White Space

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From Google to the FCC, New Race for America's Last Broadcast Spectrum Holds Many Secrets

Robert X. Cringely on Popular Mechanics: "Some pundits (that would be me) think Google will bid to win its spectrum block, then will trade that block to Sprint/Nextel for some of that company's 2.5-GHz WiMAX licenses that are far better suited for data. Sprint Nextel, the number three U.S. mobile operator, is conspicuously absent from this week's list of bidders, and its WiMAX strategy is in flux following the recent firing of CEO Gary Forsee, who was a big WiMAX backer..." more

Google Finally Talks About 700 MHz Auction Results

For three weeks at the end of January and early February, a small team of us holed up in double super secret "war rooms" in Mountain View, CA and Washington, D.C. to bid on Google's behalf in the FCC spectrum auction. Bidding took place electronically, and literally billions of dollars were at stake with every mouse click. And because of the FCC's strict anti-collusion rules, we couldn't tell a soul what was going on behind closed doors... more

White Space Spectrum No Threat to Current TV Broadcasting and Wireless Microphones, Says Google

In a post today on Google's Public Policy blog, Senior Staff Engineer, Phil Gossett, addresses complaints from companies such as MTV that TV white space devices would harm their ability to use wireless microphones for performances. From today's post: "In previous postings, we've made the case that the TV "white spaces" could be used to provide broadband internet for all Americans without harming current users of this spectrum (TV broadcasters and wireless microphone users). In a new white paper, we make the case that better use of the white spaces could actually lead to new, vastly superior wireless microphones, rather than pose a threat to live events." more

FCC Ends 700 MHz Spectrum Auction, Raising $19.6 Billion

The controversial 700-MHz spectrum auction has closed, raising $19.59 billion, a record for a spectrum auction in the U.S. according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The 700-MHz auction was the first to require anonymous bidding, and the FCC has not yet revealed which companies won the rights to the bands that were sold. more

White Space for Internet Use Interfering with Wireless Patient Devices?

There is a germ of truth (perhaps a prion-sized germ or maybe just an amino acid) in the idea that transmitters in "white spaces" in the TV band *might* disrupt patient monitoring equipment if designed by a lunatic who believes in sending massive pulses of energy in a whitespace in the TV band (perhaps amplified by a large parabolic dish antenna the size of a trashcan lid or larger, aimed at the patient monitor system. But that risk is completely shared with zillions of other potential radiators of energy in the entire electromagnetic spectrum... GE, of course, owns NBC. There is a MAJOR conflict of interest at the corporate level of GE... more

Google Preparing to Bid 4.6 Billion on 700MHz Wireless Spectrum

Google made a big splash last week with its new software for cellphones. But that's far from the limit of the Internet giant's wireless ambitions --- which could include running its own mobile network. more

Carriers Constrain Entrepreneurs

Previously, I've written about how the success of the MVNO (though not without its problems) demonstrates how an Open Access-like business model can work in a wireless context. The underlying carrier, such as Sprint or Verizon, can sell access to its network at wholesale rates to a company like Virgin Mobile, which then markets to consumers. This model can be and is a success both for the retailer and the wholesaler. MVNOs are not perfect. more

FCC Makes Decision on 700 MHz Spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission voted to shake up the wireless market by approving a set of rules for the upcoming auction that would require the winner to make them accessible to any phone, other device or application. Regulators decided today that the winner of the valuable wireless airwaves the U.S. government plans to sell (by early next year) would have to permit consumers to connect using any device or software. more

Quite Period for 700 Mhz Auction Winners Has Ended, What They're Saying

Now that FCC rules prohibiting participants in the 700Mhz auction from commenting have expired, everybody involved in the auction is naturally very chatty. The two biggest winners, AT&T and Verizon, confirmed plans to use the newly acquired spectrum to begin building out LTE infrastructure. Prototype LTE test systems using 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antennas have achieved download speeds faster than 300Mbps, though obviously early telco deployments won't be remotely close to those speeds (probably closer to 10Mbps or so initially). more

FCC Grants ISPs Temporary Access to Wireless Spectrum to Help Handle Demand During Pandemic

The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau today granted temporary spectrum access to 33 wireless Internet service providers serving 330 counties in the U.S. to help them serve rural communities facing an increase in broadband needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. more

Economics and Common Sense Deprecates the Common Argument for Lower Spectrum Prices

Outside of China, very few governments would expect a saving in spectrum costs would mostly go to investment. Corporations have other priorities, including advertising and executive salaries. Stockholders come above everything at most companies. Rarely would even 1/3rd of the saving go to capital spending. The U.S. under Trump had a massive tax cut, worth literally billions to Verizon and AT&T. Verizon actually cut investment. AT&T's increase in capex was far lower than the tax saving. more