The 5G Future

Incredible Promise, Significant Risk

Fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology will form the backbone of future economies and public services. Newly networked societies will be critically reliant on innovative new applications. Countries must take action now to safeguard their emerging 5G networks, because the stakes could not be higher.

“With so much on the line, it’s urgent that trustworthy companies build these 21st-century information arteries. Specifically, it’s critical that European countries not give control of their critical infrastructure to Chinese tech giants like Huawei, or ZTE.”

– Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, Politico Europe, December 2, 2019

The Promise of 5G

Not just faster smart phones.

The United States advocates for a vibrant digital economy worldwide that benefits from the promise of fifth-generation (5G) networks. 5G is transformative and will touch every aspect of our lives, including critical infrastructure. The stakes could not be higher.


Who will you trust to control your 5G?

You need to be able to trust that 5G equipment and software companies will not threaten your national security, privacy, intellectual property, or human rights. Trust cannot exist where telecom vendors are subject to an authoritarian government, like the People’s Republic of China that lacks an independent judiciary or rule of law that would prohibit the misuse of data. Further, ownership of Huawei is not transparent, and has a history of unethical and illegal behavior, including IP theft.

5G Security

The telecom company Huawei wants to install its 5G equipment in networks worldwide. Since many are uneasy about the company, Huawei is aggressively spreading misleading and false information about its technical capabilities, ownership, and legal obligations to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Huawei cannot be trusted to tell the truth or protect the interests of others, and it should not be trusted with the vital security of 5G networks.


There is no safe space for untrustworthy vendors in the 5G network.

The assessment of the United States’ technical experts is that the risks of allowing Chinese telecommunications equipment anywhere in 5G networks cannot be mitigated. Given how 5G networks will be built, there will be no safe parts of a 5G network for untrusted equipment. Allowing Chinese telecommunications equipment into any part of a 5G network therefore creates unacceptable risks to national security, critical infrastructure, privacy, and human rights.


United States supports a secure 5G future for everyone.

We welcome collaboration with partners and allies to ensure our shared security in a 5G future. Were a country to elect to allow an untrusted company to build out its 5G network, the United States would have to reassess how it interconnects and shares information with that country.

“It is a very different thing to engage in transactions that have a national security component to them. When a nation shows up and offers you goods that are well below market, one ought to ask what else is at play, why it was that that entity showed up with a deal that is literally too good to be true.”

– Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo


Foreign Press Centers

Implications of Chinese Intellectual Property Violations on Developing Telecommunications Infrastructure

Nicholas Eftimiades, School of Public Affairs, Penn State Harrisburg
Friday, November 15, 2019