Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!
AT&T bolsters VoLTE
AT&T Mobility re-invigorated its voice over LTE position, updating its deployment plans that should see the carrier attain equal footing with rivals in the VoLTE race. The carrier said it’s supporting VoLTE calls across parts of 17 states and the District of Columbia, with plans to expand the service reach into 2015. AT&T Mobility initially announced its VoLTE rollout in mid-May, beating Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US to the punch. That initial launch included supporting services across portions of four states. However, since the initial launch AT&T Mobility has been quiet on the subject, except for an announcement last month that it plans to work with Verizon Wireless to allow their respective customers to conduct VoLTE calls between their two networks. At the same time, Verizon Wireless tapped into the recent launch of Apple’s iPhone 6 devices for the nationwide launch of its commercial VoLTE service, and T-Mobile US has moved to expand its service since its launch just a week after AT&T Mobility hit the market … Read more
Tech companies say net neutrality will slow down broadband investment
President Barack Obama’s recent suggestion that the Federal Communications Commission bring Internet regulation under Title II oversight brought a stinging rebuke from tech-industry leaders. A list of 60 technology companies signed a letter sent to the FCC arguing against the government agency bringing Internet services under Title II regulations, which are what govern traditional wireline-based communication services. Those companies, which included Intel, Cisco Systems, Qualcomm and IBM, claimed the move could result in a loss of up to $45.4 billion in capital investment over the next five years. “Title II would lead to a slowdown, if not a hold, in broadband build out, because if you don’t know that you can recover on your investment, you won’t make it,” the letter stated. “The investment shortfall would then flow downstream, landing first and squarely on technology companies like ours, and then working its way through the economy overall. Just a few years removed from the worst recession in memory, that’s a risk no policymaker should accept, let alone promote.” … Read more
J-block spectrum auction chugs along
The Federal Communications Commission’s Auction 97 posted a slow start to the new week, as bidding activity in the FCC spectrum auction continues to dawdle. This morning’s round 92 added just under $20.5 million in revenue from 49 new bids, pushing the auction’s total record haul to $43.76 billion. Auction activity has continued to remain sluggish following a brief jolt last week following round 68 when the FCC moved the auction process to “stage two.” That move requires that in order to meet the activity requirement and avoid using an activity rule waiver or having its eligibility reduced, “a bidder must be active on at least 95% of its current bidding eligibility in each round.” The latest round did see one unclaimed license receive a potential winning bid as the H-Block license centered on Lafayette, La., picked up a $2.249 million offer. That leaves just two licenses of the 1,614 up for auction unclaimed: the G-Block centered on San Miguel, Colo.; and the I-Block centered on Monroe, La. Round 92 did see three licenses receive a pair of bids, showing that there is still some fight among bidders. Those licenses included the G-Block centered on San Antonio, which has received a total bid of $76.3 million, J-Block centered on Flagstaff, Ariz. ($5.9 million) and J-Block centered on Salisbury, Md. ($1.1 million) … Read more
Vodafone Americas goes with T-Mo for MVNO
International mobile telecommunications provider Vodafone Group announced plans to re-enter the U.S. space through its Vodafone Americas subsidiary operating as a mobile virtual network operator running across T-Mobile US’ network. The service is expected to launch in late 2015. Vodafone Americas said the offering would target its more than 400 multinational customers based in the U.S., as well as another 500 multinationals based outside of the U.S. but with a “strong U.S. presence.” Vodafone Group counts more than 434 million wireless customers through its directly controlled operations across 27 countries and partnerships in an additional 49 countries.In addition to the mobile service, Vodafone said it plans to roll out its OneNet global converged communications proposition across its U.S. multinational customer base. The partnership with T-Mobile US comes despite Vodafone’s heated rivalry with T-Mobile US’ parent company Deutsche Telekom in a number of European markets … Read more
Comcast sued over public neighborhood hot spots
Comcast’s attempt to spread the reach of its Internet signal by tapping into its customers’ Wi-Fi routers has run into legal interference as the beginnings of a potential class-action lawsuit has surfaced in Northern California. A pair of Comcast customers last week filed a lawsuit against the cable giant claiming the default settings on its home Xfinity Wi-Fi router that provides for a separate “public” signal was basically shifting the company’s plans to expand its Internet service via the backs of consumers. According to a report from SFGate, the lawsuit cites a test conducted earlier this year by Speedify that found the secondary Internet channel that is the default setting in Comcast-provided routers will eventually push “tens of millions of dollars per month of the electricity bills needed to run their nationwide public Wi-Fi network onto consumers.” Comcast has said that the “Neighborhood Hotspots” policy results in only a small degradation in a customer’s own network speed. The service taps into a default setting on the company’s routers that provides for a second SSID signal separate from the customer’s own SSID, though uses the customer’s cable Internet connection to backhaul traffic … Read more
Sprint is on the FCC’s naughty list
Sprint is reportedly set to be hit with a $105 million fine from the Federal Communications Commission linked to overcharging customers for services. According to National Journal, the fine will be the largest ever levied against a company and similar to one charged against AT&T Mobility in October. The Sprint fine has yet to be finalized by the FCC, although it is being reviewed by all five members of the commission. The report notes the fine is linked to Sprint over-charging customers on behalf of third-party content providers for services the customer did not want or know they were being billed for, a practice also known as bill cramming. While the fine had not officially come down from the FCC by press time, Sprint said it had no comment on the report. The Federal Trade Commission earlier this year accused T-Mobile US of similar “bill cramming,” claiming the operator raked in “hundreds of millions of dollars” from the practice. In its complaint, the FTC said T-Mobile US acted as the billing agent for such services, which in some cases had refund rates as high as 40% … Read more
AT&T sings the praises of software
Software is set to become a bigger focus for AT&T, with the telecom operator stating plans to virtualize and control more than 75% of its network using software architecture by 2020. This is expected to be accomplished through the use of cloud, SDN and NFV technologies. Writing on the company’s Innovation Space blog, John Donovan, SEVP of AT&T technology and operations, said the statement was an “ambitious target” connected to its network transformation plans announced earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain. Those plans were launched under the carrier’s User-Defined Network Cloud initiative and are part of its broader Domain 2.0 program. Donovan highlighted a number of initiatives launched by AT&T as part of its growing software focus … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News’ Archives for more stories from the past.
The post #TBT: Tech firms object to net neutrality; Sprint makes the FCC’s naughty list … this week in 2014 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.