T-Mobile and Sprint have talked about bringing together and giving birth to 5G babies since last April. With a tentative nod from the FCC, the couple appears to be approaching the merger's approval.  Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC, gave his approval to the merger after T-Mobile made significant promises for the growth of 5G in a post-merger world. He claims that this will provide a "unique opportunity to accelerate the deployment of 5G throughout the US and provide much faster mobile broadband to rural Americans", and encourage his FCC colleagues to agree to the deal as well.
Of course, T-Mobile's promise of a broad 5G rollout must be secured, and FCC approval will be accompanied by "enforceable requirements." For example, SprinT-Mobile (as I've lovingly called it) needs to offer low-band 5G to 97 percent of the country, with mid-band 5G availability at 75 percent within three years. This must be followed by extending low-band 5G to 99 percent of all Americans and mid-band 5G to 88 percent within six years. It will also be necessary for 85 percent of rural America to have access to low-band 5G within three years and 90 percent after six years.
That sounds good and still requires the approval of the Ministry of Justice. While it was originally assumed that the DOJ would follow the FCC's decision, a recent Bloomberg report suggests that this may not be the case. According to "persons familiar with the matter", there is still concern that this will harm competition and give the DOJ a reason to defend itself against the deal.
Still, there is not much evidence to back up Bloomberg's report ̵
In Other News
- Huawei Receives a Temporary License for Some Activities in the US: The Bannhammer hit Huawei this weekend, and Google, Intel, Qualcomm, and others abandoned business with the company after a ban was introduced in the US. Now, the US Department of Commerce has granted Huawei a temporary license to support some required infrastructure hardware and Android devices until August 19. If no agreement is reached after that, the lights go out again. [9to5Google]
- Google Announces Glass 2: The new Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 (wow) is a redesigned version of Glass with a new chip, better specifications, improved design and a price of $ 999. The industry is really the new home of Google Glass.
- A New Facebook Fraud Deceives Users to Donate Money To Terrorist Organizations: With products like Facebook Messenger, fraudsters bump into unsuspecting users and fake pseudo-friendships and later demand some money. The next day, the scammers call users who claim to be law enforcement and tell the user that they are guilty of donating to terrorists. Then they tell the user that they are entitled to a lawyer – for a $ 1000 deposit. Jeeeez. [Gizmodo]
- Sony talks more about the PlayStation 5: There have been no new details released about the console itself, but it seems like the PlayStation 4 will still be around for at least three years, leaving the 5 afloat after the release remains. Sony also mentioned (again) that the PS5 will be backward compatible with PS4 titles. [Engadget]
- Injury to Instagram exposes data to millions of users: A database hosted by AWS has been left without a password, allowing hackers to access the data of over 49 million influencers, celebrities, and brands. Data includes Bio, profile picture, number of followers, verified location, email address and password. [TechCrunch]
- Pandora gets a desktop app: The music streaming company released its first desktop app, which is now available on MacOS and Windows. [Pandora Blog]
- USPS Tests Self-Propelled Trucks: ] USPS has entered into a two-week contract with TuSimple, a San Deigo-based self-propelled truck company, to examine how autonomous postman transport works. The trucks are used for five round trips each with a length of 1,000 miles. The future starts now. [Engadget]
It has recently been suggested that Pluto found liquid oceans under ice layers, but it was unclear how this was possible given the planet's distance from the sun and its extremely cold state. Scientists have now hypothesized why these oceans are not completely frozen: gas layers under the ice act as insulators to protect the liquid from freezing solids. This, of course, is the ultra-simplified version of the research, because there is a lot more to it. If you are interested in the full details, the published article is a fascinating read. [Gizmodo]