Recent PostsCTN Issue: December 2016 Thomas Hazlett & Michael Honig, The Price of Freedom: How to Charge for Spectrum as WiFi and Cellular Collide IEEE ComSoc Technology News (Dec. 2016) Al[...]Thomas Hazlett recently reviewed two new volumes on the Information Economy for the International Journal of Economics of Business. Both Martin Campbell-Kelly and Daniel D. Garcia-Swartz, [...]My new research shows that more Internet access funding doesn't help students. And almost all U.S. schools are already online. By Thomas Hazlett 08/23/16 09:27 AM EDT Even during[...]How an early telephone silencer took on AT&T. By Lauren Young via Atlas Obscura It's not unusual today to overhear strangers' intimate phone conversations while comm[...]
Barron’s: Gravitational Shift in Wireless, Thomas Hazlett
Competition in mobile phones has supplanted competition among networks. In August 2011, Sprint Nextel jubilantly announced that it would offer the iPhone 4 on its network. This was supposed to be good news, for Apple lovers would surge onto Sprint’s network and pay monthly fees for access. But Sprint’s share price tanked 10% on the announcement. Why the long faces, Sprint shareholders? Your nationwide mobile network, with tens of thousands of base stations and 50 million subscribers, should be a treasure trove for Apple. How much would Apple pay for access to Sprint’s army of wireless warriors eager for iPhones and iPads? Nothing. Less than nothing, actually. To land the iPhone, Sprint (ticker: S) committed itself to buying 30.5 million units by 2015 for about $675 each. On just this sale, Apple (AAPL) will add gross profits equal to $15 billion. Sprint’s whole market cap is $8 billion. The telecommunications industry’s center of gravity has shifted. The edge is squeezing the core.