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A Few Thoughts on the Sprint/T-Mobile Merger Rumors

December 13, 2013 Competition , Mobile Communication , Mobile Innovation , Wireless

Rumors or announcements of mergers often drop on Friday afternoons, especially around holidays. This time it’s the Wall Street Journal reporting that Sprint is considering a bid for T-Mobile.

I have some thoughts on this! Basically, the national wireless market is already too concentrated. We need more, not less competition.

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Does Congress Mean to Enforce Particular Business Models with Copyright Law?

June 13, 2013 DMCA , DRM , Innovation , Mobile Innovation

At a hearing on unlocking phones, some suggest that Congress added laws against circumventing access controls not just to fight piracy, but in order to protect particular business models. Businesses use this argument to justify using copyright law to criminalize activities that don’t actually infringe copyright.


Up until last year, unlocking a cell phone so that it could be used with a different carrier was perfectly legal. That changed when the Librarian of Congress decided no longer to include it in a list of exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which forbids the circumvention of technology that controls access to copyrighted works. The Librarian’s decision has sparked a great deal of controversy, and lead to several proposed bills that would once again make it legal to unlock cell phones. In a hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet last Thursday, Congress heard testimony about one of these bills, and about the practice of unlocking phones.

Subcommittee Vice Chairman Tom Marino began the hearing by framing the considerations on each side in terms of their effect on the market and existing business models, pitting the promise of a more competitive marketplace that phone unlocking allows against the ability of carriers to recover the cost of subsidizing phones.

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In Less Than 1 Year Verizon Data Goes from $30/Unlimited to $50/1GB

June 12, 2012 Competition , Mobile Communication , Mobile Innovation , Verizon , Wireless

Today, Verizon Wireless announced its new pricing plans for mobile phones and data.  If you mostly use your phone for data, this is bad news.

Verizon's New Pricing PlanVerizon’s New Pricing Plan

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CTIA’s Beta Tests App For Responding to Policy Issues On Our Bandwidth Caps White Paper.

April 23, 2012 Mobile Innovation , Spectrum , Spectrum Licensing , Wireless , Wireline

Every now and then, somebody responds to something we did or said with such an inappropriate bullet point that we can only laugh. These often read like someone tried to use some application for picking key words and matching to bullet points, but the App is clearly still in Beta.

The response of CTIA-The Wireless Association to our White Paper on Usage Based Pricing, aka bandwidth caps, surpases even these usual whacko responses. It ought to win some kind of prize. Perhaps the “Please Check your Magic Eight Ball Again” Award, given for a response that not only demonstrates that you failed to look at the executive summary and conclusion, but actually confuses people who did.

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FCC to Verizon and Cable Cos: Play by the Rules

March 13, 2012 Mobile Innovation , Spectrum , Verizon , VerizonSpectrumCo , Wireless

The orders the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued last week in its review of the big deal between Verizon, Comcast and assorted other cable players will force the companies to play by the rules, and will provide a good view into how the industry is trying to construct its own little cartel.  The FCC staff asked a number of detailed questions, and the answers could show how Verizon and its four cable partners want to divide the world among themselves.

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