As the election season nears its peak, things are beginning to heat up and platforms continue to be discussed. For President Donald Trump, this includes making improvements in the world of 5G a priority for his second term.
The Trump campaign released several of Trump’s goals should he be re-elected for a second term. For the world of wireless one stands out in particular: “Win the Race to 5G and Establish a National High-Speed Wireless Internet Network.” The government has had a hand in pushing for more 5G coverage with Trump’s administration highlighting the importance of winning the race for 5G. The U.S. Space Force is even positioned to help protect American interests in wireless communication and the government has even struck back at companies such as Huawei for perceived security threats to American 5G networks.
An idea that has been put on the backburner for most of the year but was mentioned towards the beginning of 2019 is to create a nationwide 5G network that would be operated by the federal government and then leased to providers. Fast-forwarding to today and there are questions as to how that might play out. AT&T and T-Mobile already have nationwide networks of their own with Verizon claiming it is not far behind but is instead waiting for the right market conditions. Furthermore, as part of the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, part of the terms in which DISH Wireless acquired Boost Mobile from Sprint has them under orders of the government to complete a network that covers 70% of the U.S. population by summer 2023 or face a multi-billion dollar fine.
Wholesale wireless is not a new concept and the idea that the government would create a 5G network alongside those currently in the process of development is a welcomed idea to companies such as Rivada Networks. The American-based company has been an advocate for this method for quite some time. Rivada believes that with this accessibility, the 5G marketplace will also see an increase in competition which could be good for the technology itself and consumers. Their CEO Declan Ganley said, “Entrepreneurs shouldn’t have to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to start serving some underserved part of the marketplace. The on-ramp to getting capacity needs to be much easier. And so does the off-ramp.”
It is worth noting that despite Trump’s relationship with Rivada Networks and its desire for more wholesale 5G opportunities may not see actualization. The ambitions of the current administration for the future of 5G does not explicitly state that wholesale is the route it plans to go with other industry insiders skeptical the government would choose this route. Blair Levin, an analyst for New Street Research stated, “So it appears to us that Rivada still has some influence at the White House, not surprisingly, given its heavyweight group of advocates, including Brad Pascale, Karl Rove, Peter Thiel and Newt Gingrich. Does that mean that its plan will actually come to fruition if Trump is re-elected? We think not.”
Source: Fierce Wireless