White House calls meeting over 5G tensions, report says
The Trump administration holds a policy meeting to "combat infighting" about the next-generation networking technology, says a report.
Corinne ReichertSenior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently oversees the CNET breaking news desk for the West Coast. Corinne covers everything from phones, social media and security to movies, politics, 5G and pop culture. In her spare time, she watches soccer games, F1 races and Disney movies.
The "high-level" White House meeting was called by Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, because "tensions over 5G have come to a head" in Trump's administration, according to Axios, which cited two administration officials. The meeting was led by Larry Kudlow, director of Trump's National Economic Council, the report said, and included Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and officials from the Defense, State, Commerce and Education departments.
According to the report, the White House and the FCC want more 24GHz spectrum used for 5G, whereas NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say using the band for mobile would cause weather forecasting interference.
The FCC has already sold off a batch of millimeter-wave (mmWave) high-bandwidth spectrum in the 24GHz band, in late May raising $2 billion in gross bids in this second 5G spectrum auction. Of the 2,909 licenses on offer, 2,904 were awarded on May 28. The licenses mean carriers can launch mobile services across multiple frequencies, improving latency, speeds and capacity.
"I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible," Trump tweeted in February. "It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is no reason that we should be lagging behind."
First published at 4:13 p.m. PT on July 11. Update, 4:54 p.m.: Adds more detail on the policy dispute and spectrum bands being auctioned off for 5G.