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Articles in the Wireless Category

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[ | 29 Mar 2011 | Comments Off | ]
Tawkon iPhone app shows the benefit of living near cell towers

A company trying to sell products by scaring the public isn’t anything new, but this time there is the possibility of something good that may come of it.  Tawkon has released an unauthorized “radiation” application for jailbroken iPhones.  I’ve spent much time debunking the use of the term “radiation” in the context of wireless radio communications, but this application essentially reads radio transmit power and then assigns some arbitrary “danger level” value on a fancy looking meter.
The good news is that an application like this might bring some sense to people about …

Internet, Wireless »

[ | 24 Mar 2011 | One Comment | ]
Spectrum hoarding cannot justify TV spectrum waste

Dennis Wharton of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is irked by the wireless industry comments to eliminate spectrum waste and he wants to draw attention to the wireless industry’s own dirty laundry.  Wharton points out that Dish Network and Time Warner Cable might be hoarding some of their auctioned spectrum to speculate on future value and that there is potentially $15 billion dollars of spectrum being hoarded.  But even if there is $15 billion of spectrum hoarding (and much of that spectrum will eventually be used), it does not …

Wireless »

[ | 22 Mar 2011 | One Comment | ]
Wireless data adoption up, but prices down

The CTIA has released its survey results for 2010 (Year-End 2010 Top-Line Survey Results PDF).  The survey has some of the most comprehensive data on the wireless industry as it covers 95.5% of all wireless subscribers in the country so it should be a valuable resource for analysts.
Here are some of the more interesting facts from the 2010 report

There are now 302.9 million wireless subscribers, up 6% from 2009.
Wireless penetration is at 96%.
Minutes of voice usage is slightly down in 2010 compared to 2009, from 2.275 trillion to 2.241.  That …

Internet, Wireless »

[ | 21 Mar 2011 | Comments Off | ]
Google the long distance phone company

In a newly announced partnership with Sprint, Google potentially stands to gain 50 million US customers for its web integrated voice service, voice mail, and long distance calling.  In the context of Google’s growing dominance in smartphones with Android OS, Google is shaping up to be a significant player in the phone market.

Wireless »

[ | 18 Mar 2011 | 4 Comments | ]
Data roaming mischief . . . Another pebble in the digital river?

The FCC has never regulated mobile phone rates, let alone data rates, let alone data roaming rates. And of course mobile voice and data rates have been dropping like rocks. A few rural providers are asking the FCC to step in where it hasn’t before. They are asking the FCC to impose old-time common carrier regulation in a modern competitive market.

CurrentHeader, Internet, Wireless »

[ | 16 Mar 2011 | 13 Comments | ]
How to recover 254 MHz of radio spectrum

Broadcast TV occupies 294 MHz of spectrum and much of that is wasted on inefficient radio architectures and video compression technologies. If we are serious about a national broadband plan, we should squeeze broadcast television down to 40 MHz and save 254 MHz of spectrum but still be able to broadcast 32 HD and 60 standard channels.

Wireless »

[ | 15 Mar 2011 | One Comment | ]
A New National Broadband Plan

James Goodmon, President & CEO of Capital Broadcasting Co. has introduced a new proposal for the National Broadband Plan to Chairman Julius Genachowski and the Federal Communications Commission.

Wireless »

[ | 11 Mar 2011 | One Comment | ]
A clear example of why broadband transparency is crucial

Clearwire Internet thought they could exaggerate their performance claims for their WiMAX wireless Internet services. The result is obvious customer anger and now a lawsuit.

Wireless »

[ | 4 Mar 2011 | 4 Comments | ]
Finding spectrum for mobile

Larry Downes has a good piece on the hunt for 300-500 MHz of mobile Internet spectrum and how the FCC is working to complete an inventory check on spectrum allocation.  When it comes to mobile Internet, physics and practical engineering and usability requirements limits us to frequencies between 300 MHz and 3700 MHz.  Less than 300 MHz and the antennas needed are too big to carry, and even 300 MHz might be too big for a mobile phone and might only work in a tablet device or notebook computer.  Higher …

Research, Wireless »

[ | 3 Mar 2011 | Comments Off | ]
Research:  Cost/Benefit of the D Block

The authors assess the costs and benefits of the possibilities of either assigning D Block spectrum to public safety or auctioning the spectrum for commercial use. They suggest that analysis purports that the 10 MHz spectrum, if used for public safety, would provide somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.4 billion in “social benefits”. Social benefits being any positive outcome for a community in the case of an emergency.