Hope still flickers for thoughtful Internet policy at the FCC

16 September 2014 by Steve Blum
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There might yet be an intellectual debate at the FCC about network neutrality. A debate on facts and philosophy, rather than a negotiation for spoils or a partisan punch up. Four commissioners – the entire FCC minus chair Tom Wheeler who did a solo turn earlier – had an hour-long conversation with new CTIA head (and former FCC commissioner) Meredith Baker at a standing room only session at the CTIA show in Las Vegas last week.… More

It's not about the watch, it's about Apple diving into health care

14 September 2014 by Steve Blum
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When Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch on Tuesday, and launched into a rapturous description of the digital crown – the old school winding wheel on the side that’s redesigned into a user interface – the first thing I thought was “they made the damn watch for right-handed people”. Any southpaw old enough to remember having to wind a watch every day – yes, me – remembers having to unstrap it and shift hands first.… More

CTIA successfully reboots its mobile industry trade show

13 September 2014 by Steve Blum
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It’s still a work in progress, but the reengineered CTIA wireless trade show looks like it’s relevant enough to mobile industry execs to keep drawing them to Las Vegas. The new show tries to blend content from the CTIA’s traditional big springtime convention and MobileCon, its fall technology conference (or content or apps or whatever – usefully, it never stagnated), and consolidate the show floors.

The exhibits were workmanlike and generated a fair amount of traffic, at least on the first day (the only full day I was there).… More

Setting the Vegas stage for a declaration of net neutrality victory

11 September 2014 by Steve Blum
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“Our goal in this proceeding is to establish the rules of the road for Internet openness that will provide certainty in the marketplace”, FCC chair Tom Wheeler told his former clients at the CTIA wireless show in Las Vegas on Tuesday. He was talking about network neutrality rules that he drafted and hundreds of thousands of people and organisations are commenting on now. Rules that set up a process for governing the Internet that will be anything but open and certain.… More

Microsoft won't win consumer hearts by appealing to IT minds

10 September 2014 by Steve Blum
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Suit, check. Hair cut, check. Mojo, oops.

You have to give Microsoft credit for trying. It was a distant third (or fourth or fifth or worse, depending on how you count) in the mobile operating system and smart phone races coming into the CTIA trade show in Las Vegas. No matter what happened, it wouldn’t narrow the gap significantly leaving it.

But if it ever wants to matter in the mobile world it has to start changing perceptions, and CTIA is a good place to begin.… More

Transparent auction rules and a clear business proposition needed to get more mobile broadband spectrum says FCC commissioner

9 September 2014 by Steve Blum
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Finding new radio bandwidth for mobile broadband services and then figuring out how to pry it out of the hands of businesses and government agencies that don’t use it particularly well is a perpetual challenge for the FCC. Four commissioners – the whole bunch except for chair Tom Wheeler – took questions from CTIA president Meredith Baker at the CTIA show in Las Vegas this afternoon. Not surprisingly, given the venue, much of the hour-long session focused on moving twentieth century technologies and analog users off of spectrum, particularly in the coveted 600 MHz bands, to make way for twenty-first century digital services.… More

CTIA leans in to the Apple punch

9 September 2014 by Steve Blum
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All eyes were on Cupertino this morning, even – or maybe particularly – eyes that had flown to Las Vegas with the intent of being briefly at the center of the mobile telecommunications universe. So CTIA made the smart move, and built its opening keynote session around Apple’s iPhone 6 and Apple Watch announcements this morning.

New CTIA president Meredith Attwell Baker made her rookie appearance, earnest enough but lacking the easy stage presence of her predecessors in the job, like FCC chair Tom Wheeler, who was next up on the stage.… More

FCC chair Wheeler confuses market competition with Beltway negotiation

9 September 2014 by Steve Blum
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America’s telecommunications lobbyist-in-chief showed up at the CTIA show this morning, full of sunny remarks and gentle chiding for the wireless industry. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, who used to hold the top job at CTIA, was clearly coming home.

“It was ten years ago, ten years ago, that I last stood on this stage,” he said. He recalled that when he was up for confirmation of his current assignment, he told U.S. senators he hoped he was a pretty good representative of the mobile telecoms industry.… More