Verizon Pleads Spectrum Case to Senate Subcommittee
Verizon Wireless, Comcast, the Free Press, the Rural Carrier Association, and several other "non-interested parties" testified before a senate judiciary subcommittee meeting today about Verizon's planned purchase of AWS spectrum from a number of cable companies. The members were questioned by senators about the benefits and detriments the spectrum acquisition might pose to consumers. Verizon Wireless and Comcast both argued that the deal will put to use spectrum that is currently being left fallow and undeveloped. The Free Press, RCA, and other non-interested parties argued that the deal will further consolidate spectrum ownership and create a stronger duopoly in the U.S. wireless market between AT&T and Verizon Wireless. The deal will give Verizon Wireless 122 AWS licenses that it plans to use to enhance its LTE network. The RCA and Free Press would rather see those licenses distributed to other competitive organizations. The deal needs to meet FCC approval before it can be completed.
Galaxy S8 to Cost $750, S8+ to Cost $850: Carriers Share Launch Details
Samsung's new Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones will cost $750 and $850, respectively. The phones share almost all features other than size and both ship with 64 GB of internal storage.
More Carriers and Phone Makers Agree to Adopt Google's RCS-Based 'Android Messages' Service
Google today said more wireless network operators and handset manufacturers will use Android Messages, its RCS-based messaging service, as the default SMS/MMS tool on their phones. (Android Messages was previously known as Google Messenger.) Some of the features of RCS, which is a global standard, include group chat, high-resolution photo sharing, advanced calling features, and read receipts.
FCC Awards Spectrum Licenses to AWS-3 Bidders
The FCC today officially granted some winning bidders in the AWS-3 spectrum auction the licenses allowing them to take ownership of the airwaves. The AWS-3 spectrum auction concluded earlier this year, with AT&T, Dish Networks, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless the top four bidders.
Verizon and T-Mobile Agree to $173M Spectrum Swap
Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile have agreed to exchange AWS-1 and PCS spectrum in dozens of markets around the country in a deal valued at $173 million. The spectrum in question covers portions of Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Verizon Fires Up AWS in Louisville
Verizon Wireless today launched LTE 4G service on its AWS spectrum holdings in Louisville, Ky. The company said it made an effort to get the additional spectrum online ahead of the Kentucky Derby, which will be run Saturday afternoon, and draws an average crowd of 155,000.