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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.

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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.”

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.

U.S. Sues Sprint over Company's Wiretap Expenses

March 4, 2014 9:31 am | by Paul Elias, Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal officials filed a lawsuit Monday alleging that Sprint Communications Inc. overbilled government agencies $21 million for wiretap services. The lawsuit filed federal court in San Francisco alleges that that subsidiary of Sprint Corp. collected unallowable expenses from...

AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Push Back on Proposed NSA Plan

March 4, 2014 9:09 am | by Marcy Gordon & Martha Mendoza, Associated Press | Articles | Comments

When Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants united in outrage last summer over the National Security Agency's unfettered spying, telecommunications giants such as AT&T, Verizon and Sprint —whose customers are also the targets of secret government spying— remained noticeably mum.

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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.

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Smartphone Fingerprint Security Convenient, but Not Flawless

February 26, 2014 8:56 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone will be at least the third to have a fingerprint sensor for security but it's alone in letting you use that for general shopping, thanks to a partnership with PayPal. The sensor brings convenience for entering passcodes and could encourage more people to lock their phones. 

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. 

Stores Can See Where You Go by Tracking Your Phone

February 20, 2014 9:44 am | by Jennifer C. Kerr, Associated Press | Articles | Comments

Retailers are using mobile-based technology to track shoppers' movements at some malls and stores. The companies collecting the information say it's anonymous, can't be traced to a specific person and no one should worry about invasion of privacy. But consumer advocates aren't convinced. 

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."

Friday Flick: The Mobile Economy

February 14, 2014 11:17 am | by GSMA | Videos | Comments

The GSMA put together a high-energy clip that traces technological advances from 1979 to today. Then it busts into some industry numbers for 2013-2017, like $5.4 trillion in mobile operator revenues and a staggering $10.5 trillion contributed to the global GDP by 2017. And it's all set to a kickin' techno soundtrack.

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). 

Technology Firms Urge Changes to US Spying

February 12, 2014 9:16 am | by Stephen Braun, Associated Press | News | Comments

A coalition of the nation's leading technology firms joined an international protest Tuesday against the U.S. government's spying programs, urging more limits on collections of Americans' electronic data and greater oversight and transparency about the secret operations.

Nokia, HTC Settle All Patent Litigation

February 10, 2014 10:22 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

In a press release Monday, Nokia and HTC announced that they have settled all pending patent litigation between them, and entered into a patent and technology collaboration agreement. According to the release, HTC will make payments to Nokia and the collaboration will involve HTC's LTE patent portfolio, further strengthening Nokia's licensing offering. 

Friday Flick: Texting Behind the Wheel Really Is That Dangerous!

February 7, 2014 10:56 am | Videos | Comments

You make thing you're keeping it between the lines when you're tapping out a quick message while behind the wheel, but this video with CTIA's Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls demonstrates otherwise. Take a quick test of the "It Can Wait" campaign's texting and driving simulator and find out just how dangerous texting behind the wheel really is. 

Carriers Join Obama in Effort to Get Kids Online

February 5, 2014 10:01 am | by Nedra Pickler, Associated Press | News | Comments

Claiming progress in his goal to put the world at the fingertips of every American student, President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced $750 million in commitments from U.S. companies to begin wiring more classrooms with high-speed Internet.

Internet Firms Release Data on NSA Requests

February 4, 2014 10:38 am | by Michael Liedtke, Associated Press; Stephen Braun, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Major technology firms have released new data on how often they are ordered to turn over customer information to the government for secret national security investigations, resulting in the collection of data on thousands of Americans. That release came after the companies were freed by a recent legal deal with government lawyers.

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