Today America is locked in a struggle for high-tech supremacy with China. The battlefields range from lasers, hypersonic weaponry, and advanced unmanned systems for the military, to artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computers and even driverless cars in the civilian sector. One is transparently clear: whoever wins this struggle will become the dominant superpower in the 21st century; and one of the most decisive contests will be over 5G wireless.
Fifth-generation or 5G technology is much more than the future of global telecommunications, offering more bandwidth than anyone ever imagined (think of downloading entire movies in a few seconds) and enough to make the Internet of Things a daily reality. The rollout of 5G also demands billions of dollars to install the fiber-optic networks needed for these high-capacity systems, and billions more to operate them. Which companies and which countries design and invest in this new infrastructure, will have a hefty say in not only how 5-G transmits information, but also how others are to access the system. If it’s China, the results could be bad not only for American and European companies used to dominating telecommunications, but for freedom itself.
On October 4 Vice-President Mike Pence spoke at the Hudson Institute and warned, “Through the ‘Made in China 2025’ plan, the [Chinese] Communist Party has set its sights on controlling 90 percent of the world’s most advanced industries, including robotics, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence, ” including 5-G; as part of Beijing’s plan to emerge as the dominant superpower in the 21st century.
The same day Pence spoke, Bloomberg broke a story regarding a California-based company called Supermicro, where Chinese subcontractors have been stealthily installing back doors in mother boards for advanced hardware systems for years. It’s a sobering warning of what can happen if China’s telecom giants, who operate at the behest of the Chinese military-intelligence-complex, dominate the future of 5G.
That dominance already happening. As noted, 5G relies on fiber-optic networks which are very expensive to install and require an infrastructure investment of tens of billions of dollars. Here comes China, offering to build and install those networks at bargain prices, with workers and engineers eager to help. This allows bidders in government auctions of bandwidth for 5Gs to overbid, knowing that Chinese vendors will not only build the networks for bargain prices. – Forbes