August 13, 2019

Setting the Stage for U.S. Leadership in 6G

By Martijn Rasser

Every day there are more headlines about China’s rise in 5G, the next generation of wireless communications technologies, and the economic and national security risksto the United States that go along with these developing technologies. These concerns, particularly the threat of critical infrastructure disruptions, are valid—but the plight of the United States is in part self-inflicted. The U.S. government waited too long to tackle the difficult issues surrounding 5G. As a result, China has unprecedented clout on the global stage regarding the deployment and diffusion of advanced communications technologies.

The United States must learn from this experience and act to remain at the forefront in this critical area to help protect U.S. economic vitality and national security. Though it may sound premature, now is the time to focus on what comes next: 6G.

Even though 5G deployments are in their infancy and at risk of becoming trite as a policy concern, the long time horizons for technology development in this field mean that U.S. political and industry leaders cannot afford to wait when it comes to 6G. These advances will bring opportunities for breakthroughs in data transmission over shorter wavelengths than 5G—meaning much greater bandwidth at higher speeds—which are likely needed to truly achieve a true revolution in mobile networks. It will also create openings to upend the current hardware-focused market by promoting a software-focused one, with expected benefits in security, cost, supply-chain diversity and more competitive markets.

Read the full article in Lawfare.

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Affairs
    • July 29, 2020
    Can China’s Military Win the Tech War?

    The United States and its allies should take seriously Beijing’s efforts to militarize China’s technological base....

    By Anja Manuel & Kathleen Hicks

  • Transcript
    • May 20, 2020
    Transcript from Emerging Concepts in Joint Command and Control

    On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, the CNAS Technology and National Security Program hosted a virtual panel discussion on emerging concepts in joint command and control featuring Hon...

    By Robert O. Work, Chris Dougherty & Paul Scharre

  • Commentary
    • Space News
    • May 13, 2020
    What the government should or should not do to help space industry

    The COVID-19 economic slowdown will have lasting implications on the new space sector. Yet the United States cannot afford another lost decade of commercial space innovation. ...

    By Mikhail Grinberg

  • Commentary
    • The Washington Examiner
    • April 5, 2020
    Time for the US to declare independence from China

    Americans now know they can’t rely on China or even our allies to produce the goods we need during a pandemic. That’s why it’s time for the United States government to do what...

    By Anthony Vinci & Dr. Nadia Schadlow

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia