According to the New York Times yesterday: “The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States — a body that reviews foreign investments in the United States for national security threats — the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense all agreed to the $26.5 billion deal, T-Mobile said in a statement on Monday.”
This is a significant step, although not the final step, in the journey of a Sprint/T-Mobile merge, which is good news for those who want faster deployment of 5G.
What is 5G and why should any of us care?
Here is what Wikipedia says about it: “5G is the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications. It succeeds the 4G (LTE/WiMax), 3G (UMTS) and 2G (GSM) systems. 5G performance targets high data rate, reduced latency, energy saving, cost reduction, higher system capacity, and massive device connectivity.”
There is nothing inherently magical about 5G. It just another step in the process to a faster, better hand-held internet experience.
It is better than 4G, better than 3G, better than LTE.
If history is but one damn thing after another, 5G is a damn thing better than what has come before.
You can’t get to 6G or 10G until you get done with 5G.
The Sprint/T-Mobile merger is helpful to 5G deployment because it creates more and better competition for Verizon and AT&T, the two big kahunas in the cellular mobile space.
Competition plays a vital role in the deployment of any new technology. I am currently reading Alan Greenspan’s new history, Capitalism in America and he tells a compelling tale about how the United States became the mightiest economic power on earth.
It’s a story of greed, competition, creative destruction, but also a story of people, innovation, and a government that led the free market work to allow new ideas to prosper (and to allow plenty of bad ideas and old ideas die a natural death).
Allowing T-Mobile and Sprint to merge will provide greater competition to the mobile device marketplace. No longer will the big two be allowed to be able set the 5G agenda on their own terms. They will have to act fast to capture customers and compete for market share.
This is a welcome development. It is good for consumers and for the technological innovation that will keep America on the top of the global economic heap.
There are more steps in the merger process, but with this CFIUS review in the rear view mirror, a big hurdle has been cleared.
Editor’s Note: In full disclosure, I am registered to lobby for Sprint, but this blog post does not in any way speak for either Sprint or T-Mobile.