Verizon begins LTE deployment in recently acquired AWS spectrum

by Jared Peters on
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In the second half of 2012, Verizon bought a chunk of spectrum from some cable companies. They purchased this AWS band to bolster their bandwidth capacity for their network. According to a recent statement by a Verizon spokesperson, Verizon is already deploying LTE in that AWS spectrum to help improve their network in “key markets.” That basically means the parts of the country that are running low on bandwidth are going to get a bit of a boost pretty soon, which equates to less congestion and faster data speeds.

Of course, LTE in the AWS band doesn’t mean improvement for everyone. Not all devices are AWS-capable, so it’s really only going to be newer devices that will see improvements. There also isn’t a specific time table on which markets are going to get the extra capability or when they’ll be getting it, but as the rollout keeps going, Verizon will likely put out a roadmap eventually.

Early speed reports on the AWS-enabled network say devices can get about 80 mbps down and 15 mbps up. Naturally as more devices begin using the network, it’s going to slow down a bit, but that’s still a pretty crazy improvement over Verizon’s already fast network.

source: Fierce Wireless

Samsung Galaxy S 4 will be first phone to work on Verizon’s AWS airwaves

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Verizon’s next network update is expected to more than double internet speeds, upgrading the service to Verizon’s Advance Wireless Service spectrum.

Although the service is not yet active, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 has components that will be in use when using AWS airwaves— the phone will require a software update to activate the connection to the AWS frequency. The service is scheduled to launch in major cities, including New York City, starting in the next few months.

Verizon’s AWS airwaves will increase the capacity of its LTE network— Verizon execs say that the expansion is necessary to keep pace with increased network traffic. LTE traffic volume is expected to be 6 to 7 times greater in three years than it is today.

Source: Bloomberg 

Verizon CTO Palmer talks wireless technology future in interview

by Jeff Causey on
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Verizon’s CTO Nicola Palmer recently sat down for an interview to discuss upcoming wireless technology issues like AWS, VoLTE and LTE Advanced. One of the upcoming technologies that Verizon is working on is VoLTE, which got some welcome news yesterday when new tests showed improved battery life for VoLTE devices. Palmer expects VoLTE to be available from Verizon later this year or in early 2014, but she would not commit to any partnership with MetroPCS. Palmer did indicate that Verizon is looking for partners to provide this service to their customers when they travel internationally. » Read the rest

FCC approves Dish Network’s use of its AWS-4 spectrum for 4G LTE usage

by Sean Stewart on
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It looks like that 67-page letter that Dish Network sent to the FCC regarding using its own AWS-4 spectrum for land-based broadband was all worth it. Today the FCC approved said use of the spectrum after previously being blocked by regulatory barriers. What’s next for Dish? According to them, they ”will consider its strategic options.” That wouldn’t have anything to do with that little Google/Dish wireless service rumor from last month would it? This should prove to be interesting once we get into 2013.

source:  Engadget

Verizon Cable Spectrum Purchase Approved By FCC

by Ed Caggiani on
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Verizon’s $3.9 billion deal to acquire AWS spectrum licenses has now been approved by the FCC. Along with this approval also comes a few other interesting deals, including a spectrum swap with Leap Wireless and a transfer of some of the AWS holdings to T-Mobile. All Big Red needs to do is the following:

  • Verizon must complete the transfer of spectrum to T-Mobile within 45 days after the cable company deal has closed.
  • Within three years, they have to provide service to at least 30% of the areas covered by the new spectrum, and 70% within seven years.
  • Roaming agreements must remain in effect for five years in the newly-acquired spectrum coverage areas.

T-Mobile voiced their opposition about the Verizon/AWS deal early on, but with the later agreement with Verizon, both companies are getting some of what they want.

source: fcc

As the quest for more spectrum continues, opponents ask the FCC to check Verizon

by Emily Aquin on
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As our need for more data grows, so does the need for more wireless spectrum. As a result, cell phone companies have been squabbling over the acquisition of the spectrum. The most recent development in this saga is a letter to the Federal Communications Commission by Verizon’s opponents, asking the FCC to halt the review of a purchase of spectrum for $3.9 billion by Verizon until certain documents are made public.

The center of this controversy is a deal that Verizon struck up last December to purchase Advanced Wireless Systems (AWS) spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, LLC, a joint effort from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks. Verizon would pay $3.9 billion for acquiring the spectrum, allowing them to expand their LTE network.

Other companies have been calling foul on this deal. T-Mobile had already requested that the FCC halt Verizon’s purchase of spectrum. They argued that this would give Verizon an excessive amount of wireless spectrum that they wouldn’t even use in the foreseeable future. T-Mobile claimed the Verizon/cable company deal would hurt competition and was not in the public’s best interest.

Verizon responded to these accusations by stating that their current spectrum holdings would no longer support the increase in LTE data traffic by the end of 2015.

There are several redacted sections in this response, however. Sentences marked “highly confidential” would seemingly contain information about Verizon’s plans to build out its networks.

This has caused several companies, such as Sprint, DirecTV, and T-Mobile, along with advocacy groups like Public Knowledge and Media Access Project, to request for those redacted segments to be publicly shared before the FCC can proceed in their review of Verizon’s deal.

“As an institutional matter, the Commission cannot allow Verizon and the cable companies to make unilateral determinations that certain information is not relevant to Commission’s public interest determination or is too sensitive to be sufficiently protected by Commission safeguards,” they wrote. “As a policy matter, the Commission cannot allow the applicants to deny production of evidence for the record without which interested parties would be unable to submit … fully informed analyses.”

We’re hoping at Talk Android that the FCC will require that all relevant information is made public, and that the ruling of this deal will be in the best interest of the consumer, not just large corporations.

source: IT World

Growing Data Demands Are Trouble For Verizon, LTE Capacity Nearing Limits

by Ed Caggiani on
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In a filing made to the FCC in support of Verizon’s planned $3.9 billion purchase of nationwide AWS spectrum licenses held by SpectrumCo, Big Red’s executive director of network strategy Bill Stone said that Verizon’s current spectrum holdings do not provide enough capacity to meet growing 4G demands, in some places hitting full capacity by 2013. More places will hit capacity by 2015.

Our usage projections suggest that traffic on our LTE network will surpass data usage on our EV-DO network in early 2013. By year-end 2015 our LTE data traffic is projected to be 5 times the peak data traffic ever carried on our 3G EV-DO network. The impact of that growth rate compounds, resulting in a more than 20-fold increase in LTE data traffic from year-end 2011 to year-end 2015.

Currently, only 5 percent of Verizon’s customers use LTE, but the company is trying to migrate as many customers to LTE as possible. Even though Verizon is trying to move more users to their LTE network, their EV-DO network is not seeing a drop in usage either. Stone stated:

…overall traffic continues to increase on the EV-DO network even as some customers migrate to the LTE network. Thus while traffic is migrating to LTE, spectrum deployed for EV-DO is not fallow, but is filled by the growing data demands of remaining users. Put another way, customers are not yet moving to LTE fast enough to stop, and reverse, EV-DO traffic growth.

» Read the rest

T-Mobile Attempts To Persuade FCC To Block Verizon’s Acquisition Of Cable Company Spectrum

by Axl Logan on
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There’s a reason why T-Mobile is referred to as “scrappy”.  According to some recent FCC filings, o’l Magenta is looking to step in on Verizon’s latest acquisition attempt to purchase spectrum from a number of cable companies of which some deals are already in the works.  Companies such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and House Networks.  According to T-Mobile, the deal would focus an “excessive concentration” of wireless spectrum to be laid at the feet of one of the biggest wireless carriers in the U.S.  In addition, most of the spectrum which Vz is attempting to purchase is of the AWS band variety which just so happens to be the userplane that the company uses for its 4G HSPA+ technology.  T-Mobile will continue to argue that Big Red already has quite a large amount of AWS spectrum that they haven’t even tapped into yet, therefore, it’s unlikely we’ll see this new spectrum being used efficiently anytime soon.

“The Transactions come before the Commission at a critical time for the future of competition in mobile services, and particularly in mobile broadband. Verizon Wireless, with its extensive holdings of valuable low-frequency spectrum, already has a significant advantage in the industry migration to LTE as the new wireless broadband standard. Its smaller competitors do not have excess spectrum in which to first warehouse bandwidth and later deploy LTE. With current spectrum holdings, their effort to deploy LTE is more complicated, costly and time consuming. Moreover, its smaller competitors are largely relegated to the higher frequency ranges, which are more difficult to deploy due to their propagation and building penetration characteristics, and their ability to keep up with demand as the industry evolves to the LTE standard will be significantly capacity constrained, to the detriment of competition. “

Furthermore, T-Mo goes on to argue that companies such as itself would be a better fit for the spectrum as they would be able to put it to use “…quickly, more intensively, and more efficiently than Verizon Wireless.”  Sounds pretty bold to me, but hey, if T-Mobile and other smaller carriers want to stay relevant in the mobile space and eventually expand their services, they’re going to have to fight for it now and today before it’s gone tomorrow.  You can check out the FCC filing here if you haven’t already.

source: Associated Press
via: TmoNews

Dell Streak Pro Revealed Passing Through The FCC

by Joe Sirianni on
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Awe snap!  Just when you thought Dell was out of the game, the aforementioned Dell Streak Pro 101DL rears its pretty face over at the FCC.  Japanese carrier, SoftBank, mentioned the device was on par for an upcoming release and it looks like they’re about to deliver.  And it appears that the hardware is nothing to roll your eyes at. The device will sport a qHD display (sorry no 720p), a dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon from Qualcomm and a 4.3-inch sized display.  And though the device is slated for a release in China, the FCC filings showing T-Mobile band compatibility is what’s catching everyone’s eye.  There’s support for the AWS 1700 MHz frequency.  We’re not saying it’s definitely coming to the US, just pointing out the compatibility.  We’re pretty certain all of the Chinese text in the FCC file gives away that it’s headed for a Southeast Asia release.  So, maybe it’s possible you could purchase the device out right and unlocked for U.S. use, but you know it’s going to probably cost you an arm and some other body part.  However, feel free to leave your comments below.

[via FCC]

Verizon to Add Family Data Plans in 2012, According to CEO McAdam

by Jack Holt on
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Are you tired of having multiple data plans for multiple devices? Are you on Verizon Wireless? Well then Verizon Communications CEO McAdam certainly has good news. According to McAdam, people are dealing with four to five screens (smartphones, tablets, wireless modems, etc) and don’t like having to pay for all those devices on separate bills, and Verizon doesn’t like that you have to either. As McAdam said at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference:

“I think in 2012 we will see it. We have been working on this for a couple of years. Getting to one bill and getting to account-level pricing is our goal.”

Specifics weren’t provided, but it appears that AT&T and Sprint are playing around with the same idea. While most wireless users are able to share cell minutes through family plans across different phones and users, data usage is tallied on a per-device basis. Family data plans could allow multiple people with multiple devices to share the same pool of data.

» Read the rest

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