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US Pushes For A Western Rival To Huawei

What’s happening? US government officials have discussed issuing credit to, or otherwise funding, European technology companies such as Nokia and Ericsson in a bid to combat Huawei's dominance in developing 5G telecoms, reported Kiran Stacey in the Financial Times.
Why does this matter? Reports the US is considering offering what would effectively be state subsidies to European technology companies come in the same week it imposed a tariff on Airbus planes in response to what it views as over-subsidisation by the EU. Nokia and Ericsson, however, undoubtedly need governmental support if they are to compete with Huawei, which receives significant funding from the Chinese government on a scale that would be deemed anti-competitive, and therefore illegal, in the EU.
This article emphasises how far the US has allowed itself to fall behind in radio transmissions technology, as Huawei’s and ZTE’s dominance makes US security officials increasingly jittery. US technology giants Oracle and Cisco have both reportedly rebuffed government approaches encouraging them to enter the radio transmissions market, leaving the administration reliant on overseas players. 

An alternative approach the US government is considering is that proposed by Massachusetts-based software provider Altiostar, which would be to make hardware from different manufacturers compatible through uniform radio transmissions software, rather than seeking end-to-end solutions – a concept known as Open RAN.

Given 5G technology is more reliant on software than 3G and 4G, this is a reasonably realistic proposition. It could also reduce the risk of hardware monopolies, allowing for competitive pricing and potentially reducing the US’ future cyber vulnerability. Alongside Altiostar, US providers Parallel Wireless and Mavenir are also making strides in this area.
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Nick Finegold is Founder & CEO of Curation Corp, an emerging and peripheral risks monitoring service.

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