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AT&T To Pay $1.93 Billion For FLO TV Spectrum

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the saturate-this dept.

Businesses 72

itwbennett writes "AT&T on Monday announced it is buying from Qualcomm $1.925 billion worth of wireless spectrum that it plans to use for a 4G network. The spectrum was bought by Qualcomm for $125 million and had powered FLO TV."

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Two billion sounds about right (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626374)

One link I found makes that the 698-806 MHz band so its about 100Mhz wide but I suppose the value is the universality of it. You can smother the US with microcells. Maximum individual throughput is limited by that 100Mhz bandwidth, and its not fantastic. Probably enough to put a serious dint into demand for ADSL, especially in low density areas.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (2)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626658)

Microcells?

The 700MHz band penetrates buildings and foliage better than any current cellular frequency. It's best use is for long-distance links.

1800/1900MHz would be a far better bet for an army of microcells.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626684)

Bandwith is limited so you want to use low power close to the user.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (5, Interesting)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626770)

Bandwith is limited so you want to use low power close to the user.

Your statement is absolutely true.

But bandwidth is (by definition) limited in any band. It is better to use those bands which are actually good at traversing long distances to traverse long distances, than to use those same bands to traverse short distances when other bands could perform the same job more efficiently.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627232)

UHF is better than the current gigahertz band, but still not great. UHF gets blocked by solid objects like trees, houses, skyscrapers, et cetera. It's a line-of-sight transmission. ----- In contrast VHF "bends" and can reach into the shadows behind these objects. I think an ideal place for cellphones would be Channels 1-6, since these are almost worthless for digital television (picture breaks-up). Also the space above AM upto channel 1, and the gap between FM and channel 7. All of these operate very long distance (50 miles) with minimal power (3000 watt).

Also as I mentioned below this FLO-TV was only a single channel (55) of six megahertz width. Just a teeny-tiny drop in the bucket in the overall bandwidth picture. I'm surprised ATT paid so much for it.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (3, Informative)

hazydave (96747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627952)

Both UHF and VHF get attenuated, not entirely blocked, by objects: trees, houses, skyscrapers, etc... and both diffract around said objects. That's why your cellphone works indoors.

Higher frequency UHF is strongly attenuated by foliage, lower frequency UHF and VHF, no so much. As a digital radio designer, I did a 2.4GHz ISM band radio, narrowband, fairly long range, but it stopped dead at the edge of a forest. My next radio, at 435MHz (used to control robots) went completely through the forest, over a slight hill, and out to a roadway 1/2 mile away.

That's big reason so much money changed hands in the FCC's 700MHz auction. Verizon nabbed 22MHz there, AT&T 12MHz. So Flo TV's 6MHz, 716-722MHz, may not seem like much, but it boosts AT&Ts 4G band by 50%. They're closing down Flo TV in March, AT&T is expected to launch their LTE-based "4G" (not real 4G yet, but a first step) sometime over the summer. Unless, like everyone else has been, they're six months late.

There's no value in a 50 mile range for cellular.... no matter how powerful the tower, the handset is still going to be limited to about a watt, maybe less (US cellular devices can run up to 3W, but handsets usually max out a 1W or less... the cell tower actually tweaks the handset's output to something it can hear).

The 700MHz band is bandwidth limited compared to Sprint, for example.. the Sprint/Clear/Comcast WiMax network has about 90MHz in the 2500MHz band, so they have a higher peak capacity, for sure. But they're going to need more power per cell in cities, if not more cells, to get into buildings. And they're going to have issues with rural coverage -- as Sprint and T-Mobile already do for 2G and 3G. They're limited to 1900MHz, while AT&T and Verizon both have slots at both 850MHz and 1900MHz. My house is centered in 26 acres of forest. I can get Verizon in my cellar, AT&T though most of the house, but T-Mobile is pretty much outdoors only, while Sprint, last I checked, is available at the end of my driveway.

Of course, you can always deal with the limited bandwidth issue by using more, lower powered cells in highly populated areas. The only real fix for the higher frequency stuff outside of high population areas is more cells, something historically just never done by these guys,

Its the Abdication of our rights that causes this (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34632278)

OUR airwaves, they belong to the public. Instead of 'we the people' managing OUR property rights we abdicate them and hand it over to a few monopolies who overcharge us for their "service" and take our money to corrupt any means by which we exercise our collective rights.

Bandwidth is limited due to it having to be divided between multiple monopolies. Each doesn't get fair use since characteristics of ranges of bandwidth differ greatly as well as POOR applications where company needs to use the wrong bandwidth.

If our roads were similarly handled (and built/designed/maintained) like the cell phones:

Ford drivers get a discount; that is, everybody else just pays more. Ford made a deal or owns the road.

Nobody is allowed to drive to WikiLand.

You'd pay per minute or per mile on the road; naturally, you'd not mind being tracked by radio the whole time by your car. Fast drivers trying to save money (but wasting just as much in gas) cause more accidents. SUVs thrive as potholes are now profitable because they slow people down increasing the per-minute fees.

You'd pay a monthly usage fee as well as disconnection and connection fees; probably 3 kinds: service on/off "processing" fee, on/off ramp fee, and a toll booth fee for non-subscribers. There are many ways to hide such additional fees but they'd exist - it could be like your credit card fee of 1-2% + transaction fee where you pay it all the time and don't know it IN ADDITION to the late fees.)

You'd be x-rayed for "your own security" or to "think of the children" and naturally BILLED for your packages for freeloading on their road 'network' unless they can identify you have RFID tags from Walmart who'd have kickback payments so their products get special treatment. This "package inspection" policy initially is met with strong resistance but ultimately would become accepted by the public as they buy items from companies who pay the fees over ones who do not.

You'd pay for all expansions and repairs; Fed-Ex and other shippers who wear the roads more will pay nothing because they made deals... OR Fed-Ex merged and gets it free so you can't use UPS without paying higher fees.

Your taxes would go up, naturally, economic blackmail in addition to political lobbying would force the local people to pay for as much as possible while the owners increase profits from said efforts as well as KEEPING everything paid for. Best case, they get zero interest loans from local government (which actually costs you money due to inflation, its actually a negative interest loan.)

Small fees gets roads named after products, movies, companies, ceos, etc. The names change more often.

The Fed-Ex highway is for shipping, you are an afterthought so they get right of way and if you disrupt them in any way you get a huge fine; during xmas you can't drive there.

Trespassing is not allowed; government punishes you. no protests or ignoring their fees.

Power, Gas, Water, Sewer costs go up. Fees for repairing them. Living costs go up even though you don't drive.

Don't drive? Your friend pays more because you are freeloading by getting a ride; or being unable to ID you causes both of you to be kicked off the highway.

Poor? Underpayed? Unemployed? tough. Sell your car for money. take the bus.... which costs more since they must pay extra to use the road...subsidizes for buses go up= taxes go up.

Finally, they'd have public policy campaigns for pollution or incentive for light weight cars as benefits them and placates local governments but actually costs them nothing and the effectiveness of the programs is NOT important whatsoever; its smokescreen. You know, like the energy saving programs by the power monopolies in your area. Its a game for suckers.

This was fun, add your own.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (2)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630092)

I think an ideal place for cellphones would be Channels 1-6, since these are almost worthless for digital television (picture breaks-up).

There hasn't been an over-the-air channel 1 in the U.S. since 1941.

The "gap" between the FM band and TV channel 7 is spectrum a cable system can and do use because they control all of their signals, but those frequencies are already licensed for many over-the-air uses. It's NOT empty spectrum. AM broadcast through where channel 1 was isn't empty either.

The optimum length for antenna elements relates to the wavelength which is inversely proportional to the frequency. A 1/4 wave antenna for channel 2 would be close to five feet long. It's not practical to put a big whip or pair of rabbit ears on a cellphone.

Channels 2 - 6 may occasionally get some pulse noise from things like crackling dirty power line insulators, but the range for tv is actually better than any of the other channels provided that people put up full-sized antennas with the longer elements needed for lower frequencies. In practice many people are unwilling or unable to put up the larger antennas, and have an easier time with small UHF or medium sized high-band (7 - 13) VHF antennas. In any event, if people have trouble find room where they live for a low-band VHF antenna, they certainly won't have access to anything optimal (huge) on handheld devices. About twice the size of an FM whip, about half that of an old CB antenna, is what it would take. It would be great for emergency use in cars with long whip antennas.
Although rated at the same gain compared to reference dipoles, the larger lower frequency antennas pick up more energy due to their larger capture area. (dish antennas are an exception) That's the main reason VHF stations are licensed with less power than UHF to do the same job.

Except for areas with very low population density, long-range data access is not practical when a great deal of bandwidth is needed. The bandwidth basically has to be divided among the active users in the area covered. The area covered goes up with the square of the distance so the number of users would climb rapidly as range goes up.

Although a traditional DTV broadcast is seen by mnay people, since the transmission is one way with the same content available to all, the bandwidth then all goes to ONE user. A 6 MHz channel provides far less per person when each is doing their own thing.

If users need significant bandwidth, a better system would be to have a huge amount of very cheap bandwidth to our homes and public access spots, and wideband very short range hotspots all over.

I think it's a bit of an industry conspiracy that people are being scared into not sharing their wireless networks. The threats of malware and snooping exist for internet use in general. The focus for shared wireless should be use of well designed routers and access control. Control ports, bandwidth etc to protect performance of the host user(s), have guest authentication and controls to prevent abuses (p2p, underage porn or whatever). With well designed cooperative hardware we could easily have what amounts to free VOIP in many (stationary) places, and if we had home networks with the sort of bandwidth many abroad get, even guest sharing for video streaming would be viable.

The wireless part of this picture could be essentially free. Not what AT&T wants...

Let's see Apple or a new startup revolutionize wireless sharing by offering a new breed of router. Think DD-WRT with Apple DNA in it.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34638536)

Except for areas with very low population density, long-range data access is not practical when a great deal of bandwidth is needed. The bandwidth basically has to be divided among the active users in the area covered. The area covered goes up with the square of the distance so the number of users would climb rapidly as range goes up.

For as insightful as you seem to be, you seem to have never learned about directional antennas, or at least have never applied the idea in this context.

Go ahead and learn about the concept. I'll wait.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34638776)

you seem to have never learned about directional antennas, or at least have never applied the idea in this context.

Not much use on a cell phone but handy for making the most out of a single cell tower.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34641086)

For as insightful as you seem to be, you seem to have never learned about directional antennas, or at least have never applied the idea in this context.

This context, data access to the masses on mobile devices, has very limited options for use of directional antennas.

Someone walking around generally has no place to mount a directional antenna, no idea which way to point one, and may very well be moving around making it difficult to maintain aiming.

It's difficult for an ISP to do too much with directional antennas since in many instances users could be in any direction. They could however help to allow what amounts to separate access points to operate from one location. But that's still breaking down the area covered into smaller regions and using more access points. An example would be to use a hilltop site with one equipment package and antenna serving one side of the hill it is on, and a similar system directed at users on the other side of the hill. Basically one still has to increase the number of access point systems. Directional antennas at the ISP end would allow the convenience and site rental efficiency of covering a few segments from one physical site.

It all boils down to the same basics with a limited frequency spectrum available:

1) allow more non-colliding reuse of the same spectrum by limiting the range (area actually) covered by user and ISP equipment

2) The slice of spectrum a user needs at one time can be reduced by limiting the data rate. (more space between wideband packet bursts can divide the spectrum use in time, but since the user signals may not be able to sense each other to avoid conflicting signals hitting the access point at once, the access points and their protocols would have to designed to control when user packets are sent. In general WiFi is poor at that so speeds suffer with many users on due to collision. Site capacity gets wasted due to the need to retransmit clobbered packets.)

3) Reducing the amount of data per user. That's a tough one since users want some demanding content and others want to profit from providing it. Beyond limiting use by making it expensive, forcing use of the most efficient codecs is the best way to give people what they want while minimizing resources used. Perhaps some higher latency steaming techniques could be used to send more of the data during brief dips in demand, reducing peak demand. Anything to shift demand to off-peak would help.

4) Cheat. Offload some demand to other bands/technologies (more discussion below)

Perhaps you're aware of some technology that I'm not? Diversity reception (auto-switching between multiple antennas) helps. In theory one could have directional antennas that are auto-directed under CPU control, with the directional behavior of the combined multiple antenna elements steered by controlling the phase (time delay) of signals for each element. I have yet to see that sort of technology used in consumer network gear. It still is likely too big, too complex, and probably too costly for small mobile devices. Perhaps demand in some high traffic outdoor areas could see relief by offloading to even shorter range systems (automatically dumping from licensed spectrum to WiFi or white space DTV spectrum when possible; maybe even something done with infra-red could work). There are many times we're physically near more efficient pathways, things just haven't yet evolved to make best shared use. Obviously there are significant issues including security, prioritization, and incentives.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34648170)

Who is saying that this chunk of 700MHz is going to be used only for mobile devices? I guess it's strongly implied because it's "AT&T," who we all know and hate as the only GSM provider in the States that is worth anything at all, but certainly you're aware that they do a lot more than offer cellular service.

Much of rural America is still limited to v.34 dialup -- and sometimes, not even that.

For fixed installations, directional antennas work just fine. The user doesn't even have to know where to point it, since it's easy to train an installer to take care of that on the user's behalf.

(Disclaimer: I am sometimes involved with an outfit doing just this in the 700MHz band, using (of all things) DOCSIS modems. It works far better than I ever expected it to, and it is profitable.)

Re:Two billion sounds about right (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34655818)

Who is saying that this chunk of 700MHz is going to be used only for mobile devices?

The article related to AT&T so most of the discussion here has that focus:
"In an announcement made Monday, the telecommunications giant said the extra wireless spectrum will help it provide 4G mobile broadband to its customers in the next few years."

What you're doing is interesting and no doubt much appreciated, but I'd be surprised if it could scale very far with many people and heavy consumption. I'm sure I'm not alone in being interested in hearing more details of hardware you're using. I don't expect AT&T to be aggressive at all in serving low-density areas with wireless that way unless it is part of some subsidy.

It is tough for any wireless ISP to scale to handle things like widescale video consumption. Getting good page-load burst speeds is one thing, but handling many people with sustained streamed video demand is far tougher. Once those former dialup users discover high quality streaming video, their usage patterns will likely change significantly. That's if caps or the network choking don't stop them. Net video delivery is still in its infancy and Netflix alone already accounts for 20% of peak-period net traffic. How many simultaneous customers using a steady 1 megabit/second plus can each site support per 6 MHz of spectrum? The many just reading mail or occasionally loading a web page have much less impact of course, but fear those who really use what's out there.

Netflix story
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20020434-17.html [cnet.com]

The monthly bandwidth caps seen on most mobile plans could easily be used in one day by someone trying to get all of their HD video that way. The system would need 30 times the capacity to deliver that every day. Peak speed is just a selling point, it's total capacity that really matters.

It's pretty clear why AT&T was quick to kill their unlimited data plan, why Apple introduced Facetime (video chat) with it enabled only on WiFi and why wireless data plans generally have relatively low monthly caps. There just isn't the spectrum/capacity for many people to use the networks as heavily as with home (cable/DSL) providers. Jumping to those other paths whenever possible is one of the things needed to moderate the load.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (0)

yo303 (558777) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626780)

You have to be careful. One time I bought a bunch of spectrum at 730MHz in Tallahassee, Florida , and the guy said it was supposed to be good for the microcells.

But I think I got ripped off, because the bandwidth is swamping me.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (2)

bledri (1283728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627554)

You have to be careful. One time I bought a bunch of spectrum at 730MHz in Tallahassee, Florida , and the guy said it was supposed to be good for the microcells.

But I think I got ripped off, because the bandwidth is swamping me.

Same thing happened to me in New York, but I ended up with a baggy of oregano.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626794)

>>>about 100Mhz wide

Nope. FLO TV is really just one channel from the 52 to 69 selloff. That makes it 6 megahertz wide, or about 30 Mbit/s raw throughput. Enough to provide internet for 5 people per cell, or a few thousand voice customers.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (4, Informative)

hazydave (96747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34628528)

LTE supports 81.6Mb/s and 200 active data clients on a 5MHz channel, using 4x4 MIMO, 43.2Mb/s with 2x2 MIMO. Not quite as bad as you let on here. Obviously, if you had 200 data users on a cell, they're not all getting the high speed they're after... but no different than the 3G situation -- about 21Mb/s via HSPA or 56Mb/s with HSPA+ (2x2 MIMO and 64QAM).

AT&T has actually been buying up 700MHz spectrum for years now. Along with the national Block B 12MHz they bought at FCC Auction 73, they own up to 12MHz of Block C from some of these other purchases... I hadn't realized they bought Aloha Partners sometime back in 2007. So that's up to 24MHz in some areas, even before you factor in this new 6MHz block. LTE doesn't support more than 20MHz per channel, but in aggregate, AT&T may have up to 480Mb/s of LTE per cell. Not too shabby.

Verizon has been doing much the same thing... they spent $4.7 billion for the national 700MHz Block C (and a few licenses in Block A as well) they won in Auction 73, 22MHz wide. And another $4.66 billion buying up 700MHz spectrum owned by regional companies... no idea just how much, or where. But both companies are well situated for 4G, and clearly, the scarcity of this commodity is driving the price up. This has Verizon with up to 90MHz of aggregate spectrum in places (3G + 4G), over 45MHz through most of the country.

It'll be interesting to see if Echostar hangs on to their 6MHz Block E ($722 million), given they could better than double their money on it now. And the FCC still plans to run the Block D auction again, probably next year (Block D has to be shared with public service use).

Re:Two billion sounds about right (1)

guzzirider (551141) | more than 3 years ago | (#34628752)

From TFA:
        “Qualcomm bought the wireless spectrum powering FLO TV -- Lower 700 MHz D and E block spectrum - for only $125 million”
From Wikipedia:
        Block D: 10 MHz bandwidth (758–763 and 788–793 MHz)
        Block E: 6 MHz bandwidth (722–728 MHz)
16Mhz of bandwidth for 1.925 Billion .. Bucks .
Spectrum real estate sure is doing better than the housing market.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34632126)

I don't understand how you can "buy" spectrum off other companies if its technically owned by the people. They should only be allowed to rent it from us.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34633784)

I don't understand how you can "buy" spectrum off other companies if its technically owned by the people. They should only be allowed to rent it from us.

You buy someone's lease.

Re:Two billion sounds about right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34635368)

Because the public SOLD the spectrum off. It wasn't an auction for lease, it was an auction for sale with certain restrictions on certain bands. If you want to rent it out, then be prepared for companies to not spend much money.

Mobile IP. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626376)

Netcraft confirms it. Mobile TV is dead!

Re:Mobile IP. (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626384)

Netcraft confirms it. Mobile TV is dead!

Long live youtube over 3G.

Re:Mobile IP. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627430)

Netcraft will (ok ok... might? could had? probably not? ;D) confirm it:
Soon Youtube over 3G is dead thanks to global Internet censorship.

Hurray for pirate airwave-TV ;)

The end. (5, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626380)

And this, friends, represents the end of the glory that should have been the giant swaths of 700MHz spectrum which were liberated as part of the move from NTSC to ATSC.

RIP, dreams.

Re:The end. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626422)

Apparently "giant" has a new definition, anyway I feel sorry for all the people who spent $249 for the required device. Speaking of which how many new devices will have to be purchased to utilize this "new" spectrum?

Re:The end. (1)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626490)

Do you mean on the carrier side or on the consumer side?

From TFA:

Wireless carriers are under tremendous pressure to upgrade their networks to handle the traffic generated by a new generation of smartphone applications and the increasing consumer consumption of multimedia files downloaded or streamed to a growing multitude of devices.

So... I'm guessing for the consumer it will only be a matter of when you buy your next smartphone from AT&T it will have the ability built into it to use these spectrums, along with whatever services AT&T decide to offer here. Maybe it will just use it to separate smartphone internet traffic from the other stuff?

Re:The end. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626598)

This is amazing.
  1. American gov. paid out something like .4 billion for converters made in China.
  2. American company pays American gov. .1B for right to use space.
  3. Another American company pays first American company 2 B for right to use that space.
  4. New equipment will be made in China to access this space.

So, who came out like a bandit? China. Who got really screwed on this? American tax payers.

Re:The end. (0)

Capt. Skinny (969540) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626708)

For their 0.3 billion, American taxpayers have access to 4G service that wasn't available before.

hookay (1)

fireylord (1074571) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626946)

Is said service going to be free then? coz if not you can bet your bottom dollar that those taxpayers that decide to use it will be paying plenty for it!

Re:The end. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627416)

I just hope the access will be reasonable, as opposed to the proposed .10 cents a site and pretty crappy bandwidth caps that most wireless places have.

I'd love to see a wireless provider (preferably GSM because the US's version of CDMA [1] with no R/UIM capability is about as outdated as AMPS) make a "no nonsense" plan. Charge $75 a month, offer unlimited use, and if connections get saturated, throttle everyone equally. No Phorm active MITM attacks, no charges per website, just the monthly fee for access and leave it be. This probably won't happen with today's political climate until it becomes an issue of national security (i.e. the US infrastructure becomes so antiquated compared to everywhere else that we completely lose any relevance in the global economy.)

[1]: CDMA has some good features, but the US version has most of them stripped away, such as usable TV streaming, "SIM" card functionality with R/UIM, and decent bandwidth. If one sets foot in Korea, Japan, or another country that actually implemented CDMA properly, it is a world of difference. You can actually watch full HD footage of any movies on your device anywhere, and the monthly cost for your cell bill is 1/5 to 1/10 it is here.

Re:The end. (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627054)

Disagree with your conclusion.

Yes the Congress & FCC spent millions on converter boxes, but they collected *billions* from the sale of channels 52-69 (and also 70-83 in the early 1990s). So it was a net win for the People's Treasury. You're right that most of these devices are built in China, but that's really a separate issue (US workers charge too much for their labor) which the FCC has no power to control.

Re:The end. (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627084)

American workers charge too much for their labour? Are you working for Chinese money then?

Re:The end. (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627148)

If a company packs-up and moves to China or India because its previous workers were charging $20/hour while their new workers are charging one-half dollar per hour, then YES, the american workers are charging too much. Just as if I went to buy a Civic and Honda charged me $200,000 for it - that would be too high a charge and I'd shop for a lower rate.

Eventually we'll reach a point where foreign workers rates rise and American workers drop, until they reach near equilibrium.

Re:The end. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627612)

I love when jackasses like you with no sense of social structure make comments like that. I'm sure later on, when your job ends up overseas, you will be whining about how the government wasn't protecting the citizens enough, while the same person saying that right now, you would be calling a jingoist moron calling for isolationism.

I've seen people yawp about that, "hey, I don't give a shit where the goods are made, as long as I can have my 20 pack of tube socks for $1.99 at Wal-Mart." Then they wonder why they don't get pay raises, their company goes into hiring freezes, or the company gets shut down, stomped by foreign competitors whose sole advantage is that they have a cheaper workforce. Not skilled, mind you. Cheaper.

Do you REALLY want to live in a country where its government's goal is to be economically competitive to any and all comers in the world? I sure don't. The US went through days of 12 hour workdays, 7 days a week in the Gilded Age, and those were for the children. Do you want to live in Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle?" Most people sure don't.

The rhetoric you spout is spewed by two types of people in the US: The genuinely rich (and don't count yourself as that unless you are doing 7 digits worth of dollars a year), and those who have not completed a high school education, have little to no knowledge of basic economics or civics, and are just toeing the line on the far right propaganda machine.

Does that Brawndo taste good?

Re:The end. (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34628326)

I did not say one thing you accused me of saying. Your post is one gigantic strawman argument. Please do Not put words into my mouth I did not say. ALL I said was the Chinese/Indian labor is significantly cheaper than American/European labor - which is a Fact. I am sorry you find this fact cognitively dissonant (uncomfortable) but that's not my fault.

Facts don't change just because we don't like them. No reason to downmod me into invisibility. What would you have done if we were standing face-to-face? Punch me? Just because you didn't like that I said Chinese/Indians workers charge less than US/EU workers??? Ridiculous. And immature.

Re:The end. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34632304)

ALL I said was the Chinese/Indian labor is significantly cheaper than American/European labor

Actually, what you said was "the american workers are charging too much", and I think most people would not consider demanding a livable wage to be "charging too much". But maybe you disagree? If so, what changed your mind [slashdot.org] ?

Back then you were bitching and complaining about foreign workers willing to work for less, but now you think it's ok? I will admit however that it is a different scenario. Back then we were discussing foreign workers coming here, whereas now we are discussing the jobs here being shipped overseas.

What would you have done if we were standing face-to-face? Punch me? Just because you didn't like that I said Chinese/Indians workers charge less than US/EU workers??? Ridiculous. And immature.

Said the person trying to garner sympathy for their position by playing the "innocent victim" card. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean they'd get physically violent if you were face-to-face.

I am sorry you find this fact cognitively dissonant

Um, what? You're the one suffering from cognitive dissonance. You can't even recognize how much troll your own posts contain.

By the way, I'm glad to see you not ignoring all us ACs.

Re:The end. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34635984)

The rhetoric you spout is spewed by two types of people in the US: The genuinely rich (and don't count yourself as that unless you are doing 7 digits worth of dollars a year), and those who have not completed a high school education, have little to no knowledge of basic economics or civics, and are just toeing the line on the far right propaganda machine.

This isn't even remotely true, and you know it. Therefore, you are lying.

And no, I'm not a right-winger myself, and yes, that IS what you were about to say.

Re:The end. (1)

bdenton42 (1313735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629648)

then YES, the american workers are charging too much

The problem is that it would be *illegal* for the company to pay the American workers one-half dollar per hour. The Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, plus another 50 cents or so of SS match, plus UI, workmans comp and probably a few other things I'm missing at the State level. Until the USG does something like an excise tax on foreign workers employed by US companies which equalizes what they mandate those same companies pay to US workers we will continue to see jobs shipped overseas.

As far as equalizing, it will take a very, very long time as we are talking about equalizing a couple billion people against our 300 million.

Re:The end. (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630712)

WTO is going to prevent any sort of taxation like you are thinking. Also, the first thing that would happen is that those workers wouldn't be working for a US company - they would be working for a subsidiary, which they probably are already.

If the subsidiary was going to be taxed, then the workers would be working for a wholely separate company that just happened to have its owners be the same group out of the Cayman Islands.

No, sorry, there is no getting away from the fact that there will be no resurgence of US jobs, US workers or US anything. It is like trying to stop a tidal wave with a teacup. The winds have changed and factories are not going to be based in the US any longer. Period.

What can be done? Very little. The US has far too many regulations to allow for any collection of natural resource like mining on a big scale. We also aren't going to be building things that simply cannot be built elsewhere at less cost. So there are creative works and there are patents (which everyone else is going to ignore). I think the end is we are all working for the government and there simply isn't anything else.

Re:The end. (1)

TheCouchPotatoFamine (628797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34635434)

are you kidding me? The Chinese worker, exposed to toxins, packed in like sardines, working 20 hours a day.

Yeah, they sure got a GREAT deal /sarcasm

(geeez)

Re:The end. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627402)

You can change it to "American workers pay too little for their products and demand too much" instead of you want to. Just buy less for more and make it American made and you're without any issues with China.

Re:The end. (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34635754)

It's getting harder and harder to find stuff made in the developed world. This is one man's attempt [csmonitor.com] in 2005.

Re:The end. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34640050)

If a company packs-up and moves to China or India because its previous workers were charging $20/hour while their new workers are charging one-half dollar per hour, then YES, the american workers are charging too much. Just as if I went to buy a Civic, and Honda charged me $200,000 for it - that would be too high a charge. Instead I'd shop for a lower rate.

Eventually we'll reach a point where foreign workers rates rise and American workers drop, until they reach near equilibrium. That's my prediction for the future ----- or: US/EU will experience widespread unemployment due to a lack of factories/jobs.

Re:The end. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34640738)

I said it before [slashdot.org] , and I'll say it again.

I think most people would not consider demanding a livable wage to be "charging too much". But maybe you disagree? If so, what changed your mind [slashdot.org] ?

Back then you were bitching and complaining about foreign workers willing to work for less, but now you think it's ok? I will admit however that it is a different scenario. Back then we were discussing foreign workers coming here, whereas now we are discussing the jobs here being shipped overseas.

Protip, by choosing to copypasta the same shit you already said earlier [slashdot.org] instead of responding to the criticisms of your initial post just makes you an even bigger troll.

Protip 2, freedom of speech goes both ways. You have the right to troll, and we have the right to tell others that you are a troll. Don't like it? Then stop being a troll.

Re:The end. (1)

jvkjvk (102057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34628502)

When the spectrum in TFA was bought from the US government for $125 million and then sold by the company for $1.95 billion, this seems to be a bit more of a travesty than the China connection.

I recall at the time many people speculating that "we the people" were giving away our spectrum for pennies on the dollar. Turns out that they were right.

Regards.

Re:The end. (1)

BigPhatPhuck (611398) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629422)

Although the capital gains tax on $1.825B will help.

Re:The end. (2)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627376)

You don't have to buy from China if you don't want to.

You could buy American made products, though that may cost American tax payers even more. But sure, will also benefit Americans more at other places.

Hardly a bandit though.

Capitalism is only good as long as the US is _GOD_ of capitalism? =P

Re:The end. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626818)

Not sure I understand your cynicism.

Channels 52-83 were owned by TV stations for their exclusive use, and now the frequencies have been leased to Cell carriers for use by the people's portable phones. How is this a bad thing? Looks like a net positive to me.

Re:The end. (3, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626862)

Channels 52-83 were owned by TV stations for their exclusive use, and now the frequencies have been leased to a singular Cell carrier for use by that carrier's customers. How is this a bad thing? Looks like a net positive to me.

There. Fixed that for you.

(Please realize that I draw my opinion from the fact that, once upon a time, nobody owned any airwaves but the people -- and that the initial concept of outside ownership was a transfer of rights from the people to corporations, not between corporations. They are inherently our airwaves, not those of whom are represented by a stock ticker.)

Re:The end. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627082)

The People still own the airwaves, but now they are administered by the FCC (to prevent congestion from overlapping broadcasts), and LEASED to the corporations for a fee. This was all set up long, long ago in the before time..... I mean, the 1920s.

  NOTE that the FCC holds the power to revoke that lease at any time, if the corporation is found to be violating the terms of the lease. More typically they get fined (such as when Janet Jackson exposed her breast).

Re:The end. (1)

NuttyBee (90438) | more than 3 years ago | (#34633694)

It's really never made sense in the last few years to continue to have terrestrial OTA TV. Crazy you say? Not really, half the time people can't even receive the signals anyway without cable or satellite. We'd be better off just letting the satellite and cable companies deal with distribution and subsidize life line service for the people who cannot otherwise afford it. In so many markets cable penetration is 80-90% anyway.

Ka spot beam satellites allow essentially the entire US local channel markets to be transmitted over satellite. There are no dead zones. No areas where the antenna isn't strong enough. TV broadcasts take up a lot of valuable spectrum that could be used better. In addtion, TV broadcasts would be easier to obtain if delivered to consumers via unencrypted satellite -- not only that -- it costs a lot to power all those transmitters that not many people watch anyway..

I believe strongly in the value of local broadcasts, but our over the air mechanism for home delivery is dated at best and woefully inefficient at worst. Broadcasters and consumers should have better options for signal delivery. I wish the government would take some of that money their getting to make it happen.

At&t is buying freedoms of its citizens. (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626398)

which, it plans to restrict, if they can go along with their anti net neutrality move. turn the internet into cable tv for dozens of millions of people.

if, at this point while reading this, you thought that it is not something that could happen, go bang your head against a wall.

corporations have no moral obligation to think about the freedoms of the citizens, and they have shown that repeatedly. they dont have any obligation to respect internet freedom either.

unless you make them respect it.

Re:At&t is buying freedoms of its citizens. (1, Redundant)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626418)

I thought your sig said "GirlGirlPHP" until I clicked on it. Damn it.

Re:At&t is buying freedoms of its citizens. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626446)

you cant do wrong by clicking on links of open source stuff.

Re:At&t is buying freedoms of its citizens. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626468)

which, it plans to restrict, if they can go along with their anti net neutrality move. turn the internet into cable tv for dozens of millions of people.

Thankfully wireless isn't the only way to get online, and even wired AT&T isn't the only one.

oooooh is iiiiiiiiit (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34626878)

Thankfully wireless isn't the only way to get online, and even wired AT&T isn't the only one.

curious that at&t controls 25-35% of all american market in regard to telecommunication regarding internet, including backbone providing, even dial in.

too bad that the people in states which at&t contracted are not able to use anything than at&t

http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/04/18/1318210 [slashdot.org]

'The FCC's research shows that 78 percent of American households have access to only two land-based broadband providers and that 13 percent have one. Don't expect that to improve. Many competing DSL services have left the market, spurred by the end of line-sharing in 2005 and other corporate consolidations.

yes. believe in 'free market' like a moron, while 80% of you have only 2 land based providers to choose, and ALL of them consolidating and against net neutrality. yeah, you can 'choose'.

free market is not an economic system. its a religion.

Re:At&t is buying freedoms of its citizens. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34627146)

Yup. And I was looking forward to someday using a wireless data plan that was free of AT&T's greed. I will NEVER use them because of what you mentioned already and because they are in bed with the NSA.

Actually 4G? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626404)

Is it real 4G or that marketing bullshit 4G?

Re:Actually 4G? (1)

BisexualPuppy (914772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627792)

4G *is* marketing bullshit like 3G is marketing bullshit for UMTS, CDMA2000. There is no such thing as "real 4G".

One of the reasons for the failure was due to DF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626448)

One of the major problems with MediaFLOW was getting a decent low power implementation of Digital Foundtain FEC working properly on s SnapDragon chip. Up until now they were not able to get such a design working.

DF FEC was supposed to be the source-coding back end of the comms module, it was essentially supposed to carry the rest of the comms system.

Re:One of the reasons for the failure was due to D (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34626802)

I think the major problem is nobody wanted it. If the issues had been primarily technical, you'd have heard lots of people protesting that they tried it and it sucked. The problem is that you didn't hear anyone complaining about it at all...

Re:One of the reasons for the failure was due to D (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627226)

Agreed. The entire world is moving away from broadcast TV to video on demand via the internet. Then this company comes along with broatcast TV that requires an internet connection? The ONLY demographic this device had was the hardcore sports fan that just couldn't bare to miss a game no matter where they were. It still amazes me how corporate America will drop hundreds of millions of dollars on a project without first having someone with common sense come into the room to tell them if it's a stupid idea or not.

Re:One of the reasons for the failure was due to D (1)

hazydave (96747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34631556)

The big problem with MediaFlo, DVB-H, etc. is that they were essentially obsolete before they were really finished. In both cases, the idea was to use a single TV channel, 6-8MHz, to transmit up to 32 sub-channels for mobile devices (a single MPEG-2 TS stream, which can carry up to 32 sub-channels). This pretty much means you're viewing a tiny image on an old-fashioned cellphone. The maxium resolution for DVB-H is 320x240|288 or so; they were really planning for tiny cellphone screens. Not sure about resolution, but the rate per digital sub-channel on MediaFlo, for example, is 200-250kb/s ... even YouTube aims higher than that for their lower resolution SD video.

In short, this is going to awful on a 2010-vintage smartphone... our smartphones are already typically 800x480 or better, full standard-definition, DVD-quality or thereabouts (a DVD is actually 720x480 NTSC, 720x576 PAL). And we already have IPTV of various sorts on these devices. A separate super-low-resolution, subscription-based broadcast TV option is not something anyone wants.

Greedy Telcos (2)

ffejie (779512) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627622)

There go those greedy telcos again, not taking any risk and expecting to be able to charge higher rates for certain types of service.

/sarcasm

See this it has been posted by me already (1)

srimadman (1833346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627984)

AT&T buys Qualcomm's FLO TV spectrum for $1.9 -> on Monday December 20, @01:30PM srimadman Submitted by srimadman on Monday December 20, @01:30PM

Perception? (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34628190)

I like this sentence: ...AT&T faces the extra pressure of overcoming negative perceptions of its wireless network,...

Oh yes. It is merely my perception that I have dropped calls and no service periodically. I am so glad to know that these things don't actually happen. It's all in my imagination.

Re:Perception? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34628846)

The article never said it was only a matter perception. Otherwise, why buy more spectrum. The preceeding paragraph mentions the main issues.

The best way to create the perception of something (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636744)

It is merely my perception that I have dropped calls and no service periodically. I am so glad to know that these things don't actually happen. It's all in my imagination.

The simplest way to create a perception of something is to create the reality.

Wow! (1)

sageres (561626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629504)

Holy shit... That's $125 million becomes $1.925 Billion... That's 15,400 increase! Wow.... I would like to find such investment that would give me such a huge return margin...

You slipped a decimal. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636832)

That's $125 million becomes $1.925 Billion... That's 15,400 increase!

If you really meant 15,400 times you're using the British "billion" (= American "trillion") rather than the American "billion" (= British "thousand million"). That's off by three orders.

If you mean 15,400% you're still off by one order.

Or if you're using the European comma where Americans would use a decimal point (i.e. 15.4x) you're on. The actual multiplier is 15.4x.

But that misses other costs - like the 800 million (and maybe more) they spent on trying to deploy their network before throwing in the towel. Add that in and they're only ahead 2.018x - a twofer - for ten years investment.

Even with the Fed driving interest rates down near zero they could have done about as well buying certificates of deposit. So for all the markup on the spectrum they're just escaping with their investment money intact.

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