Feb 26, 2024 - Technology

U.S. and allies endorse 6G principles amid tech race with China

Illustration of two 5G towers crossing each other to form an X

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The U.S. and several international partners endorsed shared principles for developing 6G wireless communication systems, the White House said Monday.

The big picture: A battle is underway to influence the standards of 6G amid concerns by Western countries and their allies that authoritarian regimes could gain further control over the internet in their countries.

  • Policies around wireless communications influence economic ​growth and national security, fueling the race between the U.S. and China — which claimed earlier this month that it had launched the world's first satellite "to test 6G architecture," per state media.

State of play: The governments of the U.S., Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Japan, South Korea, Sweden and the U.K. released a joint statement saying that by working together, "we can support open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, resilient, and secure connectivity."

  • They laid out principles including using systematic approaches to cybersecurity, being protective of privacy and creating technologies that are widely available and accessible to developing nations.

Between the lines: "China views telecommunications as central to its geopolitical and strategic objectives," per analysis posted to the website of D.C. think-tank the Center for a New American Security.

  • "China aims to dominate the development and rollout of 6G infrastructure, just as it did in 5G, where Chinese firms maintain 70 percent of the world's base stations and 80 percent of 5G connected devices."

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