YOU ARE AT:OpinionKagan: Will T-Mobile, Sprint merger be blocked by Huawei and China?

Kagan: Will T-Mobile, Sprint merger be blocked by Huawei and China?

Over the last few years, we have been discussing whether to allow or block the proposed T-Mobile, Sprint merger. All along I have said, after weighing the pros and cons, the merger should be approved. However, something new has come up which is causing everyone to question whether this should happen.

Privacy and security are becoming an real issue for both American companies, and global companies as well.

The U.S. government is warning us about the growing concern with Huawei network equipment and handsets. They are warning that China could invade the privacy of smartphone, wireless networks and users, whether they be individuals, industries or governments.

Growing concern about wireless privacy and security

As with any merger, there are always pros and cons. I have said that because of the industry move to 5G, the merger makes sense. We are better off as a nation with three strong 5G competitors in wireless, rather than two strong and two weak ones.

However, recently we are becoming aware of a growing concern over privacy and security. This is becoming a red-hot issue for many companies, and it is getting lots of attention.

Over the past year we have seen this issue explode onto the scene. We have seen CEO’s from Facebook and other top social media companies testify before Congress.

Protecting our privacy and security should be at the top of the list of important issues. The problem is, it hasn’t been and that has left us all vulnerable.

According to our government, this growing threat includes companies like Huawei and the country of China. So, the USA is becoming louder in its opposition to Huawei smartphones and network gear.

In fact, our leaders are even warning other countries about this threat as well. They are saying even if another country is our friend, we will not share information with them if they use this gear in their networks and smartphones for their citizens.

Does Huawei pose privacy and security threat?

This issue is only growing in intensity. So, where does the threat come from? According to the U.S. government, Huawei smartphones and network gear lets the Chinese government read the secret or personal information of users. They say, that’s why Huawei offers their gear at great prices to countries.

When I hear this, I think of the way shaving razor companies selling the razor for cost and make money on the blades. Some have compared this to the old story of the Trojan horse.

It is becoming quite apparent the U.S. government does not trust Huawei. And why they will no longer trust any other country that uses Huawei equipment.

So, the question is this. Is there a privacy and security threat or not?

To tell you the truth, I do not know. And I don’t know anyone who does, for sure. There are plenty of opinions, but not proof. However, since this is an area around security and privacy, it is important and troubling.

I am not casting a shadow over Huawei; however, I get the sense that all this noise could get in the way of the merger and other things going forward.

With that said, over the last couple years, I have said after weighing all the pros and cons and with the move to 5G, this merger should be approved. Now I ask, with these concerns, should we question that certainty? Stay tuned as this story continues to develop.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Jeff Kaganhttp://jeffkagan.com
Jeff is a RCR Wireless News Columnist, Industry Analyst, Key Opinion Leader and Influencer. He shares his colorful perspectives and opinions on the companies and technologies that are transforming the industry he has followed for 35 years. Jeff follows wireless, wire line telecom, Internet, Pay-TV, cable TV, AI, IoT, Digital Healthcare, Cloud, Mobile Pay, Smart cities, Smart Homes and more.

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