On April 12th, US President Trump delivered a speech on the US 5G strategy. This has become the focus of the major media, and is also the most powerful starting gun in the global 5G competition. This is probably the first time he has been paying attention to high technology, which he is “forgotten”. Of course, the thinking mode is still his own. “The wireless industry plans to invest 275 billion US dollars in 5G networks, create 3 million US jobs, and increase our economy by 500 billion US dollars.” Although it is full of exciting investment, Employment and economic data highlight the “American priority” thinking and it is difficult to conceal the strong international geopolitics.
On the same day that Trump delivered a speech, the author participated in the 5G theme forum hosted by the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva (WSIS). At that time, the scene was very enthusiastic. The biggest concern for everyone is that 5G will split into two camps in China and the United States? Experts are generally optimistic about the prospects, but Trump’s speech continues to increase doubts in the world.
5G is not a simple upgrade of 4G, but a major breakthrough and innovation in the global common information infrastructure. It is completely uncharacteristic for the US government to highlight geopolitical and competitive thinking in such a high-profile manner. In contrast, as early as 1969, 50 years ago, it was the US government that supported a group of computer scientists that invented the predecessor of today’s Internet, ARPAnet. Although the funds come from the US Department of Defense, ARPAnet has not been used as a competitive tool and geopolitical weapon. Instead, it has let the academic and business communities follow the scientific spirit of benefiting mankind and the initial intention of improving human existence, and actively promote the global countries. Networking and popularization have given birth to a free, open and shared Internet spirit. Today, the global penetration rate of the Internet can exceed 50%, which is based on the spirit of the Internet. The launch of 5G is a crucial moment for the global Internet to enter the second half. Will the United States change its course and reverse it to the greatest strength that hinders global connectivity? Obviously, technological innovation is very important, but in the end it is the level of thought and the spirit of the times, in order to determine the constructive and destructive nature of the national strategy.
Fifty years ago, the Internet was nurtured, evolved, internationalized, and eventually commercialized. The US government’s policy makers fully restrained the offside and acted as a good observer. This should be the most important factor that human beings can truly connect today. “We can’t allow other countries to surpass the United States in this future strong industry.” The US referee, preconceived, is clearly offside, and is the first to announce the outcome of the 5G competition. Political rush in front of technology and market has undoubtedly increased the complexity of market competition, greatly increasing the difficulty and conflict of 5G development. At the same time, it will inevitably seriously damage the image and soft power of the United States.
Recently, when I was doing the oral history of the Internet in the world, I added a question to the guests: If the Internet was invented today, will the United States push it to openness, actively promote proliferation and help development, and make the Internet become a A network that is shared and built together? Can the dream of “one world, one network” happen again? Most people give the author’s answer is full of doubts, not sure!
Although there is no name in the Trump speech, the discerning person can see that his so-called competition and enemies are China. Therefore, in the face of the 5G global competition accelerated by the US government, we must maintain a sense of strategy and remain rational and calm. It is certainly important for each country to have the spirit of daring to compete in this 5G competition. After all, a major breakthrough in 5G human information infrastructure concerns the industrial competitiveness, economic prosperity and social progress of every country. Directly determine the country’s future position in the global landscape.
First of all, we must have the determination to lead the world in the will of the country. 5G is a rare strategic opportunity. Although it is still too early to say that China has taken the lead of 5G, we must be aware that China is only the first time in history to get rid of the passive situation that is technically subject to people, and the advantages may be fleeting. In the 5G competition, we do have many advantages and opportunities: Huawei and ZTE’s technology and equipment technology accumulation, the first market size of more than 800 million active netizens, and the BAT’s echelon of Internet companies. This is the first time that China has a leading opportunity in the main battlefield of high-tech fields. However, it is only possible to turn the opportunity into reality if there is the courage and courage to dare to lead at the national will and strategy level.
Second, we must accelerate further and start the market in advance. In the past year, the actions of the United States, South Korea and other countries have been greatly accelerated. Therefore, we are not allowed to slack off in the issuance of licenses and the commercialization of the market. According to the latest report of the American Wireless Communications and Internet Association (CTIA), China and South Korea are expected to lead the world in 5G in 2018, but the United States has swiftly moved from the third place a year ago to the number one with China. position. The United States plans to deploy 92 commercial 5G networks by the end of this year, which is almost twice that of South Korea, which is ranked second. There are 48 in South Korea, 16 in the UK, and zero in China. To achieve leadership in China, the government must further accelerate its strategy, policies and resources. Operators must also increase investment and progress. Equipment manufacturers should further highlight the advantages of cost-effective China in technology and products. Service providers must have killer applications. And service innovation. By fully mobilizing the invisible hand of the market, it is possible to accelerate the advancement of this complex system project without losing on the starting line.
Finally, China must set off the banner of the global spirit of the times. Although Trump had previously advertised that the United States won the 5G competition “not by blocking advanced technology,” so far, the US government has actually given up the spirit of the times 50 years ago. Then, if China wants to come to the fore, to truly lead the second half of the global Internet, the most fundamental thing is not to emphasize “China’s priority,” but to inherit the spirit of openness, sharing, and innovation, and continue to take over and open up the principle of equality, openness, and fair competition. flag. In the spirit of the times, we must first surpass the United States and abandon the Trump-style protectionism, and we may be in an invincible position.
The United States blew the horn of the 5G competition. China has the courage to fight for it and is unwilling to lag behind. In the strategy of action, we must both work hard and be awake. Especially in the directional issue of adhering to the spirit of the times, we cannot make any mistakes. The upcoming 5G era is the best opportunity to truly create the community of cyberspace destiny advocated by General Secretary Xi. Good times and people, China, are ready. (The author is Dean of the Institute of Internet and Society of Zhejiang Media College, and the initiator of the Global Internet Oral History (OHI) project)