Telekom CEO argues for strong No. 3 player in U.S. wireless market: newspaper

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A strong No. 3 player in the U.S. wireless market would enhance competition, the chief of Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE) told a German newspaper, as T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) seeks to merge with Sprint Corp (S.N).

Timotheus Hoettges, Chief Executive Officer of Germany’s telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom AG poses for a picture at the Cyber Defense and Security Operation Center (SOC) of Telekom Security in Bonn October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Chief executive officer Timotheus Hoettges also urged the new German government to think twice before selling down its large stake in Deutsche Telekom, according to an interview in Welt am Sonntag.

T-Mobile US, majority-owned by Deutsche Telekom, is close to agreeing tentative terms on a deal to merge with Sprint Corp, people familiar with the matter have said, a breakthrough in efforts to merge the third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers.

Hoettges, in the interview published on Sunday, declined to comment directly on talks between the companies.

“In the U.S. there is a duopoly between two very big players, and then there are two smaller players well behind,” he said. “A third strong player would be good for competition.”

Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and AT&T Inc (T.N) are the two largest wireless carriers.

Competition regulators have in the past quashed consolidation efforts by T-Mobile, but Hoettges said chances are now better under U.S. President Donald Trump.

“History has taught us that governments led by Republicans are more hands-off than Democratic administrations,” he said.

On the German state’s nearly 32 percent stake in Deutsche Telekom, Hoettges acknowledged it would be the new government’s decision whether to sell or keep.

But he said those who argued for a sale “should perhaps ask themselves who will buy the stake”.

“What interest would the owner have in infrastructure security? Would the owner want to invest in Germany, and if so, where and in particular, how much?”

The FDP and Green parties, which are in talks to form a coalition government with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, have both advocated a sale or partial sale of the stake.

Reporting by Tom Sims and Douglas Busvine; editing by John Stonestreet

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tech

Alphabet’s Project to Restore Wireless Service in Puerto Rico With Balloons Gets FCC Approval

Project Loon has already proven its real-world usefulness once this year.

The FCC has approved an experimental license for Alphabet, Inc’s Project Loon to attempt to restore wireless service to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico using its high-altitude balloons, according to FCC Chief of Staff Matthew Berry.

Though the Loon technology is not entirely proven, it could help speed the restoration of vital communications as the U.S. territory works to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

It could also help prove the business case for Loon, one of the experimental “moonshots” debuted as part of Google, and now housed under Alphabet subsidiary X.

More than 80% of Puerto Rico’s cellular towers are still out of service more than two weeks after the arrival there of Hurricane Maria, and nearly one-third of the island’s counties have no service, according to the FCC. Rebuilding conventional cell towers will be “a long road,” T-Mobile told CNN, thanks to challenges including not just the cost of construction, but, according to some wireless companies, theft and crime against their operations.

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Loon balloons, which carry communications equipment as high as 20 kilometers into the atmosphere, would circumvent those earthbound hurdles — at least temporarily. Loon recently rolled out internet and LTE service in Peru after flooding there, reportedly providing coverage for an area roughly the size of Switzerland. The balloons that were deployed in Peru, in fact, were launched from Puerto Rico.

However, restoring communications to Puerto Rico may be more challenging. Loon requires local partners to work, and in the case of the Peru project, relationships with wireless providers and other players were already in place. But in earlier statements to Mashable, a Loon spokesman said the Puerto Rico effort would be “a little more complicated because we’re starting from scratch.”

Contracting with governments for deployment in disaster zones could eventually become a revenue stream for Loon, which debuted in 2013. Alphabet has begun ramping up pressure for moonshots to generate revenue, partly in hopes of diversifying beyond the search-driven advertising business that still makes up the overwhelming majority of its profits.

Tech

Connecting to the Future: Wireless Infrastructure Service Company…

RCR Wireless News release a new report that takes an inside look at the wireless infrastructure industry and how it plays an increasingly important role in the U.S. economy.

(PRWeb August 20, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/08/prweb12912057.htm


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