AT&T will join other big tech companies including Samsung, HP, Dell and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) ?? in a meeting with President Biden on Monday regarding the growing effects of the global chip shortage.
AT&T’s presence is remarkable given that the operator is one of the top three 5G wireless service providers in the country. And there are clear indications that the global chip shortage has started to take its toll with some 5G deployments.
For example, T-Mobile warned that its 5G fixed wireless internet service will be “constrained by global supply chain constraints at launch.” Separately, optical networking company Infinera said the shortages could cost it up to $ 10 million in the coming months. And Gogo has announced that it will delay the launch of its planned 5G network from this year to 2022 due to the shortages.
However, a senior Verizon executive recently said that the global chip shortage should not affect the company’s efforts to upgrade its 5G network with valuable mid-band to C-band spectrum.
AT&T, for its part, has not publicly complained about the direct effects of the chip shortage. Nonetheless, Bloomberg reported that the situation was starting to affect industries ranging from automobiles to computers to mobile phones. Indeed, the publication reported that GM, Ford and other automakers are hoping to convince the Biden administration to issue rules that would direct the chips specifically to automobiles, although Biden officials hope to avoid favoring one industry over it. to the other.
“We appreciate the attention the Biden administration has given to addressing this urgent challenge and its impact on industries across the economy. The government should ensure that this essential technology is accessible to all industries, without pick winners and losers. US Congress and industry partners on long-term solutions that meet the growing and broad demand for semiconductors in a technologically and industry-neutral manner, ”wrote Jason Oxman, CEO of the global technology trade association ITI, in a statement.
Biden has already signed an executive order aimed at creating a more resilient and secure supply chain for critical and essential products such as chipsets.
But few believe that policymakers will be able to have an immediate impact on the situation. After all, increasing the supply of chips requires the expansion of existing facilities or the construction of new facilities. And although companies such as Intel, TSMC and Samsung have announced plans to spend billions to expand their chipset manufacturing capabilities in the United States, these efforts will only bear fruit until 2024 at the earliest. .
Waiting? “The chips will be more expensive, and that will lead to higher costs for the entire industry,” Eric Xu, one of Huawei’s rotating bosses, predicted at an analyst summit this week. He suggested that the problem could in part be attributed to US sanctions against Huawei and others that triggered “panic storage” of chips.
?? Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G and Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano