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Chrysler Adds Wi-Fi to Its List of Options

With Wi-Fi already available in many coffee shops and coming soon to some airplanes, it was only a matter of time before a U.S. carmaker started offering Wi-Fi access for automobiles. Keefe Leung, Advanced Connectivity Strategies for Chrysler says contrary to single broadband cards used with single laptops, turning the entire car into a hot-spot will allow all passengers to access the Internet using any device including mobile and gaming systems. Today, Chrysler introduced UConnect Web, an accessory that provides an in-car hot spot that will be available from Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealers starting in September, according to Chrysler's blog sitemore»

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»

WiFi in All U.S. Federal Buildings

Legislation has been introduced in the US that will require all public federal buildings to install WiFi base stations in order to free up cell phone networks. The Federal Wi-Net Act would mandate the installation of small WiFi base stations in all publicly accessible federal buildings in order to increase wireless coverage and free up mobile networks. The bill would require all new buildings under construction to comply and all older buildings to be retrofitted by 2014. It also orders $15 million from the Federal Buildings Fund be allocated to fund the installations. more»

The Role of Mobile Broadband in the Overall Telecoms Market

The fixed broadband network is the infrastructure needed to meet the needs, both economic and societal, of developed markets. While some people in some developed markets have abandoned their fixed telephone connection in favour of all-mobile solutions, the majority (90% plus) still have both a fixed and a mobile connection... And so wireless broadband and FttH will develop, in a complementary and harmonious way. There are several reasons for this. 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»

Pew's Broadband Home 2010 Research: Is It Truly Representative?

A Pew Home Broadband 2010 Summary reports in a sub-headline, a dramatic absence of continued growth in broadband adoption across the United States; while at the same time reporting increases in demographic adoption in a particular ethnic group. That sub-headline seems contradictory by indicating an overly dramatic slowing of adoption more»

Sprint Fights for Mobile Market Relevance: First Quarter Earnings Positive

Sprint's vision along with determined action says everything. They are fighting for mobile market relevance, thumbing their noses at detractors, moving beyond being relegated to a distant 3rd ranked carrier in a fast growing market. It's acquisition of the iPhone and agreement to spend $15.5 Billion over four years for the privilege has investors squawking bankruptcy sooner rather than later. First quarter earnings reveal that Dan Hesse's decision to purchase iPhones back in October 2011 is paying off in solid contracts. more»

Mobile World Congress: 4G Technology Enters the Residential Market

We're just back from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, where more than 85,000 attendees from over 200 countries gathered to discover what the 1,800 companies present had to showcase. As expected, some of the show's biggest themes focused on the Internet of Things, the mobile cloud, Big Data, 4G LTE and wearable devices... After speaking to a cross-section of service providers, it became clear that many operators are already starting to leverage their investment in existing 4G LTE infrastructure... more»

Beyond White Spaces

Back in 1999 I wrote a column that envisioned the uses of digital wireless in the home. I compared two nascent, much-touted wireless protocols, Bluetooth and HomeRF. I completely, totally, slippery-dash missed Wi-Fi. There had been a public 802.11 spec since 1997. The first 802.11b devices, which made Wi-Fi popular, burst onto the scene in early 2000, just a few short months after my clueless insights. Today HomeRF is forgotten, Bluetooth is for ugly ear jewelry and Wi-Fi rulz... more»

UK: Barely One in Ten Users Are Satisfied With Mobile Broadband

A web-based poll on the Mobile Broadband Genie site had participants 1160 who were asked: "Is your mobile broadband fast enough?" 133 yes; 740 no; 287 don't know. Perceptions of the term "mobile broadband" appear to far exceed what is being delivered. While operators have been competing to offer cross-subsidized laptop and netbook deals with higher usage caps and ever cheaper mobile Internet deals, they seem to have overlooked the quality of the service. more»

Canadian Wireless Carriers to Launch Mobile Payment Service

Canada's three main wireless carriers are planning to launch a mobile payment service on Monday, one that will allow their customers to send, request and receive money via their mobile phones. The service, called Zoompass, will be managed by Enstream, a joint venture the three carriers first established in 2005, when it was called Wireless Payment Services, to investigate the potential of mobile commerce... more»

Achieving Connectivity vs. More "Broadband"

Our problem isn't the lack of capacity -- it's our inability to achieve simple connectivity. We have abundant capacity but can’t use it because we have gatekeepers who set a price on our ability to communicate and innovate. If we were able to take advantage of what we already have we would find ourselves with a wealth of opportunities rather than having to pay billions to "stimulate" the gatekeepers into letting us create new value. more»

Over 13 Million Mobile Data Card Users in the US

Though often thought to be the power tool of the business road warrior, wireless data cards that allow laptop and PC users to connect to the Internet over a wireless carrier's cellular network, are quickly becoming a popular means of home Internet access, says new report by Nielsen Mobile. According to the study, 43% of mobile data card users report they most often use their data card at home, while 15 percent say they typically use the card at work. Additionally, one in five (21 percent) data card subscribers take advantage of ubiquitous access by heading outdoors and 9 percent use their card while commuting. more»

Google Not the Only Company Testing Wireless Access by High-Altitude Balloons

Oceus Networks Inc., a mobile 4G LTE broadband networking provider, recently demonstrated the efficacy of a deployable 4G LTE solution on a high-altitude balloon platform, which can be used to rapidly provide broadband coverage and communications services to first responders within the first 72 hours following an emergency or natural disaster. more»