Sprint sues to block AT&T / T Mobile. Maybe the small carriers like Metro PCS, and a few of the so called consumer advocacy groups should join in. AT&T still has the momentum. The DOJ suit only insures some concessions with more AT&T money for the Obama campaign. It’s time step up and put this very bad deal down with overwhelming force.
AT&T offers a few choice words in response. Those words obviously crafted for the grossly uniformed (like Congress)
US government ordered to reveal warrantless cell phone tracking cases. I wonder if the feds will try to plead the 5th amendment?
French PM says copyright Copyright trumps human rights. No matter how corrupt US pols get, the French seem to stay one step ahead of us. At least the French still get great broadband cheap.
UK delays 4G spectrum auction. I think they should open it up for 100% free, low power use and let the free for all of very cheap 4G begin.
Groupon IPO now in doubt. You can blame the bad market. With Sarbanes Oxley still in place, going public makes no sense for a company with double Groupon’s revenue.
As if things weren’t intense enough around AOL, Arianna Huffington and Michael Arrington continue to do battle. One has to wonder when AOL shareholders will start whacking management for endless bad decisions.
Conde Nast casts off Reddit. Could this be the beginning of the end for old media thinkling it has a better way to run mew media?
Yahoo boots Bartz. What took so long?
Sprint has been busy assembling the pieces of its pseudo 4G** strategy. This could put it back into the race with Verizon for the largest coverage footprint. While this does help keep one more payer in the game, I think that we are headed for a considerably less competitive broadband market.
Sprint and Clearwire’s relationship has grown increasingly tense over the last year, with Sprint making it very clear they have some significant contingency plans should Clearwire go belly up. A month after jettisoning most of their high-level executives presumably under investor pressure to get a deal done, Clearwire has announced they’ve settled their difference with Sprint and finalized a wholesale agreement, settling on handset/device fees, with Sprint paying Clearwire at least $1 billion between now and the end of next year for wholesale services. Meanwhile, the Sprint/Clearwire/Lightsquared super-union continues to gather steam (DSL Reports)
With AT&T’s strategy centered on a merger with T Mobile, this could leave us with a two carrier arena in next generation wireless for the near term. That puts the the industry on a path to less competition. Just as wireless rates were beginning to fall, this could signal the end of price wars.
Even more troubling is the lack of investment in fixed broadband. AT&T and Verizon also control the the exclusive or semi exclusive path to wired broadband for most of the country. Both companies have all but abandoned improvements to their fixed networks touting a wireless future. So far, anyone who has used the current crop of pseudo 4G** offerings will confirm that they are a poor replacement for a low tier fixed connection without considering a higher price, spotty coverage and usage caps. Since the Cable guys are the only players investing in next gen fixed networks, that could lave them with a monopoly in the fixed market. A single fixed carrier and two or three wireless providers is not progress.
I sincerely do hope that we trend towards more competition. That will require help from regulators who have served the carriers interest exclusively for the last couple of decades. The new killer app is bandwidth. The more the better. Rationing, constraining and limiting choices will only keep that killer app scarce and expensive.
** According to the ITU-R 4G spec, mobile 4G is 100MBPS peak. Nothing approaching this is offered by so called mobile 4G providers.
Seemingly at odds with the common citizen, the feds continue to be the single largest threat to a free and open internet.
Bad ideas are like zombies inside the beltway. When you think they’re finally dead, they come back again and again. Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have renewed their push for the internet kill switch. Meanwhile DOJ is once again seeking surfing data retention requirements to “protect children”. Who will protect us and our children from the feds?
The wireless cartel keeps pushing back on new regulations while demanding more exclusive spectrum. Metro PCS joins Verizon in suing the FCC over tiered wireless data.
Not to be left out, President Obama has appointed another one of the RIAA’s chief legal henchmen as Solicitor General. Big media has never been so well represented in the executive branch.
The US’s largest telco and wireless carrier is reportedly joining the next gen wireless arena tomorrow. Using superior spectrum vacated by the digital TV transition, Dark V should have a major advantage over competitors in terms of distance between towers and service reliability. While it remains to be seen how it will stack up against the rest of the field, the bar already set by competitors isn’t very high.
Verizon Wireless has confirmed that it will hold a press conference on December 1 to detail the launch of its next generation 4G service. It’s unclear if Verizon will actually light its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network tomorrow (Yahoo)
Preparing to roll out it’s massively hyped LTE service, Verizon’s CEO is hinting that it will be a pricey offering with multiple service tiers and caps. Ending the promise of the third pipe in the sky, the dark V is clearly undermining the original intent of the 700 MHz frequencies as dictated by the auction rules. Far from complying with the requirement for open access to competitive resellers, the company’s CEO is lamenting that there are already too many players in the wireless space.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg again indicates new pricing will come when Verizon launches LTE services later this year, and that the company is essentially experimenting right now to see what consumers are willing to pay for. It’s nice to see he’s not ruling out keeping an unlimited plan:Top executives at Verizon Communications Inc. are exploring ways to charge consumers based on the speed of their wireless data connection in addition to the amount of data they use. While Verizon plans to move into a tiered pricing structure, Mr. Seidenberg wouldn’t say that it would spell the end of unlimited data plans. “I don’t think the world’s that simple,” he said. “We need to get into it, figure out what the customer thinks is fair, and go from there.” (DSL Reports)
On the bright side, with the low caps and high overage prices, actually having 100 MBPS service would be pointless for the average consumer. Also promising is all of unused floor space in the average Verizon store. There’s plenty room for displaying lots of new portable devices if the company elects to offer, but no mention of allowing non-Verizon co-branded devices on the network as previously agreed.