First News Briefs for November 5, 2012
AT&T is buying three lower 700 MHz B block licenses covering St. Cloud, Minn. from Wireless Communications Venture, Central Stearns Comsis and Communications Alternatives. AT&T plans to use the spectrum for its LTE network. If the FCC clears the deal, AT&T will hold 75 MHz of spectrum in the St. Cloud market.
The Wireless Broadband Alliance is working with the Small Cell Forum to integrate Wi-Fi hotspots and small cells. The partnership will examine how small cells could affect efforts to simplify Wi-Fi hotspot access and develop best practices for joint Wi-Fi/small cell hotspot deployments. The two groups will also look at how to integrate Wi-Fi and small cells on a network level, instead of simply using Wi-Fi to offload cellular network traffic. This could allow Wi-Fi hotspots to support cellular services such as voice and SMS, as well as enable enhanced integrated services such as advanced traffic management and smart offloading features over the radio interfaces as well as within the backend networks.
The FCC has extended comment deadlines for its proposed changes to how it reviews spectrum transactions such as mergers. "Given the proximity of the filing deadlines to two federal holidays, as well as our desire to encourage thoughtful consideration of the important issues raised in this proceeding, we believe that a grant of additional time within which to file comments and reply comments will help to facilitate careful and deliberate consideration of these matters," the commission said. The new deadline for the first wave of comments is now Nov. 28, with reply comments due Jan. 7.
Barnes & Noble has cut the price of the Nook and Nook Color. The Nook is now priced at $159 for the 8 GB model and $179 for the 16 GB version. The Nook Color has been reduced to $139.