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Trump says US will work with ‘like-minded’ nations on 5G networks

By Lawrence Gash

US-China technology race intensifies as President commits to rapid roll-out of new technology

Donald Trump has reaffirmed his determination to “deploy 5G services rapidly” and oppose “those who would use 5G as a tool to expand control of their own citizens and to sow discord among nations”.

The US President’s comments came in a letter to the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

5G technology is expected to be 100 times faster than existing 4G networks and its global introduction has become a key battleground in the US-China trade war. America has called on its allies not to grant the Chinese technology giant Huawei – the world’s leading producer of the parts needed to build cellular networks – access to their future 5G networks.

Citing privacy concerns and the close link between the company and the ruling Chinese Communist party, the US placed Huawei on a so-called “entity list” this summer, effectively blacklisting the company from working with any American firm.

Some western countries have sided with the US. In December 2018 Australia banned Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese telecoms firm, from any involvement in the development of the country’s 5G network.

However many of America’s traditional allies, particularly in Europe, have baulked at a ban. The Sunday Times quoted a senior Whitehall source saying that UK Prime minister Boris Johnson is set to grant Huawei access to “non-contentious” parts of the country’s 5G network. Norway and Germany have also disregarded concerns of Chinese infiltration and are set to grant Huawei and ZTE government contracts.

In his letter Mr Trump detailed his desire to work with “like-minded nations” to promote security in the development of 5G networks.

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