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US could build own 5G network to stop China spying

(Image credit: Image Credit: Fredex / Shutterstock)

A super-fast 5G wireless network could be the solution to preventing China from spying on US phone calls, according to a senior official from Donald Trump's administration. 

The official confirmed a recent report that suggested the option was currently being debated by the administration though it could be six to eight months before the president decides to implement it.  US officials believe that China could be a threat to both the country's economic and cyber security. 

For instance during CES, Huawei was unable to announce its planned partnership with AT&T (opens in new tab) due to the fact that members of Congress had lobbied against the idea with federal regulators as they were concerned about the security threat posed by making its mobile devices available via US carriers. 

The Chinese mobile phone company and ZTE were also the subject of a 2012 US investigation (opens in new tab) over whether or not their equipment was a threat to US national security. 

The senior official offered more details to Reuters (opens in new tab), saying: 

“We want to build a network so the Chinese can't listen to your calls.  We have to secure a network that doesn't allow bad actors to get in.  We also have to ensure the Chinese don't take over the market and put every non-5G network out of business.” 

5G networks (opens in new tab) will bring a great deal of benefits to consumers as well as governments and they will be needed to fully realise self-driving cars and other emerging technologies.  Though security concerns might push the US to implement its 5G network ahead of time, consumers will still benefit from increased connectivity and greater network speeds. 

Image Credit: Fredex / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.