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Google a "Happy Loser" In Spectrum Auction

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the status-quo-pretty-much-ante dept.

Wireless Networking 162

Large cell service providers won almost all of the licenses in the recently concluded FCC spectrum auction. Google didn't get any and won't be entering the wireless business. Verizon Wireless was the big winner, laying out $9.4 billion for enough regional licenses in the "C" block to stitch together nationwide coverage, except for Alaska. On this spectrum Verizon will have to allow subscribers to use any compatible wireless device and run any software application they want. AT&T paid $6.6 billion, Qualcomm picked up a few licenses, and Paul Allen's Vulcan Spectrum LLC won a pair of licenses in the "A" block. One analyst called Google a "happy loser" because it got the openness it had pushed for. The AP's coverage does some more of the numbers.

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First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22812408)

loss

Android (4, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812438)

Now verizon can't make you use a shitty phone. Now Verizon can't lock you into their ringtones only. Now Verizon can't stop you from using generic Android-sporting phones.

Re:Android (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22812470)

yes they can.

"Oh sorry, internet acccess requires our patented "poopboost" technology. and we are not ready to license it yet. it's only available on verizon licensed phones."

You bet your arse they will do everything they can to lock you into their crap-phones with everything disabled. They will find a loophole, they hate the customer that much
.

Re:Android (1, Interesting)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812750)

If they were dumb enough to do that, then they would be forced to license the patent, or loose the spectrum.

Re:Android (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22813488)

> If they were dumb enough to do that, then they would be forced to license the patent, or loose the spectrum.

Or in some strange parallel universe, they might just go right on doing business without any consequences to them whatsoever. Thank god we don't live there and companies are actually held accountable, eh?

Re:Android (3, Insightful)

santiagodraco (1254708) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813836)

Oh, they'll be held accountable. You can bet that if they start playing games with this spectrum and open access that Google will be the first to jump on the lawsuit bandwagon... and Google DOES have the pockets to see a lawsuit through.

Re:Android (4, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812924)

They will find a loophole, they hate the customer that much
It is interesting to see how people take the actions of particular corporations personally as if they were "out to get the little guy" for no other reason than simple spite. The spectrum auctions provide a limited monopoly for their winning bidders. The rational (i.e. profit maximizing) behavior for a monopoly firm in any market is to price discriminate or in other words they charge each customer the maximum amount that he or she is willing to pay for a particular amount of goods or services (or as close to that amount as their metered pricing schemes and various contracts can get). Now, this time there are conditions attached to the winning bid that will supposedly prevent some of the previous worst practices from being repeated, but corporations are famous for circumventing, capturing, and generally corrupting attempts by the government to regulate them so I don't have much confidence in these "strings" attached by the government. However, the actions of a particular corporation, should not be viewed in a good or evil way, but rather from the standpoint of a completely amoral and dispassionate entity who seeks to maximize his profits.

Re:Android (2, Funny)

marnues (906739) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813038)

So you're saying I should not feel bad about rounding up Verizon executives and burning them?

Re:Android (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813072)

feel however you want, but hate implies an active dislike which cannot be the case with corporations (they are just legal entities). The people in charge of them might not like you, but they are other people, not "the corporation".

Corporate Culture (5, Insightful)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813374)

feel however you want, but hate implies an active dislike which cannot be the case with corporations (they are just legal entities). The people in charge of them might not like you, but they are other people, not "the corporation".

While I understand your point and agree with to a certain point, my experience has been that corporations or their divisions or other business entities develop a corporate culture that is more than the sum of its parts. Individually, the people in it can be quite nice away from the office, but when they are in the workplace, they become part of the entity. A couple I have seen (and thank all gods never worked for) were run like Nazi concentration camps. They hated everybody, and the places were run on total fear. More commonly, you do see businesses that have a culture of looking at their customers as victims to be abused. You can go to work in such a place as the nicest guy in the world, but if you stay long enough, the hive mind will take you over, and you'll start abusing grandmothers. Fortunately, most of us will quit such a place before we're too badly damaged.

Re:Corporate Culture (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813622)

You make it sound like this is inevitable that we will be assimilated into their collective(s) and have our names changed to "x of y" or perhaps even "Locutus" in the process.

Re:Android (5, Insightful)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813068)

The point is that customers should be patrons of businesses, not enemies. We are not merely talking about companies charging higher prices for more services: we are talking about companies going out of their way to expend a positive amount of effort to make their service worse for customers so that they can charge a higher price for doing less to make their service purposely bad. This sort of market-driven antagonism is "amoral" on the part of firms in the sense that a sociopathic killer is amoral compared to a killer who commits a crime of passion.

Re:Android (4, Insightful)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813092)

I don't know about you, but I would define "completely amoral and dispassionate entity who seeks to maximize his profits" as evil -or a sociopath.

Also, if it weren't for a company trying to "circumvent" monopoly regulations, there would never have been a "Berkley Standard Distribution." So I suppose sometimes good can come from their "evil" ways.

Re:Android (2, Interesting)

pthisis (27352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813104)

However, the actions of a particular corporation, should not be viewed in a good or evil way, but rather from the standpoint of a completely amoral and dispassionate entity who seeks to maximize his profits.
You assert this but give no reason for it. And to a lot of people (I'd venture to say _most_ people), seeking to maximize profits without considering the other repercussions of your actions can easily be evil (depending on the actions it leads you to take).

The rational (i.e. profit maximizing) behavior for a monopoly firm in any market is to price discriminate or in other words they charge each customer the maximum amount that he or she is willing to pay for a particular amount of goods or services (or as close to that amount as their metered pricing schemes and various contracts can get).
Most people believe that to be bad, hence the heavier legal regulation of firms that have monopolies.

Re:Android (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813586)

The problem with evil is that it is ultimately subjective, even though there are actions which the vast majority of people living on this planet would consider to be evil. In fact, Plato argued that which we call evil is merely ignorance and that good is that which everyone desires. In the case of the corporation "amoral profit maximizer" results in a more accurate and complete analysis of why certain actions are taken whereas "evil" can be used to muddy the waters and arrive at false conclusions depending upon one's pre-conceived ideas about the morality of those actions which may or may not be entirely shared with others participating in the discussion.

That's WHY I hate it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22813448)

> However, the actions of a particular corporation, should not be viewed in a good or evil way, but rather from the standpoint of a completely amoral and dispassionate entity who seeks to maximize his profits.

That's exactly why I take it personally. Because it's so cold-blooded.

Re:That's WHY I hate it! (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22814144)

it's funny how we create something, and then hate it for being exactly how we created it. Mary Shelley anyone?

Re:Android (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22814176)

"Now, this time there are conditions attached to the winning bid that will supposedly prevent some of the previous worst practices from being repeated, but corporations are famous for circumventing, capturing, and generally corrupting attempts by the government to regulate them"

this time their method will be very straightforward. Simple, even: "Oh, you want to run anything on our network? Well that obviously will cost us more, or at least trim our relative per customer profit margin. As such, to maintain corporate competitiveness, accessing this open spectrum will cost more than our closed spectrum. Thank you, and have a nice day."

Re:Android (4, Interesting)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812562)

Sure... I will bet you money Verizon will find a way to make the requirement to "allow subscribers to use any compatible wireless device and run any software application they want" not a feasible option. Something like "With our stuff you get data discounted to 2 cents a byte. With yours it is the full price 2000 cents a byte..." Betcha money...

Re:Android (3, Insightful)

gustaffo (598224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812862)

Fortunately there is always the option to vote with your wallet and not use verizon service. There are two national GSM carriers and tons of regionals. You almost always have the option of picking a carrier who uses a truly open network (GSM). For information on GSM carriers see GSM World [gsmworld.com] . I have long been using unbranded/locked devices on ATT's network and the experience is far and above that you could get with any of the crappy proprietary devices. And when I travel abroad, I can easily grab a prepaid sim from the country I'm in, pop it into the phone I already have and be good to go.

I think it's pretty slimy that verizon does things like disable USB on devices in order to force users to transfer their pictures over their pay-per-transfer type service. Don't let them get you with lockin. Bring your own device (byod) and pick the national or regional carrier that suites your usage pattern best.

Re:Android (3, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813306)

You almost always have the option of picking a carrier who uses a truly open network (GSM).
It might be truly open, but it sucks for data. I'll take EVDO over EDGE any day.

I think it's pretty slimy that verizon does things like disable USB on devices in order to force users to transfer their pictures over their pay-per-transfer type service.
I don't think they've done that for quite some time now. They do disable some Bluetooth features, but with a USB data cable (available from Verizon or eBay), you can use free software like BitPim to transfer pictures, ringtones, and contact lists. Or, since most of the new phones have microSD slots, you can just save your pictures directly onto a memory card.

Re:Android (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813318)

I'm not going to argue that Verizon doesn't suck in many ways (because they do) but imho, they do have the best data network which is the most important for me. I use EVDO on laptop and phone all the time. Anyway, my question was, does Verizon still do all those dirty things you mention? My phone--a LG chocolate variant--has full bluetooth, I can use it as a modem via bluetooth, and I've transferred ring tones+pictures to and from the phone. Couldn't ask for much more.

Phone company idiocy (2, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812564)

At the risk of being OT.....

I got a new Nokia/T-Mobile phone recently. According to Nokia's documentation, the phone has an email client. I have been through the menus (including the ones in the manual that reference email) and there is no email client in the phone, so I assume that T-Mobile has disabled this feature.

Now, since there is no e-mail client, why would I want to have Internet access on the phone? I probably would have signed up for Internet access, but since T-Mobile doesn't want me to use email on the phone, I won't. Smart move there by T-Mobile.

Re:Phone company idiocy (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812950)

Nearly all nokia phones can be flashed with the generic Nokia firmware which enables all the features.

The worst you'll have to do is change the product ID. Nokia even fix phones thus modified under guarantee (as they are running official Nokia firmware) as long as you didn't break it by fucking up the upgrade.

Of course you'll lose the T Mobile branding.. but you didn't want that did you?

Re:Phone company idiocy (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813184)

Nearly all nokia phones can be flashed with the generic Nokia firmware which enables all the features.
I updated the phone's firmware using Nokia's updater software, but it retained all the branding and limitations. Is there some other way to update the firmware?

Re:Phone company idiocy (3, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813268)

That may have been the worst thing you could do.

You needed to change the product code first, so the software update gets the unbranded version. You could find that you now have the most up to date firmware and you'll need to wait for the next Nokia release.

However, you may find third parties who are able to flash the phone to the generic firmware. You'll need to pay a fee though.

Re:Phone company idiocy (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813492)

You needed to change the product code first,
How do I do that? It's a Nokia 6086.

You could find that you now have the most up to date firmware and you'll need to wait for the next Nokia release.
Fortunately, there is a new release available.

Re:Phone company idiocy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22814104)

How do I do that?
Google is your friend. Search for change nokia product code or similar.

It's a Nokia 6086.
Once you've found how to change the code, search google for "Nokia 6086" "Product Code"

Re:Phone company idiocy (4, Informative)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813204)

just google for "nemesis service suite" - it's a windows app that will change all sorts of things about your phone including the product ID, which then means the Nokia Software Updater will allow you to install generic s/w which is usually the latest version. I have de-branded quite a few N95s and my own E65, and they're so much better for it. Note that this can also brick your phone, so be sure to check the product code BEFORE is compatible with the intended code AFTER.

Re:Phone company idiocy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22813968)

That seems... unlikely. I mean, if you got a Blackberry (very cheap from T-Mobile) you definitely would have an email client. And one that works over WiFi or a cellular data plan. Perhaps you just bought the wrong phone if you wanted email?

Does Open = Without charges? (4, Interesting)

el_benito (586634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812740)

I'll pass on using mod points because I don't see anyone else asking this yet: Is there anything in the requirements that says that Verizon cannot charge for people to use any compatible device? Can we run our applications without them charging us money? Do they have the right to 'shape' bandwidth once somebody figures out how to torrent stuff over this network? Can I IM without them exacting an exorbitant fee per message? In short: Are we gonna get screwed through a loophole? /rhetorical

Re:Does Open = Without charges? (4, Informative)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813292)

Short answer is YES, you are gonna get screwed.

Recall that the original auction specs had a mandate to re-sell bandwidth in bulk (costs + reasonable fees), but Verizon lobbied hard to get it dropped for some reason. My random guess is that they wanted to have monopoly and set their own prices (translation: you are screwed).

Also, Verizon is making a killing selling those $100/month "unlimited" plans and $2 ringtones. Therefore, there is no way in hell they would undercut that by allowing something like a reasonably priced VoIP over their network.

Re:Does Open = Without charges? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22814092)

Also, Verizon is making a killing selling those $100/month "unlimited" plans
Are they? Really?
Do you have any numbers to back that statement up?

Last time Verizon (IIRC) tried to do "unlimited" was back in the 90's and they pulled the plan after a few months because it was costing them waaay to much money.

The only reason Verizon is offering unlimited anything is because Sprint took that rather desperate plunge to pull in new customers and everyone else felt compelled to follow suit.

Re:Does Open = Without charges? (4, Informative)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813314)

Of course not. I haven't read the full thing, but as far as I know, it's going to be run GSM style. If you want to use the network, you'll have to get it's equivalent of GSM's SIM card (and the contract that comes with it), usable in any device that supports this network.
Nothing new here, the rest of the world has been doing this for over a decade and a half.

Re:Does Open = Without charges? (3, Informative)

greensoap (566467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813752)

"In that regard, we emphasize that C Block licensees may not impose any additional discriminatory charges (one-time or recurring) or conditions on customers who seek to use devices or applications outside of those provided by the licensee.
" FCC Open Access Requirements Paragraph 222 in FCC 07-132

No charges for using the device by the consumer. Of course, you are still charged service fees and if the contract is 10cents/kilobyte transfered there is nothing to stop Verizon from doing that so long as they charge everybody the same.

"In addition, C Block licensees cannot exclude applications or devices solely on the basis that such applications or devices would unreasonably increase bandwidth demands. We anticipate that demand can be adequately managed through feasible facility improvements or technology-neutral capacity pricing that does not discriminate against subscribers using third-party devices or applications."

As far as bandwidth shaping goes, the FCC says no. But, they also say that the network is subject to reasonable network management (look to the outcome of the recent Comcast dealings for guidance). The open applications requirement is subject to "reasonable network management" and if the bandwidth limitations inherent in 4G technology makes it reasonable to shape bandwidth, as compared to the bandwidth available to cable modem users, the FCC may allow Verizon to shape the bandwidth.

Re:Android (1)

newgalactic (840363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813244)

Um, won't they be essentially doing this with CDMA? Or does the new freq preclude them from using this "almost" proprietary (sorry Sprint) standard? Hardware wise that is.

Re:Android (1)

anexkahn (935249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813304)

But are they going to continue using CDMA on those frequencies? I dont want a phone where I can't simply insert a card to program it.

Re:Android (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813340)

Right... they can just make you pay $1.99 per megabyte for data connections, like they're doing to everyone who signs up with their new "nationwide" plans.

Satellite Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22812440)

Or...they were in the bidding just to bump up the perceived price of the bandwidth, inducing other carriers for more heavy investment whilst they focused on delivering phone/data service via satellite.

Where's the money? (-1, Flamebait)

oni (41625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812464)

So how many days of the Iraq war did this auction just pay for? Maybe we should auction audio spectrums too.

Re:Where's the money? (1)

sir fer (1232128) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812640)

Probably about 5 at the rate the US govt is losing money over there

Re:Where's the money? (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813178)

The audio spectrum? How about 440Hz? The "middle C" key on every piano becomes a "pirate device."

Re:Where's the money? (5, Informative)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813250)

440Hz is A.

Re:Where's the money? (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 6 years ago | (#22814114)

My Baroque-period harpsichord calls "insensitive clod" on that one.

Call me ignorant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22812468)

How is this "open access" thing going to work? What's open about it anyway?

Re:Call me ignorant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22812514)

What's open about it anyway?

Most likley, given time, consumers' wallets.

Re:Call me ignorant (5, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812610)

How is this "open access" thing going to work? What's open about it anyway?
It'll be open in approximately the same sense that AT&T and TMobile's GSM networks are open. I have an HTC TYTN II that works with my AT&T SIM card, despite the fact that the Taiwanese firmware in my TYTN II is not crippled like the AT&T firmware in the TILT. Contrast that with Verizon's network, where you cannot use a phone without their royal seal of approval, a 1 hour wait at a Verizon store to have it registered in their system, and when that's all said and done, you have a horribly crippled phone that requires you to use their for-a-fee wireless data transfer to load on a ringtone or pull off a photo. My phone, I just plug in a USB cable and transfer files through the windows file explorer.

Re:Call me ignorant (2)

RCanine (847446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812850)

I have an HTC TYTN II that works with my AT&T SIM card, despite the fact that the Taiwanese firmware in my TYTN II is not crippled like the AT&T firmware in the TILT.

Fair warning. This magic GSM mojo works for 3G and GRPS, but not EDGE. If your Asian phone has to touch EDGE it becomes an Asian brick. Otherwise my HTC Trinity would have been perfect.

Re:Call me ignorant (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813442)

Fair retort: That's very likely a problem for USAnian networks and good phones (and, of course, vice-versa). Striking North Americas special (politically correct for "retarded") GSM frequencies out of the equation, GSM + EDGE + 3G is pretty much globally open.

Also, EDGE is only a GSM supplement. Every EDGE phone will work on a non-EDGE GSM network and vice-versa. Strangely enough, the Trinity's a quad band device (should work on all continents flawlessy); your bad experiences with it may be AT&T's fault. Or HTC's. Or MSFT's. Let's go with that one ;)

Re:Call me ignorant (1)

DougReed (102865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813592)

This may seem a bit off topic, but I replied because I can use a USB cable to transfer files through Explorer with my Verizon phone just fine. Dun's comments to be true, but competition has forced Verizon to back off from that quite a bit.

I am guilty. I use Verizon because their network works in the US, and my calls are never dropped... I have the wonderful new "Voyager" phone (get the latest software upgrade), which I like a . I have played with the iPhone, and like the "pinch" feature on the touchscreen, but my phone does almost everything else including the "flick". Plus it does quite a few things the iPhone can't, and to copy photos or songs to my phone ... I plug in a USB cable. ..Actually I lied. I don't often do this because it is a bit of a pain to go find the USB cable buried in the bottom of my Laptop bag.. I usually just pop out the MicroSD card, pop it in my Desktop machine, and copy stuff to the drive directly. I use the USB for music more because the software that came with my phone allows me to manage the music on my phone with a nice GUI. I have like 12,000 mp3 songs with maybe a thousand in my phone ...and my Voyager supports Bluetooth headphones and Live TV, so it's quite nice in Airports. If I were to ask for anything it would be Blackberry's Trackball, and iPhone's pinch.

Something called "competition" is doing a pretty decent job of prying Verizon "open" as they have to be, and the Voyager is a capable competitor to the iPhone. What good is "Open" if the network you are on stinks? Both AT&T and T-Mobile have pretty crummy networks. I traded "open" for a real keyboard, my bluetooth headphones, and a network that works REALLY WELL.

Who won Alaska (2, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812472)

Great, they announced that Verizon took everything but Alaska. So, who won Alaska? I ask because I read the messages and couldn't tell who won it, and I live here. Is there a link to the actual results, rather than an analysis that says everything but Alaska but doesn't specify who took the elusive 49th state?

Re:Who won Alaska (4, Funny)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812696)

The Russians

LOL

Re:Who won Alaska (4, Informative)

Nibbler999 (1101055) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812736)

"Triad 700, LLC" - whoever they are. The full results are on the FCC auction site.

https://auctionsignon.fcc.gov/signon/index.htm [fcc.gov]

Login to Auction 73 and click 'results'.

Re:Who won Alaska (2, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813256)

"Triad 700, LLC" - whoever they are.

Looks like a newly created VC company made for the express purpose of bidding on this. That sucks for us. The last useless company that won lots of spectrum in Alaska never paid for it, never used it, and it was tied up in court for years because the FCC tried to repo it like a car that wasn't paid for, and the bankrupcy courts said they couldn't take it back. By the time it was done with, the spectrum had dropped in price (they speculated when the bidding was high around 2000, and declared bankrupcy when it was obvious no one wanted to buy it from them). With another no-name company bidding on something they don't know how to use, Alaska will be screwed. Again.

Except Alaska... (5, Funny)

ActionDesignStudios (877390) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812500)

Except Alaska. Except Alaska. Everything is except Alaska! I say we secede and form our own country of Alaskanistan!

Re:Except Alaska... (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812546)

Crazy kazaks. Oh wait, wrong stan.

Re:Except Alaska... (3, Funny)

emag (4640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812660)

Crazy kayaks.

There, I fixed your spelling...

Re:Except Alaska... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22812554)

Oh please.... It'll be called Alaskanfreedomfries!

Re:Except Alaska... (0)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812628)

I formally request to be advanced the appropriate forms in order to immigrate to Alaskanistan. If you hurry, I'll ever come armed and help with the seceding (as we know those don't tend to go peacefully in the U.S.)

That won't end well (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22812710)

We'll just invade you for your oil... err, I mean, to liberate you.

Re:Except Alaska... (4, Funny)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813144)

You do know what happens when you threaten the stability of oil deliveries to mainland US, don't you? You will be expected to greet us as liberators..

Alaska (1)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 6 years ago | (#22814124)

The Church of Scientology has been touting a story about a bill, put before Congress a few decades ago, for relocating mental patients from the Lower 48 to Alaska.

The more Alaskans I get to know, the more I think they might actually be telling the truth.

Re:Except Alaska... (1)

TheFlamingoKing (603674) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813998)

Oh, how I hate to take your hilarious post and make it political, but...

Were you a state or region of another nation, or even a city like Kosovo [wikipedia.org] , then you could declare your independent Alaskanistan through the proper legal channels and popularity. I, for one, welcome our new Alaskanistanian oil overlords.

However, in America we have Texas vs. White [wikipedia.org] , a legally established precedent that basically says states can't secede from the United States. Bummer.

Also, there's that whole Civil War thing. Ask Lincoln. As he said in his inaugural address [bartleby.com] , "...no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances."

So, no Alaskanistanimania, sorry. That oil and tax money belongs to Uncle Sam forever!

Any phone? Really? (0, Troll)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812528)

From the AP article:

The spectrum, which encompasses about a third of the spectrum at auction, is subject to "open access" provisions...meaning users of the network will be able to use whatever phones or software they wish.
From the summary:

On this spectrum Verizon will have to allow subscribers to use any compatible wireless device
So what is it? Anything, or just some phones Verizon deem 'compatible'? I hope it's really anything because I have an old Motorola DynaTAC 8000X I've been itching to dust off.

Re:Any phone? Really? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812574)

I'm guessing that phone doesn't have the ability to broadcast in this spectrum.

Re:Any phone? Really? (0, Flamebait)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812582)

Well at the very least it has to be capable of utilizing the frequencies and speaking the correct protocol. You probably already considered that and were deliberating appearing stupid, though.

Re:Any phone? Really? (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812618)

So how do these ancient phones work when calling 911? I have done it with this phone and it actually works.

Re:Any phone? Really? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812624)

I'd imagine it's anything that can speak the protocol and pick up on the band.

I have an old Motorola DynaTAC 8000X I've been itching to dust off.

That's being disingenuous. Proceed with a grain of salt, but I think Google may have landed something far more valuable than the spectrum itself.

Re:Any phone? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22812626)

...that both brands V and A will twist their definition of "open access" and "compatible" around to suit whatever vendor lock-in, price gouging and controlfreakisms they choose to exercise in the new spectrum market. Call me a pessimist, but I betcha they're up to their old tricks and nothing will have changed. Only two primary competitors does not a free market make.... it'll just be a duopoly.

Conspiracy Theory (3, Insightful)

ink (4325) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812560)

Of course, Verizon could very well just sit on this spectrum and do nothing with it. Why would they want the competition? They'd have to do all that engineering to come up with a protocol that's bound to be tangled with lawsuits relating to the new regulations.

And, after all, you've already signed a two-year contract for "unlimited" talk at $100/month. Why would they want to upset that gravy train? It's not like any of the other carriers can use it...

Re:Conspiracy Theory (2, Insightful)

Fatal67 (244371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812680)

I don't think this is the case. There were roll out requirements in this auction, I believe.

I don't believe there is a requirement they have to use it for phone service though.

Re:Conspiracy Theory (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813698)

Don't litter the discussion with 'facts'

Re:Conspiracy Theory (1)

Fatal67 (244371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22814150)

mea culpa. I shoulda known better.

*istan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22812584)

That would put Alaskanistan as a rouge Islamic county that is in league with Al Qaeda. And, Alaskanistan also has oil.

Re:*istan (1)

moranar (632206) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812758)

Most flirtatious! (hint, rouge != rogue)

Google (1)

vox69 (1225802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812636)

Google anyone? Don't get me wrong, I love talking about Verizon, and Alaska ;)

Does it have to be a cellular network? (3, Interesting)

Fatal67 (244371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812648)

Why does everyone assume verizon will use the spectrum for wireless when they have just as much need to deliver Video as they do wireless?

They could run a completely wireless 'cable' network over this spectrum and the only compatible device would be a set top box with a wireless interface that was compatible with their head end equipment. Was there something in the auction that requires the spectrum to be used for Cell phones or Internet access? I missed it if there was. Anyone know?

Re:Does it have to be a cellular network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22812778)

the bandwith isnt there to provide multiple video streams.. guessing maybe 3-5 hdtv streams max

Re:Does it have to be a cellular network? (3, Interesting)

ecliptik (160746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812786)

I recently had a phone interview with Qualcomm for a position in their MediaFlow division. Apparently they are planning to use recently freed UHF frequencies to digitally broadcast "cable" TV directly to cell phones . I wouldn't be surprised if they continued to expand this type of service with the additional licenses they picked up in the auction.

Re:Does it have to be a cellular network? (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813238)

Verizon already has a separate wireless video network using Qualcomm's MediaFLO in the 716-722 MHz range. It's been deployed for several months in some parts of the US; there's a map buried in the Flash crap here [vzw.com] .

Re:Does it have to be a cellular network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22813480)

Then Verizon can't have a wireless phone or wireless internet network?

Re:Does it have to be a cellular network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22813528)

Why does everyone assume verizon will use the spectrum for wireless[...]?
'Cause they paid for the spectrum. They'd be pretty stupid to pay for a wireless spectrum, then discard it and lay cables. Like driving into walls [bash.org]

Google is not a loser (1)

trickonion (943942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812706)

Google isn't a loser, because to lose you have to play the game. Google never wanted to win the spectrum, their game was the open access rules, which they got.

Google DID win (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812738)

Google got exactly what they wanted here, a nationwide network that is forced to be available for thier android platform. They never really wanted the spectrum, if necissary they might have done it anyway but this would have been the prefered result.

Re:Google DID win (0)

Fatal67 (244371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813138)

They didnt get that at all. Nowhere does it say that Verizon has to compatible with android. Of course, android could be made compatible with whatever Verizon uses, but there is nothing saying Verizon even has to offer internet service on this spectrum, which would render most cool apps worthless anyway.

Come on down! (1)

chrism238 (657741) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812796)

Don't feel bad Google. Australia has plenty of inexpensive spectrum, and millions of anxious customers. Having heard about the rise and advantages of technology in other parts of the world, we've now got our head around this new electricity stuff, and we're just waiting for someone to show us how to use it all. Come on down!

Re:Come on down! (0, Offtopic)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813690)

Come on down!

You're the next contestant on the price is right!

AT&T's Spectrum Does Not Hanve Any Restriction (4, Interesting)

Dopeskills (636230) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812828)

Everyone is talking about the open access rules regarding Verizon's spectrum, but it is interesting to point out that AT&T does not have to deal with any restrictions on its 700mhz spectrum. AT&T's 700mhz coverage includes the spectrum acquired from Aloha Partners combined with the B block from the auction (totals 95% of the USA). This means that AT&T can still deploy a completely locked down network if they choose.

AT&T kicked Verizon's butt (5, Insightful)

andrews (12425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22812884)

I don't know why everyone is saying Verizon is the big winner. AT&T won the vast majority of the B block which, paired with the 12MHz they bought from Aloha, gives them 24 MHz for less than Verizon paid for 20 MHz.

And there are no open network requirements on AT&T's spectrum.

Sounds like AT&T came out on top of this deal.

yuck (2, Insightful)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813022)

Yet another incompatible frequency band. Why can't the US get together with the Europeans on frequency allocations so that the same devices work everywhere?

Re:yuck (2, Insightful)

kid_oliva (899189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813394)

Because transparency is bad in a world market if you are trying to maximize your profit. The more convoluted the system is, the harder it is to for price comparison to find what the real value is. This was a problem at first when the Euro was made the dominant currency in Europe. People in one country found out quite easily they had been overpaying for the same item offered in another country by the same manufacturer. Similarly, if you make people buy different units just to use something that should be transparent, they get used to it and then they come to expect to pay more because that is how you have trained the consumer. That is why you need people like Nader around. He is good for consumer rights, but not good as a presidential candidate.

Google, Verizon, AT&T happy, and us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22813036)

That can't be good for us.

How naive. (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813384)

You seem to think that big wireless providers like Verizon will be open and well-behaved, simply because they are required to.

How naive.

Re:How naive. (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813790)

If they don't play by the rules, Google complains to the FCC, and also makes an offer on having the FCC turn over the spectrum to Google. I doubt the FCC would resist too much being able to get away with selling the same thing twice. So long as there are competitors who would buy the spectrum if the FCC had it back, the terms of the agreement are meaningful, because it's in other people's interest for Verizon's deal to fall through, especially after they've already paid their money.

Okay I goggled "a Happy Loser" (4, Funny)

anss123 (985305) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813454)

What now?

Forgive me for sounding socialist... (1)

Manchot (847225) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813518)

...but why auction off the band in the first place? Why not give control to local governments so that they might offer municipal Wi-Fi, or municipal cell service, or both? I can't think of something that, at its core, is as inherently public as this. Even roads are spatially localized. To give control over it to oligopolistic corporations (which, given ten years, will almost undoubtedly be monopolistic) for a fraction of our GDP seems anti-competitive.

(Yes, I'm aware that it was auctioned off. Nevertheless, the fact is that the corporations which bought it bought it at a fraction of its worth. It's like going to a homeless shelter and auctioning off a BMW.)

Oh Joy..... (1)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813600)

Yet another New Internet Service that will require bundling that Verizon will charge way too much for.

owning spectrum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22813726)

I call ownership of the 400nm-700nm spectrum

Sprint + Google (3, Interesting)

Darth Cider (320236) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813786)

Verizon paid 9.6 billion for C Block licenses, but Sprint-Nextel has a market cap of only 18 billion, so for 9 billion (more or less) Google could buy controlling interest. Sprint owns WiMax spectrum that reaches everywhere the C Block reaches, and has infrastructure in place that Google would have needed to capitalize on 700 MHz spectrum. Why buy spectrum when you can buy comparable spectrum PLUS a phone company? Google wouldn't have to buy them outright, or buy even 50 percent, either, just put up a few billion, and Sprint would essentially be theirs. Plus, they could still make use of unlocked Verizon and AT&T services.

Google's lobbying for open access was incredibly smart. What they didn't pay for spectrum could buy a whole phone company, one competing against companies burdened by all that auction debt.

Google is lucky (3, Informative)

HungSoLow (809760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22813818)

Google was lucky to have not bought into the spectrum.

Antenna design scales linearly with frequency. Lower frequencies invariably require larger antennas. There are some ways you can get around this, i.e. accept low efficiencies, or narrow bandwidth, etc. Either way, you DO NOT want to lower your center frequency.

Secondly, and most importantly, the next gen for wireless communications will involve MIMO. I assure you, from practical experience and graduate research, you will not see multiple antennas in the 700 MHz spectrum. Nor will you see it at the 900 MHz spectrum. You might be able to pull it off at 1800 MHz, but you'll get at most two antennas. One needs to move into the 2.5 GHz and above to make a reasonably sized handheld WITH multiple antennas. You can't just place the antennas any which way and expect MIMO to work. The antennas need to have low coupling between them, so you need significant electrical distances between them. It's EASY to design multiple antennas for different frequencies (i.e. Quadband), but VERY difficult to design multiple uncoupled antennas at the SAME frequency (i.e. MIMO).
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