The 5G controversy came to a head in early 2019. Many Allies became concerned about the security of future intra-Alliance commercial and military communications, primarily – but not only – because of risks posed by non-Allied suppliers. After months of discussion and debate, NATO leaders meeting in London in December 2019 stressed the importance of “the security of communications, including 5G” and recognised “the need to rely on secure and resilient systems”.
5G is the ‘fifth generation’ in mobile communications. In the 1980s, 1G enabled voice calls; messaging arrived with 2G in the 1990s; 3G brought limited multimedia, text and internet data in the 1990s and early 2000s; and, in the late 2000s, true data with access to dynamic information using various devices were made possible by 4G and LTE (‘Long-term Evolution’, a standard for improving wireless broadband speeds to meet increasing demand).
With the arrival of 5G networks, mobile