China beating US in 5G race – experts

The global rush to build and deploy next-generation telecom networks has intensified

China is outspending the United States when it comes to fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless networks, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Professor of Government at Harvard Graham Allison wrote in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

According to them, the US government’s “dithering” has left the country “far behind in almost every dimension of 5G while other nations – including China – race ahead.”

“The pathetic US performance in the 5G race is a sign of America’s larger failure to keep up with China on strategically important technologies,” they wrote. “China is also ahead of America in high-tech manufacturing, green energy, and many applications of artificial intelligence.” 

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Schmidt and Allison urged the Biden administration to make 5G a “national priority,” warning that otherwise “China will own the 5G future.”

They pointed out that China’s average 5G download speed is significantly faster than that of the US. “Mobile internet speed is a central advancement of 5G, which enables a new domain of breakthrough applications with potent economic and national-security implications,” they said.

The two experts explained that “the step up to real 5G speeds will lead to analogous breakthroughs in autonomous vehicles, virtual-reality applications like the metaverse, and other areas that have yet to be invented. Applications abound that could advantage a country’s intelligence agencies and enhance its military capabilities.”

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