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iPhone 4 Highlights Mobile Problems

Making a telephone call in London has become more difficult for early adopters of the new iPhone 4. First of all the reception is rather poor. And it is not just that it is not showing the bars correctly; many users in congested mobile areas such as London receive the message 'server not available'. (As a matter of fact, this doesn't apply only to the iPhone -- it is also experienced with other smart phones.) more

Obama Administration to Boost Airwaves Available for Mobile Broadband

Cecilia Kang reporting in the Washington Post: "The Obama administration announced Monday that it will double the amount of airwaves available for mobile broadband to meet the demands of smartphones and other wireless gadgets expected to explode in popularity. Over the next decade, President Obama pledged to make available 500 megahertz of radiowaves for high-speed wireless carriers..." more

Spectrum Hot Real Estate

The fact that businesses around the world are knocking on the doors of their governments asking for spectrum is a clear indication that this telco real estate market is hotting up. The reason for this is not too hard to guess -- the enormous growth in the demand for mobile broadband. There is a large amount of pent-up demand as the mobile operators didn't want to open up this market while they were in the middle of adding new customers to their mobile voice services. more

More Available Wireless Spectrum and Higher Market Entry Barriers

The tremendous demand for, and profitability of mobile telephony supports legislative and regulatory efforts to refarm spectrum with an eye toward reallocating as much as possible for wireless telephony and data services. But there is a downside that no one seems to acknowledge. In light of past FCC practice and the behavior of incumbent wireless carriers I expect two anticompetitive outcomes to occur with the onset of any more spectrum. more

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2009

Looking back at the year that just ended, here are the top ten most popular news, blogs, and industry news on CircleID in 2009 based on the overall readership of the posts. Congratulations to all the participants whose posts reached top readership in 2009 and best wishes to the entire community in 2010. 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

White Spaces Could Be the Broadcasters Best Hope

For years, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) fought the White Spaces Coalition and others interested in making US "TV white spaces" available for broadband, Wi-Fi or indeed, any new purpose. When the FCC voted 5-0 to permit license exempt use of TV White Spaces, the industry brought suit in Federal court. And they did this, despite rules in the FCC's decision that are so restrictive that, for now, white spaces devices are doomed to commercial failure. more

Tinkering Without Tampering: Wrestling With Convergence and Communications Policy (Transcript)

Our world finds itself at a critical juncture. Both trillions of dollars and the future of human communications including fundamental access to it are at stake. For telecom operators and media outlets there is not a migratory way from where we are to the future. There is a clear consumer shift underway that runs in the opposite direction to that of telecom and media incumbents; emergent social practice is increasingly clashing with the very structure and desires of incumbent players... It was for these reasons that one of the six keynote speakers invited to Spring 2009 Emerging Communications Conference (eComm) in San Francisco was Richard Whitt, Google's Washington Telecom and Media Counsel. His keynote was entitled, Tinkering without Tampering: Wrestling with Convergence and Communications Policy... more

Genachowski Confirmed as the FCC Chairman

The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved the Obama administration's nomination of Julius Genachowski, a telecommunications industry executive, to head the Federal Communications Commission. Genachowski is set to chair the five-member panel that will be dominated by Democrats seeking to bring more power to consumers and extend high-speed Internet access to rural parts of the United States. more

The Addressing System for the Next (Wireless) Internet

I gave a talk yesterday at Northwestern called A DNS in the Air. My idea is that, in order to scale, the emerging wireless Internet needs something analogous to the domain name system (DNS) -- the infrastructure that allows you to reach sites across the Net. Billions of mobile phones, and even more billions of connected sensors and other wireless devices will completely overwhelm our current spectrum management regime. AT&T Wireless estimates we will need between 250 and 600 TIMES the current wireless capacity in 2018, less than a decade from now. 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

Reports of First Public Meeting Discussing Distribution of $7.2 Billion US Broadband Stimulus

Cecilia Kang of the Washington Post reporting: "The Obama administration yesterday unveiled the first steps of its plan to pour $8 billion into the construction of new broadband Internet networks around the nation. And while many details haven't been finalized on how the stimulus money will be spent and who will qualify for the grants, interest in the high-speed Internet plan was high. Long lines stretched outside the Commerce Department building, where the three federal agencies in charge of the broadband stimulus plan hosted the first of seven public meetings..." more

Why You Needed to Be at eComm 2009

I've been posting photos and snippets during eComm 2009 this week, but composing my overall impressions has been another matter. Sitting through 3 days mostly filled with continuous 15 minute presentations is a surefire recipe to fry your brain, and most people I talked to were topped out well before things wrapped up Thursday night. It's information overload of the highest -- and best -- order... Here's my top-line takeaway, and reading the rest of this post is really just detail. But it's detail you'll probably love if you really want to know what you missed... more

Obama Officially Nominates Julius Genachowski as FCC Chairman

President Barack Obama has officially nominated Julius Genachowski as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), according to statements released from the White House. Genachowski, who must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, was widely expected to be offered the position regulating the industry. He was a top aide to the FCC chairman under Democratic president Bill Clinton, a classmate of Obama's from Harvard Law School and has been advising Obama on telecoms policy. more

Obama's Budget Submitted to Lawmakers Hits Wireless Carriers with Huge Fees for Spectrum License

he Obama administration Feb. 26 proposed to tax wireless carriers as much as $550 million per year for the right to hold a spectrum license. The fee would be in addition to the billions carriers have already paid in spectrum auctions held by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). Under the budget outline provided by the Obama administration, the new fees would be used to help reduce the $1.7 trillion national deficit. The proposal before Congress would charge carriers like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint $50 million this year. The fee per carrier would jump to $200 million in 2010 and eventually rise to $550 million by 2019. more