FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he is proud of his background in the wireless industry, but that his goal now is to look out for the American people and ensure effective competition. He also said one of his main priorities right now is ensuring that broadcasters relinquish enough of their wireless spectrum to guarantee the success of the agency's upcoming incentive auctions, which could come to define his tenure as chairman.
Vodafone UK was raked over the coals by regulator Ofcom this week for being the only one of the country's four mobile network operators to miss its coverage obligations by the end of June.
The European Commission confirmed it has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether Hutchison 3G UK (H3G)'s planned acquisition of Telefónica Ireland is in line with European Union merger rules.
Tom Wheeler, the FCC's new chairman, said he will work to ensure the U.S. telecommunications market remains competitive. However, in his first battery of media interviews after assuming his new position, Wheeler remained silent on how his stance on competition will affect his position on specific issues, including how the FCC will handle next year's spectrum auctions.
LTE operators beware: consumer groups are watching your moves very closely, and are prepared to pounce if they believe your claims on speed and coverage do not match reality. At least that is the case in France, where consumer watchdog UFC Que Choisir has filed a legal complaint against Orange France and Vivendi-owned SFR over the claims they have been making about their respective LTE services.
Now that Tom Wheeler has been sworn in as the new FCC chairman, momentum is likely going to pick up for the agency's incentive auctions of broadcast TV spectrum, which are scheduled to take place sometime next year. The latest salvo in how the auctions should be conducted comes from a report from the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition and the Consumer Electronics Association, which argues against setting restrictions on which carriers can bid for the spectrum broadcasters are expected to relinquish.
After years of reverse-engineering electronics gadgets and looking for infringing products, a patent consortium owned by Apple, Microsoft, Ericsson, Sony, EMC and BlackBerry has filed a battery of lawsuits against Google and Android manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, Huawei and others. The action opens another, major front in the patent-infringement war that has engulfed virtually all of the world's major mobile players.
Finland achieved its goal of raising more than €100 million ($137.4 million) from its auction of spectrum in the 800 MHz frequency band, although the auction itself dragged for nine months.
The Senate on late Tuesday unanimously confirmed Tom Wheeler to be the next FCC chairman and also unanimously confirmed Michael O'Rielly, a staffer for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), as one of the two Republican commissioners on the five-member panel.
Recent reports suggest cable operators are considering building their own version of Aereo--or potentially partnering with Aereo itself. The thinking, expressed by cable industry veteran and investor Leo Hindery, goes something like this: If Aereo can carry local TV stations without paying for the privilege, can't cable operators do it too?