Justice Dept. Wants Small Carriers to Get Fair Spectrum Shake
The U.S. Department of Justice today filed paperwork with the Federal Communications Commission voicing its wish to see the country's smaller national carriers have a shot at winning spectrum in the upcoming auction. The Justice Department suggested that the FCC build rules into the auction that prevent the larger carriers from gaining large blocks of airwaves. "The Department concludes that rules that ensure the smaller nationwide networks, which currently lack substantial low-frequency spectrum, have an opportunity to acquire such spectrum could improve the competitive dynamic among nationwide carriers and benefit consumers," the Justice Department said in its filing. The Justice Department clearly implied that it believes AT&T and Verizon Wireless should not be allowed to purchase any more large swaths of spectrum. The FCC is currently drafting rules for an auction that is expected to take place in 2014.
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.
Justice Dept. Suggests FCC Limit AT&T, Verizon Auction Participation
Officials at the Justice Department are concerned AT&T and Verizon will dominate the upcoming 600MHz auction if more protections aren't put in place by the FCC. The agency filed a letter with the FCC this week suggesting the FCC give more weight to the concerns of companies such as Sprint and T-Mobile, which seek to limit AT&T and Verizon's participation.
FCC Suggests No Joint Bidding for Largest Carriers
The FCC wants to prevent the country's Tier 1 operators from filing joint bids in future spectrum auctions. The FCC recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking covering the matter, and is looking for comments on its belief that powerful carriers shouldn't be allowed to collude on spectrum purchases.
FCC Keeps Auction Reserve at 30 MHz
The FCC today finalized its proposed rules for next year's 600 MHz spectrum auction and kept the reserve for smaller carriers at 30 MHz. T-Mobile and others petitioned the FCC to raise the reserve to 40 MHz, but FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler believes the 30 MHz cap offers plenty of opportunity for those who may bid.
The "lack of spectrum" card is always used in the purchasing of gold frequencies. I suspect that even with this fight, it will be time consuming and the larger will be business as usual while easily" Out bidding" the smaller.