U.S. President Donald Trump issued a presidential memorandum on Thursday calling on various government agencies to develop a "sustainable spectrum strategy".
The memorandum states, "It is imperative that America be the leader in the fifth generation (5G) of wireless technologies."
In practical terms, this requires executive departments and agencies to report on future spectrum requirements and task the Office of Science and Technology to report on new technologies and make recommendations on R & D priorities. The Memorandum also calls for a national frequency strategy within 270 days, including legislative and regulatory recommendations on increasing access to spectrum, making management more flexible and improving US competitiveness.
The White House could lay the groundwork for federal support for more widespread connectivity, including 5G
5G is the fifth-generation wireless standard approved earlier this year and made up of a higher-frequency signal containing more information transfer faster to more devices than today's 4G standard (albeit over shorter distances). While most spectrum management takes place behind the scenes, everyday consumers would feel any improvement in the spread of the 5G network that has signaled the telecom industry as the gateway to the Internet of Things revolution.
The White House has shown much interest in next-generation connectivity: hosting an event on 5G last month, and earlier this year thought was being given to Sprint and T-Mobile joining forces to complete the 5G installation accelerate. One federal official even weighed a national 5G government network to ensure security in a leaked memo.
In addition to the antitrust and information security challenges, the introduction of 5G must solve fundamental physical problems. For some neighborhood pilot projects earlier this month, Verizon's customers complained that connectivity depended on nearby buildings blocking high-frequency signals. Perhaps a better slogan for the 5G enabled Internet would be the Internet of Things nearby.