Archive for February, 2008

MWC: New alliances, new enemies

BARCELONA–Are the technology wars over? Today at the Mobile World Congress (formerly 3GSM World) GSMA CEO Rob Conway officially welcomed CDMA operator Verizon Wireless into the fold. During his keynote today, Conway said the GSMA would “reach out to include the Verizons of world” because as operators we have so much in common, whether we run GSM or CDMA networks. Apparently the wireless world is now unified. CDMA and GSM have found a common cause. That cause is the fourth-generation technology Long Term Evolution. But like any cause, there has to be an enemy, and Conway made it pretty clear that enemy is no longer CDMA, but WiMAX. more

Rim shot: Will shaky finances imperil 40 Mb/s DSL?

Our recent report on a new proposed alternative to DSL called IPSL drew a lot of interest this month, particularly because the technology’s inventor, Rim Semiconductor, has claimed to have achieved 40 Mb/s speeds over copper in rural telco networks.

But there’s much more to Rim than that report reveals.


700 MHz Auction: E block clears reserve

At the conclusion of today’s penultimate round, the total bids of the E-block economic area licenses hit the FCC reserve of $904 million. That’s important because now four of the five blocks have hit their reserves, meaning their ultimate winners are free and clear to claim their spectrum once the auction ends. The exception, of course, is the D-block public safety spectrum, which hasn’t garnered a bid since round one. So the fate of the auction depends ultimately on what the FCC decides to do with D block when the last bids come in. more

700 MHz Auction: Bidding slows, prompting FCC to start poking participants

The 700 MHz auction has officially entered into Stage 2, which requires participants to bid each round. The FCC resorted to such tactics because bidding had slowed down to a sluggish pace yesterday, requiring it to prod the cash cow just a bit so it could spurt out a little more milk before retiring. This likely means the auction is coming to close soon. more

Broadband everywhere?

According the Federal Communications Commission, there are 12 broadband service providers for my home zipcode.

I found that out from Broadband Census, a new Web site I wrote about today that is taking a grassroots look at where broadband services are available today in the U.S. and how much choice U.S. consumers really have.

 I know I’m fortunate enough to live in an area with more choice than most — in addition to AT&T, we have both Comcast and RCN in my little village, and all three have triple play bundles for sale.

But 12 service providers? I don’t think so.

In the pre-bubble days, there were DSL companies such as NorthPoint Communications and RhythmsNet Connections, who installed DSLAMs at the Central Office in downtown Skokie, where I live. Of that crowd, however, only Covad Communications still exists, and even they are dependent on leasing the last mile from AT&T. Qwest Communications once offered business service there, as did Verio, but those were pricey ($150 a month and up) and not aimed at consumers. They also depended on leasing the last line from AT&T.

Given the direction the FCC is moving on competition, will that kind of access be assured, or make economic sense?

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Seattle ‘Band’ still warming up

Last week I reported that Sharedband–the U.K. startup that bonds ADSL (to both DSL lines and cable)–was expecting to make its U.S. debut by week’s end. The company told me early last week it was on track to launch with three Seattle ISPs and planned to start recruiting Qwest ISPs in late February.

Today Sharedband told me it didn’t quite work out that way.


IPTV user experience…users?

For the past five months, I have been covering the always exciting, sometimes troublesome world of IPTV. New deployments, old problems and the latest applications have made news on the pages of Telephony, along with the battle between AT&T’s U-verse service, Verizon’s FiOS TV and a host of other telcos offering different levels of IP-based networks. It’s great to hear of the promise and much-touted user experience from the companies bringing it to market, but we want to know the real scoop on the service from you millions of subscribers. more

700 MHz Auction: Bidding ends early on glitch

It turns out the hold in the auction was a technical delay. The FCC canceled the final round of the day, round 31, but will resume its regular 5-round bidding schedule in the morning.

700 MHz Auction: Bidding on hold

The auction mysteriously went on hold this afternoon, an we’re still waiting on the FCC for an explanation. Could it be that the auction is winding down? In round 30, the auction generated only 158 new bids as the bidding slows down on many of the licenses. Those bids result in only a 0.26% increase in the total bids so far, which reached $18.8 billion today. more

Remembering Jeanette Symons


I spoke with Jeanette Symons just once, back in 2000, for a story in Telephony’s sister publication, Upstart.

I remember how friendly and personable she was. (In any picture you can find of Jeanette Symons, she shows a lot more teeth than most telecom executives do.) I remember how impressed I was with her brilliance and the fact that she flew her own plane whenever she traveled on business. more


February 2008
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