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AT&T Warns FCC It Might Skip 600 MHz Auction Over Spectrum Rules

April 17, 2014 10:14 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The FCC is planning to set aside up to 30 MHz in each market for smaller carriers to bid on once bidding for those markets hits a set threshold. After the threshold it hit, carriers holding at least one-third of the low-band spectrum in that market wouldn’t be allowed to bid. AT&T and Verizon would experience the most impact from this rule though in some markets, smaller regional carriers like U.S. Cellular would be restricted.

Wheeler to Broadcasters: Incentive Auctions Won't Come Again

April 8, 2014 4:55 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Monday urged a gathering of broadcasters to embrace the changing...

Sprint, T-Mobile Caution FCC on AT&T All-IP Trials

April 1, 2014 11:09 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Sprint and T-Mobile are calling into question AT&T's recently approved IP-network trials in...

Report: Kill Switch Could Save Americans $2.6B Annually

April 1, 2014 9:37 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Whether you're for or against mandatory kill switch technology in smartphones, at least one...

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FCC AWS-3 Plans Get Mixed Reaction

March 31, 2014 3:13 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The FCC today issued an official report and order that sets rules for the upcoming auction of 65 MHz of spectrum in the AWS-3 band, specifically in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands. The report and order establishes a band plan that makes spectrum available in a mix of spectrum block and geographic license area sizes...

FCC Opens 100 MHz of 5 GHz Spectrum for Unlicensed Wi-Fi Use

March 31, 2014 2:53 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The new report and order focused on relaxing the rules governing the operation of Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) in the 5 GHz band, specifically removing current restriction on indoor-only use and increasing the permissible power in the 5.150-5.250 GHz band.

CTIA, Broadcasters Prove Viability of Spectrum Sharing

March 28, 2014 10:25 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The Wireless Association today released a report on its efforts to test spectrum channel sharing with a pair of Los Angeles television stations. CTIA claims to have proved the viablity of channel sharing through its experiment with Los Angeles television stations KLCS and KJLA. 

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CCA Expo: Broadcasters Require Trust in Incentive Auctions

March 26, 2014 2:41 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Rick Kaplan, executive vice president of strategic planning for the National Association of Broadcasters, said he's worried that broadcasters still need assurances from the FCC around how the upcoming incentive auctions will work. "One challenge is you want to be able to trust what you hear from the Commission," Kaplan said. 

CCA: FCC Wireless Chief Sees Need for Compromise on Auction Geography

March 26, 2014 12:04 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Roger Sherman didn’t even bring a prepared speech to CCA. Speaking at the CCA Global Expo Wednesday, the FCC’s acting wireless bureau chief instead focused on directly addressing key issues and questions from CCA CEO Steven K. Berry.

Sprint, T-Mobile, Dish Team Up to Plead Low-Band Spectrum Case to FCC

March 26, 2014 10:13 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint, T-Mobile and Dish Network are teaming up to ensure smaller carriers can get their hands on low-band spectrum. Along with the Competitive Carriers Association and advocacy groups like Public Knowledge, the group is lobbying the FCC to adopt rules in the upcoming 600 MHz auctions that will benefit carriers other than AT&T and Verizon, who together hold the majority of available below-1 GHz spectrum licenses.

AT&T Files with FCC for Transfer of 700 MHz, AWS Spectrum

March 21, 2014 10:05 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

From MilkyWay Broadband, AT&T has requested the transfer of 12 MHz of Lower 700 MHz C Block spectrum in 71 counties in 15 CMAs. From WGH Communications and NTCH, AT&T has requested the transfer of 12 MHz of Lower 700 MHz B Block spectrum in 18 counties in six CMAs. From Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative, AT&T has requested the transfer of 20 MHz of AWS-1 A Block spectrum in nine counties in three CMAs.

T-Mobile Goes to Bat for Smaller Carriers in AWS Auction

March 20, 2014 9:40 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In a policy blog yesterday, T-Mobile suggested the Commission try to mirror the geographic market areas for existing AWS-1 licenses, a mix of smaller Cellular Market Areas (CMA) and larger Economic Areas (EA). The carrier also expressed support for the CCA’s proposed compromise of Partial Economic Areas (PEA).

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Update: AT&T Completes Acquisition of Leap Wireless

March 13, 2014 5:18 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The FCC has signed off on AT&T’s $1.2 billion bid to buy Leap Wireless, the parent company of Cricket Wireless. Through the transaction, AT&T will inherit 4.6 million prepaid customers as well Leap assets including spectrum and network equipment. AT&T will gain access to Leap’s spectrum licenses in 1900 PCS and 1700 MHZ and 2100 MHZ AWS.

SmartWatch, Episode 1: Masayoshi Son Slams U.S. Wireless Industry

March 13, 2014 10:01 am | Videos | Comments

Welcome to this week's episode of SmartWatch, brought to you by SanDisk. This week, we take a look at Softbank President and CEO Masayoshi Son’s quest for a unified Sprint and T-Mobile. We’ll also hear from BlackBerry CEO John Chen on his plans to turn around the Canadian handset maker. 

Rubio: US Should Give Airwaves to Cell Companies

March 10, 2014 3:37 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Sen. Marco Rubio says the government should give cellphone companies more airwaves and allow private companies to build a nationwide pipeline for oil and natural gas. The Florida Republican on Monday also told Google's Washington offices that nixing dozens of taxes

SXSW: Assange talks NSA, Hints at More Leaks

March 10, 2014 10:59 am | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Speaking over Skype from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, fugitive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said his living situation is a bit like prison — with a more lenient visitor policy. He also hinted that new leaks are coming from WikiLeaks, though he gave no specifics on what these might be.

Google Asks FCC for Four 6-MHz Unlicensed Channels in 600 MHz Band

March 7, 2014 3:26 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

According to a filing, Google specifically requests unlicensed spectrum use in “any guard band separating broadcast and LTE licensees; any duplex gap separating LTE uplink and downlink operations; the reserved wireless microphone channels on a shared basis with wireless microphone users; and Channel 37 on a shared basis with WMTS and radio astronomy users.”

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FCC Grants $41M to Alaskan Telecom for Rural Wireless Broadband

March 6, 2014 10:45 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The FCC today deemed Alaskan telecom General Communications eligible for $41.4 million in grant money to build out 3G and 4G mobile broadband in underserved rural areas. The money, coming as part of the FCC’s Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I, will go toward serving 37,000 people across 48 communities in Alaska.

Verizon Attacks T-Mobile Over Canadian Auction Rationale

March 5, 2014 4:11 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

“Proponents of restricting Verizon and AT&T have failed to present economic evidence proving that the FCC should adopt rules that disadvantage Verizon and AT&T in the Incentive Auction. There is nothing learned from the Canadian experience that cures that failure,” Verizon wrote in the filing.

Hasty ‘Kill Switch’ Legislation Has Flaws

March 3, 2014 3:57 pm | by Andrew Berg | Blogs | Comments

The "Smartphone Theft Deterrent Act", a bill that would require OEMs to build 'kill switch' technology into tablets and smartphones, seems like an over-reach to me. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), a co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement that the legislation would "help put consumers in control of their cell phone data" through a kill switch’...

New York Gets Behind 'Kill Switch' Bill

March 3, 2014 10:48 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

New York officials are set Monday to support a bill that would require smartphone and tablet OEMs to include technology in their products that would let owners delete data from stolen devices and render them useless to thieves. New York Representative Jose Serrano is set Monday...

Dish Network Sweeps H Block Spectrum Auction

March 3, 2014 9:51 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Dish Network won all 176 licenses available in the FCC’s H Block auction with a combined winning bid of $1.56 billion. Fully 23 qualified bidders vied for 10 MHz of paired spectrum (1915-1920 /1995-2000 MHz) but in the end Dish walked away with it all. The auction closed Thursday, more than a month after it started.

AT&T Looks to Ditch Copper with Network Trials in Florida and Alabama

February 28, 2014 10:54 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

AT&T today announced plans for network technology trials in parts of Florida and Alabama. The carrier will be testing out all-IP network technology in the areas. The FCC will be monitoring the tests in an effort to determine if legacy copper wire networks can be decommissioned in favor of wireless and IP-based communications, according to a Bloomberg report.

H Block Spectrum Auction Closes, Meets $1.56B Reserve Price

February 27, 2014 1:30 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The H Block Auction (Auction 96), the FCC’s first major spectrum sale in more than five years, is officially closed. The 10 MHz of paired spectrum in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands was broken into 176 licenses, one for each Economic Area (EA). The auction took in a little more than $1.56 billion, the reserve price the FCC set for the auction.

Defense Department Outlines Spectrum Strategy

February 20, 2014 2:22 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The Department of Defense (DoD) Thursday unveiled a spectrum plan that it says will aim to seek a balance between the need for consumer spectrum and the need for spectrum upon which to run the military's various communications systems. 

FCC Opens NPRM on Net Neutrality, Won’t Move to Reclassify ISPs

February 19, 2014 11:31 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The FCC will rewrite so-called net neutrality rules without reclassifying broadband providers as common carriers. In a conference call with media on background this morning, an FCC Official said Commissioner Wheeler has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that aims to draft new "rules of the road."

Senators Introduce Anti-Theft Cell Phone “Kill Switch” Bill

February 14, 2014 9:55 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

A group of Democratic senators have introduced a bill that would require all phones sold in the U.S. to have a “kill switch” theft deterrent device installed. The bill requires devices to have free technology that would “allow the consumer to wipe their personal data off the phone, render the phone permanently inoperable to anyone but the owner, and prevent it from being reactivated on a network by anyone but the owner.”

Senators to Wheeler: Act Quickly on Net Neutrality Reform

February 12, 2014 9:58 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

A group of senators have sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, urging him to act quickly to fix the upheaval caused when an appeals court last month struck down long-standing net neutrality rules, as they applied to Internet Service Providers (ISP). 

Report: FCC “Highly Skeptical” of Possible Sprint-T-Mobile Merger

February 4, 2014 9:46 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday met with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and said he would keep an open mind about the potential merger, according to Reuters. But in general Wheeler’s thoughts on the matter were in line with Justice Department officials who’ve already signaled doubts.

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