Now that satellite radio companies XM and Sirius have merged next up is a common radio that is able to tune stations from each.
While Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin has promised the FCC that such devices will be available within 9-months, investors have been told to expect them to available “a number of months sooner.”
Unfortunately that doesn’t mean, however, that we’ll have them in time for this holiday season but Karmazin did point out in an interview with Orbitcast that the new devices will be making their debut at CES 2009 in January.
After what seems like forever, the merger of satellite radio providers Sirius and XM has finally been approved by the last group that needed to bless it–the FCC.
By a vote of 3 to 2, the FCC agreed to the merger after Sirius and XM agreed to pay a $19.7 million fine for violating FCC regulations for the and-based signal repeaters the companies use to operate.
Looks like all the lobbying by land-based radio companies against the merger didn’t make enough of a difference.
Both companies have promised that within three months of the deal they would allow listeners to pay only for the channels they want.
The upcoming BlackBerry Bold smartphone by RIM has shown up in the FCC database, so you’re not dreaming–it’s almost here.
The FCC’s info is public so you’re welcome to browse the files on RIM’s filing for the Bold but if you’re expecting to see a plain English you’re looking in the wrong place–a lot of it is high-level hardware nerd stuff and not really meant for the general public.
Take a look at the exhibits here if you’re interested.
After Verizon won the Block C portion in the recent 700MHz wireless spectrum auction by the FCC, Google noticed that Verizon seemed to be ignoring the open access rules with the spectrum and doing things a bit differently than Google believed they should, resulting in Google filing a complaint with the FCC.
Verizon has responded, saying that they “understood the FCC’s rules for using that spectrum…of course we’ll abide by those rules.”
Verizon also responded to Google’s complaint saying that “Google’s filing has no legal basis…It’s really no surprise that despite not winning spectrum, they continue to try to change the rules and further their own business interests through the regulatory process.”
[Via Ars Technica]
Regarding the recent 700MHz spectrum auction by the FCC, apparently there are different ways to interpret “open access” for the block that Verizon paid $4.7 billion for, or at least that’s the game that Verizon seems to be playing.
In a petition filed by Google with the FCC, Google alleges that Verizon is ignoring the “plain meaning of the [open access] rule” by saying that it will allow one type of access for users who use Verizon-approved devices, and a different type of access by those using other, third-party devices.
“Verizon’s position would completely reverse the meaning of the rule such that the open access condition would apply to none of Verizon’s customers, and thereby render the condition a nullity.”
Google is asking that the FCC block Verizon’s bid unless they agree to comply iwth the previously decided open access rules.
If you’re interested in checking out the full complain you can see it here.
No response yet from Verizon.
According to both USA Today and CNN, the FCC is working on a new nationwide text message alert system and is expected to make an announcement shortly.
It’s believed that the alerts will initially be limited to 90 words or less and be in English only and will warn people about things like terror attacks, major weather developments and Amber alerts.
Participation in the program is expected to be voluntary on the part of wireless carriers.
Verizon was one of the big spenders/winners in the recent FCC auction for the 700MHz.
AT&T, another one of the auction winners, has already announced what their plans are. What does Verizon plan to do?
Looks like roughly the same thing that AT&T will be doing–using it to provide a high-speed 4G LTE network.
Here’s their timetable at this point:
- Finalize standards
- Begin field trials
- Begin network preparations
- Advanced device trails
- Select vendors
- Begin network deployment
- Launch network
- Rapid coverage acceleration to full deployment
When the FCC’s auction for pieces of the 700MHz spectrum was over, AT&T came out as one of the big spenders/winners.
So what do they plan to do with it?
Set a new 4G LTE network.
Ralph dl la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility, made the announcement today but don’t expect to see it anytime soon. Beginning in February of 2009 the spectrum will be available for use, but we shouldn’t expect to see widespread commercial deployment until around the year 2012.
The 4G would certainly be nice to see sooner than that, but don’t give up 3G just yet. Next year AT&T has plans to double their 3G speeds up to 7.2Mbps downstream which should keep a lot of us more or less happy until 4G comes hits (assuming you’ll have 3G coverage where you work and play, of course).
Now that all of the 700MHz auction have come to an end the FCC is able to announce the winners and their winning bid for each of the blocks.
Block A: 12 MHz bandwidth (698–704 and 728–734 MHz)
No clear winner.
Block B: 12 MHz bandwidth (704–710 and 734–740 MHz)
Big winner: AT&T
Total spent: $6,636,658,000
Block C: 22 MHz bandwidth (746–757 and 776–787 MHz)
Big winner: Verizon Wireless
Total spent: $9,363.160,000
Block D: 10 MHz bandwidth (758–763 and 788–793 MHz)
Big winner: Qualcomm
Total spent: $472,042,000 (reserve not met)
Block E: 6 MHz bandwidth (722–728 MHz)
Big winner: Frontier Wireless
Total spent: $711,871,000
Block C, as you may recall, was the block that Google had bid on but they appeared to be more interested in ensuring that the minimum bid for open access be reached than actually winning the auction, so being outbid was likely their plan all along.
For Block D, the reserve price of $1.33 billion was not met so a new auction for this block will be created to give bidders another shot.
The results above list the big winner and not just block winner because in some cases its not as straight forward and one bidder getting the entire block. For example, Qualcomm also won parts of the B and E block.