President Donald Trump urged United States telecommunications companies Thursday to step up their efforts to develop the next generation of cellular phone technology or risk getting left behind.
“I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard,” the president told his Twitter followers. Trump was referring to the competition U.S. companies are waging against China and others over development of fifth generation mobile communications.
He added: “American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is no reason that we should be lagging behind.” A 2018 report from Deloitte Consulting showed that China is outperforming the U.S. by several measures in the race to develop so-called 5G communications.
I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is no reason that we should be lagging behind on………
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2019
China outspent the U.S. by $24 billion and has built 350,000 new wireless towers since 2015, according to Deloitte Consulting’s research. The U.S. had built just 30,000 during that same time. (RELATED: As China’s ZTE Crosses Last Hurdle To Lift US Ban, Shares Skyrocket)
The new technology, with its highly advanced speed, is expected to rein in an “era of untapped economic potential,” the report added. Trump’s comments come as American companies like Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint are racing against Chinese companies like ZTE and Huawei for 5G dominance.
Trump reportedly sought to intervene in 2018 on behalf of ZTE after the massive Chinese company was crippled by the Department of Commerce to protect American agriculture. The administration was working on a deal to grant the company a reprieve from federal penalties in exchange for the removal of tariffs on American agricultural products.
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