Everett McKinley Dirksen, at the time a U.S. senator from Illinois, usually receives credit for once saying, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.” His Senate biography says perhaps he never said it, but legend says he did. Speaking in the 1960s, the Republican Senate minority leader was talking about federal spending in an age when $1 billion would be worth $8 billion today. Does inflation make a $3.5 billion agreement between T-Mobile US and Nokia any less impressive? Maybe not.
On July 30, T-Mobile and Nokia announced a $3.5 billion agreement to accelerate the deployment of a nationwide 5G wireless communications network. “We’re all in on 5G,” Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s chief technology officer, said.
Ray went on to say that every dollar T-Mobile spends is a 5G dollar. He said the agreement with Nokia underscores the kind of investment T-Mobile is making to bring customers a mobile, nationwide 5G network. With reference to T-Mobile’s intended merger with Sprint that awaits government approval, Ray added, “Together with Sprint, we’ll be able to do so much more.”
Some of the $3.5 billion will flow to companies that own and construct towers, small cells and distributed antenna systems, which is good for the wireless infrastructure business. Among Nokia products that T-Mobile will use are radio platforms, cloud-native cores, hardware, software and self-organizing network services.
Perhaps T-Mobile’s commitment to spend $3.5 billion to build its 5G network will prove to be as memorable as what Dirksen said, at least in historical accounts of the wireless communications business.
Come to Kansas City, Missouri, on Sept. 27 for the AGL Local Summit at the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center. AGL Magazine favorite Clayton Funk, a managing director at MVP Capital, will lead a session that tells you what you need to know about buying and selling towers. The session will cover the effects of interest rates, carrier mergers and carrier health, overbuilds and inventory, among other factors.
You’ll learn the latest about small cell zoning with Bryan Tramont of Wilkinson Barker Knauer and Jonathan Kramer of Telecom Law Firm, along with Dan Marinburg of Vertical Bridge and Robert Stapleton of National Wireless Ventures.