President Donald Trump wants to see deployment of the super-fast wireless technology known as 5G — and, inexplicably, 6G, which does not yet exist.
“I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible,” Trump said Thursday in a tweet. “It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind.”
Although 6G technology is years away, the first 5G phones are hitting the market this year. The lightning-fast wireless service is expected to transform how people interact with technology. The timing of Trump’s tweet is noteworthy because two major wireless carriers have been imploring the federal government to approve their merger, claiming the combined company will accelerate 5G deployment in the U.S.
In April 2018, T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to merge and create a $146 billion company under the T-Mobile name. At a Congressional hearing earlier this month, T-Mobile CEO John Legere claimed and that the combined company would make 5G a reality in the U.S. faster and improve wireless service to rural Americans.
The deal requires approval from The Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice. Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that T-Mobile executives booked at least 52 nights at Trump’s Washington D.C. hotel since announcing the merger.
But the president could have had another wireless company in mind when he tweeted his support for 5G. Trump is concerned that China’s Huawei Technologies will beat the U.S. in the race to 5G. The U.S. Justice Department indicted Huawei in January, accusing the company of industrial espionage.
“I want the United States to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies,” Trump said Thursday in a follow-up tweet. “We must always be the leader in everything we do, especially when it comes to the very exciting world of technology!”