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US is Now Tyingwith China in 5G Race’: Report

U.S. companies are looking more to Washington to help them compete with their Chinese counterparts

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FILE - Attendees wait in line for a 5G exhibition at the Qualcomm booth during CES 2019 consumer electronics show, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Jan. 10, 2019 (Representational image). VOA

In the U.S. economic battle with China, the Chinese government is often portrayed as a kingmaker, making large investments in research and paving the way for Chinese companies to thrive.

China, it turns out, is a good foil for U.S. industries as they ask the U.S. government to do more to help them compete globally.

Two new reports out this week, one from the U.S. wireless industry and the other from the U.S. semiconductor industry, show how U.S. companies are looking more to Washington to help them compete with their Chinese counterparts.

CTIA, which represents the U.S. wireless industry, found in its report that the U.S. is now tied with China when it comes to “its 5G readiness.” 5G is the high-speed wireless network that is being built around the world.

Last year, the U.S. was in third place, trailing China and South Korea, respectively, according to CTIA.

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FILE – Visitors look at a display for 5G wireless technology from Chinese technology firm Huawei at the PT Expo in Beijing, Sept. 26, 2018. VOA

US tied with China in 5G race

What has propelled U.S. firms? Increased industry investment in 5G networks plus “government action to reform infrastructure policies and make more spectrum available to wireless operators,” according to CTIA.

The stakes are said to be high in the global race to 5G. The first nation to the broadest 5G network will attract more investment and create more jobs than countries that lag behind, CTIA research has found. The U.S. was first to 4G deployment, which led to more than $100 billion added to the nation’s gross domestic product, according to CTIA.

But it isn’t clear that first is always best.

The United Kingdom was seen to be behind other countries in its 4G deployment, and the “U.K. operators launched when they needed it, and they were able to capitalize,” said Caroline Gabriel, a principal analyst at Analysys Mason, a telecom research firm.

“I really question if it matters,” she said. “There was a lot of tub-thumping.”

CTIA recommends that an upcoming Trump administration “National Spectrum Strategy” include a “five-year schedule of auctions that puts more high-, mid- and low-band spectrum in the hands of America’s wireless industry.” In November, the FCC launched its high-band spectrum auction for 5G.

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A close-up of the Infineon microcontroller kit XMC 4700 is pictured at an exhibition during the German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon’s annual shareholder meeting in Munich, Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

More federal investment urged

For its part, the Semiconductor Industry Association, in its report, called for the U.S. government to increase its investment in semiconductor research and release the cap on green cards for qualified candidates.

The U.S. semiconductor industry is the world leader in semiconductors, commanding nearly half of the $469 billion global market in 2018, the trade association said. But China has increased its investment in semiconductor research as it tries to lessen its reliance on importing semiconductors.

“Overseas governments, such as China’s, are seeking to challenge U.S. leadership by making significant investments to achieve breakthroughs in semiconductor technology, artificial intelligence and quantum computing,” the SIA report said.

SIA calls for tripling federal investment in semiconductor research over the next five years to $5 billion annually and doubling federal funding for semiconductor research to $40 billion annually.

Remove green card caps

It also calls on the U.S. to remove caps on green cards for qualified graduates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to meet short-term demand for talent. It also calls for the U.S. to boost its federal funding to $1.5 billion annually for STEM education, a 50 percent increase.

ALSO READ: US will not Send High-Level Officials to Attend China’s Belt and Road Summit in Beijing

John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO, said in a statement that U.S. semiconductor leadership is thanks to the strength of its research, workforce and its ability to sell its products around the world.

“Congress and the administration should enact policies that reinforce these pillars and keep America at the head of the class in semiconductor technology,” he said. (VOA)

Next Story

EU Countries may Exclude High-Risk 5G Providers Under New Guidelines

EU countries can restrict or exclude high-risk 5G providers from core parts of their telecoms network

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A 5G logo is displayed on a screen outside the showroom at Huawei campus in Shenzhen city, China's Guangdong province. VOA

EU countries can restrict or exclude high-risk 5G providers from core parts of their telecoms network infrastructure under new science and technology guidelines to be issued by the European Commission next week, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The non-binding recommendations are part of a set of measures aimed at addressing cybersecurity risks at national and bloc-wide level, in particular concerns related to world No. 1 player Huawei Technologies.

The guidelines do not identify any particular country or company, the people said.

“Stricter security measures will apply for high-risk vendors for sensitive parts of the network or the core infrastructure,” one of the people said.

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Australia’s ban on Chinese telecoms giant Huawei’s involvement in its future 5G networks and its crackdown on foreign covert interference are testing Beijing’s efforts to project its power overseas. Pixabay

EU digital economy chief Margrethe Vestager is expected to announce the recommendations on Jan. 29.

Other measures include urging EU countries to audit or even issue certificates for high-risk suppliers.

Also Read- Amazon Employees Risk Their Jobs by Criticizing Amazon’s Record on Climate Change

EU governments will also be advised to diversify their suppliers and not depend on one company and to use technical and non-technical factors to assess them.

Europe is under pressure from the United States to ban Huawei equipment on concerns that its gear could be used by China for spying. Huawei, which competes with Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson has denied the allegations. (VOA)