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US Officials Suggest Backing Huawei Competitors, Providing Alternatives

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At least two U.S. administration officials have publicly talked about the importance of finding an alternative to Chinas Huawei company and of potentially developing partnerships with the telecoms industry as one of the actions.

Experts told The Epoch Times it would largely be a good move by the United States to boost competitors to Huawei. China currently dominates the global 5G infrastructure market, capturing 40 percent through companies Huawei and ZTE.

A partnership between the United States and the telecoms industry would be “very different from buying shares with taxpayers money” Robert Blair, White House special representative for international telecommunications policy, said at the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

Blair, at the Feb. 14 conference, also said that the United Kingdom needed to take a “hard look” at its decision to use equipment made by Huawei. Washington has repeatedly stated that Huawei—founded in 1987 by a former Peoples Liberation Army engineer—is an extension of the Chinese state and that it helps Chinese intelligence steal secrets. Huawei denies the allegations.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr made a similar proposal last week. The United States and its allies have a five-year window—the time within which global 5G dominance will be determined—to launch a viable competitor. Barr said that the United States and its allies should “actively consider” the possibility of backing Huaweis two main overseas competitors: Nokia and Ericsson.

“The time is very short, and we and our allies must act quickly,” Barr said at a Washington conference on Feb. 4 on the Department of Justices efforts to combat Chinese threats.

But just days after Barrs comments, the White House appeared to dismiss the suggestion.

“Great respect to Attorney General Barr, but we believe the best way forward is what Ajit Pai announced just over the last several days,” Vice President Mike Pence said, referring to the Federal Communications Commission chairmans efforts to free up more spectrum for 5G wireless use.

The United States, however, is working closely with Nokia and Ericsson, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said, adding that the companies equipment was essential to building 5G infrastructure. But he said that the “U.S. government is not in the business of buying companies, whether theyre domestic or foreign,” adding that “theres nothing to prohibit American tech companies from acquiring” them.

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John Boyd, principal of The Boyd Co., a firm providing location and management counsel to IT corporations globally, said that U.S. officials are “well aware” of the consequences if Huawei dominates the 5G and artificial intelligence market.

Boyd told The Epoch Times that Barrs suggestion of boosting 5G alternative providers like Finlands Nokia and Swedens Ericsson “would be a wise and timely investment in my judgement.”

“The U.S. Senate recently proposed spending $1 billion for enhancing our 5G capabilities,” he added. “This suggests to me that Barrs trial balloon may have some ready followers in Congress.”

5G is the next generation of mobile network technology that will offer internet connectivity at speeds 10 to 100 times faster than 4G. The fast connection is set to revolutionize many industries, including transportation, healthcare, and manufacturing.

The pace of 5Gs innovation and deployment worldwide is only quickening, according to Tyler Cooper, editor-in-chief of BroadbandNow, which tracks U.S. broadband serviceability data, including 5G.

“In terms of alternatives [to Huawei], three major players are already operating infrastructure at-scale in the United States: Nokia, Ericsson, and Samsung Networks,” Cooper told The Epoch Times via email. “Im confident that these and other companies can rise to the demand and ensure that 5G is rolled out uniformly and on-pace, especially with assistance from the FCCs proposed funds.”

In December last year, Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a plan to launch a $9 billion fund to bring services to rural areas in the country.

Meanwhile on Feb. 13 federal prosecutors from the Department of Justice Read More – Source