FCC Undecided On Incentive Auction Caps
The Federal Communications Commission has yet to make a decision on how it will handle spectrum caps for the upcoming reverse auction for 600MHz airwaves. Small, regional carriers have been lobbying the FCC to put limits on the amount of spectrum larger carriers - namely AT&T and Verizon - can acquire in the auction. AT&T and Verizon already control massive amounts of low-band spectrum with their 700MHz holdings. Low-band spectrum is valued more highly due to its propagation characteristics. AT&T and Verizon argue that any caps would be unfair and harm the auction's ability to earn money for the federal government. "The FCC retains its authority to design these auctions in a way that promotes competition including ensuring licenses are available only to certain kinds of carriers and a cap on how much spectrum you can acquire. All those things are being considered," said the FCC's Roger Sherman. The FCC is hoping that television stations will agree to give up their 600MHz spectrum, which the FCC will in turn sell to the wireless network operators. The proceeds from the auction will repay the television stations and help fund a public safety network. The auction is expected to take place by the middle of 2015.
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 Spells Out Spectrum Screen Policies
The Federal Communications Commission today adopted a Report and Order with respect to spectrum screens and how'll they'll be used in upcoming spectrum auctions and other spectrum transactions. Moving forward the FCC will stick to its one-third rule, meaning the FCC will analyze on a case-by-case basis transactions that might result in a wireless provider owning more than one-third of the available spectrum licenses in a given market.
Verizon Pushing FCC to Reconsider Auction Rules
Verizon Communications recently met with Republican members of the Federal Communications Commission in an attempt to convince the agency to abandon its proposed rules for an upcoming auction. The FCC has scheduled a reverse auction for the middle of 2015 that will see television stations voluntarily give up their spectrum, which will then in turn be auctioned off to wireless network operators.
FCC Likely to Side with AT&T and Verizon in Spectrum Fight
The FCC is close to making a final decision regarding how much spectrum to set aside for smaller carriers in next year's 600MHz auction and T-Mobile isn't going to be happy. The FCC has already set aside 30MHz of the airwaves in question for smaller carriers, thereby limiting how much spectrum AT&T and Verizon — the nation's two largest carriers — can acquire.