The competition to be the first to invent the next global wireless standard, known as 5G, is of extraordinary importance not just to the U.S. economy, but to national security. Today, the United States is in a head-to-head race with several countries, notably China. In the United States, winning this race will depend almost entirely on the efforts of private companies, the most prominent of which is Qualcomm. In what some sources have called a new “arms race” for 5G, Qualcomm is this country’s ace in the hole. Yet, in a recent court case, Qualcomm was found guilty of anti-competitive behavior and ordered to totally change its business model and provide its competitors, including Chinese companies, with critical 5G intellectual property. The decision, if not reversed on appeal, would cede the growing 5G market to foreign entities, particularly to China, handing them dominance on a silver platter. The appeals court must recognize what is at stake for our nation’s security and heed the warning from agencies with expertise in this space — the Departments of Defense, Energy and Justice — or the United States will lose the most important technological race of our time. I have written more about this here.
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