5G and the Future of International Relations

الجمعة - 10 فبراير 2023

Fri - 10 Feb 2023

In the current digital era, 5G technology is at the forefront of innovations in the Information and Communications Technology industry (ICT) as it carries with it great opportunities for the development of businesses and services to end users, thus contribute to supporting the economic recovery of countries, especially after years of stagnation following the COVID-19 pandemic, oil price fluctuations, the current state of war between Russia and Ukraine and the new international alliances that rely heavily on the capabilities of technology to make a difference in the arena of competition.

One of the most important features of 5G is its positive impact on the future of various sectors and industries at the level of upgrading communication and providing more digital services and taking advantage of the integration capabilities with other important technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, computing and industrial applications, all of which inject new capabilities on the path of digital transformation and social and economic development
Experts say that whoever owns the keys of the next generations of telecommunications technology such as the currently booming fifth generation (5G), the fast approaching 5.5G and the sixth generation (6G) with its R&D competition is already heating globally.

One of the main reasons for the tension between the United States and China is actually based on the struggle to control the advanced technologies, specifically the global 5G market.

The United States is confident that China's strategy of focusing on technological superiority and conquering global markets through its giant companies such as Huawei is a major concern for its history of dominance of technology globally.

This has led to a sustained crackdown on China and its companies in the context of allegations that China's technology threatens national security and many other claims related to cybersecurity breaches
The U.S. campaign against China and its companies, in cooperation with its various allies, is to ban Chinese companies from accessing any products that might contribute to their technological superiority, most importantly advanced chips.

The United States is trying to convince all its allies not to accept 5G technology from China's most important companies such as the government ZTE and privately owned Huawei who already established itself as a fierce competitor in the 5G market. Hence, the competition arena in the field of 5G is driven by political alliances and decisions are made with geopolitical motives away from scientific facts and factual evidences. There is a real need to neutralize technology from politics, not tolimit the spread of its positive benefits to humanity.

Many Middle East countries have managed to create good balances between the US and China in buying and utilizing technolog. The GCC countries for example, have become world leaders in 5G deployments and have had no conservations on using 5G technology from China's most important company, Huawei. But the US campaign against Huawei which does not stop, is gaining momentum and its influence reaches countries in the region planning l to launch 5G, especially countries with strategic alliances with the United States.

Jordan is the current example, as the announcement of the 5G launch is already made and the project would be a turning point in Jordan digitalization journey as is expected to achieve significant gains in-line with Jordan Economic Modernization Vision.

It is important for the Jordanian government to address significant challenges related to the project. The privately owned 3 telecom operator companies in Jordan can not do the project without the support of the government, which has already provided stimulus package and incentives to carriers, not sufficient from their point of view as it does not address their realistic concerns.

As for the selection of vendors that will build 5G networks for telecom companies in Jordan, it is important for them that the Jordanian government focus on ensuring a healthy business environment and fair transparent competition opportunities for all vendors interested in bidding for the project, regardless of the nationality of the supplier. The enabling business environment for global suppliers will encourage them to offer their top expertise and capabilities to support Jordan spreading 5G benefits to all verticals, industries and citizens. . It is vital to provide equal opportunities for suppliers on the basis of their competencies , experience, price compatibility and adhering to the international standards, apart from other considerations such as international political alliances.
Facts indicate that Huawei is the first-choice candidate to support the 5G launch project in Jordan due to its existing footprint in the telecommunications market with the three operators Zain, Orange and Umniah and its advanced innovations in 5G outperforming competitors, and its global expertise and latest solutions, products, services and best business use cases proven success in many markets regionally and globally. Jordan should benefit from the experiences of other countries such as the GCC, which have become a world leader in 5G implementation in partnership with Huawei, and become a global model to follow
The launch of 5G in Jordan is an example of decisions that must be taken away from any considerations other than the technology domain and its advantages to citizens.. If Jordan decides to deal with the 5G launch project in light of its alliances with the United States and block Huawei from working on building the 5G network business in accordance with the NATO and US intelligence recommendations, Jordan could lose many gains from the project, and a state of fluctuation may encounter the relations with China, Jordan's most important economic partner.
Pressure on telecommunications companies in Jordan under the intelligence direction to refuse to work with Huawei and providing them with alternative such ad free spectrum or financial compensation may not be a realistic as most importantly telecomoperators are keen not to miss on the opportunity to build on their existing telecom networks successes with Huawei
Industry experts say that Huawei's leadership in 5G was due to the early and big investments in R&D. The company began research and development in 5G in 2009 and spent 132.5 more than billion Dollar over 10 years. In 2021 alone, invested $22.4 Billion Dollars in R&D, which counts for 22.4% of its annual revenue. Huawei has the largest number of patents globally, and by 2021 has received more than 110,000 patents, contributing to the 5G business boom. Huawei's 5G base stations have been at the forefront of innovations that have passed the GSMA's network security test, the most accredited and trusted in the telecom industry. The company holds a leading position in cybersecurity at the global level. To date, it has built more than 1500 telecommunications networks serving more than one third of the world's population in more than 170 countries and regions.