The flawed spectrum argument doesn’t hold up – Industry Voices: Entner
In a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal, Paul Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the Iraq war, outlined his plans to revamp the wireless industry in the United States.
A former staunch advocate of competition has been reformed to push spectrum distributions, echoing talking points about ‘5G nationalization’ notoriously pushed in recent years by a company that has never built and operated a high network. wireless speed.
Mr. Wolfowitz’s apparent ignorance of the broader wireless industry, particularly in the United States, is shocking. He seems unaware that the US wireless industry has managed to spend $ 158 billion over the past 10 years to buy spectrum at auction, then spent from 2011 to 2021 an additional $ 291 billion plus an additional $ 30 billion. expected in 2021 to develop the spectrum and operate. networks serving consumers.
As you can see from the graph below, spending on wireless infrastructure has grown at about the same rate every year – $ 30 billion a year – regardless of how much the industry spends on auctions. .
The idea that spectrum purchases constrain corporate investment in networks is as credible as those regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. No matter how some people want it to be true, it’s plain and simple: the claim is not supported by the facts on the ground.
It’s also surprising that someone who doesn’t know anything about the US wireless industry is nevertheless suggesting depriving the US Treasury of billions of dollars in auction revenue.
He mentions the failure of Atlan Redes in Mexico, commonly referred to as Red Compardida or “shared network,” as a warning about Huawei. Wolfowitz conveniently forgets to mention that this was a launch based on the same flawed assumption he is proposing for the United States: a single supplier on the spectrum reserved to provide capacity to third parties. There is no example in the world where such a network has succeeded, but Mr. Wolfowitz is still pushing for such a proven failure.
We don’t know what’s worse, with Mr. Wolfowitz either not knowing the truth or deliberately ignoring it in favor of a narrative that fits his worldview. As the old saying goes: deceive me once ashamed of you, deceive me twice ashamed of me. We shouldn’t be fooled twice. According to his scenario, US taxpayers lose again, consumers of wireless services lose, and the US economy loses.
Roger Entner is the founder and analyst of Recon Analytics. He received an honorary doctorate of science from Heriot-Watt University. Recon Analytics specializes in factual research and analysis of disparate data sources to provide unprecedented insights into the world of telecommunications. Follow Roger on Twitter @rogerentner and find it on The Week with Roger podcast.
“Industry Voices” are opinion columns written by external contributors, often industry experts or analysts, invited to the conversation by Fierce staff. They do not represent the views of Fierce.