What Happened: German officials are urging their government to prevent Chinese firms from participating in the country's 5G spectrum auction that Germany's regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur, is planning to hold in 2019, Reuters reported Nov. 13.
Why It Matters: Germany is hoping to finalize its 5G auction process this month and to officially hold it in early 2019, although a delay is possible. While this latest effort attempts to exclude Chinese firms, such as Huawei or ZTE, from the bidding process, Chinese corporations have collaborated with German telecommunications companies in the past. However, Chinese technology firms have become increasingly scrutinized internationally as a potential security risk for Western countries, and the United States is pushing to get its allies to bar Chinese vendors from supplying 5G technology to them.
Background: The rollout of 5G technology for the mobile telecommunications industry is critical for the long-term development of advanced economies. While previous generations of mobile telecommunications infrastructure have primarily offered applications for consumers for data services, 5G networks promise far more robust infrastructure that will underpin the internet of things and the industrial internet. This has the potential to unlock applications such as the tactile internet, which will reduce latency and enable reliable control of remote objects.