YOU ARE AT:Archived Articles#TBT: FCC Auction 97 going strong; AT&T and Intel's $500 wearable; Obama...

#TBT: FCC Auction 97 going strong; AT&T and Intel’s $500 wearable; Obama supports net neutrality … this week in 2014

Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

FCC Auction 97 hits $16 billion
Federal Communications Commission spectrum auction bids passed the $16 billion mark on Tuesday, far in excess of the federal regulatory body’s $10.5 billion minimum goal. Round 16 of bidding will kick-off on Nov. 19. Dubbed Auction 97, the FCC-led spectrum auction includes a total of 1,614 licenses composed of 50 megahertz of paired licensed spectrum in the 1755-1780/2155-2180 MHz bands and 15 megahertz of unpaired spectrum in the 1695-1710 MHz band. The FCC set minimum opening bids for paired licenses based on a formula that considers 15 cents per megahertz/per potential customer. Bidding on a specific license closes when the reserve price is met and, at the same time, after five rounds during which there’s no new bid for that license. As expected, major metropolitan areas are drawing big bucks from carriers hoping to gain an edge in the competitive markets. … Read more

AT&T, Intel partner on high-end wearable
AT&T will provide data service for Intel’s new MICA wearable, which will retail this holiday season at Barney’s and other high-end retailers. MICA, which stands for My Intelligent Communications Accessory, is a bejeweled bracelet that will retail for $495, a price that many holiday shoppers will happily pay for a bracelet that does more than complete an outfit. MICA does much more — it shows the user updates from email and social media, and uses GPS to alert users to the location of nearby services. MICA allows users to respond to incoming messages, but only by selecting from a menu of responses. An AT&T SIM card gives the wearable its own phone number for texting, but MICA does not make voice calls. Part of the device’s high-end appeal is its sapphire touchscreen, and Intel says that it has also used pearls, lapis stones, obsidian and tiger’s eye in the MICA designs. … Read more

90% global mobile penetration by 2020?
By the year 2020, some 90% of all people on Earth older than six will have a mobile phone and 6.1 billion will have a smartphone subscription, according to projections released in mobile giant Ericsson’s biannual mobility report. The Ericsson Mobility Report, released Nov. 18, is based on data gathered from more than 100 global communications networks. Patrik Cerwall, executive editor of the Mobility Report, explained that the global number of mobile subscriptions increased to 6.9 billion this year. “This has gone up at a steady pace of around 6% year-over-year growth,” he said. Cerwall detailed that 110 million new subscriptions were added in the fourth quarter of 2014, primarily from India, Africa and the Pacific region. In the U.S, 4 million new subscriptions were added in Q4, many for a second or third device. … Read more

Keysight, flying solo
Keysight Technologies reported revenue up 8% from a year ago to $762 million, in its first independent financial reporting after being separated from Agilent Technologies at the beginning of November. Full-year revenue of $2.93 billion, up 2% year-over-year, was above the midpoint of the company’s guidance, according to Ron Nersesian, president and CEO. “Consistent with what we have said over the past year, our strategic intent is to drive growth through wireless, modular and software solutions. We will continue to focus on these areas going forward, as well as on meeting our commitments as we did this quarter,” Nersesian said in a statement. Investors responded favorably to the results, and the stock was up more than 1% in trading late in the day on Monday…. Read more

Mobile drives Facebook
Some new numbers make two important points about social media giant Facebook: Facebook apps are driving user engagement, and mobile is driving Facebook. A new report from telecom analytics firm Mobidia, in partnership with ABI Research, looked at data from millions of smartphone users and found that while social and chat applications dominated, Facebook’s apps (including its core app, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp) drove the highest levels of engagement globally. The data set came from users in countries including the U.S., U.K., China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Germany and Malaysia. The highlights included: Facebook’s main app “consistently experiences the highest monthly utilization results in all major markets (excluding South Korea, Japan and Germany), with over 50 percent of users analyzed engaging with the app every month.” Facebook had the most monthly usage of all apps in the U.S., among the analyzed users: 68% utilized Facebook, averaging 24 minutes a day and 730 minutes per month. … Read more

SAP cozies up to Samsung, Nokia
SAP has announced two major deals: one with Nokia, to integrate geo-location data from its Here unit into SAP’s HANA in-memory data platform, and one with Samsung to develop an enterprise mobility ecosystem based on Samsung mobile devices, including wearables for business applications. SAP “plans to bundle base maps and content from HERE into the SAP HANA platform,” according to the two companies, so that HANA customers “will be able to access this geo-content to develop and deploy geo-spatial applications leveraging the native in-memory, spatial-processing capabilities of SAP HANA.” The partnership with Samsung is designed to extend both companies’ reach into the enterprise by offering businesses integrated devices and applications that leverage SAP’s HANA cloud platform and services with an eye toward emerging Internet of Things applications. The two companies named a number of initial areas of focus, including retail, oil and gas, healthcare and finance. … Read more

Hortonworks files for IPO
Hortonworks, one of the major providers and supporters of the in-memory database software platform Hadoop, has filed for an initial public offering.The company has not set an initial price as of yet, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and first reported by re/code. Hortonworks described its overall goal as “[establishing]Hadoop as the foundational technology of the modern enterprise data architecture.” Hortonworks also noted that it plans to continue supporting Hadoop’s open source environment, including the Apache Software Foundation community. “We employ a differentiated approach in that we are committed to serving the Apache Software Foundation open source ecosystem and to sharing all of our product developments with the open source community,” Hortonworks said in its filing. “We support the community for open source Hadoop, and employ a large number of core committers to the various Enterprise Grade Hadoop projects. We believe that keeping our business model free from architecture design conflicts that could limit the ultimate success of our customers in leveraging the benefits of Hadoop at scale is a significant competitive advantage.” … Read more

Obama calls for protection of net neutrality
The already contentious net neutrality issue became even more so this week as the president laid out his thoughts on the subject, which drew threats of legal action from at least one telecom company. President Barack Obama this week seemingly threw his support behind the Federal Communications Commission’s moving forward with bringing Internet access under the 1996 Telecommunications Title II regulations, which would mean the FCC could regulate Internet services as a public utility. The FCC is currently in the process of wading through millions of public and industry comments on the topic, with the most recent chatter indicating the agency has pushed off a final decision until next year. “We cannot allow Internet service providers to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas,” Obama noted in a statement on the issue. “That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.” … Read more

Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.


Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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