Trump speaks about 5G as White House urges companies to innovate — live updates

/ CBS News

CBSN

President Trump is delivering remarks on 5G deployment, as his White House encourages U.S. companies to lead the world in 5G innovation without providing much support or infrastructure for such a rollout. By next year, Mr. Trump claimed, the U.S. should boast more 5G spectrum than any other country.

"It's all about 5G now," Mr. Trump said, calling 5G a "big deal."

"I guess at some point we'll be talking about number six," the president added, turning to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.

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Before the event, the FCC met about opening up spectrum for 5G. The next 5G spectrum auction, it said, will be "the largest airwaves auction ever held in the United States." Pai told Bloomberg Television that it would be allocating "more spectrum for commercial 5G than all the mobile broadband providers in America have today combined."

The FCC also announced $20 billion for high speed networks in rural areas.

Pai explained the technologies should give the U.S. a "leg up" as the U.S. competes around the world. The 5G digital revolution, Pai said, will boost things like telemedicine and agriculture. Pai declared 5G an American success story.

In October, the president signed off on a memo directing the creation of a national spectrum strategy for keeping the United States at the forefront of 5G wireless network technology, a move the administration says is vital for the good of the economy and national security. The ultimate goal, those officials said in a conference call with reporters at the time, is to ensure Americans everywhere have access to 5G networks and make sure other nations don't overtake the United States' progress. But the memo didn't call for any future additional funding, and the White House's plan relies heavily on the private sector.

"I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible," the president tweeted in February. "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…"

5G data networks are expected to usher in a new era of digital transformation powered by lightning-quick phones, enhanced virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things, and countless more technological wonders. At least, that's what mobile carriers and device manufacturers would like us to believe. 5G represents the fifth generation of wireless data networks, and while some phones released this year might boast of being "5G enabled," devices with true 5G won't ship any time soon.

More on 5G:

First published on April 12, 2019 / 2:34 PM

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