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The 5G Revolution

- August 2, 2019
Does the new wireless technology pose security risks?
Featured Report

5G, the fifth generation of cellular technology, promises to transform societies around the world by vastly expanding the number of devices connected in cyberspace and increasing the speed at which those devices communicate, experts say. But as the United States competes with China and other countries for dominance in developing 5G technology, new concerns are emerging about how to prevent cyberthieves and hostile foreign governments from stealing consumers' data or hacking and disabling critical infrastructure. Trump administration officials see Chinese technology giant Huawei, for example, as a potential security threat to 5G systems globally. The U.S. telecom industry and federal regulators promise 5G networks will be safe from cyberattack, but critics note that the administration already has repealed an Obama-era requirement designed to protect those networks. Other experts worry that the new technology — still years away for most Americans — will leave behind minority, low-income and rural customers, saying telecom companies will prioritize areas where they get the best return on 5G investments.

1880s–1900sInventors pioneer use of telephone and wireless communication.
1910s–1930sRegulation begins as telephones become widely adopted.
1940s–1960sNew telecommunications applications are created.
1970s–1980sFirst generation of cellular communication emerges.
1990sCell phones become widely used.
2000–PresentCell phones become smart as 3G service takes hold, and broadband internet service becomes widely available.

Are government and industry doing enough to protect 5G systems from cyberattacks?


Tom Sawanobori
Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, CTIA.


Robert Spalding
Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute.


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