Boy, the future sounds great… at least according to the Federal Communications Commission. From medicine to manufacturing and music, the future’s got a level of autonomy and connected convenience that makes Star Trek look downright pedestrian. And it’s all down to policy that lets tech develop, of course — and so the FCC this morning voted unanimously to take the first step to open up new ultra-fast, super-speedy mobile broadband… for whenever it comes.
Verizon’s mission to have the fastest wireless technology among wireless and communication providers got a $1.8 billion boost Monday when the company announced plans to lease spectrum from and acquire XO Communications’ fiberoptic network. [More]
Everyone’s favorite (or not) cable, internet and telephone provider, Comcast, could soon be handling your cell service, too. [More]
Over the last couple of years we’ve all finally gotten used to 4G LTE being the mobile standard our phones use… so of course, the next network tech is already in development. The wireless companies’ plans for expanding LTE networks sound simple: piggyback off spectrum that’s sitting right there, available for anyone to use, so the metaphorical pipes can be bigger. Except that could cause big problems for basically all the wireless tech we already use.
The FCC has an auction process to sell spectrum to businesses. The FCC also is charged with promoting competition. So there’s a credit available to small businesses who play in the auction. But this week, the FCC has had to tell one behemoth that small means small, and that no amount of pretending otherwise will actually change that.
It’s the end of an era! Or at least, the beginning of a process that will eventually lead to the end of an era. 3G was once the great new hotness that made everyone run out and buy an iPhone, but over the years it’s been left in the dust by faster 4G LTE service. Now Verizon, the country’s largest wireless carrier, has started down the road that will eventually kill off the venerable 3G once and for all.
Sprint already explained that even though it’s in third place among U.S. wireless carriers, it meant to get ditched by about 459,000 of its customers in order to move its network from 2G to LTE. And now it’s gained a significant chunk of new customers by buying up a bunch of spectrum and customers from U.S. cellular in a new deal the company just announced. [More]
In the telecommunications world, the transfer of spectrum is sort of like alimony for a relationship that didn’t quite work out. The Federal Communications Commission has approved just such a gift from AT&T to T-Mobile, which was a condition of their failed merger. No word on who got the house in Aspen.
Right now Verizon Wireless is so dang flush with airwaves that everyone else wants, it’s all rolling around on a bed of airwaves being like, “Airwaves? Which airwaves? Oh, you mean these? Don’t need’em!” At least that’s what it says it will do if regulators let the company buy the new chunks of spectrum they want from cable companies.
While AT&T was failing horribly at attempting to amp up its 4G network by buying T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless was busy making deals with cable companies to snap up unused and underused spectrum. And though insiders initially believed VZW’s purchases would glide across regulators’ desks since cable companies are not competitors in the wireless world, a new report claims the spectrum sale may get a more thorough looking-into than had been expected.
Analysts are saying that Google is probably out of the running for the “C Block” of wireless spectrum that it had been bidding on.
There’s still no official FCC strategy for the nation’s switchover to digital television in February 2009, reports the General Accounting Office. We guess this will be one of those let-the-private-sector-sort-it-out “initiatives.” [Reuters]
Google announced today that they will be bidding in the 700mhz auction! For real.
Microsoft has said it will not participate in the upcoming wireless spectrum auction, because it wouldn’t help their business model, which is to create and sell software to handset makers. [Reuters]
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is whining about the “open access” rules the FCC put in place governing the coveted 700mhz spectrum that is to be auctioned off in the near future, hinting that AT&T might not take part because the rules make buying the spectrum unprofitable.