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Barr Urges U.S. Stakes in Nokia, Ericsson

“The US attorney-general has suggested the country buy controlling stakes in Ericsson and Nokia to help build a stronger international competitor to Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment maker viewed by Washington as a national security threat.”
Financial Times 2/7/2020

Comments

  • US Govt should also take stake in Insulin producing companies. They are blackmailing the population into higher prices - production manipulation compared to demand and there are few more companies like that. Why not buy QQQ because this will give access to all TECHNOLOGY companies -they need to stay ahead of Chinese competitors?
  • So now the mob AG is recommending stock investments huh? Just when you thought it couldn't get any more insane around here. What's next, a Russian ETF? Just as we're cautioned not to bring politics into discussions here I think political figures should stay out of them as well. Just my opinion.
  • That's right, we're going to Make America Great Again™ not by nurturing American businesses, but by becoming corporate raiders. Given the current budget deficit, I think it would qualify as an LBO.

    See also:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/business/dealbook/bill-barr-huawei-nokia-ericsson.html

  • edited February 8
    Two Cents Worth:

    We probably have good reason to be concerned about the 5G issue from a national security standpoint. Chinese tech company Huawei is at the center of the debate. Coming soon (in about a year) U.S. cellular providers will start rolling out 5G. (Currently relying on 4G cellular at home for internet service, I’m more than a bit interested.) From what I’ve read, the 5G being rolled out by Huawei is far superior to and ahead of schedule than what U.S. tech companies are developing.

    - Here’s an article explaining 5G: STORY

    Excerpt: “Tech companies are promising a lot from 5G While 4G tops out at a theoretical 100 megabits per second (Mbps), 5G tops out at 10 gigabits per second (Gbps). That means 5G is a hundred times faster than the current 4G technology —at its theoretical maximum speed”

    - Recently, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson angered the U.S. President by allowing Huawei’s technology to begin deploying in the UK. STORY

    There are fears China might exploit the system once installed to hack into U.S. infrastructure, stealing sensitive information or sabotaging their operation. In addition, with the heavy corporate, national security, military applications which would migrate to Huawei’s 5G infrastructure, consider the damage China could inflict during some future confrontation by “pulling the plug”, so to speak, on our 5G network. I’m not very familiar with what AG Barr is proposing, but tend to view it as something of a “side show” to the really crucial economic, financial and national security issues here.
    -

    Off topic personal perspective: I’ve spent some time in the UK and regularly read a couple UK publications. Trump and Johnson share a right-leaning political philosophy. Physical resemblance is sometimes noted. But dissimilarities prevail. In public Johnson comes across as bright, articulate, well educated and quite diplomatic in his approach to issues and people. A very smooth talker - charming, gracious, funny when he wants to be. I was surprised to learn he’s a former editor of The Spectator, which I enjoy reading - despite its politically right leaning philosophy.

    (Just trying to supply some context that was perhaps missing from my initial post.)
  • edited February 8
    Wow... nationalizing companies like Venezuela under the guise of national security.... shouldn't people be shouting socialism or is it ok now? If they want to deploy it here make them share in depth details of their technology like they do to us.
  • @royal4 The GOP and some Dems too have long liked socialism for the rich and parts of the country with certain, i.e., Caucasian demographics —bank bailouts, farm subsidies and overpriced military contracts. It’s only “socialism” to them if a liberal suggests it.

  • My sentiment, exactly.

    I also think if the USG doesn't buy into these companies themselves, folks like Cisco are getting message 'loud and clear' that if they buy into such firms the USG would be rather .... supportive in their efforts one way or other.
    royal4 said:

    Wow... nationalizing companies like Venezuela under the guise of national security.... shouldn't people be shouting socialism or is it ok now? If they want to deploy it here make them share in depth details of their technology like they do to us.


  • Yes, but insulin is 'boring' compared to 5G. I'm sure PhrMA would scream about it, too.

    US Govt should also take stake in Insulin producing companies. They are blackmailing the population into higher prices - production manipulation compared to demand and there are few more companies like that. Why not buy QQQ because this will give access to all TECHNOLOGY companies -they need to stay ahead of Chinese competitors?

  • edited February 9
    Back about 1996 AT&T was split up - and forced to sell off Western Electric and Bell Labs which became Lucent Technology, then Lucent was sold to Alcatel then they were sold to - (Erickson or Nokia) - don't have time to research all the details But American TELCOS have very little on shore engineering or manufacturing. Compliments of government whims fix 1 thing FU the rest.
  • Yup -- If they would have just left it all alone we'd probably have the best of everything now...Bell Labs had the best of the best working there.
  • The forced break up of AT&T by the federal government was in 1984, when the RBOCs and Bellcore were spun off. AT&T had delusions of grandeur, thinking that it was better off in the competitive computer market than in the regulated telecom market.

    (Running joke at the time, given AT&T's stated objective of becoming the second largest computer company: How would AT&T accomplish this? By buying IBM, which was then #1.)

    About this time, AT&T started putting pressure on Bell Labs to become more product oriented. This started an exodus from Bell Labs, usually voluntary, but sometimes forced, as when Bell Labs terminated its world renowned Economics Research Center.
    https://www.nytimes.com/1983/08/15/business/end-of-a-bell-research-role.html

    I wouldn't so much say that AT&T was split up in 1996 as it decided to split up on its own. It saw this as the only way for its equipment business to survive.
    In September 1995 AT&T announced that it would spin off Lucent and NCR in what became known as the “trivestiture”. The direct impetus for the trivestiture was the pending passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that would open up competition across all lines of business within the telecommunications industry. Restrictions to entering long distance and local service markets would be lifted, making it possible for AT&T and the RBOCs to become direct competitors. As a result, AT&T’s most important customers, the RBOCs, became reluctant to place orders with AT&T Technologies [the AT&T division containing Western Electric and Bell Labs], given that equipment orders would provide sensitive market strategy and capacity information to AT&T, their emerging competitor. Likewise, AT&T would now have a strong incentive to procure telecommunications equipment from suppliers other than its own manufacturing division to reach cost-performance parity with its RBOC competitors. Since both competitive forces would result in a decline in AT&T Technologies revenue, divestiture became inevitable.
    The Rise and Demise of Lucent Technologies
    http://www.theairnet.org/files/research/lazonick/Lazonick and March Lucent COMPLETE 20110324.pdf

    See also, for a picture of the competitive landscape nine months after spinning off Lucent:
    https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1997-01-01-1997001049-story.html
  • AT&T never was in the market for IBM it bought NCR to compete against IBM, There was a sea change going on in technologies. The switch gear was changing from relay voice (analog) switching to electronic (digital) switching as IBM built the first ESS main frames for AT&T . IBM was trying to get a foothold in communications technology. The purchase of NCR never worked out.
  • msf
    edited February 10
    Regarding IBM - it was a joke that displayed the contempt for AT&T's ineptitude - that it could wind up #2 by buying the computer leader and dragging it down to #2.

    The first ESS, not surprisingly called 1ESS, was an analog switch. What made it an electronic switch was stored program control, not the relays which were still analog. This was in 1965.

    See also Bell Labs Record, June 1965.

    The 4 ESS, developed by Western Electric in 1976, is the first digital switch . That was a toll, or long distance, switch.
    http://www.greatachievements.org/?id=3625

    By that time, AT&T was already falling behind in local digital switching. Northern Telecom was close to deploying its DMS-100. AT&T didn't launch its local switching system, 5ESS until 1982. And it didn't have per-line codecs, which AT&T found too costly.

    "In contrast to Nortel's DMS-100 which uses individual line cards with a codec, most lines are on two stage analog space division concentrators or "Line Units", which connect as many as 512 lines as needed, to the 8 "Channel card"s that each contain 8 codecs... Line Units handle the high voltages and currents of analog lines."
    https://enacademic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/21930

    The move to digital switching came a decade or two after the first ESS.

  • I think it more than peculiar to have the AG suggesting such a move.

    And I do think Huawei should be required to open up, the way our companies are.

    And there are very good reasons to be worried about something that is supposed to be so important under the control of that particular foreign power for a multitude of reasons, not least of which is the way they are handling the corona virus.
  • @WABAC- Not saying that you are incorrect, but curious as to what you think China should be doing vs corona virus. I agree with your AG comment, btw.
  • Old_Joe said:

    @WABAC- Not saying that you are incorrect, but curious as to what you think China should be doing vs corona virus. I agree with your AG comment, btw.

    The way their government/party treated local doctors trying to spread the word on the emerging threat is not a good indicator for future reliable telephone service. It's certainly no way to manage a public health emergency.

    It will be interesting watch what happens in the wake of the death of Li Wenliang. But I don't expect any serious change in that system.
  • I agree with WABAC. I wish they were more upfront with it especially if it's a health emergency consideration. I mean, it's not like their citizens don't know even though their leaders try to keep them clueless.
  • "Upfront government"?

    China??

    The United States??


    You make the leetle joke, yes?

    One of the more interesting aspects of the situation in China is the revelation that a very significant portion of the population deeply resents their government's efforts to stifle their ability to freely communicate and express their opinions. They have no choice between "real news" and "fake news". At least we still have that choice. For a while more, anyway.

    Until the Executive Branch fully exercises it's new-found authority to do whatever it wants, to whomever it wants, under the cloak of "Executive Privilege"- not answerable to Congress, the Constitution, or anyone else.

  • Yeah, I worked a couple years at Bell Labs 1989-'90 and the vibe was the strangest combination of bitter breakup resentment, nostalgia, smug self-satisfaction, vanity and deep engineering smarts I have ever experienced. A sib is on a Huawei council of advisers and counsels transparency, IP hygiene, and such, to what end not clear. A lot of tech developments come to have a life of their own, their future ever uncertain.
  • From above: "They have no choice between "real news" and "fake news". At least we still have that choice. For a while more, anyway."
    And so it begins:

    Tennessee Republican bids to classify CNN and Washington Post as 'fake news'

    A few days ago the tinpot dictator of the Philippines moved to revoke the broadcast permit for one of the main TV networks there, because of their reporting on his actions.

    The same thing would happen here if the present administration could have it's way. And given the current trajectory of unlimited Executive Branch power and manipulation of the federal legal processes, this administration, or a subsequent one, will get it's way- just a matter of time unless something brings this stuff to a halt.


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