The roiling debate over net neutrality rules got another jolt Wednesday when two of the FCC's Democratic commissioners pushed for strong net neutrality regulations, and one indicated that strict net neutrality rules should apply to wireless as well as wireline networks. Meanwhile, the CTIA and wireless carriers continued to push back against the notion that the regulations should cover mobile technologies.
The U.S. mobile broadband experience is the stuff of lore around the world, in part due to the smartphone revolution that started here, enabled by large, reliable wireless networks and innovative pricing strategies. The U.S. was also the first to roll out fully commercial large-scale LTE networks that offered significantly higher speeds than ever before, and still leads the world in LTE subscribers and deployment.
Now that the deadline has passed for sending comments to the FCC on its proposed new rules for net neutrality, a key debate is emerging over whether the rules should apply equally to wireless networks and wired ones. Wireless carriers, which had been exempt from most net-neutrality rules covering wired ISPs that passed in 2010, are digging in their heels against the new regulations, while the FCC notes that the question remains an open one.
This year's CTIA show may have been dampened by a number of competing events such as Apple's iPhone 6 launch event in Cupertino, Calif., on Sept. 9, the opening day of the show, but there were a number of key trends that emerged, including connected car, rural wireless consolidation and Wi-Fi calling.
Next week is the debut of Super Mobility Week, CTIA's merger of its two annual trade shows into one "super" wireless industry event. Super Mobility Week's success is dependent upon support from CTIA members and the entire North American wireless industry. Will it have that support?
A clear pattern is emerging among the world's top smartphones makers as September comes into view: Almost none of them are going to use CTIA's Super Mobility Week trade show as the official launch vehicle for their latest phones and wearable devices.
CTIA President Meredith Attwell Baker wants the FCC to take further steps to reform the wireless cell siting process to speed up the deployment of network infrastructure.
Gov. Jerry Brown of California (D-Calif.) signed into law a bill that requires smartphones sold in California to have "kill switch" technology that consumers could use to remotely deactivate phones and render stolen devices useless to thieves. The feature will be required on all smartphones sold in California starting in July 2015.
The new head of the CTIA said that unlicensed spectrum is an important element of spectrum policy, though she reiterated her organization's quest for additional licensed spectrum below 3 GHz. Meredith Attwell Baker, who recently took over command of the CTIA from former president Steve Largent, pointed to a recent study from the Consumer Electronic Association that found that unlicensed spectrum generates $62 billion annually for the U.S. economy.
WASHINGTON—CTIA President Meredith Attwell Baker wants to create a spectrum "report card" that would assess how efficiently government agencies are using their spectrum. That's one piece of a broader agenda she has for getting more airwaves for mobile broadband use beyond this fall's coming auction of AWS-3 spectrum and next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum.