The official, confirming the gist of a report from Axios.com, said the option was being debated at a low level in the administration and was six to eight months away from being considered by the president himself.
The 5G network concept is aimed at addressing what officials see as China’s threat to U.S. cyber security and economic security.
The Trump administration has taken a harder line on policies initiated by predecessor Barack Obama on issues ranging from Beijing’s role in restraining North Korea to Chinese efforts to acquire U.S. strategic industries.
This month AT was forced to scrap a plan to offer its customers handsets built by China’s Huawei after some members of Congress lobbied against the idea with federal regulators, sources told Reuters.
Some members of the House intelligence committee remain troubled by security threats posed by Huawei and ZTE, according to a congressional aide.
Issues raised in a 2012 committee report about the Chinese firms have “never subsided,” the aide said, adding that there was newer classified intelligence that recently resurfaced those concerns.