2020 Review: Huawei No Longer Dominating 5G

At the start of 2020, America was well behind China in the race to 5G. Since 2015, China had outspent the U.S. by $24 billion in 5G infrastructure; built 12 times more 5G base stations; and poured billions into subsidies to Huawei, their largest telecommunications company, to corner the 5G market and undercut their competitors. Simply put, China was well down the track and we had not left the starting block.

At the end of 2020, the global 5G situation looked radically different. Britain reversed its initial decision, banning Huawei from its 5G network. Italy also banned one of their top telecommunications firms from using Huawei, and the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Sweden chose not to use Chinese suppliers. Just last month, Germany passed a law that allows the government to block telecommunications deals with Huawei on national security grounds. Finally, a collection of global telecom firms joined President Trump’s Clean Network initiative, vowing not to use Chinese components.

All of this progress was a major victory for the Trump Administration, and much of the credit belongs to former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai. Early in 2020, Pai proposed a plan for quickly opening up the C-band spectrum – the digital spectrum necessary to deploy 5G across the country. Today, the auction of that spectrum is underway and proceeding on schedule.

Last year was a great success in terms of evening out the race to 5G. But, we have to remember that executing the C-band auction is just the first of many crucial steps to building a clean global communications network. The next generation of wireless technology is an issue that will impact the world for years to come, and it will take continued attention to beat China in the race to 5G and ensure America’s national security and economic future.

Fortunately, the effort to keep Beijing from dominating the internet is a bipartisan issue. The Biden Administration is expected to continue the Trump Administration’s campaign against Huawei, focusing on building a united international front against China’s telecommunications giant. 5G Action Now looks forward to working with the Biden Administration to make this a reality and further close the 5G gap between the U.S. and China.

About 5G Action Now

5G Action Now was founded to establish the United States as the worldwide leader in 5G. Our goal is to elevate the conversation regarding American national security and the economic benefits of winning the 5G innovation and deployment battle against China. 5G will spur economic growth in rural America, create an environment for technological expansion, and put the U.S. on strong national security footing for generations to come.

5G Action Now supports the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) goal of a 2020 C-band auction. Additionally, we support Members of Congress of both parties working together with the federal government to win the 5G race against China.

About Mike Rogers

Mike Rogers is the former Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and now serves as the Chairman of 5G Action Now.

In Congress, Chairman Rogers worked with two presidents, Congressional leadership, foreign leaders, diplomats, and intelligence professionals, and oversaw the Intelligence Community’s $70 billion budget that funded the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies. Before being elected to represent Michigan in the House of Representatives, he was an FBI special agent and member of the U.S. Army.

Today, he hosts the CNN Original Series Declassified, regularly appears on various TV and radio shows, and frequently contributes to major print outlets. He is also a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center where he is leading a program on 5G, national security, and intelligence policy.