President Trump on Thursday called for American telecommunication companies to improve the 5G technology in the U.S.
“I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible,” he tweeted. “It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind.”
But Mr. Trump’s Twitter post sparked confusion in the market with a hint that he was easing up on a U.S. pressure campaign against Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. The U.S. had blocked Huawei’s technology in the domestic security systems and has been pressuring allies in recent days not to use Huawei technology in their new national 5G networks, citing cyber-espionage fears and Huawei’s close ties to China’s political and military leadership.
“I want the United States to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies,” he added in a second post. “We must always be the leader in everything we do, especially when it comes to the very exciting world of technology!”
Telecom experts had been predicting Mr. Trump was poised to issue a blanket ban on technology by Huawei and fellow Chinese tech giant ZTE Corp. from operating in the U.S. market, but the dispute comes as U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators are working to strike a deal to end a bitter trade war.
Mr. Trump’s tweet appears to suggest he is rethinking that ban.
The newest generation of wireless internet is expected to bring much faster connections and reliable service than the current technology.
The Federal Exchange Commission has rolled back some regulation to speed up the rollout of 5G technology, including cutting costs and the time it takes to approve permits.
Though The Washington Times has reported that dozens of local governments have been pushing back against the FCC changes.
• Dan Boylan and David R. Sands contributed to this report.