threw a party for 5G last week. The company is refocusing on its wired and
roots, with DirecTV and WarnerMedia spin-offs in the works. In a New York City loft bathed in AT&T blue mood lighting and lo-fi beats, AT&T execs, a Google representative and tech investor actor Ashton Kutcher were poetic about 5G’s promise to console gamers. , augmented reality for people on the go, enabling telemedicine.
Many of those applications are possible on 4G networks or over Wi-Fi, but 5G promises to make them more mobile and responsive. AT&T and its partners just need to convince consumers. That explains demonstrations of 5G applications such as Stadia (from
Google), and Space Jam AR movie experience (from WarnerMedia), download speed tests and 5G partnerships with
Boingo Wireless and the NBA.
AT&T said its 5G Nationwide network now reaches 250 million Americans, with mostly lowband wireless spectrum, carrying a signal beyond higher frequency bands; it’s good to cover large areas, but lacks the full promise of high-speed, low-latency 5G. And AT&T’s blazing-fast 5G+, which serves parts of 38 cities and some locations, requires dense antenna arrays.
The midband spectrum trades range and capacity. Telecom spent $81 billion early this year on midband spectrum licenses ($23 billion from AT&T). The company expects to provide up to 75 million people with the so-called C-Band by the end of 2022, with 200 million a year later. Until then, it’s all about the magic.
Retreat from the top
Stocks rose as the earnings season began, reaching the trifecta: all three major indices on record. But inflation rose higher than expected in June, up 5.4% year-on-year, overshadowing strong bank profits, if expected. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell continued to insist that inflation was transitory and chip stocks were sinking on fears of a deficit. So much for the records. On a weekly basis, the Dow index lost 0.5% to 34,687.85; the S&P 500 lost 1% to 4327.16; and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.9% to 14,427.24.
Up and down
Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has successfully tested suborbital flight with the boss on board. The much-hyped event went off without a hitch, after the spacecraft dropped from a mother plane and ascended 53 miles — enough for moments of zero gravity. Branson talked about taking space tourists on daily flights, but the stock plunged 17% amid plans to sell $500 million in new shares. Next up is Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, with his boss on board.
The Group of 20 approved a worldwide minimum corporate tax. In response, the European Union said it would delay a digital tax on mainly large US tech companies. The next challenge: Congressional approval.
Cuba’s government cracked down on protests across the country. In Haiti, confusion reigned over who was in charge after the president was shot at home. In Afghanistan, Army General Scott Miller resigned as the US withdrawal neared its end.
Musk in the stands
CEO Elon Musk testified in a shareholder lawsuit accusing him of forcing Tesla to overpay in its merger with solar panel maker Solar City, which he co-founded. Musk attacked prosecutor’s attorney Randall Baron — “I think you’re a bad person,” he said — and insisted he didn’t have the power to set aside major Tesla shareholders.
Annals of deal making
through its second Vision fund, invested $13 billion in 50 companies in the second quarter, up from $2 billion in the first… TikTok owner ByteDance has postponed its IPO after Chinese officials warned of security risks… China cleared Tencent’s merger with search engine developer Sogou for about $2 billion… Altus Power, which builds solar power plants, is merging with a SPAC sponsored by real estate giant
for $1.58 billion…
signed a $2.2 billion deal with
US International Group,
to manage some of its life insurance and annuity assets and take a 9.9% stake in the unit, paying $5.1 billion more for AIG’s assets for affordable housing…The Wall Street Journal said
was in talks to buy chipmaker GlobalFoundries for $30 billion, which would be the biggest deal ever… SAS Institute pulled out of merger talks with
Write to Nicholas Jasinski at email@example.com