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WiMAX vs. WiFi

In fact WiFi (technically standard 802.11) and WiMAX (802.16) don't compete for broadband users or applications today. That's partly because WiFi is widely deployed and WiMAX is still largely an unfulfilled promise and partly because the two protocols were designed for very different situations. However, if WiMAX is eventually widely deployed, there will be competition between them as last mile technologies. Some people describe the difference between WiFi and WiMAX as analogous to the difference between a cordless phone and a mobile phone... more»

Smartphones: Too Smart for Mobile Operators?

In June, the net neutrality debate took an unexpected turn when the Netherlands leap-frogged the USA to became the first country to legislate for mobile net neutrality. Business models for fixed and mobile networks must shift toward volume charges. The net neutrality debate has been seen not having much relevance outside the USA because the plight of carriers there was aggravated by unlimited usage. more»

700 MHz Auction Winners: Why Block C Matters

Today the FCC announced the winners of the 700 MHz auction -- and you can see from pp. 62-63 of this document that Verizon won Block C. (Block C was set up in two nationwide paired blocks of 11 MHz each, which were auctioned off in very large geographic areas -- 12 licenses, each covering a "Regional Economic Area Grouping". Verizon won seven of the twelve licenses, covering all of the US except Alaska, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.) Why does this matter? more»

An Interview With Richard Whitt, Google's Washington Telecom and Media Counsel

I recently had the opportunity to interview, Richard Whitt, Google's Washington Telecom and Media Counsel, who will be one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming Emerging Communications Conference (eComm 2009) being held on March 3-5 at the San Francisco Airport Marriott. The following is the transcript of our phone conversation and the audio recording of the interview. more»

Verizon OPEN Wireless

Very surprising and welcome announcement from Verizon Wireless yesterday announcing that "it will provide customers the option to use, on its nationwide wireless network, wireless devices, software and applications not offered by the company. Verizon Wireless plans to have this new choice available to customers throughout the country by the end of 2008..." And Verizon Wireless is right to open up. There's plenty of room to be cynical about this; after all, Verizon Wireless is trying to STOP the FCC from putting an openness requirement on the 700Mhz spectrum to be auctioned... more»

iPhone, Android, 700 MHz: What Maximizes Wireless Innovation?

At the Emerging Communications Conference eComm 2008, I'm moderating a panel "Wireless Innovation, with or without operators." This will be a discussion -- smart people from differing camps responding to (hopefully) probing questions from yours truly, and the audience. Points of view represented include Google Android, J2ME/JavaFX Mobile, iPhoneWebDev.com, Skype and Trolltech Qtopia (Nokia), plus Chris Sacca, formerly head of Google's wireless initiatives. I've been thinking about subjects and questions for the panel. As a start, I'll set down my current views, then seek others' views and questions. more»

Exploring the Roots of Wireless Spectrum Controversy (eComm Panel)

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the The Emerging Communications (eComm) 2009 conference in San Francisco which was packed with 3 days of fascinating conversations about the future of communications. I absolutely enjoyed talking to various speakers and attendees giving me a deep level of appreciation and perspective on technical, commercial and political issues at hand -- and what is likely to come in the next few years. And speaking of politics, Lee Dryburgh, who founded eComm in early 2008, has generously allowed us to share with you a fascinating panel discussion which took place on day 3 of the conference called "Spectrum 2.0 - What's really happening?" more»

IPTV vs IPTV+RF

The further we move into discussions about the implementation of national broadband networks the more issues crop up that need to be discussed in this context. One topic that is currently getting a great deal of attention is the need (or not) for an RF video layer to be deployed over the fibre network. Both business and technical elements are involved in this, but let's start with some of the business elements... more»

700 MHz Update: Will VZ Comply with the Rules?

Last Friday (HT: IPDemocracy), Google filed a petition [PDF] asking that the Commission ensure that Verizon understands what those "open platform" requirements for the C Block really mean. Verizon has taken the position in the past that its own devices won't be subject to the "open applications" and "open handsets" requirements of the C Block rules, and Google says it is concerned that Verizon doesn't plan to follow those requirements in the future. This is big. Here's the background... more»

The New Clearwire

The new Clearwire could be game-changing, but the rules of the game may not be quite as Clearwire presents them. I have been wondering since last July whether something significant would happen in the Google/Sprint world. The deal announcement earlier this weekseems to be that key development... In a nutshell, Sprint will contribute its substantial spectrum licenses in the 2.5 GHz range and its WiMAX-related assets and intellectual property. Google, Intel, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks will invest a total of $3.2 billion. more»

Free, Slow, Censored Internet: A Bad Idea

The FCC is looking for an organization to provide free, slow, and censored Internet access. The censorship apparently would include email as well as websites. According to an article in today's Wall Street Journal: "Outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin is pushing for action in December on a plan to offer free, pornography-free wireless Internet service to all Americans, despite objections from the wireless industry and some consumer groups [nb. and from me]... The winning bidder would be required to set aside a quarter of the airwaves for a free Internet service [nb. the WSJ hasn't got that part quite right]." more»

The Future of the Internet Economy: Chapter 2

The OECD held a "high-level" meeting in June 2011 that was intended to build upon the OECD Ministerial on The Future of the Internet Economy held in Seoul, Korea in June 2008. I was invited to attend this meeting as part of the delegation from the Internet Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC), and here I'd like to share my impressions of this meeting. This 2 day meeting, "The Internet Economy: Generating Innovation and Growth", had the objective of exploring a number of current issues in the public policy space... more»

Wired vs Wireless Debate Becomes a Core Policy Differentiator in National Election

I never thought I'd see the day when the difference in capability between a wireless and a wireline Internet would become a core policy differentiator in a national election, but this has now happened in Australia. ... It seems that everyone has an interest in a ubiquitous, fast and cheap internet. Now that interest has been taken up as a major policy differentiator by both sides of the political spectrum in the recent Australian election. What was this all about? more»

Obama to Name Mignon Clyburn as FCC Commissioner

Following his pick of Julius Genakowski as FCC chairman, President Obama moves to fill an open Democrat seat on the five-person panel with Mignon L. Clyburn, a member of the South Carolina Public Service Commission since 1998 and the daughter of House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn. If approved by Congress, Clyburn will fill the seat of Democrat Jonathon Adelstein, who is leaving the FCC to head up the Dept. of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service... more»

The FCC White Space Regulations: Pretty Good at First Look

My prediction is that LTE and WiMAX are toast. The new great thing will be WRANs (wireless regional area networks). WRAN's will extend and eventually subsume WiFi. The detailed regulations which implement the FCC decision to free the spectrum formerly known as TV white spaces have now been released. They look pretty good from the point of view of someone who believes the unlicensed use of this spectrum has the potential to make a huge difference in the way the world communicates. more»