Posts Tagged ‘Verizon’

As I’m sure everyone on the planet now knows, Verizon will soon be getting the iPhone. It’s been a long time coming and I’m glad we can finally close the rumor mill. Verizon IS getting the iPhone and it IS happening this quarter. But here’s the thing for me – this is 4-6 months too late. Verizon and Apple should have made this announcement before they rolled out LTE on Verizon. I’m about done with my current contract and would eligible to upgrade to the iPhone for very little money, but I won’t. Not yet at least.

Why would I trade in my current phone – which, while objectively not as good as the iPhone, is a pretty decent substitute – and lock myself into another 2 year contract to get a phone that is utterly incompatible with the latest in network technology. If I changed the day the iPhone becomes available, it will be 2013 before I can take advantage of LTE/4G networks. By that time we could be talking about 5G or 6G or 10G. 2 years is a terribly long time to lock-up when we’re at cross-roads in mobile technology.

What I don’t understand is why these two companies waited. Perhaps Verizon is hoping for people like me who will not switch and thus keep from overloading their 3G network and facing the same problems AT&T has. But I don’t quite buy that. I don’t really see my data consumption increasing because I switch from Android to iPhone. I’m still going to be a heavy user of data. The platform is almost irrelevant. But even worse, is from Apple’s point of view. If I were Steve Jobs I’d be pretty pissed that Verizon announced LTE before we had a chance to launch the Verizon iPhone.

Unless he’s planning to roll out an LTE iPhone this summer… let the rumor mills re-open.

Good Talk,


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I’ve spent a little more time reading about the newly passed FCC rules for internet neutrality and I’ll have more comments over the next week or two, but the first thing that jumped out at me was the FCC’s decision to exempt Wireless carriers from the provisions of the rule. It seems extremely strange to me that they would choose to focus only on the legacy fixed-line carriers for the new regulation.

According to the FCC statement after the vote:

“Mobile broadband presents special considerations that suggest differences in how and when open Internet protections should apply. Mobile broadband is an earlier-stage platform than fixed broadband, and it is rapidly evolving.”

While the facts in this statement are true, I question the ultimate conclusion that the infancy of mobile broadband suggests a lesser standard of regulation. Mobile broadband is currently the fastest growing segment of the internet.¬† A Fortune Magazine article suggests that a half a billion smart phones could be sold next year. That’s 500,000,0oo more people accessing the wireless web. For many people, especially those in the lower income brackets, wireless is the only method to access the internet. In the very near future, wireless broadband may end up the primary way we all access the internet. Why would Chairman Genachowski choose to focus on the tired legacy technology instead of getting ahead of the curve with wireless?

If mobile/wireless is going to take off as much as most experts predict we run the serious risk of developing competing internets with vastly different standards. While legacy fixed-line carriers will be subject to strict standards and will look to throttling, metered access and other solutions, the wireless providers will face little in the way of regulation and thus may grow up with a completely different model. This would require consumers to adapt to two different forms of the web and it would web development much more difficult. It would seem to me that such a duopolistic model will stifle innovation and hamper those who are trying to build tomorrow’s great web apps/services.

The wireless broadband experience already has enough obstacles for most users. Things like interoperability of handsets across networks (think iPhone on Verizon) or early termination fees or sharing networks. By failing to impose the tougher standards of net neutrality on the wireless providers, the FCC and Chairman Genachowski missed an opportunity to help remove some of these obstacles.

So, why did this all come about? I think another quote might put things into stark relief:

“[We] recognize that wireless broadband is different from the traditional wireline world, in part because the mobile marketplace is more competitive and changing rapidly. In recognition of the still-nascent nature of the wireless broadband marketplace, under this proposal we would not now apply most of the wireline principles to wireless, except for the transparency requirement.”

This comes from a joint Google/Verizon statement issued in August. Compare the wording of this statement with the wording of the FCC statement above. It would appear that Google and Verizon’s heavy lobbying has paid off tremendously with the FCC’s ruling. (If you’re wondering why Google has a vested interest in wireless, it’s due to the huge potential of mobile advertising they see. In the future they are hoping to generate a substantial part of their revenue from ads delivered to mobile devices. As a clear indicator of this potential one needs to look no further than Google’s acquisition of AdMob for $750Million in May).

Please note that I’m assuming a certain philosophical acceptance of net neutrality as a general principle¬† that is far from black and white – my point is just that if the FCC is going to impose net neutrality standards, why would they exempt the segment that might be most beneficial to consumers?

I’ll have more on the new FCC rules in the coming weeks.

Good Talk,

[Sources: http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2010/12/net_neutrality, http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/12/22/2011-will-be-the-year-android-explodes/, http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/weve-officially-acquired-admob.html]

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Yesterday (12/21) the FCC voted 3-2 to impose net neutrality standards on ISPs. I’ve talked a lot about net neutrality on this blog and I’m pretty happy to see the FCC taking some action (though I’d have much preferred that some body of elected officials taken action). I have not yet had a chance to fully digest the specifics of the ruling (it’s been a busy few days at work…). I’ll comment in full in the near future, but for now here is the announcement and some links to reactions/commentary/etc.

Official FCC Announcement:

Chairman Genachowski’s statement:

Steve Wozniak weighs in:

Likelihood of a Republican Congressing Overturning:

Kevin Fogerty of IT World:


MG from TechCrunch:

Alexia from TechCrunch:

That’s all for now. That’s plenty of reading (some of it I haven’t gotten all the way through yet) that should give you a pretty good idea of the reaction. I’ll provide my own analysis soon.

Good Talk,

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