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US-China 5G slowdown could threaten global standards process

The climate of suspicion and hostility surrounding US-China trade relations is not only threatening to increase the time and cost to deploy 5G, but is also risking a damaging international split in the standards-setting process, claim operators. Executives from three US operators – Sprint, AT&T and the public safety network FirstNet – failed to attend the most recent 3GPP meeting, which was held in Shenzhen, China (though Verizon and T-Mobile representatives were there). The ‘final drop’ of Release 15 standards was released there (see Wireless Watch April 8 2019). The companies gave no reason for staying away, but AT&T’s absence, in particular, caused raised eyebrows, given the telco’s heavy influence over 3GPP processes – it even led the move to…

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