In a 5G world, can an individual be their own bank?

A thought ….

That Covid-19 has sped up the exposure of workers to the possibility of automation replacing them is a saying that is becoming almost cliché. Television commercials remind us that we are “all in this together” and that we should wear masks and safely social distance. Meanwhile, telecommunications companies are promoting 5G technology that when fully deployed will help alleviate the downsides of working from home with a technology that moves data faster and can help connect all your devices and appliances so that you can better manage the data flowing through your home. But what if, in addition to connecting your mobile phone to your refrigerator which may allow you to determine whether to buy more milk, that 5G also helps to turn you into a micro bank by taking a real-time audit of the assets in your possession and using them as a basis for issuing your own coin?

The thought came to me today while conversing with two friends about the probability of Facebook becoming its own “nation.” Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, is backing a group that plans to issue a cryptocurrency next month called Diem. Diem will hopefully help people send money around the world almost instantaneously. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Diem will be a “stable coin” meaning it will be backed by reliable fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar or the euro.

But what if we could take the Facebook macro-model and make it micro to you? For example, with 5G-driven internet of things and block chain technology, why couldn’t a real time audit of a person’s possessions be taken and instead of the individual issuing digital fiat currency or even stable coin, the individual could issue their own personal currency. Tom Steyer, for example, could digitally tally up his cash, land, securities, and other holdings and issue a digital certificate that could be used in the digital marketplace. A man of his wealth could take a position in a number of different currencies but should he choose to engage exclusively in the digital world on his own dime, he could do so without any rules or regulations that come along with currency issued by a nation-state, a social media platform, or a corporation.

The advantages to such a scheme compound when more people with the material means decide to go digital and trade either the social media platform’s coin or, if affluent enough, their own coin. This would be true personal banking.

5G technology is a hog in the US. Investment in more infrastructure is needed …

Sponsored Content

by IIA

OCTOBER 28, 2020

A new report from Opensignal found that in September 2020, 5G users in the U.S. consumed almost twice as much data as 4G users – 16.5GB compared to 8.7GB respectively. This difference in data consumption between 5G and 4G users is even more prominent on a global scale, where 5G users average 2.7 times the data consumption as 4G users.

“Opensignal data shows that 5G users on average consumed much higher amounts of mobile data compared to 4G users, suggesting that, by having a better experience, users consumed more content on their smartphones, or similar amounts of content at higher quality and resolution.” – Francesco Rizzato, Principal Technical Analyst, Opensignal

Source: Opensignal

No. We don’t need a nationalized 5G network …

by Bruce Mehlman

OCTOBER 21, 2020

By Bruce Mehlman and Rick Boucher

Some say that there’s a lot wrong with our nation and our economy right now, but no one’s pointing the finger at internet innovation. Thanks to decades of investment in ever-more-advanced networks and a market that rewards risk, America built and deployed an advanced and flexible broadband infrastructure that has proved critical to maintaining our economy, education and community during the global pandemic.

While we still need to close the digital divide to achieve universal access and affordability, our private sector-led innovation and deployment model has clearly demonstrated its vast superiority to government-led, centrally planned alternatives.

So why is the Defense Department considering a new plan for a “government-owned, government-operated” 5G wireless network?

It makes no sense. As before, the private sector should continue development and deployment of competitive broadband wireless networks to get them into the hands of consumers, businesses and government users as quickly, efficiently, and securely as possible.

Of course, there is a role for government. Because the unique properties of 5G will require large amounts of spectrum, the government should be pushing more spectrum into the commercial marketplace under rules that encourage innovators to develop and deploy next-generation infrastructure. Spectrum auctions allow the market to indicate which companies can build this infrastructure fastest.

But nationalizing 5G, in contrast, would dispense with market mechanisms and the critical imperative to continuously improve or fail. The state-owned enterprises in the former Soviet Union and modern Communist China reveal how government-sanctioned operators undermine markets, competition, innovation and the entrepreneurship that makes America’s economy great.

Nineteen Republican senators have weighed in, citing the success of the private sector in 4G deployment and urging President Donald Trump to abandon the idea of a government-owned 5G network. On the Democratic side, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone and Mike Doyle, chairman of the panel’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee, began an inquiry into the Defense Department’s potential steps toward a national 5G network and said in a recent statement that the proposal “will do nothing but slow the deployment of this critical technology. The plan … undermines the careful and complicated work done by the FCC and the [National Telecommunications and Information Administration] to allocate this spectrum for commercial use.” They noted that every FCC commissioner, including Chairman Ajit Pai, opposes “a nationalized 5G network.”

Two months ago, President Trump promised that “the American wireless industry will be able to build and operate 5G networks.” So why have a duplicative and expensive government-operated system to compete with private employers when the market is on track to build out secure, robust, competitive 5G networks?

Like a bad penny, this is the fifth time this ill-advised idea has surfaced. On the previous occasions, American telecommunications networks were reaffirmed as the domain of the private sector. A government-owned or government-supported network would simply be slower to build and slower to deploy. America needs 5G to maintain its global competitive advantage in technology leadership, and the sooner the better.

Originally published at CQ Roll Call