The book “The Geopolitical Game of 5G Communications – United States, China, and the impact on Brazil” analyzes the dispute for global leadership and its effects on the digital economy.
5G technology is the new standard in the global telecommunications industry. 5G will shape the future of the digital economy and connectivity between communication network infrastructures. The issue is the target of a geopolitical dispute between the United States and China. In this same environment of geopolitical decisions, Brazil is in the midst of challenges, risks, and opportunities.
5G communications are on the Brazilian agenda. The 5G frequency auction is scheduled for 2021. Thus, as a sovereign country, Brazil will need to fulfill its mission to protect the integrity, confidentiality, and security of its communications against the risks of espionage by the United States, China, or any other country. This is a national defense issue. That is why it is necessary for Brazil to advance on the path to full technological sovereignty to reduce the geopolitical risks of technological dependence on other countries. This way, it will ensure reliable data protection for Brazilian citizens, companies, and the government.
The book maps out the accusations of political and economic espionage made by the US government against China. The United States has threatened no longer to share intelligence information with allied countries that adopt Chinese technology. In the context of espionage, the book remembers that in 2013 Brazil was the target of espionage by the National Security Agency of the United States. This fact led to the opening of a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, which presented a series of proposals to improve networks’ cybersecurity.
The author presents the US political strategies to contain China’s rise on the global stage and reveals the containment measures imposed by the US government on China, such as the ban on the supply of 5G technology by the Chinese company Huawei and the restriction of the Chinese company’s access to US semiconductor technology. In this environment, the goal of the US is to maintain its economic, military, and technological leadership.
The US geostrategy is based on alleged reasons of national security of its telecommunications networks and risks of espionage by the Chinese company providing 5G technology. Usually, the US government uses telecommunications networks to collect intelligence signals. Thus, there are tactics for intercepting communications in fiber-optic networks, submarine cables, satellites, infiltration of spy software, etc. There are open and covert actions through communication networks and even on social media. The US government has even declared that 5G technology in Brazil is of interest to its national security.
Also, the United States adopts command and control, surveillance, communications, and tracking measures using the radio spectrum. In the context of cyber wars, 5G networks will likely be the target of attacks by governments and/or foreign agents.
Another US geostrategy is the adoption of technical standards in 5G and even in 6G to allow for the economy of Brazil and other Latin American countries to be coupled to the US economy. 6G technology will play a supplementary role to 5G, as it allows the flow of traffic from fixed and mobile networks through indoor and outdoor wireless systems. Both technologies – 5G and 6G – are essential for the flourishing of the Internet of Things (IoT), as they will enable machine-to-machine communication in several economic sectors: agriculture, energy, transportation, medicine, industry, ports and airports, entertainment, defense, among others.
Thus, the United States gains from the supply of semiconductor technology embedded in 5G technology, including in the segment of the Internet of Things. Also, North American technology companies known as over-the-top (Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, etc.) benefit from providing services to Brazil. For this reason, some of them even invest in submarine cable networks to interconnect the continents.
The book outlines the impact of this international 5G communications scenario in Brazil. Brazil’s future, sovereignty, economy, and communications network connectivity infrastructures are at stake.
About the author, Ericson Scorsim
Lawyer and Consultant in Communication Law, focusing on Technologies, Infrastructures, Internet, Media, and Telecommunications. He holds a Ph.D. in Law from the University of São Paulo (2007), a Masters in Law from the Federal University of Paraná (2002), and is also a Bachelor in Laws from that same university (1997).
Title: The Geopolitical Game of 5G Communications: United States, China and the Impact on Brazil
Author: Ericson Scorsim.