Trump urges U.S. companies to compete for leadership on 5G

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump urged U.S. companies to speed up 5G advancements in a pair of tweets. (C-SPAN)

President Donald Trump is either padding a forthcoming decision or relenting on a long-delayed executive order that would ban U.S. carriers from using telecom equipment from Chinese manufacturers. Reports of an imminent declaration have come and gone, most recently earlier this month when Politico reported Trump planned to sign the order before MWC Barcelona, which starts in a few days.

A pair of tweets sent from Trump’s Twitter account this morning indicate that he wants U.S. telecom vendors and operators to win without the aid of political maneuvering. He also ratcheted up pressure on U.S. operators and vendors to deploy next-generation networks at a faster clip.

“I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard,” Trump wrote.

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“American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind,” he wrote. “There is no reason that we should be lagging behind on something that is so obviously the future. I want the United States to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies.”

The comments appear to indicate a change in strategy as it relates to a potential ban on Huawei and ZTE equipment. However, gauging Trump’s thinking or eventual decisions is a relatively futile effort. If he and the administration do plan to issue an executive order before MWC Barcelona, the clock is ticking.