|Wireless News Aggregation|
|Friday — December 4, 2015 — Issue No. 686|
Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,
Welcome back to The Wireless Messaging News.
The main article this week is about the BlackBerry PRIV. It is long, so it is divided up into four pages. I think it is a very good article. I hope you enjoy it.
iPhone 6s Draws Record Percentage Of Customers Switching From Android Smartphones
By Anu Passary, Tech Times | December 4, 2:01 AM
As the battle of the Android versus iOS ecosystems continues, it seems that the latter is inching its way to victory as suggested by the latest report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP).
According to a new study by the CIRP, the latest iPhone 6s — despite not living up to sales expectations — has attracted more and more Android users into switching loyalties.
The CIRP survey reveals that the tally of Android users switching to iOS is “the largest ever recorded” in the past three years (since the measurement was started).
Mike Levin, co-founder of the CIRP and one of its partners, said that the launch of the two iPhones attracted a large number of Android users this year compared to a year ago.
“This says a little more about the very hot iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch, which motivated more iPhone upgrades than in previous years,” Levin noted. “The share of buyers coming from the Android platform for this launch more resembles the long-term trend in Android and iOS switching.”
The report's assertions validate Apple's CEO Tim Cook's claims at the last earnings call that 30 percent of iPhone sales in the quarter were thanks to consumers who were on Android and migrated to iOS.
Per CIRP's assertions, nearly 26 percent of iPhone 6s buyers left Android in favor of the Apple ecosystem. By comparison, users who transitioned to iOS from alternate ecosystems or got their first device accounted for a small number. In 2014, only 12 percent of Android users gravitated to iPhone 6.
Interestingly, the CIRP survey reveals that the iPhone 6s Plus is more popular among buyers when compared to its smaller sibling, the iPhone 6s. The iPhone 6 Plus in 2014 accounted for 25 percent of sales, whereas in 2015, 37 percent of the sales were of the iPhone 6s Plus.
This trend suggests that over half the people purchasing the latest iPhones are ones who are upgrading from their older Apple handsets. In 2014, 80 percent of iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus buyers comprised those upgrading from an older iPhone.
The CIRP survey, however, studied only 300 Apple customers based in the United States — a very small sample — and, therefore, the findings of the study should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Now more news and views.
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There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.
I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.
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BlackBerry PRIV review: A new standard for Android in enterprise?
Page 1 of 4
CIO.com spent a month testing BlackBerry's first Android smartphone with a focus on the businesspeople and IT managers who will use and support it. The PRIV is the most capable BlackBerry ever, but does it deliver on what may be its most important promise?
By Al Sacco Follow
A month ago, BlackBerry released what could prove to be the most important smartphone in the Canadian company's storied history: the BlackBerry PRIV .
PRIV is the first BlackBerry that doesn't run a version of the company's own OS. Instead, it runs Google's Android OS. It's a forward departure from what most of the world expects from BlackBerry today. It's aimed at the enterprise, and its productivity-focused users — but PRIV legitimately measures up to the most popular consumer devices. And BlackBerry put a sharp focus on privacy. (PRIV's name is a play on the phrase, priv ilege of priv acy.)
PRIV could also be one of the last smartphones, if not the final handset, BlackBerry ever releases, at least based on some ominous comments the company's CEO made in October .
I've been using the PRIV for a month now, and evaluating it from the perspectives of a tech-savvy businessperson and an IT manager.
A lot of people who yearn for the comfortable and familiar clack of those old BlackBerry keys will herald the debut of this smartphone, and the mobile administrators who manage PRIVs will appreciate BlackBerry's eye toward enterprise in its "flavor" of Android. However, some obvious shortcoming will become clear to the most diehard BlackBerry loyalists. And the IT managers who want to deploy, or have to support, PRIV across their workforces also have reason for concern.
I broke this BlackBerry PRIV review into three sections: The good , the bad and the decision .
First up, the features and functionality business users and IT managers will appreciate about PRIV.
[The individual pages follow.]
|Source:||CIO.com||Page 1 of 4|
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Page 2 of 4
BlackBerry PRIV Review: The good
Why business users will love BlackBerry PRIV
PRIV runs Android, but it's still a genuine BlackBerry, thanks to its "physical" full QWERTY keyboard, the "BlackBerry Hub" inbox and a number of additional throwbacks to BlackBerry phones of yore.
PRIV's QWERTY keyboard is a more compact version of the touch-sensitive BlackBerry Passport keypad (with four rows of keys instead of three), and it features many of the same unique gestures and predictive text functionality, so you can slide a finger up to choose predicted words, or drag a digit around the keyboard to trigger the on-screen cursor. BlackBerry's system for predictive text is unrivaled, and the more you use it, the better it gets at guessing the words you want. Predictive text works on both the on-screen keyboard and the physical QWERTY pad.
Anyone who's used a BlackBerry 10 device will recognize the BlackBerry Hub inbox, which lets you see alerts for a variety of accounts, services and apps in one easily sortable inbox. It's one of the most effective productivity features in the BlackBerry 10 OS, which is surely why BlackBerry brought it over to its version of Android. And PRIV still has many of the traditional keyboard shortcuts that work in the Hub and in lists.
You can color-code many of the accounts you add to your Hub, using colorful tabs that display on the left side of messages in your inbox, and for some accounts you can add matching LED alerts. So, for example, your work messages show red tabs in the Hub, and the PRIV LED blinks red whenever new work mail arrives. Unfortunately, the Hub doesn’t support all app alerts, and the LED changes color based on your most recent notification, instead of blinking different colors in sequence to signify the different alerts.
BlackBerry's version of Android is clean and simple, unlike the software from other leading Android handset vendors that bulk it up with useless bells and whistles. Most of the customizations BlackBerry made to Android genuinely add value. BlackBerry Pop Up Widgets, for example, let you save valuable screen space by swiping up or down on app icons to view their widgets; a customizable "Recents" button, or app switcher, lets you access and close recently used apps in three different layouts; and "Quick Action" icons let you easily trigger common functions with a tap, including "Compose email," "Add event" and "Add contact."
Then there's the app selection, long BlackBerry's Achilles heel. The company's adoption of Android, and by extension, the Google Play store, resolved the issue, which was one of the major factors in BlackBerry fall from grace.
As for hardware, PRIV's 5.4-inch, OLED display (2560 pixels by 1440 pixels, at 540ppi) is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 4, and it's one of the brightest, most vivid displays on any smartphone I've used. It makes the 5.5-inch "Retina" display on my iPhone 6s Plus (1920 pixels by 1080 pixels, at 401 ppi) look downright archaic in comparison. And its curved edges add a touch of je ne sais quoi — though they don't really do much else beyond provide access to a "Productivity Tab," that's basically a quick glance at your Hub, and a battery charge indicator that moves along the curved edge as the battery fills.
Battery life also shouldn't be an issue for most PRIV owners, thanks to a large 3,410mAh power pack. In my tests, the PRIV get about 21.5 hours of talk time on a strong T-Mobile signal, which is impressive.
The device is available only with 32GB of built-in storage, but it supports microSD memory cards up to 2TB — good luck finding one, though; the highest capacity card I could find was 200GB. The 18MP camera doesn't disappoint, though it seems to struggle with light balance in dim environments (like most smarphone cameras), and it records 4K video.
Finally, the PRIV has NFC for payments using Android Pay and other services. And though the review unit I received doesn't support wireless charging, BlackBerry says the versions sold in the United States via AT&T and on its official ShopBlackBerry.com online store work with both PMA and Qi wireless power.
Mobile admins should appreciate many of the aforementioned PRIV strengths, but the device packs a handful of noteworthy IT-specific features, as well.
Why IT will love BlackBerry PRIV
Security always has been a top concern for CIOs, IT managers, mobile admins and their teams. The same can be said for BlackBerry, which has catered first and foremost to the enterprise — for better and for worse.
BlackBerry took Android security to new level with PRIV.
Its "hardware root of trust" process builds cryptographic keys directly into the PRIV hardware, which then work with its "verified boot and secure bootchain" to authenticate the various hardware and software components and ensure they haven't been modified. PRIV is set to encrypt all user data stored on the device memory by default, and the encryption process is FIPS 140-2 compliant.
PRIV supports Google's Android for Work features, which let organizations separate work and personal data, similar to the BlackBerry Balance features in the older BlackBerry 10 OS.
BlackBerry also created a unique new "Android vulnerability patch program" that in essence lets the company circumvent carriers and directly apply critical security updates as quickly as possible. BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 12 customers get even more control over which software updates are applied to whose devices, and when. Some of this is par for the course for BlackBerry; however, it's new territory for Android.
BlackBerry CSO David Kleidermacher said this in a recent blog post on why its version of Android is more secure than any other Android implementation:
BlackBerry is doing a good job explaining why IT should trust the company, via an ongoing series of blogs posts on the subject. And its recent decision to pull out of Pakista n and lose business at a time when it clearly cannot afford to push customers away, also serves to demonstrate its commitment to security and privacy.
If nothing else, CIOs and mobile admins should appreciate the fact that IT concerns don't take a backseat to fancy new features and slick software interfaces in the PRIV.
Though BlackBerry isn't the only Android OEM focused on security these days — Samsung's KNOX deserves a nod for blazing that trail — the other players simply don't have BlackBerry's established history of proven enterprise security.
That's a lot to like, but the PRIV is far from perfect. Here's what business users and IT managers won't love about BlackBerry PRIV.
|Source:||CIO.com||Page 2 of 4|
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Page 3 of 4
BlackBerry PRIV Review: The bad
Why business users might not love BlackBerry PRIV
For many smartphones users, BlackBerry is synonymous with the word keyboard. For years, BlackBerry made the best physical, full QWERTY keypads in the business — it still does. But the PRIV does not have one of them. The keyboard is supposed to be PRIV's crown jewel, but it lacks luster.
PRIV's keyboard slides out from underneath its large, curved display, and when it's fully extended, the bottom edge of the screen creates a sort of elevated ridge that sits just 5 millimeters above the top row of keys. The result is a less than ideal typing experience, because your thumbs hit the ridge when you tap the top row of keys.
I like to "get on top" of the keys when I type, and even after a month, I'm still not used to the ridge; it's distracting and leads me to make typing errors. The PRIV Slide-Out Hard Shell case, made by BlackBerry, exacerbates the problem, because it makes the ridge stick out even more.
The keyboard's buttons have a more pronounced downward slant on top than the BlackBerry Classic, and they don't stick out as much as the Passport's keys, which makes the PRIV keypad feel unfamiliar.
When the keypad is open, PRIV is long, and though BlackBerry did a good job weighting and balancing the phone, so it's not too top-heavy, it's still awkward. The PRIV is long and thin, and the display ridge gets in the way.
I like BlackBerry's Android implementation, because it didn't try to do too much. However, the company missed a big opportunity to grab attention by not shipping it with the newer Android v6.0 "Marshmallow" software. (BlackBerry tells me it will eventually roll out Android v6.0 for PRIV, and it should have some specific information to share in January at CES.)
A new privacy oriented feature, called DTek, aims to give users insight into the apps and services that regularly access potentially sensitive device resources and user information. And though the idea is a novel one, it mostly misses its mark. For example, I created a number of alerts for apps I use frequently, to let me know when they access my camera or location. But the info I received didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. Yes, Instagram accesses my camera frequently, and Swarm checks on my location often. So what?
I'm certainly not going to set alerts for every app I download, so my inbox is inundated with DTek notifications. The average user probably won't even take the time to experiment with DTek, and even if they learn that their favorite apps request access to their camera or microphone regularly, and they don't know why, they still won't stop using them. Some apps legitimately need access to sensitive information to function, and it's not always clear why. So despite all of the alerts and associated information DTek provides, it doesn't make it easy for users to know when to worry.
BlackBerry built in a number of methods to password-protect PRIV, including a unique image-based system that lets you drag a specific photo into place on your display to unlock the phone, but it lacks a fingerprint reader. I've used my fingerprint to unlock iPhones and Galaxy devices for years, and it feels like a real regression to have to use a password. (CIO.com's IT department enforces a policy that blocks PRIV's image unlock.)
Though PRIV supports expandable memory, it doesn't have a removable battery. Despite its impressive battery life, there's really no replacement for the comfort of knowing you have an extra battery if you can't get to a power source while traveling, or if your electricity goes out during a winter storm.
BlackBerry smartphones traditionally have high-quality speakerphones, as well, but PRIV's speaker falls short when it comes to volume and sound quality. It isn't as loud as the iPhone 6s Plus, for example, and it's significantly more tinny and raspy-sounding.
These concerns apply to both users and mobile admins, but IT should take particular note of the following shortcomings before embracing PRIV.
Why IT might not love BlackBerry PRIV
If your organization has contracts or commitments with Verizon Wireless or Sprint in the United States, PRIV is not for you. It's not compatible with either or these two "Big Four" U.S. wireless carriers. U.S. Cellular customers are also out of luck.
The build quality of the device is questionable. It feels plastic-y, and somewhat flimsy. The sliding-hinge mechanism and thin bezel around the display are made of metal, but the rest of the device is composed of hard plastic, and it doesn't feel durable. The back panel on my PRIV is loose, as well, and if I press on it, I can feel space between the fiber layer and the internal components, which adds to the "cheap" feeling. And though the curved edges on the display look nice, they make the phone somewhat slippery, which could lead to more drops and damaged phones.
BlackBerry purposefully put the focus on privacy with the PRIV — it named the device using the first four letters of the word. However, DTek lacks teeth. For context, BES 12 customers can get some useful IT management features related to DTek, including the capability to receive notifications if a PRIV OS is compromised, then block off work resources or wipe a device, if necessary. But IT needs to use BES 12 for access to these advanced features.
PRIV also does not have any sort of memory-card encryption feature, which is a potential privacy concern. (BlackBerry says microSD card encryption is "on the roadmap.") IT can enforce various policies to disable external memory, but then you get only 32GB of onboard storage, which isn't enough for many modern business folks. That limitation could point users toward the cloud for a solution — another potential security and privacy issue.
To sum this all up ...
|Source:||CIO.com||Page 3 of 4|
Page 4 of 4
BlackBerry PRIV Review: The decision
PRIV is the best, and most capable, BlackBerry smartphone ever. It features top-of-the-line technical specifications. I love the BlackBerry Hub. The Android experience is similar to Google's stock Android, because BlackBerry didn't try to dress it up too much, and that's a very good thing. Google Play finally (finally) fills BlackBerry's longstanding "app gap." Battery life is solid. You can swap out memory cards for nearly limitless storage. And the U.S. version supports both leading wireless charging standards.
BlackBerry has always put the enterprise first, unlike some of the other big guys in mobile. ( I'm looking directly at you, Apple .) The company brought its security focus to Android with PRIV, and that should be music to IT's metaphorical ears.
However, BlackBerry failed to deliver on what might be the most important PRIV feature: The full QWERTY keyboard. It doesn't feel as comfortable in hand as other BlackBerrys, and the phone's design impedes fluid typing. It doesn't yet run Android v6.0. DTek is D-E-A-D on arrival. PRIV lacks a fingerprint reader for authentication. And its speakerphone is weak.
IT shops on Verizon or Sprint are out luck, because PRIV won't work on those networks. PRIV doesn't feel like it's built to last, and that's a red flag for the smart mobile admin. And despite a sharp focus on privacy, and the default disk encryption setting, PRIV users can't encrypt their microSD cards.
In summary, PRIV represents a leap in the right direction for BlackBerry, but the move to Android probably should have been made years ago. If it had, BlackBerry may have by now found a better mix of its trademark typing and productivity features, and Android's app selection and slick UI. As is, the PRIV doesn't know what it is, and it's trying too hard to be an Android phone, while compromising on core usability features that make a smartphone a genuine BlackBerry.
PRIV is available unlocked on ShopBlackBerry.com for $699, as well as via a number of wireless carriers across the globe.
|Source:||CIO.com||Page 4 of 4|
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Selected portions of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section with the firm’s permission.
Reminder: Televised Emergency Information Accessibility Requirements In Effect
As of November 30, the FCC’s rule section 79.2(b)(2)(ii) requires that video programming distributors (VPDs) ensure that their televised emergency information is conveyed aurally through the use of a secondary audio stream, when such information is conveyed visually during programming other than newscasts.
According to an FCC announcement over the holiday, emergency information provided in the video portion of programming that is not a regularly scheduled newscast or a newscast that interrupts regular programming must be accompanied by an aural tone and provided aurally on the secondary audio stream. The aural tone will alert consumers who are blind or visually impaired to the presence of an emergency situation, and give them an opportunity to switch to the secondary audio stream. The information imparted over the secondary audio channel must be preceded by the aural tone, and must be conveyed in full at least twice. VPDs must also ensure that that their video programming apparatus be capable of delivering such emergency information in an accessible manner to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
Third Circuit Rules State PUC has Jurisdiction Over ISP-Bound Traffic
On November 25, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued an opinion finding that the FCC’s jurisdiction over local ISP-bound traffic is not exclusive. In a case brought by Core Communications, Inc. and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PPUC) against AT&T, the Third Circuit relied on the FCC’s own statement of jurisdiction in its amicus brief before the Ninth Circuit in a 2011 case, and its ISP Remand Order, in holding that, “[f]ederal law does not require that Core be compensated for the [ISP-bound] traffic,” but that “the “[Telecommunications Act's] system of cooperative federalism exists specifically so that state public utility commissions can determine these kinds of questions for themselves…”
Core billed AT&T for terminating phone calls from AT&T’s customers to Core’s Internet Service Provider customers from 2004 to 2009. When AT&T refused to pay, Core filed a complaint with the PPUC, which ruled in Core’s favor. AT&T then filed suit in federal court seeking an injunction on the ground that the PPUC lacked jurisdiction over ISP-bound traffic because such traffic is the exclusive province of the FCC. The federal court granted summary judgment in AT&T’s favor, and Core and the PPUC appealed to the Third Circuit.
Comment Deadlines Established for FirstNet Incumbent Relocation Proposal
On November 30, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau announced the comment deadline for FirstNet’s proposal to facilitate relocation of incumbent public safety communications systems operating in the 758-769/788-799 MHz spectrum band (Band 14) in advance of deployment and operation of FirstNet’s nationwide broadband public safety network. Comments are due December 9, 2014.
As we reported in the November 11 edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, FirstNet stated in an ex parte filing that its Board recently approved a Spectrum Relocation Grant Program designed to facilitate the relocation of Band 14 incumbents, and that it expects a Federal Funding Opportunity for the grant program to be released in early 2016. As such, FirstNet requested “that the continuation of Commission licenses or other authorizations under Band 14 by any incumbent be conditioned upon the requirement that no operation on Band 14 be permitted without the express consent of FirstNet after July 31, 2017.” FirstNet also requested that “[i]n addition or in the alternative, . . . the Commission consider conditioning any continued operation on Band 14 on the cessation of all operations on Band 14 within 90 days written notice to the Band 14 incumbent(s) from FirstNet that deployment of the [nationwide broadband public safety network] is to begin in its State.”
In 2013, the FCC sought comment on “the appropriate mechanism to transition incumbent narrowband
FCC Grants Petition for Reconsideration of Pole Attachment Costs, Revises Rules Accordingly
On November 24, the FCC released an Order on Reconsideration in which it amended the pole attachment rules by defining “cost,” for the purpose of calculating the rates that telecommunications carriers pay for pole attachments, as a percentage of fully allocated costs that will depend on whether the average number of attaching entities in a service area is 2, 3, 4, or 5.
The FCC’s action comes in response to a Petition for Reconsideration or Clarification filed on June 8, 2011, by National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), COMPTEL, and tw telecom inc. (Petitioners).
In response to the Petitioners, the FCC introduced new cost allocators for poles with 2 attaching entities (0.31 percent of costs) and 4 attaching entities (0.56 percent of cost). When the average number of attaching entities is a fraction, the percentage cost allocator will be located between the whole numbers at the point where it most closely approximates the cost used in the cable rate formula. According to the FCC, “[t]his flexible series of cost allocators should more fully realize the intent of the Commission in its 2011 Pole Attachment Order to bring parity to pole attachment rates at the cable rate formula level.” The FCC also adopted this definition of cost to prevent pole owners from charging cable operators that also provide telecommunications service (including broadband Internet access service) pole attachment rental rates that can be approximately 70 percent higher than the cable rate under the previous rules.
The new rules will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Law & Regulation
FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for December Open Meeting
On November 25, the FCC announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the December Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, December 17, 2015:
The Open Meeting is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m., and will be broadcast live over the internet at www.fcc.gov/live .
International Bureau Seeks Comment on Removing Cuba from Exclusion List
On November 24, the FCC’s International Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment on removing Cuba from the FCC’s “Exclusion List for International Section 214 Authorizations” (Exclusion List). Comments are due December 4, and reply comments are due December 9.
The Exclusion List identifies particular facilities and/or countries that are not included in a global facilities-based Section 214 application, and, therefore, require a separate international Section 214 authorization. Cuba is the only country currently remaining on the Exclusion List. If Cuba is removed from the Exclusion List, U.S. international carriers would no longer be required to request specific authority to provide facilities-based telecommunications services from the United States to Cuba. Instead, the U.S.-Cuba route would be included in a global facilities-based Section 214 authorization along with all other countries, and carriers with existing global Section 214 authorizations would not need to take any further action, or seek additional authority, to begin providing telecommunications services from the United States to Cuba.
T-Mobile Continues Quest for “Former Defaulter” Sanctions Against DISH
T-Mobile USA is continuing to urge the FCC to hold DISH accountable for its abuse of the competitive bidding and post-auction licensing process in connection with the AWS-3 auction which concluded last winter.
In a petition for reconsideration of the incentive auction Application Procedures Public Notice filed on Monday, T-Mobile seeks to have the FCC impose “former defaulter” sanctions on DISH and the “DISH DEs” Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless LicenseCo in the upcoming broadcast incentive auction. The Commission last August found that DISH exercised control over Northstar and SNR and it denied the DISH DEs’ claims for small business status. But rather than pay the full $13.3 billion of their winning bids, the DISH DEs relied on precedent from an earlier auction and chose to “selectively default” on their auction winnings. This move allowed the DISH DEs to give up around a third of the paired AWS-3 licenses that they won (worth $3.4 billion) rather than paying the full amount for all their bids. At the same time, they were able to retain $9.8 billion worth of spectrum.
“By winning licenses using entities that violated the rules and then choosing to selectively default on the licenses, DISH deprived other bidders of the ability to fairly win licenses that they intended to put to use promptly,” argued T-Mobile.
The FCC’s former defaulter rule is designed to preserve the integrity of the FCC’s auction processes by requiring entities that have defaulted in a prior auction to submit an upfront payment that is 50 percent higher than the amount that non-defaulters would be required to pay. Former defaulters are also precluded from bidding for licenses that were the subject of default. This would effectively prevent DISH or its affiliates from bidding in any re-auction of AWS-3 spectrum for the licenses they returned to the Commission, including the New York I-Block worth $1.3 billion, the Chicago G-Block worth $509 million (where T-Mobile was the second highest bidder), the Chicago H-Block worth $583 million and the Boston G-Block worth $166 million.
T-Mobile had previously raised “former defaulter” arguments against DISH in the context of an ex parte presentation to the Commission’s staff, but Northstar and SNR responded to T-Mobile’s proposal with requests that the FCC dismiss T-Mobile’s request as “procedurally defective” because the letter was not filed in the proper proceedings, did not include proof of service, and “may not have been properly served on any of the relevant parties.”
The petition for reconsideration of the incentive auction Application Procedures Public Notice represents a “press on all fronts” approach by T-Mobile, and (more importantly) puts pressure on the FCC to respond to the request prior to the start of the incentive auction.
JANUARY 15: HAC REPORTING DEADLINE. The next Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) reporting deadline for digital commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers (including carriers that provide service using AWS-1 spectrum and resellers of cellular, broadband PCS and/or AWS services) is Friday, January 15, 2016. Non-Tier I service providers must offer to consumers at least 50 percent of the handset models per air interface, or a minimum of ten handset models per air interface, that meet or exceed the M3 rating, and at least one-third of the handset models per air interface, or a minimum of ten handset models per air interface, that meet or exceed the T3 rating. Month-to-month handset offering information provided in annual reports must be current through the end of 2015. With many of our clients adjusting their handset offerings and making new devices available to customers throughout the year, it is very easy for even the most diligent carriers to stumble unknowingly into a non-compliance situation, resulting in fines starting at $15,000 for each HAC-enabled handset they are deficient. Following the T-Mobile USA Notice of Apparent Liability (FCC 12-39), the Commission’s enforcement policy calls for multiplying the $15,000 per-handset fine by the number of months of the deficiency, creating the potential for very steep fines. It is therefore crucial that our clients pay close attention to their HAC regulatory compliance, and monthly checks are strongly recommended. In this regard, we have prepared a HAC reporting template to assist our clients in keeping track of their HAC handset offerings, and other regulatory compliance efforts. ALL SERVICE PROVIDERS SUBJECT TO THE COMMISSION’S HAC RULES – INCLUDING COMPANIES THAT QUALIFY FOR THE DE MINIMIS EXCEPTION – MUST PARTICIPATE IN ANNUAL HAC REPORTING. To the extent that your company is a provider of broadband PCS, cellular and/or interconnected SMR services, if you are a CMRS reseller and/or if you have plans to provide CMRS using newly licensed (or partitioned) AWS or 700 MHz spectrum, you and your company will need to be familiar with the Commission’s revised rules.
FEBRUARY 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual Form 499-A that is due April 1.
FEBRUARY 1: FCC FORM 502, NUMBER UTILIZATION AND FORECAST REPORT. Any wireless or wireline carrier (including paging companies) that have received number blocks—including 100, 1,000, or 10,000 number blocks—from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or from another carrier, must file Form 502 by February 1. Carriers porting numbers for the purpose of transferring an established customer’s service to another service provider must also report, but the carrier receiving numbers through porting does not. Resold services should also be treated like ported numbers, meaning the carrier transferring the resold service to another carrier is required to report those numbers but the carrier receiving such numbers should not report them. Reporting carriers are required to include their FCC Registration Number (FRN). Reporting carriers file utilization and forecast reports semiannually on or before February 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending December 31, and on or before August 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending June 30.
|This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm. For additional information, please contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or firstname.lastname@example.org .|
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Wireless Network Planners
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
Hi Brad. I wish you and your loved ones a happy and enjoyable Christmas season and a blessed and prosperous New Year.
I sent you a couple of e-mails that you printed in your newsletter for November 14, 2014.
I just LOVE my Apollo AL-924 alphanumeric pager. I think cell phones are a royal pain in the behind. Here is a link to a powerful irrefutable video that proves cell phones cause cancer:
|UNTIL NEXT WEEK|
|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
What is a light-year?
A light-year is a unit of distance, not time. A light-year is how astronomers measure distance in space. It’s defined by how far a beam of light travels in one year — a distance of six trillion miles. (About 670 million miles per hour.)
If you could travel at the speed of light, you could circle the globe of Earth almost eight times in one second.
A light beam needs only 8 minutes to travel the 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from the sun to the Earth.
The Milky Way galaxy in which our sun and all the stars we see at night reside spans 100,000 light-years from one end to the other. Putting that into perspective, the duration of recorded human history is roughly 5,000 years. So light from a star at one end of our galaxy takes 20 times longer than all of recorded history to get to the other end.
|PHOTOS OF THE WEEK|
Scientists detect mysterious radio pulse from deep space. What is it?
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