by Erik Sherman
The race is on for the United States to catch up to China’s lead on 5G. Yet Washington is fighting over whether the valuable electromagnetic spectrum should be sold to AT&T and other big telecom giants, which have contributed to congressional campaigns for decades, or whether it should be leased to a well-funded upstart named Rivada, some of whose board members have donated to President Donald J. Trump.
Whichever firm wins the spectrum has the potential to reap billions in revenue and spend billions in infrastructure and equipment. With these high stakes, a classic inside Washington duel is underway.
The spectrum is currently held by the U.S. Defense department; it was awarded to the military several