funded by the US government
2. A system built up of networks constructed by mobile carriers

FCC chairman Ajit Pai has already expressed his opposition to the idea of a government-run network. Companies like AT&T and T Mobile, meanwhile, have been investing heavily in the area for some time. Heck, even Facebook has gotten in on the action. But Axios reports that the White House is leaning toward option one. That would be a massive departure for an administration that has billed itself as keen to reduce the role of government in private industry.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks

One insider says the company’s current staffing isn’t able to sustain the platform.

Technology that lets us “speak” to our dead relatives has arrived. Are we ready?

Digital clones of the people we love could forever change how we grieve.

How to befriend a crow

I watched a bunch of crows on TikTok and now I'm trying to connect with some local birds.

Starlink signals can be reverse-engineered to work like GPS—whether SpaceX likes it or not

Elon said no thanks to using his mega-constellation for navigation. Researchers went ahead anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.