Axios reports that top national security officials within the Trump White House are debating whether to build a nationalized mobile wireless network within the U.S.

The goal would be to protecting the country's wireless systems from China and other outside actors.

There are two options being looked at.

The first would have the federal government fund and build the single network on its own, without the consultation of private companies. The second plan would use the help of wireless providers to build their own 5G networks, which would then compete with one another.

A source familiar with the ongoing drafting of the document says Option 2 is really no option at all: a single centralized network is what's required to protect America against intrusion. The leading path that is being considered is for the government to build a network itself. It would then rent access to carriers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.

China is slowly winning the AI “algorithm battles,” and that not building the network puts us at a permanent disadvantage to China in the information domain, according to a source.

The U.S. wireless industry is already working on deploying 5G networks, with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, for example, investing heavily in this area. The process for setting 5G standards is well underway. Korea has been at the forefront of testing, as have Japan and others. It's not clear a national strategy would yield a 5G network faster or by the 3-year goal of having one in place that is secure.

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