FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has been on the job for barely two weeks, but Sprint, T-Mobile US, Dish Network and other smaller carriers are already lobbying him to ensure rules that let them get access to 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum in the forthcoming incentive auctions.
Bosses of the UKs four mobile network operators were summoned to meet Prime Minister David Cameron this week as the UK coalition government attempts to prove it is making efforts to bring down the cost of living amid soaring energy prices.
The Department of Justice's proposed settlement allowing American Airlines and US Airways to merge has sparked speculation that the Obama administration might allow a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile US before the next president takes office. However, there are formidable barriers to such a deal, including the administration's own wireless priorities.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is pushing the CTIA to amend its policies so that carriers would be more proactive in allowing consumers to unlock their phones. Wheeler said the CTIA and the wireless industry should act by year-end or expect the FCC to issue regulations on the issue.
In the span of 48 hours this week executives from both Sprint and T-Mobile US declared that their companies will not participate in the Jan. 22 auction of the 1900 MHz PCS H Block, leaving Dish Network the most likely winner of the spectrum. Analysts said the two carriers are avoiding the H Block auction because they want to focus on their existing spectrum holdings and wait for other upcoming auctions, as well as a avoid complications with Dish and its chairman, Charlie Ergen.
A proposed online video bill by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) called Consumer Choice in Online Video Act has potential, but industry watchers are quick to point out that it will face protest from incumbent cable operators and the broadcast industry.
For the second time this year, a veteran U.S. senator has introduced legislation that, if enacted, could have real implications for the online video industry. This time, that senator happens to be chair of the committee in charge of most media legislation. So this bill has a better chance of actually becoming a law.
Auctions of spectrum licences for LTE networks are continuing across Europe, with Belgium the latest country to announce the successful issue of licences while the Czech Republic launched a second attempt to allocate frequencies for LTE networks.
A bill in the senate could give online video distributors new protections against anti-competitive behavior by incumbent pay-TV operators while also putting new obligations on companies that use the Internet to deliver pay-TV-like services.
AT&T Mobility could be required to pay Sprint millions of dollars due to a wholesale MVNO agreement Leap Wireless and Sprint inked in 2010. AT&T earlier this year announced plans to purchase Leap; the transaction is on track to close early next year.