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SmartWatch, Episode 25: Auction Delays Haunt Industry and FTC Spooks AT&T

October 30, 2014 12:32 pm | Videos | Comments

In this episode of SmartWatch, we scare up the details of the FCC's recent delay on the 600 MHz incentive auction. We'll run down who in the industry might see the delay as...          

On Open Internet, Smart Phones Need Smart Policy

October 30, 2014 9:58 am | by Meredith Attwell Baker, President and CEO, CTIA; and Jonathan Spalter, Chair, Mobile Future | Articles | Comments

One area fraught...

NAB Chafes at Being Scapegoat for FCC Auction Delay

October 27, 2014 10:35 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

“We reject suggestions that our narrowly focused...

FCC Again Delays 600 MHz Incentive Auctions

October 24, 2014 1:43 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

“We are confident we will prevail in court, but...

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SmartWatch, Episode 24: FCC Tackles Tower Siting, High-Band Spectrum, Butt Dialing

October 23, 2014 1:34 pm | Videos | Comments

The FCC makes SmartWatch with what Jonathan Adelstein called the “Super Bowl of regulatory proceedings.” If that’s so, this week’s episode tackles...                         

T-Mobile Claims Roaming Better in South Africa than On AT&T in South Dakota

October 20, 2014 11:08 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile claims its customers have a better roaming experience in South Africa than they do on AT&T’s network in South Dakota. The carrier says its customers got speeds twice as fast and unlimited...

FCC Looks Above 24 GHz for More Spectrum

October 17, 2014 3:16 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The inquiry comes on a recommendation from the Technological Advisory Council to better understand how it can make use of millimeter wave spectrum above...                  

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FTC Sees Huge First Week for Refund Claims in AT&T Cramming Settlement

October 16, 2014 9:56 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has already received 359,000 refund claims just one week after an AT&T cramming settlement had been announced. An FTC spokesman said, as far as the agency can tell...

T-Mobile, Sprint Urge Extra Scrutiny of AT&T Spectrum Deals

October 9, 2014 3:12 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The group, which also includes representatives from Comptel, Public Knowledge, and CCIA, is concerned that AT&T will control more than one-third of the available low-band spectrum in some markets should the transactions be approved.

AT&T Paying Out $105M in Cramming Agreement

October 8, 2014 1:27 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson today said AT&T has agreed to pay $105 million in part to reimburse customers affected by cramming. Under the deal, AT&T will pay $80 million to the Federal Trade Commission which will then distribute the money to customers nationwide who got stuck with unauthorized third-party fees from premium SMS services. Ferguson’s office estimates almost 500,000 Washingtonians were affected.

FCC Fines Marriott $600,000 for Jamming Guests' Wi-Fi

October 3, 2014 2:48 pm | by Scott Mayerowitz, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Marriott International will pay the government a $600,000 fine for jamming conference attendees' own Wi-Fi networks at one of its hotels, forcing them instead to pay as much as $1,000 each to use the hotel's own connection.

CTIA Files to Intervene in NAB-FCC Lawsuit

October 2, 2014 3:03 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

CTIA today filed a motion with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to intervene in support of the FCC over the lawsuit filed by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). The NAB and the Sinclair Broadcast Group are petitioning for a review of an FCC order establishing rules for the upcoming Incentive Auctions. The lawsuit is challenging the FCC’s order, saying it doesn’t do enough to protect broadcasters who opt out.

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Dish Locks Up Joint-Bidding Agreements for AWS-3 Auction

October 2, 2014 11:07 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Dish Network is all set for the FCC’s November AWS-3 auction and the satellite provider has inked some joint-bidding agreements as well. According to FCC filings, Dish has signed agreements with Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless. As Reuters points out, Dish has indirect ownership in both companies.

Verizon Cans Plans to Throttle Unlimited Customers

October 2, 2014 10:07 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Verizon said in a statement that it "greatly valued the ongoing dialogue over the past several months concerning network optimization" and had subsequently...                                                                    

FCC Votes to Expand Unlicensed in Post-Auction Smaller TV Spectrum

September 30, 2014 4:29 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The FCC today proposed modifications to its Part 15 rules that allow unlicensed spectrum use in white spaces between TV stations. The changes to the rule would help facilitate the use of television bands, 600 MHz guard bands and channel 37.

FCC’s Incentive Auction Repacking Clarification Draws Dissent

September 30, 2014 3:19 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The Commission said its repacking plan is designed to meet “Congress’s mandate to make all reasonable efforts to independently preserve TV station coverage areas and population served.” Today’s clarification is pointed toward making sure the public and all potentially affected broadcasters have all the information they need.

FCC Considering New Rules for OTT Video Services: WSJ

September 30, 2014 10:20 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will begin looking into new rules and regulations for Over-The-Top (OTT) video services aimed at providing subscription TV over the internet. As Verizon and Dish Network work to bring online video services to consumers without pay-TV subscriptions, the FCC is considering whether those services should be subject to the same rules as traditional cable and satellite providers.

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Super Mobility Week: A Show of Contrasts

September 22, 2014 6:00 am | by Elliott Drucker | Articles | Comments

Analyst Elliott Drucker went to CTIA's Super Mobility Week in search of the kinds of "deep tech" he hopes will save the wireless networks. Instead, he found contrasting themes that he says illustrate the problems that the industry is likely to face over the next few years.

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 limiting downlink throughput to a certain class of user when localized traffic demand exceeds network capacity. Affected users are those with legacy “unlimited” data plans and who fall within the top 5 percent of monthly data consumers. 

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 years failed to offer its customers enough hearing aid-compatible digital wireless handsets. Originally spotted by Phone Scoop, the FCC’s complaint against T-Mobile alleges the carrier “willfully and repeatedly” violated the mandate toward carrying hearing aid-compatible phones.

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 process for building and updating cellular network sites. In an op-ed, Attwell Baker said a “commonsense national approach to further streamline and modernize the wireless siting process is long overdue.”

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. 

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. 

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