‘Rip and Replace’: The Tech Cold War Is Upending Wireless Carriers

Deep in a pine forest in Wilcox County, Ala., three workers dangled from the top of a 350-foot cellular tower. They were there to rip out and replace Chinese equipment from the local wireless network.

Three hours into the job, the team ran into a hitch. Replacement gear from a European company was obstructing a safety beacon for airplanes. “We’ve got a problem,” a crew member on the ground said. “They say it’s blocking the beacon.”

The project had already been delayed for months because of storms, slow equipment shipments and labor shortages. The new snafu, discovered early this month, would […]

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By Donato