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5G Beyond Borders

A geostrategic approach to 5G technology transformation in North America.

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Wilson NOW

5G Technology and National Security: Vulnerabilities and Best Practices

In this edition of Wilson Center NOW we are joined by Melissa K. Griffith, Public Policy Fellow with the Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program. Griffith discusses the continuing global digital divide and highlights cybersecurity related issues with the rolling out of 5G services around the globe.

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Who is Driving the 5G Transition in North America?

While there are many questions about what 5G is and what it will look like, policies are already shaping the future of 5G technology. These policies go beyond borders: the US, Canada, and Mexico share a similar approach to 5G that blends private industry and government support. Yet these efforts are largely tunnel-visioned -- focusing on in-country growth at the cost of innovation and security across borders. In this overview, we look at who is driving the 5G transition in North America, and what do the policies of US, Cananda and Mexico tell us about the 5G rollout.

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Recent Publication: Open RAN and 5G: Looking Beyond the National Security Hype

Open RAN, which is championed by consortiums such as the O-RAN Alliance and the Open RAN Policy Coalition, has become increasingly politicized in the U.S. These technical standards have been framed as a national security imperative and an important tool for keeping untrusted vendors (namely Huawei and ZTE) out of 5G networks at home and abroad. But, can Open RAN live up to the national security hype? What are the potential solutions Open RAN presents -- and the potential pitfalls?

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5G Around the Globe

This interactive is intended to provide a snapshot of the current global landscape of 5G by analyzing the primary policies, stakeholders, resources, and technologies in G20 countries.

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5G Around the Globe: Methods Explanation

5G Around the Globe (above)  was created to capture a snapshot of the global landscape of fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology to better understand different geostrategic approaches, providing decision-makers a tool to learn from and engage with 5G technology and policy options. We selected a case study approach of twenty countries, focusing on key factors of leadership and capacity, ranging from participation in international standard bodies to government policies to private sector performance. This required qualitative analyses of policies and key stakeholders, as well as technical analyses of the supply chain, manufacturing, and spectrum allocation. Here is an explanation of our source material and analysis.

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5G & Smart Manufacturing in North America

5G is the next telecommunications standard and will build on previous generations of wireless technology. But unlike previous generations that focused mostly on direct consumer use cases (e.g. calls, texts, applications), this standard will primarily impact business first, and consumers indirectly.