Gus Hurwitz on T-Mobile/Sprint Merger in MarketWatch
ICLE Scholar Professor Gus Hurwitz was quoted in MarketWatch on the T-Mobile/Sprint merger and the race for 5G:
When previous wireless standards launched, the key advantage to being first was “mostly just bragging rights,” said Gus Hurwitz, a law professor at the University of Nebraska. With 5G, there’s more at stake. Hurwitz explained that 5G is being built to serve as a machine-to-machine data network that can enable new technologies in the Internet of Things ecosystem. There’s an advantage not necessarily to be first, but to being early, as a delay of six to nine months could result in “billions of dollars in diverted investments,” Hurwitz said.
That’s likely a big reason why the government is playing 5G advancement as a national security concern. “If we’re not a leader in 5G, than the capital of U.S. firms is going to go toward building equipment that’s compliant with other companies and countries,” Hurwitz said.
There’s debate among experts about whether Sprint S, -1.38% and T-Mobile are right in saying that they need to merge to be successful in 5G.
Northeastern’s Chowdhury thinks there’s some truth to the statements. He told MarketWatch that the companies will likely be able to benefit from “dynamic spectrum access” and piece together “scraps of spectrum” from different points in the frequency scale. From a technological perspective, he thinks the merger seems smart because the costs of 5G deployment are significant and will require “a combination of finance and technology.”