The federal government’s security team is reportedly looking to build a “super-fast” 5G wireless network, according to a senior administration official. The network, among other things, would be an option to help counter foreign entities from spying on U.S. phone calls, reported Reuters.
The decision is apparently six to eight months away from being made executively. The government hopes it would address the threat of China to U.S cybersecurity, an issue that has been making news lately after AT&T was forced to give up its plan to sell Huawei devices to customers.
The option of a federally-run 5G network is an interesting one. The country’s major mobile players have all spent billions on 5G spectrum, and there may not even be enough for the government to launch its own network. The projected investments from wireless carriers into 5G networks, according to Accenture, is as much as 275 billion dollars. Could the government compete?
Reuters explains that, “last year, T-Mobile US Inc spent $8 billion and Dish Network Corp $6.2 billion to win the bulk of broadcast airwaves spectrum for sale in a government auction.”
AT&T is even set to launch the first 5G service in twelve U.S locations later this year. An AT&T spokesperson told Reuters that “Thanks to multi-billion dollar investments made by American companies, the work to launch 5G service in the United States is already well down the road.” If the government wants to develop its own network, it will have to move quickly.