Trump Asked Apple to Help 5G Buildout

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President Donald Trump last Thursday said he asked Apple CEO Tim Cook to look into helping develop telecommunications infrastructure for 5G wireless networks in the U.S. “They have it all – Money, Technology, Vision & Cook!” Trump tweeted. He didn’t provide details.

Apple is not known to have made any investments in 5G telecoms infrastructure to date and is yet to release a 5G device, reports Reuters. The company did not respond to a request for comment. Trump met Cook on Wednesday, during his visit to Apple’s upcoming campus in Texas.

Trump said earlier, America intends to deploy 5G services rapidly and plans to cooperate with, “like-minded nations” to promote security in next-generation 5G networks. Mobile operators worldwide have limited choices when it comes to 5G network gear: China’s Huawei and ZTE Corp., Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia Oyj.

The U.S. alleges Huawei’s equipment could be used by Beijing for spying, which the Chinese company denies. It’s been pressing nations not to grant Huawei access to future 5G networks. Friday, the FCC passed an order that bars the use of its Universal Service Fund to purchase equipment and services from companies that pose a national security threat, Inside Towers reported.

Among American firms, Qualcomm is the dominant player in telecom radio chips that help wireless phones connect to networks and Cisco Systems is the principal company for networking gear, reports Reuters. Some of Apple’s rivals in the smartphone market — notably Samsung Electronics — have already released 5G devices. Apple is expected to release its first 5G phones in 2020, and will be able to beat Samsung and Huawei to capture the top spot by the end of next year, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

November 26, 2019             

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