Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross suggests that 5G remains a U.S. top technology priority in light of the Sprint-T-Mobile telecom merger.
Amy Hamilton

2018-05-04 06:29:00 Fri ET

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross suggests that 5G remains a U.S. top technology priority in light of the telecom merger proposal between Sprint and T-Mobile as well as President Trump's ban on the Broadcom-Qualcomm merger. Ross highlights the strategic importance of 5G wireless communication as part of the core national economic security agenda. The recent telecom merger plan between T-Mobile and Sprint can help propel AT&T and Verizon into more active pursuit of 5G technology. This $26.5 billion all-stock merger caps 4 years of on-and-off merger talks between the next largest U.S. wireless carriers behind AT&T and Verizon.

U.S. regulatory agencies are likely to grill these tech firms on how they plan to price wireless service packages. Both wireless carriers expect to invest $40 billion over the next 3 years to upgrade their wireless networks to facilitate 5G communication technology. The joint company would encompass about 120 million subscribers within the current wireless networks of T-Mobile and Sprint. Network effects and externalities can spill over to benefit the next consumers who then enjoy the fruits of healthy and intense competition between T-Mobile and AT&T and Verizon. The Federal Communications Commission proposes new auctions of high broadband spectrum to speed up the launch of next-generation 5G networks.

 


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