The White House may have a plan for homegrown 5G.
Dell, Microsoft and AT&T are all reportedly working with the government to build software for the new cellular networks, The Wall Street Journal reports.
"The big-picture concept is to have all of the U.S. 5G architecture and infrastructure done by American firms, principally," Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, told the newspaper.
- The U.S. has repeatedly said that Huawei's links to the Chinese military pose a national security risk, but there is currently no domestic option; the main 5G infrastructure rivals to Huawei are European.
- This project could (theoretically) change that. The hope: that U.S. companies, with the help of those European companies such as Ericsson and Nokia, build "common engineering standards that would allow 5G software developers to run code atop machines that come from nearly any hardware manufacturer," according to The Journal.
- "Dell and Microsoft are now moving very rapidly to develop software and cloud capabilities that will, in fact, replace a lot of the equipment," Kudlow said, adding that the system could be up and running in 18 months.
- The project could have international ramifications. The U.S. has been pressuring other nations, notably the U.K., to change its mind about using Huawei equipment — and this project may tempt them to yield.
- But the big question: Is this too little, too late from the White House? In reality, Huawei's market dominance could now simply be too much to contend with.