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The Lead

Confirmed: Sprint Won't Participate in AWS Auction

September 12, 2014 11:44 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The AWS-3 spectrum is probably less suited to pair with Sprint's existing portfolio, which includes airwaves in the 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz bands. The FCC has said it expects the AWS-3 auction, which will take place in November, to raise about $10 billion. 

User Manipulation or ‘Network Optimization’?

September 3, 2014 9:26 am | by Elliott Drucker | Articles | Comments

In a highly publicized letter to Verizon, Wheeler raised concerns over the carrier’s policy of...

FCC Slaps T-Mobile with $819,000 Fine

August 28, 2014 10:59 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The FCC has levied a $819,000 fine against T-Mobile, citing the carriers has for more than two...

CTIA Chief Urges FCC to Revise Wireless Siting Process

August 27, 2014 11:00 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

CTIA CEO Meredith Attwell Baker implored the FCC to revise rules in order to speed up the...

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T-Mobile Urges FCC to Reserve Half of 600 MHz Spectrum for Smaller Carriers

August 13, 2014 11:42 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile is asking the FCC to consider reserving half or more of the 600 MHz spectrum cleared for auction for smaller carriers to bid on. In an FCC filing, T-Mobile said adjusting the spectrum reserve based on different clearing scenarios would “promote robust competition among service providers and ensure the continued vitality of four nationwide providers.”

FCC Expands Text-to-911 to Smaller Carriers, Messaging Apps

August 8, 2014 3:28 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In a push to make the service more uniformly available, the new rules expand availability beyond the U.S.’s big four carriers, all of which agreed to support the service by May 2014. Now all other carriers will have to make the service available and “interconnected” text messaging providers including OTT apps like Whatsapp.

FCC Streamlines Tower Regulations

August 8, 2014 2:27 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The Commission said that the order adopted today puts the FAA in charge of overseeing rules regarding the marking and lighting of cell towers so that planes can see them. It also makes changes to Commission rules such as allowing tower owners to provide tenants with antenna structure registration (ASR) information via mail, email or other electronic methods. 

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Verizon to FCC: Throttling Unlimited Users “Widely Accepted”

August 5, 2014 10:21 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Verizon has officially responded to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler after the Commissioner criticized the carrier’s decision to start slowing data speeds for some unlimited plan customers on its LTE network. The United States’ largest carrier called the practice “widely accepted,” according to Reuters. Verizon CEO Dan Mead, to whom the FCC’s letter was addressed, said the policy was in line with FCC principles.

Report: DoT Leans Toward Banning In-Flight Cell Phone Calls

August 4, 2014 11:16 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The Department of Transportation (DoT) is leaning toward an outright ban on in-flight cell phone calls, according to the Wall Street Journal. The agency plans to publish a NPRM by the end of the year that will outline its objections and open the conversation for public comments. The DoT’s focus is on calls and not texting or cellular data use.

FCC May Spoil Sprint, T-Mo Joint Bidding Plans

August 4, 2014 10:25 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

“We must make sure that the biggest providers are not able to limit broad participation in the spectrum auction,” FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Chief Roger C. Sherman wrote in a blog post. “Therefore, the item tentatively concludes that joint bidding arrangements between nationwide providers should not be allowed.”

Wheeler to Verizon: Throttling Is Not Network Management

July 31, 2014 9:51 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

In a letter to Verizon CEO Dan Mead, the Chairman voiced his objections to plans Verizon announced last week to begin throttling LTE customers on unlimited plans that use an exorbitant amount of data. Verizon said the change will only affect about 5 percent of its users and it is being done in the name of network managment. 

Obama Applauds Passage of Unlocking Bill

July 28, 2014 10:10 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

In a statement, Obama said the White House had laid out steps that the FCC, industry, and Congress should take to ensure copyright law does not undermine wireless competition, and worked with wireless carriers to reach a voluntary agreement that helps restore consumers' rights to unlock their phones. 

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Internet Companies Lobby FCC for True Open Internet

July 14, 2014 10:28 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Speaking as part of the Internet Association, the companies asserted that an "open and decentralized model is precisely what enabled the Internet to become one of the greatest engines for growth, prosperity and progress the world has ever known." 

CCA Calls FCC’s Rural Broadband Experiments Unfair to Mobile

July 11, 2014 3:55 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

"Making the vast majority of funding contingent on achieving speeds that are several multiples higher than those required of price-cap carriers in receiving CAF Phase I funding makes little sense,” CCA CEO Steven K. Berry said in a statement. “The primary directive of these experiments should be to determine which providers can deliver adequate broadband..."

AT&T Calls T-Mobile’s Data Roaming Proposals Unlawful

July 11, 2014 10:34 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In a blog post today, AT&T Vice President of Regulatory Joan Marsh said T-Mobile’s revised roaming agreement rules proposal would violate the Telecommunications Act and “push the Commission’s regime over the line into impermissible common carrier regulation.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Unlocking Bill

July 10, 2014 2:10 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and their cosponsors last year brought out the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act as a response to revisions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Why the Feds are Singling Out T-Mobile for SMS Fraud

July 2, 2014 12:27 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

“[The charges] fly in the face of their positioning and makes them look like hypocrites,” Recon Analyst founder Roger Entner said. “And it’s a huge opportunity for the other three carriers to throw egg in T-Mobile’s face.” Lynnette Luna, senior analyst at Current Analysis, said T-Mobile will likely pay a settlement in order to minimize the damage to their public image.

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T-Mobile: FTC Charges 'Unfounded and Without Merit'

July 1, 2014 6:43 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

“We exited this business late last year, and announced an aggressive program to take care of customers and we are disappointed that the FTC has instead chosen to file this sensationalized legal action,” Legere wrote. “We are the first to take action for the consumer and I am calling for the entire industry to do the same.”

FCC Preps Webinars to Educate Broadcasters on Incentive Auction

June 26, 2014 11:40 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The FCC will conduct webinars to explain the rules for the Incentive Auction. The first of these sessions, to be held this week in coordination with the state broadcaster associations, will describe the opportunity for broadcasters to voluntarily participate in the incentive auction.  

AT&T Joins Sprint in Pushing Rural Service to Bolster Acquisition Hopes

June 24, 2014 11:13 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In his prepared remarks, CEO Randall Stephenson outlines AT&T’s plans to bring broadband access to customers in 48 states, with 80 percent of the locations outside of the company’s wireline footprint. Using “fixed wireless” that combines dedicated spectrum and professional installation, he said the combined companies will be able to offer 15-20 Mbps home broadband to customers as part of a package or as a standalone service.

Congress Introduces Reworked Phone Unlocking Bill

June 24, 2014 10:29 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

U.S. Senators Monday announced new bipartisan legislation geared toward making it easier for consumers to unlock their cell phones and take them with to a new carrier. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) last year brought out the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act as a response to revisions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

CTIA CEO Suggests Spectrum Report Cards for Government Licensees

June 17, 2014 10:47 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

New CTIA President & CEO Meredith Attwell Baker suggested a spectrum report card as a way to determine which government spectrum holders are “warehousing” spectrum and who’s putting spectrum to use. Speaking with journalists Tuesday, Baker put most of the emphasis on freeing up more airwaves for mobile use.

CTIA Asks Congress to Keep FCC Powers Limited

June 16, 2014 10:50 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

CTIA is asking that Congress narrow the Commission’s authority to regulate only in specific areas where competition might not necessarily produce the desired result, for instance to ensure emergency communications in underserved areas. 

FCC Details Proposed Spectrum Screen Changes

June 3, 2014 10:52 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In a NPRM issued yesterday, the FCC added spectrum to the screen: 40 megahertz of AWS-4, 10 megahertz of H Block, 65 megahertz of AWS-3, when it becomes available on a market-by-market basis, 12 megahertz of BRS, 89 megahertz of EBS, and the total amount of 600 MHz spectrum auctioned in the Incentive Auction.

A Note on WEA: When Technology Works

June 3, 2014 9:56 am | by Andrew Berg | Blogs | Comments

WEA is one of those rare instances where a number of players - regulators, government, first responders, carriers - got a lot of moving parts to fit together and the results are truly impressive, to the extent that they could actually save lives. 

Congressmen Urge FCC to Streamline Infrastructure Deployments

May 30, 2014 10:05 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Section 6409(a) states that “a State or local government may not deny, and shall approve, any eligible facilities request for a modification of an existing wireless tower or base station that does not substantially change the physical dimensions of such tower or base station.”

SmartWatch, Episode 11: AT&T-DirecTV Deal by the Numbers

May 22, 2014 11:58 am | by Wireless Week | Videos | Comments

In this episode of SmartWatch, sponsored by SanDisk, we’re breaking down AT&T’s mammoth $48.5 billion acquisition bid for DirecTV. Our editor Andrew Berg is catching some rays in Orlando at the PCIA Wireless Infrastructure Show, so Wireless Design & Development Editor Meaghan Ziemba was kind enough to fill in.

PCIA: Pai Calls for Immediate Action on New DAS, Small Cell Rules

May 20, 2014 2:16 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

In a speech that was peppered with allusions to Bob Dylan songs, Pai noted that the times, they are a changin’ and proposed the FCC act quickly to reform its existing infrastructure regulations. He suggested it do so with the same kind of urgency it did with the spectrum auctions. 

FCC Fines Sprint $7.5 Million in Do Not Call Case

May 20, 2014 9:34 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Federal Communications Commission says Sprint will pay $7.5 million in the largest Do Not Call settlement to date for making unwanted telemarketing calls and sending texts to consumers. The FCC said Monday that Sprint will also put a two-year plan in place to make sure it complies with commission requirements designed to prevent people from receiving unwanted marketing calls.

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