State Department Policy Change Could Help Pave Way for 5G Wireless Devices, Improved Drones

The U.S. Department of State has announced that it will “relax rules on the sale of some key technologies that were seen as highly sensitive to national security,” according to Patrick Tucker at Defense One. The decision is especially notable because some of the technologies in question are generally viewed as essential components to enable a shift from 4G mobile devices to 5G devices.

The tech in question is Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuitry (MMIC), advancements in which are expected to enable faster, more efficient mobile coverage. The devices are already in-use in various applications both within and outside the United States, but improved versions of the chips have, until now, been listed as strictly-regulated munitions, making research and development more costly and less appealing to industry.

Tucker says this is also likely to remove impediments for those researching and developing drone technology, as “the rule change means that companies that are making unmanned vehicles with anti-collision radar, or the radar itself, have a lot more room to sell them,” including enabling “the sale of a variety of new commercial drones, such as so-called hunter-killer drones for security purposes that can detect and disable other flying robots,” including devices such as the already in-development “Dronehunter” from Fortem Technologies, among others.

Regarding the slightly less dystopian 5G network changes, TechSpot estimates that a shift to 5G is more than “just another generational upgrade for mobile networks” and that the “years-long migration will require an expansion of cellular networks worldwide to include millions of new antennas that will become the backbone of” the Internet of Things, the term now used to apply to the spread of cloud connectivity and remote access to nearly every category of household device.

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