New legislation introduced in the US Senate in January aims to create a viable alternative to Huawei Technologies and undercut China’s dominance in 5G networks. One of the biggest problems in the bid to counter Chinese strength in 5G networks is the lack of global alternatives to Huawei. The US does not have a viable competitor as of now. At the same time, technologies from Sweden’s Ericsson, Finland’s Nokia, and even South Korea’s Samsung are no match to the attractive financing and complete technological package that Huawei offers.
The bill attempts to address that gap. If the bill is passed, the Senate would spend more than $1 billion to bolster Western competitiveness, allocate a new spectrum, and support research and development of more modern technologies like 5G in the telecommunications industry. The sponsor of the bill, Senator Marco Rubio, stated that the country is at a critical point for defining the future of its relationship with China and that the Senate cannot allow the Chinese telecommunications companies to surpass American competitors.
Rubio added that the Washington Senate’s efforts at convincing foreign allies to ban Huawei from their networks had been hampered by a lack of affordable, viable alternatives. He fears that malign state-directed telecommunications companies pose a clear, growing threat to the national and economic security of the US and its allies. A day earlier, Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, echoed the senators’ concerns and contended that excluding Chinese carriers from 5G systems in the West was essential.