FCC rejects China Mobile’s US application

10 May 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has denied China Mobile USA’s application to provide telecoms services between the US and other international locations.

The news comes less than a month after FCC chairman Ajit Pai publically denounced granting China Mobile an application to offer telecoms services in the US. At the time Pai said “China Mobile’s application to provide telecommunications services in our country raises substantial and serious national security and law enforcement risks”. Adding that he doesn’t believe that approving the request is in “the public’s interest”.

The vote by the Commission largely supported Pai’s position that the application was not in the public interest. Additionally, after an extensive review of the record, the Commission also found that due to several factors related to China Mobile USA’s ownership and ‘control by the Chinese government’ granting their application would pose ‘serious national security and law enforcement risks that cannot be addressed by a mitigation agreement between China Mobile and the federal government.

According to the official statement on the FCC website China Mobile USA is a Delaware corporation that is owned and controlled by the People’s Republic of China. The company first filed its application to provide international facilities-based and resale services between the US and foreign locations.

Back in 2018, the US Department of Commerce’s NTIA recommended on behalf of Executive Branch agencies to deny China Mobile USA’s application. Making it the first time that an Executive Branch agency has recommended that the FCC deny a section 214 application due to national security and law enforcement concerns.

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump said that the US would have 92 5G deployments in markets nationwide by the end of the year.

According to Trump, secure 5G networks will be key to America’s prosperity and national security. Pai echoed Trump’s sentiments – saying that 5G will improve national competitiveness and improve the lives of US citizens.