U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he had asked Apple Inc Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook to look into helping develop telecommunications infrastructure for 5G wireless networks in the United States.
“They have it all – Money, Technology, Vision & Cook!” Trump tweeted, without elaborating on how he expects the iPhone maker to contribute.
Apple is not known to have made any investments in 5G telecoms infrastructure to date and is yet to release a 5G device.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump met Cook on Wednesday during his visit to Apple’s upcoming campus in Texas, in the latest sign of a close relationship between two of America’s most powerful men.
This is not the first time Trump has used his Twitter account to address Cook.
Trump has earlier said that the United States intended to deploy 5G services rapidly and plans to cooperate with “like-minded nations” to promote security in next-generation 5G networks.
5G networks will offer data speeds up to 50 or 100 times faster than the current 4G networks, and serve as critical infrastructure for a range of industries.
Mobile operators have to upgrade their networks with 5G gear made by the likes of China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] and ZTE Corp, Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia Oyj.
The United States has been pressing nations not to grant Huawei access to future 5G networks and alleged Huawei’s equipment could be used by Beijing for spying, which the Chinese company has repeatedly denied.
The U.S. Congress has been considering legislation to authorize up to $1 billion for small and rural wireless providers to replace network equipment from companies such as Huawei.
Apple, which is expected to release its first 5G phones in 2020, will be able to beat Samsung and Huawei to capture the top spot by the end of next year, according to research firm Strategy Analytics here
Many carriers that are investing heavily to build 5G networks are also likely to put their marketing efforts behind 5G phones.