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Airline Mobile Broadband Service: Cell Towers or Satellite Systems?

American Airlines, using Aircell Gogo for the in-flight mobile broadband service launched yesterday on flights between New York and San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami, and Delta will also rollout Gogo across its domestic flights within about a year. Airlines are starting to offer Internet access, but are falling into one of two camps: airplane antennas that beam down to cell towers, or beam up to satellites. Several airlines are lining up behind service provider Aircell, which has built its own cellular network, erecting towers across the United States, following the win of a coveted FCC frequency license in 2006. 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 Launches Free The Airwaves, Pushing White Spaces Issue

Google has announced today the launch of a new website promoting the unlicensed use of "white space" spectrum. The initiative is called "Free The Airwaves" which encourages Internet users to get proactive on the white spaces issue, if they "care about the future of the Internet." Minnie Ingersoll, Google Product Manager, explains in a related blog post: "For quite some time we've been talking about the potential of the unused airwaves between broadcast TV channels ("white spaces") to provide affordable, high-speed wireless Internet connectivity nationwide. For this to happen, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must allow unlicensed use of this spectrum..." more

Secret Arial Balloon Used During Defcon Finds 1/3 of Wireless Networks Unsecured

In the spirit of cyber security and the popular Defcon conference in Las Vegas, a group was successful in secretly launching a specially rented balloon used for real-estate arial photography, to scan the area for unsecured wireless networks. According to a report by Robert McMillan of IDG, the balloon, called "warballoon" scanned the Las Vegas strip and found that a third of about 370 networks were unencrypted. From the balloon's 15 story height, the group was able to survey about a 7 1/2 mile radius. Defcon director Jeff Moss has confirmed the report and a talk on warballooning adventures is scheduled today. more

Buzz About Mobile WiMax Heating Up

The buzz from vendors and carriers about the broadband wireless technology called mobile WiMAX is heating up, fueled by new chipsets and radio products and fanned by some huge carrier investments, reports Network World. "Clearwire in the summer rounded up $900 million, including $600 million from WiMAX zealot Intel, to upgrade its growing wireless broadband net to support the IEEE's 802.16e mobile WiMAX standard. And Sprint Nextel in August became the first U.S. cellular provider to announce plans to deploy a nationwide mobile WiMAX net in the licensed 2.5GHz frequency band." more

Wi-Fi Alliance Now Certifying Devices for Voice Over Wi-Fi Applications

The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced today its plans to make voice a part of Wi-Fi networks, and has introduced a program to certify products. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Voice-Personal stamp of approval means a product is capable of making or handling good-quality voice calls in the home or a small office environment. Access points, wireless routers, handsets and laptops can all be tested and certified. more

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

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

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

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 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

700MHz Block C Hits Reserve Price

After 17 rounds, the 700MHz spectrum auction has finally hit its one of its most closely watched targets: bidding on Block C has surpassed the Federal Communications Commission's mandated $4.638 billion reserve, meaning that the FCC's mandated open access rules will come into play. Bids on the block of spectrum totaled $4.744 billion after Round 17. more

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

The 700 MHz Multibillion-Dollar Auction Begins Tomorrow

The auction for rights to a highly valuable swath of the United States' airwaves (700 megahertz auction) will begin on Thursday, January 24th, beginning at 10am and is expected to include multibillion-dollar bids from the nation's two biggest wireless phone companies, Verizon and AT&T, as well as Google. more

FCC Releases Details of the Upcoming 700Mhz Auction

Document detailing the upcoming 700Mhz auction has been released by FCC. The FCC has identified the applicants who are qualified to bid in the 700-MHz band auction, set to begin Jan. 24. The bidding itself, for about 1,200 licenses, will be conducted over the Internet and phone. The approved applicants include some expected names, such as Google (called Google Airwaves in the list), AT&T, Cox Wireless, Qualcomm and Verizon Wireless. But it also includes some less-discussed applicants, such as Chevron USA, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Vulcan Spectrum Management, and a variety of small-to-midsize companies. more

Industry Updates

Virgin Media Selects Nominum to Support London Underground WiFi Roll-out

How Secure is Your Mobile Network? And Does It Even Matter? (Webinar)

Nominum Launches World's First Purpose-Built Suite of DNSā€Based Solutions for Mobile Operators

72 Confirmed Talks - If You're Attending, Now is the Time to Register

eComm 2009: Discussions on Restructuring Global Telecoms

eComm 2009 Signs Skype As Headline Sponsor Of European Conference & Awards Debut Event

Visa, NeuStar Team to Propel Trusted Mobile Payments and Financial Services Globally

dotMobi Allocates First Two-Character Mobile Domain to Fifth Third Bank

eComm 2009 Event Next Week: Defining the Post-Telecom Era

dotMobi Collaborates With GSMA for New Options With Award-Winning DeviceAtlas Product

dotMobi Brings the Mobile Web to the Masses With the Launch of Instant Mobilizer

GSMA Delivers Industry First in Carrier ENUM Initiative

dotMobi Drives Mass Market Adoption of the Mobile Web With Instant Mobilizer

dotMobi and .tel Are Complementary Domains: There is No Overlap

dotMobi Announces 2.0 Release of Award-Winning DeviceAtlas Mobile Device Database