The Nation's largest telecom operator 'Verizon Wireless' is tracking its customers' mobile internet traffic by adding a token to Web requests traveling over its network, in order to facilitate targeted advertising even if a user has opted out of their Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) options. The Precision Market Insights division of Verizon is collecting users' data from more than two years with the launch of the Unique Identifier Token Header (UIDH) under its Relevant Mobile Advertising program. This Verizon's solution is called the PrecisionID, which is being used to create a detailed picture of users' interests and help clients tailor advertisements, according to Verizon's own documentation. Though the company started navigating the service two years ago, security experts began warning of the issue this week. The UIDH value changes each week would provide targeted advertisements under Verizon's Precision Market Insights from participating advertisers which could request location and market-segment information. The strange thing is you can't do anything about the issue because even if you opt out of all the Verizon tracking, by either using a privacy mode in your browser and enable Do Not Track, or by using a different browser, or even if you change to a new phone, or use a tethered laptop for browsing, in all ways you are not safe. UIDH allows Verizon to link a website visitor to its own internal profiles, in an attempt to allow client websites to target advertising at specific segments of the consumer market. Next, let's get Verizon Wireless to change this policy, by arguing that the service is essentially tracking users and that companies paid for a fundamental service that should not be using the data for secondary purposes.
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If you are a prospective buyer of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that Apple introduced at its product event on Tuesday afternoon, then perhaps you are wondering which carrier in the United States provides the best coverage.
It can be a challenging and confusing task to know which carriers provide the best coverage in the United States, especially since each uses conflicting claims that almost border on misleading advertising.
Verizon is the largest carrier in the United States in terms of subscribers, and its network is certainly ready to live up to the capacity. Verizon’s network covers a claimed 97% of Americans, based on the latest statistics available. If you consider paying higher prices for trusted and reliable wireless service acceptable, then you should definitely consider Verizon for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. If you choose to look past Verizon, then AT&T is your next best bet for network coverage and reliability nationwide. AT&T also claims to have the fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network in the United States.
AT&T claims to have less than a 1% rate of dropped calls nationwide, based on an independent third-party drive test performed last year. Sprint is unlike its competitors in the sense that it does not promote its network as being the fastest or most reliable.
At the same time, it should be noted that Sprint is putting a lot of effort into improving their network from coast to coast. Sprint employs technologies that are committed to keeping you connected, including 8T8R radios that boost its 2.5 GHz signal and Wi-Fi calling, which allows customers to make domestic and international calls over a wireless connection. Ultimately, while you might not have coverage everywhere, especially in the central and northwest states, you are also paying a lot less for most Sprint plans compared to the big two in AT&T and Verizon. I recently spent one month in New York City and used T-Mobile as my carrier of choice during my stay in the United States’ most densely populated metropolitan area. Just like with Sprint, T-Mobile is doing whatever it can to make necessary improvements to its network coverage. You’re also going not going to have to offer an arm and a leg for wireless service on T-Mobile, as the carrier offers affordable plans such as unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data for $80 per month. If you are a city dweller on a budget, with intentions to purchase the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, then be sure to give T-Mobile a serious look. DisclaimerThis website is not owned by, is not licensed by nor is a subsidiary of Apple Inc. As cable giant Comcast agrees to settle charges with the FCC for violating the terms of its merger with NBC-Universal, Verizon Wireless gets a tip of the hat from the commission for agreeing to sell portions of spectrum licenses to the spectrum-desperate T-Mobile in exchange for an estimated $260 million in cash.
Comcast settled with the commission for a mere $800,000 after it was found guilty of infringing upon antitrust provisions by not sufficiently marketing its standalone internet service, as was required by the agreement. Over the last few weeks, the Federal Communications Commission has been holding meetings with representatives from Verizon Wireless to express concern over the future of competition in the wireless industry should they approve of the controversial $3.6 billion purchase of unregulated spectrum licenses from CableCo that will essentially, in part, be financed by the new deal with T-Mobile. We are now at a pivotal moment with respect to the future of mobile devices and many are rightfully concerned that the FCC is asleep at the wheel. Now that the SOPA and PIPA have faded from the attention of the mainstream media, Verizon is no longer able to fly under the radar. However, the issues run deeper than this surface argument — and Verizon Wireless has managed to silence yet another opponent.
As this article will make clear, the debate is entirely different than the acquisition of  T-Mobile by AT&T. Ironically, the fear is that with the new unregulated spectrum licenses, Verizon Wireless will have too strong of a competitive advantage to enable proper competition in the industry. Mobile phone usage is rapidly increasing and access to data-guzzling content like streaming video is placing pressures on the entire wireless infrastructure of the United States. The main argument put forth by supporters of the deals is that the spectrum purchases and commercial agreements will not impact competition in the space, but will actually enhance competition and innovation while at the same time benefiting consumers by putting unused spectrum to better use. Though airline prices decreased and competition increased after the deregulation of the airline industry, the telecommunications industry, especially the wireless sub-sector, is a completely different case.
Furthermore, the wireless industry has experienced dramatic changes in the past few years with respect to both technological advances and the broader industry structure. The big wireless carriers like Verizon and AT&T are undoubtedly supporting these claims as they push their new 4G LTE technology that is faster, more expensive, utilizes significantly more data, and thereby brings in more revenues, costs consumers more and locks them in with long-term contracts on their products and prices. The past two years has seen the biggest transformation in mobile device technology in history! Verizon is positioning itself for a duopoly in the mobile industry, one that will be controlled by only two large competitors, itself and AT&T. If left to their own devices, firms that hold monopoly status tend to abuse that power in many ways. Back in 1996, Congress and the FCC determined that neither a completely free market nor a government regulated natural monopoly was appropriate for the telecom industry. If left to pure competition, the larger carriers would likely restrict access to their devices increasing the barriers to new entry.
The question remains, if Congress made these provisions in 1996, then why are we seeing a shift toward spectrum consolidation today? The point of the 1996 Telecommunications Act was to foster competition in the best way possible given the industry landscape at the time.
Now that companies like Verizon and AT&T are forced to compete in a different competitive environment, they are able to make educated predictions about how the broader industry will evolve and adjust their strategies to accommodate these changes. After Verizon purchases this new spectrum, the mobile industry will become considerably less competitive and more consolidated around the two largest carriers; however, industry consolidation is just the tip of the iceberg. When you add to the mix that Verizon will be purchasing this AWS spectrum from cable providers, the anti-trust argument becomes undeniably obvious.
Verizon will sell cable products like Internet and TC services through deals with companies like Comcast, Brighthouse and Time Warner, and the SpectrumCo companies will sell Verizon Wireless services. What’s more, the companies will all band together in a Joint Operating Entity (JOE) to develop new technology for a cable and wireless interface, and for other products or processes. Time to approval aside, this is one of the largest spectrum license deals the FCC has ever reviewed outside of an outright acquisition. Yet David Cohen, head of regulatory affairs for Comcast, testified before Congress that the spectrum sale and the JOE are in fact one deal. However, the Joint Operating Entity (JOE) between Verizon and the SpectrumCo cable companies puts Verizon at yet another competitive advantage. With no regulatory strings attached to the spectrum that require open access and equal treatment of all applications and devices, it is easy to imagine what that would mean to competing technologies: they won’t work! Similar to the way Comcast is under investigation for its anti-competitive treatment of bandwidth through its Xfinity product, making Netflix appear relatively slow and expensive, Verizon has come under fire for blocking certain phone applications — a direct violation of net neutrality and open access conditions of the 700 MHz spectrum.
The major players in the game have decided that collusion is easier than the competition set up by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Like what happened with the oil industry, the new formation of telecom is increasingly looking like a cartel. The call to stop Verizon Wireless from acquiring the new AWS Spectrum is an effort to protect consumers of the not-too-distant future. Both deals are currently under review by the FCC, and without major press coverage, will likely be passed.
The future of the mobile device industry will be shaped by many unpredictable circumstances, but we do know that our lives are increasingly reliant upon our cell phones. I live in New York and right now there is neither cell phone reception nor WiFi in the subway. From Verizon’s standpoint, Why should it pay to develop service on a spectrum that would become moot in the future when it could purchase an unregulated nationwide spectrum now?
Efficient use of spectrum will be the key to keeping prices low in the future; but in a world without rivals, the competitive pressures of efficiency will not be there. It is not a stretch to imagine that with the larger wireless carriers controlling the vast majority of the spectrum out there, the smaller carriers will vanish with the wind. The actions of wireless providers have a direct impact on the services and products available to their customers.
That’s a direct result of the restrictions Verizon Wireless places on the way certain features of mobile devices work. Now the future of mobile technology will be developed according to a new standard of Long-Term Evolution (LTE). As by now you can hopefully tell, the AWS spectrum and LTE 4G technology is the smallest part of the problem. Verizon Wireless is pushing to gain more control over larger quantities of spectrum licenses with no regulatory oversight.
So why is the AWS spectrum more attractive to Verizon than the lower A and B blocks they are trying to get rid of? Google had no intention of acquiring any spectrum licenses, but rather it wanted to enter the auction to ensure certain net neutrality provisions that would ensure open access to the bands. These regulatory strings are in the interest of the consumer and competition in the industry, but place restrictions on the way wireless companies like Verizon and AT&T can use the bands to favor their own products. When you look at the historical trends of mobile service technology, interoperability promotes competition and broader consumer adoption.
Not only will the smaller carriers not be able to provide the speed and quantity of data as the larger carriers, but the devices themselves will also no longer be compatible with the accessories of the future. You sign up for a plan at Verizon at a certain price and with certain terms and then pay some amount over that as a monthly payment for the phone you are buying from them. Please note: I am a computer networking professional with 6 patents in Router QOS assigned to my former employer Ericsson.
Do you know what data your wireless service provider collects and stores from your mobile device? Verizon Wireless is sending a unique identifier for you to each and every unencrypted website you visit using your mobile device, which means that, at worst scenario, advertisers can track your every move everywhere you have been. The information used by advertisers include subscribers' postal address, device types and language preferences to build profiles along with gender, age and hobby and personal interests. For instance, all of AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile each claim that they have the fastest or most reliable 4G LTE network in the United States.
The decision to choose one carrier or another will relate to where you live, what your data consumption is like and other factors.
We strived to use the most up-to-date information available, but it is important to understand that carriers are rapidly expanding their networks as we speak. Verizon claims to provide the best coverage in the United States, and has the only 100% 4G LTE network nationwide. The network provides two times the LTE coverage of any other network, according to the carrier, with a very saturated network presence in the northeast, midwest and east coast in general.
The CDMA network’s extensive coverage delivers high-speed data to everyone from city dwellers to those living in smaller, rural towns — perfect for those traveling, too. Verizon’s planned VoLTE, or Voice Over LTE, rollout will see CDMA discontinued and allow for unlocked LTE smartphones in the near future. The GSM network also has less traffic than Verizon, potentially leading to faster speeds, with VoLTE support rolling out and support for simultaneous voice and data. The network decreases in scale when you start heading out west, particularly in less-populated areas of Montana, Oregon and Nevada. But when you travel out to more rural areas in the United States, don’t expect to be getting a full five bars — or any, for that matter. The carrier claims to have enhanced its nationwide 3G and 4G LTE networks, leading to fewer dropped calls, stronger indoor signals and quicker access to email and streaming music and video.


The CDMA network also supports HD Voice for providing next-generation call quality and clarity.
If you’re a prospective iPhone 6 user looking to save a few dollars, than it is a decision you will have to make. While the carrier has been pushing to reinvent the industry by removing annual service contracts, introducing affordable prepaid plans, ushering in a monthly installment program, supporting Wi-Fi calling and more, its network is not quite yet as impressive as the competition. But when you go on a road trip through upstate and western New York, for example, I can attest from personal experience that you will quickly default to 2G service or no signal at all. T-Mobile already claims to have the fastest nationwide 4G LTE network in the United States in terms of download speeds, perhaps because it has less traffic on its network, but its coverage is still subpar compared to the big three above.
T-Mobile has built its network to be data strong, with more capacity than any other major national carrier.
You can also get unlimited talk, text and 2 GB of 4G LTE data through the Simple Starter plan for just $45 per month during an ongoing promotion. The GSM network, which is being upgraded from 2G to more 4G LTE through mid 2015, covers over 230 million Americans and has 96% coverage from coast to coast.
And now, Verizon Wireless is swapping regulated wireless spectrum with T-Mobile in an effort to help the chances that the FCC will approve its proposed purchase of unregulated spectrum from the SpectrumCo consortium of cable companies including, you guessed it: Comcast.
This report examines the level of interconnectedness between the cable and wireless industries, and the alarming ramifications. In retrospect, the federal government should never have allowed these institutions to grow so large, making Main Street so vulnerable to the risks taken on Wall Street.
In the past, voice and video were competing products, and the corporations through which we acquired these services were competing companies, but a deeper investigation will reveal that they are becoming increasingly interconnected. Of course, Verizon’s team of lawyers and lobbyists have been standing by, waiting to defend the company against a myriad of attacks and charges. The spectrum licenses the cable companies control are not regulated, meaning the owner can use them free of the restrictions that are placed on the licenses Verizon is now selling to T-Mobile. With Verizon’s success in turning its staunchest rival into an ally and advocate, we are beginning to see what this looks like in real life. Verizon has turned a potential wireless competitor (the entire cable industry!) into its biggest ally and partner in crime. According to the FCC, in the last few years total mobile data consumption has increased by more than 700 percent and projections are predicting it will grow by more than 17 times in the near future. Campbell is leaching off the public’s general negative sentiment toward the idea of central planning to make a completely unrelated and unsubstantiated argument.
In turn, this affords the major carriers more control with respect to bargaining power with manufacturers. For one, can he truly argue that innovation in the wireless industry has slowed in the past two years?
According to Nielsen, smartphones now account for half of mobile phones, a 38% increase from 2011 to 2012! When railroads were first developed, it did not make sense for companies to compete and build their own infrastructures, so the natural monopoly model worked. Unsure of where the future of the industry was headed, as a nation we determined that we needed to protect industry competition to foster innovation and remove many of the high barriers to entry so that consumers could have choices among various competitors.
This would mean that consumers would pick the carrier with the highest level of network effects: the one with the most users.
Like I said earlier, nobody could have predicted the technological evolution of mobile devices. Now that VoIP services are available over broadband connections, a new technology has entered the mix that has forever changed the competitive landscape of voice communications. The problem is, the regulatory bodies set up to protect against monopoly power do not take into account intermodal competition — competition for similar services that are based off of fundamentally different underlying technologies. In two separate but interconnected moves, Verizon Wireless is attempting to sell its regulated and thus far unused lower A and B block spectrum while trying to purchase unregulated AWS spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, a joint venture between the largest cable providers. Weaved into the fabric of this purchase will be agreements between Verizon Wireless and the cable companies to sell each others’ products. What’s more, these contracts will make the SpectrumCo cable operators wholesale providers of Verizon Wireless service after only a couple years. Such a non-compete agreement explains why Verizon has halted the expansion of FiOS and will mark the beginning of a new kind of product bundle, making it all the more impossible for smaller wireless carriers to put forth the competitive packages and products necessary to attract consumers.
He told the audience that the FCC needs to speed up the approval process for buying and selling spectrum licenses so that they could be put to good use. What’s more, there are deeper considerations that must be made than the simplified argument that spectrum will be put to use.
He told lawmakers that if one part of the deal is altered too much, the entire deal could be in jeopardy.
Verizon has not announced how it will price this product, nor has it suggested how it will deal with the massive amounts of data the new video streaming app will consume.
For example, Verizon blocked access to Google Wallet on its Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4G LTE smartphone. The Act was established to encourage competition between cablecos and wireless providers with the expectation that the cablecos would enter the wireless world and the wireless companies would enter the world of cable. We can predict that smartphones will become more prevalent than they already are, and that data usage will increase dramatically as apps become better, smarter and faster.
More specifically, that the FCC treats all spectrum equally — when this is not at all the case. A recent study by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) revealed that it is possible to repurpose lower block spectrum to accommodate consumer demands. Have you ever noticed that your Google search results are different on your mobile device from the results you might find in your web browser? Verizon has control over how much data or bandwidth is allocated to certain apps, favoring products that are beneficial to the company. In all reality, with WiFi access everywhere you won’t need your wireless service provider. Currently only 9 percent of Verizon customers are using the LTE network, but Verizon is pushing their technology hard and has beat out Clearwire’s superior WiMax solution with its 4G LTE technology. When few large companies control a market, questions of collusion and price fixing become harder to prove as the barriers to entry and the possibility for the growth of smaller companies become too high. In the words of Harold Feld, Legal Director of Public Knowledge, a pro-consumer advocate,”It says something when the spectrum details are the easy part of the deal. This has companies like T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel worried about their ability to meet the demands of consumers with equally competitive products.
Verizon Wireless has been warehousing its spectrum rather than deploying it to provide better and wider service. They have yet to make any efforts at making use of its lower A and B Block spectrum licenses because of the regulatory strings attached to it. I briefly alluded to the regulatory strings attached to the A and B block spectrum without going into much detail. This way the companies who secured licenses through the auction would not be permitted to use technological measures to block competitive devices from working on the spectrum.
So Verizon is trying to purchase the AWS spectrum from the cable companies without putting the licenses on public auction. As a prime example, the ability of mobile companies to come to an agreement on universal standards has proven to be the largest driver of text messaging traffic. This will have a direct impact on both the quality and price of accessories.Take headsets for example.
From the perspective of basic economic theory, this means that fewer manufacturers and designers will invest in products for smaller carriers, meaning that all designers looking to maximize their own revenues will work to produce for larger market. Both companies operate as unregulated monopolies in terms of pricing and their scams or tricks or methods are very similar.
Then within 2 days of this activity, a customer sales rep would call me saying “have you noticed that your picture stops, etc. It was only their sales efforts and their deliberate throttling of my data that cause problems. Terrible," senior staff technologist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Jacob Hoffman-Andrews, tweeted about the issue on Wednesday.
We recommend using this post as a reference to support your own decision on which carrier is best for you.
However, I would often times lose bars when I was inside or apartment or elsewhere indoors.
It also offers unlimited data and text in over 120 countries at no extra charge, which is honestly a steal if you’re someone that travels abroad on even an occasional basis.
In approximately 100 markets where the cable companies own licenses, Verizon already has a significant amount of AWS spectrum. Verizon has used the spectrum it claims it is not warehousing as leverage to silence the opposition.
We will address all these issues later on in this article, conceding that this argument does have some merit. His argument is that by imposing interoperability requirements, we will see a drastic decrease in innovation that will outweigh the benefits gained through economies of scale.
However, it would be u there is still a large portion of the market that has not yet opted for a smartphone. In the telecom industry, consolidation makes sense and has the potential to benefit both the consumer and provider. So the government steps in and regulates the behavior and practices of monopolistic firms, setting legal limits as to what these companies can and cannot do, how much they can charge for various products and services, etc. Mobile telecommunications is unique in that, like many natural monopolies, users experience positive externalities resulting from network effects. The result would be further industry consolidation and an increasing shift toward the monopolization of the industry. Nobody could have foreseen the smartphone revolution and the new industry that has emerged out of app development and the new reliance upon data. This meant different regulatory provisions for different classifications of products and services. These newer technologies that provide the same services over the internet do not recognize either state or national boundaries, and products like Skype, Google Voice, and other such VoIP applications do not require the massive initial upfront capital costs associated with setting up traditional wireless and wire-line networks. Therefore, the regulatory bodies are either incapable of identifying anti-competitive strategies, or do not have the jurisdiction to take actions that will protect consumers. At the same time, Verizon was striking deals with the cable companies to both cross-sell products and services, and to hold regular meetings to discuss futures strategies and foster joint investment projects in technologies that will bridge (or eliminate) the gap between these two supposedly competing industries. However, by comparison, the 6 months the FCC has spent reviewing the deal is relatively quick. After the failed attempt to enter the wireless market, the cable companies decided to hold on to the spectrum for a time like this — when they could strategic leverage ownership of the licenses to enable them to develop a wireless strategy. It’s scary to think that one company will have the final say in exactly how and what kind of video content will be available on our mobile devices. Google Wallet competes with a mobile payment platform called Isis that is under development by Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.
So competition would have looked like Verizon FiOS and the companies would compete through the bundles they offer. Granting Verizon this new spectrum is but one aspect of a larger shift toward industry consolidation and collusion across markets and products. The FCC must take action now before we become dependent upon a non-competitive industry that has already shown its muscles with respect to leveraging the benefits of monopolistic behavior at the expense of consumers and weaker competitors — both direct and indirect competitors.
So Verizon says buying this new spectrum is in preparation to meeting the demands of increased data demands, despite the fact that the lower A and B block spectrum licenses that it is trying to sell are capable of supplying data. They make money off of data usage and place restrictions on exactly what we can do on our mobile devices and how. Advanced Wireless Spectrum, or AWS, is, as its name suggests, the most attractive spectrum.
However, this assumes that the smaller carriers are afforded equal access to spectrum to accommodate those needs. Skype might not work well because it competes with the carrier over voice, text, and video chatting. In terms of mobile devices and all the features that come along with them, this has a huge impact on consumers. T-Mobile has publicly argued that it already makes use of its spectrum in a more efficient manner than it’s larger competitors.
Back in 2008, after America made the switch from analog television broadcasting to digital television, this spectrum was no longer needed to broadcast television programs.
Not all of the requests were applied to the spectrum, but two important requests were granted: open applications and open devices.


So despite the argument that unused spectrum is being put to better use, looking at the entire scope of the spectrum swap reveals strong motivations for pushing these deals through without much public attention. Prior to 2001, carriers did not allow their subscribers to send text messages to users of rival providers. Due to the lack of interoperability between the different blocks of spectrum, headset produced for companies like T-Mobile will not work on Verizon devices. Thus, the better designers gravitating away from catering to the consumers of the smaller carriers will increase exponentially.
Among the groups members are T-Mobile, Sprint, and advocacy groups like Public Knowledge, the American Antitrust Institute, the Rural Cellular Association, and the Rural Telecommunications Group. They throttle back and stop throughput when you are connected to an outside video service, and then unthrottle it for speedtest. Because this issue is already being exploited in the wild so the best solution is to use full encryption using a VPN like Tunnelbear or TOR. All articles, images, logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owners. Verizon argues that it needs additional wireless spectrum to grow its 4G LTE network, but the company has already said it won’t deploy the licenses it acquires from the cable companies right away. The strategic use of spectrum in this manner is a card that has been hiding in Verizon’s sleeve for some time. All wireless providers will need access to additional spectrum, the platform over which wireless communications are transmitted. However, simply looking at the deals from this perspective is as naive as it is misleading and short-sighted. This argument aims to protect competition in an industry that tends naturally toward consolidation and monopolization.
Campbell argues that mandating carriers to enable their spectrum for 3G devices is bad for innovation because the future is in 4G LTE.
However, as a nation we decided that the costs of industry consolidation and the risk that brings to consumer choice, price control and innovation outweigh any potential benefits. It doesn’t make sense for many companies to compete and build their own transmission networks (water and gas pipelines, electric and telephone lines) because of the high capital costs required that would serve as barriers to entry to competitors anyway. In markets where competition is preferable, the government may decide to deregulate that industry to foster competition and innovation. Network effects are essentially a condition wherein user experience increases as the number of users increases. In 1996, Congress wanted to protect network effects and other positive externalities in the telecommunications industry without limiting consumer choice to just one firm.
The different groupings of products was based on the underlying technology required to provide that service, in other words, intramodal competition.
This deal is blatantly anti-competitive as Verizon will sell cableco products that directly compete with its fiber optic FiOS TV and broadband services. Other spectrum deals, such as the AT&T license purchase from Qualcomm, took close to a year to complete.
Furthermore, Melone argued that the FCC shouldn’t trouble itself with the marketing agreements because it is a separate deal that would happen even without the spectrum license transfers. While the types of technologies they will develop is obviously top-secret, it’s not hard to speculate about the direction they will go.
And any company that wants to include its content in these services will have to negotiate directly with Verizon. Such actions go directly against any attempt to avoid monopolies but are not captured by current legislation. But the cable companies have failed in the wireless world and the wireless companies have decided that they don’t want to touch cable now that streaming videos has changed the landscape.
Looking at it from another angle, as WiFi becomes more expansive, where does that leave the cell phone carriers? The pivotal moment I described above accounts for such restrictions placed on open access to the internet. This is not because LTE cannot be developed on other spectrum bands, but rather because the AWS spectrum is subject to far fewer regulatory strings, meaning the company that controls this spectrum will be able to use it how it pleases. This means that rather than allowing the larger companies to hoard and stockpile spectrum, all unused spectrum must be available for use by competitive carriers. Looking to the future, with only two main players in the mobile carrier market, AT&T and Verizon, who else can consumers turn to if they are unhappy with their service? Comcast has recently been under fire for offering preferential treatment of its own Xfinity services over competing services provided by Netflix. You should be able to place phone calls for free through companies like Skype and Google — but why would Verizon want you to be able to do that? Smaller wireless carriers are now fearful that by granting Verizon Wireless control over the AWS spectrum, there won’t be any spectrum available through which they can accommodate the future LTE standard of service.
With a nationwide spectrum capable of meeting the future needs of advanced technologies (like apps) that increasingly rely on the use of data, smaller carriers will be unable to compete. And this is exactly why the FCC is now asking Verizon Wireless pointed questions regarding its plans upon acquiring the new spectrum. Open applications means that consumers will be able to download and utilize any legal software applications, content or services they wish.
When carriers lifted the restraints on text messaging, the number of messages sent went through the roof.
At the same time, headsets manufactured for Verizon devices will not work on T-Mobile or Sprint phones.
What’s more, because of economies of scale, these inferior products will be more expensive.
This is easy to do because they can just look for the IP of the site and the port number and then use that to trigger a different QOS (Quality of Service) regime that throttles the traffic). Verizon purchased nationwide licenses on the 700MHz band in the 2008 spectrum auction, and those licenses are being used to build its 4G LTE network. Rather than attempting to disprove its opponents, Verizon was spewing rhetoric aimed at discrediting T-Mobile on the basis of hypocrisy. That the FCC does not see this, and in stead applauds Verizon for such behavior is beyond comprehension. Some industries are considered natural monopolies, which is a cost-technology assessment wherein a conclusion is drawn that it is in the interest of the consumer for one company to have exclusive rights to operate in a given market. Due to the high fixed costs of building such networks, it is in the public’s interest to achieve the most economies of scale possible, and thereby relegate these investments to natural monopolies. The 1996 Act made provisions that required incumbent carriers and new entrants to interconnect their networks so that users can communicate with one another, regardless of which carrier they choose. For example, the Act anticipated, promoted and protected the competition between local voice communications and long-distance voice providers, both of which used circuit-switched networks to offer their services. What’s more,t that deal involved significantly less spectrum (12MHz versus more than 20 MHz). With Skype competing with traditional voice services and Netflix and Youtube competing with traditional television broadcasting systems, it would not be a stretch to assume that the JOE will focus on protecting the companies from these external threats. By joining forces to develop new technologies with complete control over the spectrum used to develop the future 4G LTE standard, Verizon and the cable companies remain one step ahead of the competition.
The only way to prevent this from happening across the board when Verizon gets unregulated AWS spectrum from SpectrumCo would be to enforce similar conditions to these licenses. The moves Verizon is making today will effect competition in the mobile industry, making it impossible for smaller wireless carriers to compete on a level playing field.
Comcast has been accused of not counting bandwidth used by Xfinity toward the data caps of its customers, using bandwidth throttling and traffic rate limiting to offer better and cheaper services for its own products. So they are going to do everything in their power now to preempt the proliferation of technological advances that render themselves moot.
Despite the fact that Verizon has already developed LTE on the 700MHz band, it now claims that it needs AWS to accommodate future LTE demands. This is an argument in favor of the protection of industry competition, rather than a hands-off free market that naturally tends toward industry consolidation and ultimately monopoly.
What’s more, T-Mobile built out the AWS spectrum it acquired in the 2006 auction almost immediately.
Open devices ensures that consumers will be able to use the handheld communications device of their choice on whatever wireless network they prefer. There has been no such agreements made on features such as video calling, which is certain to be a big player in the future. What they had essentially done was to double the cost of my service once the phone was paid for and then tried to add the new phone cost upon that.
This is essentially violating net neutrality in a very tricky and surreptitious way that is hard to prove or detect. What’s more, if the company is allowed to acquire the additional AWS licenses from the cable companies, Verizon would control an astonishing 40MHz of wireless spectrum in the AWS band in major markets. In a change of tactics, rather than try to further discredit its opponent, the wireless giant is leeching off the desperation of its weaker competitor, silencing them in exchange for capacity and compliance. While smartphones account for 50% of all mobile devices, the vast majority of smartphones currently run on the 3G network. According to Gartner, 64% of smartphone owners are using their mobile devices to shop online, and worldwide mobile payment transactions are expected to exceed $171.5 billion in 2012, up 62% from $106 million in 2011. When the airline industry was regulated, different carriers had exclusive rights to different routes, so there was little to no competition.
The major assumption was that the same types of products worked off of the same underlying technologies.
However, with AT&T developing products with Verizon and with the cable companies also developing products with Verizon, who is left to monitor these actions and look out for the consumer? Abandon competition, sell each others’ products, get rid of regulatory requirements aimed at ensuring open access and net neutrality and team up to develop and share new patented technologies.
And right now, in no small measure due to the high price it charges its customers for data usage, Verizon currently has the lowest smartphone penetration in the industry. According to T-Mobile VP of federal regulations Kathleen Ham, “The industry is at a critical time in the transition to 4G LTE, and spectrum will be the key to success in this transition.
The FCC must go beyond asking questions and accepting answers crafted by an experienced team of legal professionals. Prior to the auction, Google asked for certain requirements be placed on the licenses granted through the auction in exchange for a commitment to a minimum bid.
What’s more disconcerting is that the major carriers are now arguing against interoperability on devices as a whole. You can help by writing to your local representative urging them to pressure the FCC to stop the deal, or at the very least to impose significant restrictions on the licenses purchased in this spectrum.
You can see that if I did this a few times I would be paying them hundreds of dollars for phone service.
On the one hand it is about power and access to spectrum; and at the same time, about collusion between the largest mobile provider and a consortium of the largest cable providers. If anything, ensuring that more devices work on more networks will benefit consumers and promote industry competition while enhancing innovation. As more potential entrants to the market were restricted from doing so, prices remained high and innovation low. Verizon recently announced plans to launch its own aggregated video portal called Viewdini, that will work on the 4G LTE network to stream videos from Netflix, Comcast, Hulu and mSpot. The FCC should ignore T-Mobile’s forced change of positions because, like an innocent prisoner would do to avoid the death penalty, T-Mobile is doing what it must to stay alive.
It is unlikely that the FCC will reject the deals, but at the very least it should add restrictions upon them. When the price in the auction went above Google’s bid, the open platform restrictions Google requested were triggered. In other words, they want to produce and promote 4G LTE devices, and build out their networks in a manner by which 3G devices will not work. I should mention that where I live, Verizon is the only carrier that has service at my house. After deregulation in the 1980s we saw new entrants into the markets and an increase in competition for individual routes that led to dramatic decreases in prices and innovations with respect to fare pricing. Furthermore, without interoperability requirements, regional carriers will be unable to get the hardware that operates on the spectrum bands of larger carriers, making their phones incapable of roaming on the nationwide networks.



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