Chairwoman Rosenworcel at Center for Strategic & International Studies

So often when we think about 5G in the United States we talk about our phones. But if we do this right, our phones will be the least interesting thing about our 5G future. This is not about the small icon that appears—and sometimes disappears—in the upper right-hand corner of a mobile device. It is a whole lot bigger than that. We are talking about using 5G technology to lay the foundation for digital transformation around the globe. Because we are fast heading to a world where next-generation wireless networks connect everyone and everything around us. They will open up possibilities for communications that we cannot even fully imagine today. By exponentially increasing the connections between people and things, this technology could become an input in everything we do—improving agriculture, education, healthcare, energy, transportation, and more. The data we derive from all these connections is powerful. It will inform machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the next generation of innovation across the economy. This is exciting. But these opportunities also reveal broader geopolitical challenges. Because, let’s be honest, the United States and authoritarian regimes have different views on how to use 5G technology. The vision that succeeds in a global forum like the International Telecommunication Union matters. It will inform how networks are deployed and evolve around the world.

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