On Thursday, January 31, Andrew Holland, COO of ASP joined a bipartisan group of national security experts gathered on a press call to unpack the national security concerns in the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, including the news of Deutsche Telekom’s declaration that a Huawei ban will hurt European deployment of 5G networks, recently reported.
Brad Blakeman, Principal at 1600 Group, said, “The legislative branch and the executive branch have an important obligation towards the American people to protect our national security. The executive branch and legislative branch should scrutinize this merger. Both Sprint and T-Mobile have a long history of using Chinese equipment suppliers for devices integral to providing voice and data services. Senators have noted and warned that Chinese government has the ability and propensity to compromise U.S. cybersecurity through Huawei and ZTE equipment embedded in communications network. The DOJ and FCC should suspend any decision regarding this merger until the Committee on Foreign Investment and DHS conclude that Sprint and T-Mobile have abandoned their ties with Huawei and ZTE equipment. National security and democracy require no less.”
Bishop Garrison, Interim Executive Director, Truman National Security Project, added, “The moment is ripe for exactly the kind of leadership and bipartisanship Americans long for when it comes to ensuring our national security. Sprint and T-Mobile seek approval from the FCC for a mega-merger that would build America’s first 5G wireless network, but if they are allowed to merge without proper checks on Chinese interests, we could see our wireless networks in serious jeopardy.
“In short, the Sprint and T-Mobile merger is another opportunity for a debate long overdue. Chinese corporate giants with state ties including Huawei must be excluded from the combined network. Congress and other regulators must ensure that Huawei and other Chinese equipment doesn’t compromise national security.”
Andrew Holland, Chief Operating Officer, American Security Project, continued, “The U.S. is in a global competition for influence with China, unlike anything seen since the beginning of the Cold War. It is time for the U.S. to wake up to this competition. A large part of this is that Huawei represents a serious, long-term national security threat to the U.S. that expands exponentially with the advent of 5G. This merger would support Huawei, so, in the interests of national security, it should be opposed.”