The consolidation and convergence in the mobile communications space continues with the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint into a single entity, retaining the T-Mobile name and valued at $146 billion. And, it is all about the creation of a 5G network that will require billions of dollars and a totally different infrastructure. John Legere, the current T-Mobile USA chief executive officer will lead the new entity which will be jointly based in both Bellevue, Washington and Overland Park, Kansas – which will probably be a future target of consolidation. The company will continue to be controlled and directed by Deutsche Telekom which owns two-thirds of T-Mobile.
While there will be significant employment opportunities for those capable of building out the 5-G network, there is little or no doubt that there will be a significant periods of assimilation, integration, and consolidation as duplicative functions are eliminated to achieve the cost-savings anticipated by merger and demanded by the investors.
For those who are not familiar with the generations in wireless communication as codified in various standards: the first generation was analog; the second generation included such technologies as CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access ), GSM (Global System for Mobile communication), and TDMA (Time-Division Multiple Access); the third generation included EVDO (EVolution-Data Optimized), HSPA (High Speed Packet Access ), and UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), the fourth generation included WiMAX ((Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) and LTE (Long-Term Evolution); and now the fifth generation standards including Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output). The end result will be a more resilient network capable of greater speeds, more responsive behavior (lower latency) and the ability to connect more devices – enabled devices in addition to mobile phones.
Like the various internet organizations and working groups, the cellular industry has decided to follow suit with an organization known as 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) which is comprised of the major telecommunications standards development organizations and working groups. The 3GPP has introduced a 5G logo – even though various companies may implement the 5G standard using different technologies. According to 3GPP the logo is described as having “a new wave pattern, but is a development of the existing LTE waves, using the green of the LTE-Advanced Pro version. The idea is to keep a familiar design aspect with the use of plain black text and textured waves, but to make the logo stronger and sharper – ready for use on the new radio and next generation core specifications for 5G.”
Forewarned is forearmed. It is now time to consider upgrading skills and considering lateral transfers into groups associated with technological progress. While there will be a requirement to maintain the older systems for a while, look for those maintenance groups to shrink and consolidate over time.
Are you asking yourself, Am I Next?