The federal government is taking steps to try to ensure that the U.S. doesn’t lose the 5G development battle to Chinese companies like Huawei. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai today announced that the agency will hold a Forum on 5G Virtualized Radio Access Networks on Mar. 26.

The announcement follows last month’s introduction (in the Senate) of the Utilizing Strategic Allied Telecommunications Act, which would provide more than $1 billion dollars for 5G infrastructure development so that U.S. suppliers can develop 5G technology, lessening dependence on international vendors for 5G and other advanced telecom technology.

Late last year, the FCC voted to prevent carriers that receive money through the Universal Service Fund (USF) program from using that money on equipment and services from Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE, as Telecompetitor reported. According to the FCC, equipment from those companies poses a threat to national security.

At the March forum, 5G experts involved in the development and deployment of interoperable, standards-based, virtualized radio access networks will join Pai and other FCC staff to discuss 5G  Virtualized Radio Access Networks deployment.

“The FCC has taken aggressive action to promote American leadership in 5G—a major priority for the agency and the Administration generally,” said Pai, in a prepared statement. “One way to advance this priority is through the development and deployment of more secure, cost-effective 5G network components. Virtualized radio access networks could help us do that, as I’ve heard here in the United States and discussed with stakeholders abroad. We want the United States to lead the way with this innovative approach to mobile network deployment.”

Additional information regarding the agenda, speakers, and logistics will be released closer to the event.

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