The former Google CEO blasted the US for 5G, saying it lags behind China in every aspect

Eric Schmidt, the former Google chief executive, was scathing about the United States’ 5G efforts in an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal, slamming the government for delays and warning that the future ownership of the technology hangs in the balance.In the article, Mr. Schmidt and Graham Allison, a professor of government at Harvard University, lambasted the administration’s indecision, which they said had left the United States behind China in deploying 5G infrastructure.They warned that Joe Biden’s administration should make 5G a “national priority” to prevent competitors from owning the technology’s future, arguing that the United States now lags “on almost every front” compared with China and other countries.The 100,000 5G base stations deployed in the US are dwarfed by the more than 1m in China.In addition, the US has less fibre than countries such as Japan, making it harder for mobile operators to deploy small stations.Schmidt and Allison noted that China has invested $50 billion in 5G infrastructure and will invest another $100 billion over the next five years.By contrast, the US Emerging Technology Grants program included in the Innovation and Competition Act would authorize $1.5 billion to build 5G networks through 2026.Messrs. Schmidt and Allison said the “pathetic” performance of the United States on 5G was a sign that the country was not keeping pace with China in other strategically important technologies, such as artificial intelligence, green energy and high-tech manufacturing.They expect China to surpass the United States in semiconductor production by 2030.The pair also took aim at 5G data rates, claiming that the average data rate in the US is 75Mbps, while urban Users in China average 400Mbps.They warn that the lack of low-latency 5G could have a knock-on effect on the development and deployment of new services and applications such as self-driving cars, VR and metasexes.(Jiang Junmu)

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