September 17, 2020 – The best way for the U.S. to catch up with China in the 5G race is to enable spectrum sharing in the crucial mid-band spectrum, said Eric Schmidt, former CEO and former executive chairman of Google.
“China’s already won this race. We’re definitely playing catch up. It’s a national emergency,” Schmidt said Wednesday at INCOMPAS’s virtual conference.
Moreover, the 5G contest contrasts with previous wireless generations, where the U.S. led. China is already the leader in domestic consumption for 5G devices. It is anticipating 120 million 5G users by the end of 2020, he said.
Schmidt, who is currently chair of the Defense Department’s Defense Innovation Advisory Board, said that the pentagon cares about 5G because of national autonomy and national interest.
“You really can’t build the kind of anticipated defense systems that allow for autonomy plus essentially peer level communications and control without advances in 5G. At the moment, all of those advances are occurring in China. Not good.”
China’s 5G strategy was to take 200 megahertz within the crucial mid-band spectrum of between 3 and 6 GigaHertz (GHz). At the moment, these frequencies are seen as the most desirable block of spectrum.
But China doled out this precious beachfront property to three telecom companies without any requirements that they build out their networks.
The biggest thing preventing the U.S. from doing the same is that the United States has key military technologies and naval radar systems that are occupying those spaces.
Schmidt estimated it would take 10 years to clear the space or redesign the systems. That’s why he proposed using the existing dynamic spectrum and “some sort of wholesale model to build out the network quickly.”
The White House, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which controls federal frequencies (including those of the military), have not been about to agree on this sharing.
But Schmidt said that the Defense Department is already committed to spectrum sharing going forward.
Using this sharing model, Schmidt estimated that the U.S. could have a viable 5G network within two to three years in most city and suburban areas.
The U.S. has a pattern of having the FCC auction off spectrum to the highest bidder, in part because of the high revenues it produces for the Treasury Department, and the competition it encourages among providers, Schmidt said.
But he said that this model is flawed because it is a less efficient use of spectrum.
“Everyone is organized around auctioning because they like the revenue, without understanding that if you create this sharing model, you’ll create far, far more money in terms of sharing revenue, but also in terms of gross revenue because everyone gets more productive.”
Instead, he suggested that the Defense Department keep the spectrum and “issue an [request for bids] to have a dedicated national security network with a dual use that would be commercial on a wholesale basis, with a buildout requirement.”
Schmidt suggested using the Citizens’ Broadband Radio Service to apply last mile wireless and using these technologies on a fixed basis, terming this the “best engineering compromise for now.”
Google, Reliant On Success of 5G, Says It Wants Government-Funded Test Beds for Open RAN
Company says that the next generation of its products depend on 5G progress.
WASHINGTON, October 20, 2021 — Google made its case for regulators to make room for greater public-private collaboration in the wake of 5G and more research into open radio access network technologies.
Speaking at the Federal Communications Bar Association’s “What’s New and Next in Wireless” session on Tuesday, Michael Purdy from Google’s product and policy team emphasized Google’s interest in the emerging 5G landscape, but wants a “collaborative environment” for innovation.
“5G is exciting because of Google’s products depend on 5G,” he said. “[Our] products can’t come to market without it.” Google’s recent product launches include smart-home technologies. Purdy says their products’ benefits are enhanced as 5G is deployed.
Google, like the technology sector at large, is building on the innovation that the “app economy” produced using existing 4G technology and plans to expand their software capabilities with 5G. “The app economy benefited consumers,” Purdy says. “Our lifestyles are going to depend on 5G.” For telehealth, “real time medical advice needs low latency [and] high speeds.”
However, Google hopes for better regulatory conditions during 5G deployment. “We haven’t been as focused on the FCC [for guidance] . . . we want stability to determine spectrum policy.”
Purdy said the company hopes to work collaboratively with government to find solutions for wider 5G deployment. “[We] want to know what position the government takes in creating an open RAN environment.”
The company said it wants government funded-test beds for open RAN, research into development to ensure that “the downside costs are defrayed.” In overcoming these challenges to 5G deployment, Purdy said Google wants the government to foster a “collaborative environment” to develop open RAN. “We don’t want government picking winners and losers in the innovation process” he said.
Purdy added that spectrum sharing between licensed and unlicensed users “can be good for consumers and for industry.”
The Federal Communications Commission has pushed for ways to develop open RAN to minimize network security risk, as the movement has gained significant momentum. FCC Acting Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has described open RAN as having “extraordinary potential for our economy and national security.”
Huawei Avoids Network Security Questions, Pushes 5G Innovation
Huawei’s CTO avoided questions about concerns over its network infrastructure security as countries ban its products.
WASHINGTON, October 19, 2021 — Huawei’s chief technology officer did not address questions Monday about the company’s network security practices during a session on how 5G drives economic growth, but said the focus should be on the evolutionary technology instead.
Paul Scanlan, Huawei’s CTO in the carrier business group, focused his presentation at the Economist Impact Innovation@Work conference on the promise of 5G technology and ignored concerns about network safety.
“We can service more customers with 5G” to start bridging the digital divide, he said. The pandemic has given the company an insight into customer behavior to better channel its data traffic needs. “5G performs better for the types of services we use now” he says, such as video streaming and user-generated content.
Scanlan avoided specific questions about his company’s technology and steered the conversation toward providing faster speeds for the health care industry. “Give me some use instances where the company has introduced 5G and helped companies be efficient” asked the moderator, Ludwig Siegele. “I’d like to stick on the health care sector, that’s more topical as you can imagine,” Scanlan responded.
“People are missing [innovation in 5G] because of geopolitical issues around the world,” said Scanlan. “Being able to collect the data and analyze it is where the business benefit lies . . . 5G adoption through the [standardized network] ecosystem is very important and we see this with 5G” for interoperability with other companies and providers.
Huawei’s promotion of their telecommunications products continues as the U.S. maintains national security sanctions against the tech giant. The impact of U.S. sanctions results a drop in sales for the company in 2021. The FCC has also recommended that Huawei’s equipment be listed as “high risk” to U.S. network security. Huawei told the FCC it cannot show the company’s equipment is a threat to U.S. networks.
Huawei’s global head of cybersecurity said this summer that President Joe Biden‘s executive order banning investments in Chinese companies is a “policy misstep” that will not only lose the U.S. a huge market, but will just make the company more self-sufficient.
Celebrating Progress on 5G, the FCC’s Brendan Carr Urges Broadband Mapping
5G crusader Commissioner Brendan Carr voiced pride in the FCC’s focus on 5G over the past four years
WASHINGTON, October 15, 2021–Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr on Friday celebrated U.S. progress in 5G wireless investment and urged the completion of the agency’s broadband mapping initiative.
Speaking a the Free State Foundation gala luncheon, Carr argued that the United States has progressed in its 5G investments and is catching up to foreign networks. ”Years ago we imaged the U.S. would be left behind in 5G,” he said.
He touted his and former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s efforts to “remove the red tape.” Enabling the private sector has paid off, he said: The U.S. has jumped 20 places on the country internet speed index, signaling the installation of more robust U.S. 5G networks.
Further, the FCC should complete its broadband mapping process and take caution with the federal money allocated toward broadband deployment, he said, adding that he asked the FCC earlier this year to complete its map by fall 2021.
“There’s planning that can take place when the maps are completed” he said, reflecting a desire from the public and private sector for better, more accurate broadband maps.
He also said that federal money allocated toward the FCC’s efforts to bridge the digital divide should be used carefully, and that money to connect unconnected Americas should not be wasted.
Carr celebrated American investment in 5G progress earlier this year, calling U.S. leadership in 5G “one of the greatest success stories in of the past four years.” In that time, the FCC opened up more than six gigahertz of spectrum for 5G services.
Former FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly also gave remarks at the event, expressing concern about the federal Made In America policy’s implications on the telecommunications sector.
The Made in America policy refers to President Biden’s push to increase American made content in supply chains. O’Rielly, who left the Commission in December 2020, argued that the policy limits telecommunications companies to the kinds of products that can be made available to consumers.
He also questioned “what it means to be an American manufacturer” because foreign companies are “in essence, being punished by law” for having “investments in the U.S. with U.S. workers as part of a U.S. subsidiary.”
In O’Rielly’s view, the location of the companies headquarters does not impact its national security risk to the U.S.
The remarks by Carr and O’Rielly were at the 15th anniversary celebration for the free-market think tank. Carr said that the foundation has been an “invaluable resource” and has been cited more than 200 times in FCC decisions.
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- Rosenworcel Hails FCC’s Efforts on Mapping, Said Country Needs More Wi-Fi Access
- FCC Orders China Telecom to Stop Providing Services in the U.S. Over National Security Concerns
- Verizon, Amazon Partner on Broadband, Farmers Need Broadband, Social Work Important to Close Digital Divide
- FCC Announces Additional Details From Second Wave, Additional Money for First Wave, of Emergency Connectivity Fund
- Biden Nominates Rosenworcel as FCC Chair, Sohn as 5th Commissioner and Alan Davidson as NTIA Head
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