US operators will meet White House officials to discuss 5G

Representatives from the four major operators in the US are set to meet White House officials to discuss 5G and its potential.

T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint have all confirmed their attendance. Verizon is understood to be attending but declined to comment.

None of the operators revealed who they will send to represent their companies, but high-level executives are expected.

The full agenda is unknown but Trump’s administration will be seeking to gain a better understanding of 5G’s benefits and its economic potential.

5G is expected to a game-changer for many industries. Beyond improved speeds and reliability for consumers, it will help to enable things such as smart cities, driverless cars, VR experiences, and even remote surgeries.

Considering these increased use cases, governments are concerned about security if networks were to be compromised. The potential implications and safeguards to prevent hacking will also likely be on the agenda for the White House meeting.

The US and Australian governments, in particular, have often made headlines in recent months for their anti-China stance when it comes to telecoms equipment. They believe equipment from popular manufacturers like Huawei and ZTE could pose a national security threat.

Back in March, US President Trump signed an executive order – citing national security concerns – blocking a merger between Qualcomm and Broadcom. It followed information from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a government panel that reviews mergers that could result in a foreign company controlling an American business.

"There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that Broadcom … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States," Trump wrote in the executive order.

Broadcom said in a statement it ‘strongly disagrees’ the proposed acquisition raises any national security concerns. The $117 billion acquisition was billed to be the largest-ever in tech and would have created a giant able to supply many key components in gadgets.

The operators may raise their concerns with the Trump administration over its ongoing trade war with China.

During the FCC’s open meeting on Wednesday, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the tariffs could put "a 25 percent duty on antennas, switches, and routers – the essential network facilities needed for 5G deployment.”

Rosenworcel goes on to say: “There is no doubt it will diminish our ability to lead the world in the deployment of 5G."

Telecoms understands Rosenworcel is the only FCC commissioner who is not invited to the White House meeting.

 Hear about 5G’s role in the Internet of Things at IoT Tech Expo in Silicon Valley, London, and Amsterdam.

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