US politicians urged President Donald Trump to maintain a free market approach to 5G after a government request for information on shared spectrum models renewed concerns he may pursue nationalised infrastructure.

A group of 19 Senators, including the chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet, warned Trump “experimenting with untested models for 5G deployment” would hinder US ambitions to be a leader in the technology.

They argued the approach would pose a significant national security risk, noting attacks which “only need to penetrate one network” would have a “greater likelihood of disrupting” communications services.

Industry association CTIA backed their concerns.

The Department of Defence (DoD) last month requested information from mobile players about models for sharing spectrum between military and commercial users.

Trump first floated the idea of a nationalised 5G network in 2018, but backtracked after opposition from regulators and industry players.

In August, Trump’s re-election campaign appeared to resurrect the idea as a goal for the president’s potential second term.

At the time, Recon Analytics founder and lead analyst Roger Entner told Mobile World Live the idea made little sense, because operators would already have completed their own networks by the time the government was ready to move forward.