In light of the ongoing trade war between the US and China, the former has been continuously looking into 5G equipment providers other than Huawei. To that end, a group of US Senators recently made the decision to bankroll approximately US$1.25 billion (~RM5.08 billion) to “Western-based” companies to develop new 5G technology.
The group of six, which comprises a mix of US Senators from both the Democratic and Republican party, announced the more than US$1 billion (~RM4.07 billion) investment. After the bipartisan group submitted legislation called the Utilising Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act.
To be precise, the funds will be used to support the development of 5G technology that is able to operate with multiple vendors. Additionally, the funds will come from “spectrum-auction proceeds” and will be spread out over a period of 10 years. Rather than having to “compete with Huawei end-to-end”.
To break it down further, the new legislation will split the money into two funds: a Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation fund with US$750 million (~RM3.04 billion) and a Multilateral Telecommunications Security Fund with at least US$500 million (~RM2.03 billion).
As it stands, Huawei is currently one of the leading providers of 5G technology across the world. Unfortunately, the close ties between the company and its founder, Ren Zhengfei, with the Communist Party of China, has been one of the primary reasons behind the Trump administration’s distrust for the brand.
One of the senators, Richard Burr, suggests that the new legislation would help keep Chinese 5G telecommunications equipment makers like Huawei in check, as well as “maintain America’s competitive advantage” by encouraging Western competitors to develop 5G alternative that are just as good, if not better.