With many technology companies speaking out – or at very least taking a stance – on recent news surrounding immigration reform, mobile service providers have been remarkably tight-lipped. The silence is not necessarily indicative of a stance on the controversial travel and immigration ban. It may simply be that it is not felt that the policies and executive actions in question do or will have a significant impact on Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, or Verizon. It may also simply be a bid to not alienate any customers.
Many large organizations within technologically-derived industry areas have taken to company blogs, news outlets, and even internal company memos or notes to express concern about the recently implemented ban on immigration. These have included Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and others. Most notably absent from those speaking out are the mobile carriers. What may make the lack of any comment seem out of place is that each of the big carriers does appear to have at least some interest in whether travel and immigration are negatively impacted. First – though perhaps least obvious – immigrants offer an opportunity to gain new subscribers, whether those subscribers enroll with either post-paid or pre-paid service. Each carrier also offers international add-ons or inclusions for their plans – most at additional costs over normal plans. Additionally, if comments from those companies in the business of creating new associated technologies are to be taken seriously, then advancements in networks, network-compatible smartphones, and software seem to be at least partially dependent on immigrants and people with work visas.
These points all raise the question of why the service providers are among the only technology firms not to comment on such a heated issue. Mobile carriers and technology providers, in general, are obviously not political entities. They may have a vested interest in whether some policies are enacted, especially implementations regarding regulations of the industry. However – it should be pointed out – that does not obligate them to comment on politics or even to make those stances they do take known. That said, in moments where opposition throughout the rest of technology's various industries does exist amid the often tumultuous and heated discourse, silence from any entity within associated fields can be quite deafening.