There are obvious flaws to a proposal to create a centralized nationwide 5G network within three years, says a Virginia Tech expert.

Professor Jeff Reed says the barriers include: 1) tax payers would not pay for it 2) it could stifle competition 3) there would likely be a lack of cooperation from providers.

“The slow start of FirstNet, the nationwide public safety network is an example of the government trying to build a 4G network, that is a small fraction of the size needed for 5G, and the deployment has gone very slowly,” Reed also noted. “We can’t afford for this to happen with 5G. It would be very harmful for the economy.”

FCC chairman Ajit Pai also made a statement opposing the idea.

Quoting Reed

“Instead I think convening the industry to study best practices for security would be good. I think government can play a role in setting this up to avoid collusion and can be a good force for transparency and educating the public on being a wise consumer. They may even rank carriers by how well they do in implementing security and make this information available to consumers.”

About Reed

Jeff Reed is the Willis G. Worcester Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. He has served as an advisor to the FCC and 30+ organizations including in AT&T and T-Mobile during the merger. He is currently coauthoring a book on 5G and is the founding director of Wireless @ Virginia Tech, one of the largest and most comprehensive university wireless research groups in the United States.

Expertise featured in The Daily Progress.

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