“Do I think we need to own a carrier or the pipe?” he said during a keynote appearance at the AllThingsD D10 conference. “No. I don’t think we need to do that.”
Cook noted that most of Apple’s business occurs outside the United States. “Owning something just in the U.S. would not have great value in our total worldwide footprint,” he said. “I really think that guys that have it know a lot more about it. This is their area of expertise. … I want to make great devices and use some of the bandwidth. I think we can partner with the pipe owner.”
Speculation that Apple would buy spectrum from carriers may have stemmed from Google’s foray into the 2008 700 MHz spectrum auction. Google got the FCC to declare that phones would not be a “walled garden” – with carrier-controlled apps – in the 700 MHz “C” band if the bidding reached a certain level – $4.7 billion. It’s widely assumed Google pushed Verizon above that market then dropped out.
The virus was discovered by a Russian security firm, Kaspersky Labs, that specialises in targeting malicious computer code. It made the 20 megabyte virus available to other researchers yesterday claiming it did not fully understand its scope and said its code was 100 times the size of the most malicious software.
Experts said the massive malicious software could only have been created by a nation-state.
It is the third cyber attack weapon targeting systems in the Middle East to be exposed in recent years. Stuxnet attacked Iran’s nuclear programme in 2010, while a related programme, Duqu, named after the Star Wars villain, stole data.
Iran has alleged that the West and Israel are orchestrating a secret war of sabotage using cyber warfare and targeted assassinations of its scientists as part of the dispute over its nuclear program.
Sprint has announced a new $1 billion credit agreement that will be used purchase equipment from Ericsson for the carrier’s Network Vision project. Deutsche Bank leads the group of banks that will be providing the credit facility, and the purchased equipment will help Sprint build out its LTE network. The network is expected to go live in four markets by the middle of this year, with the full rollout due in 2013.
Sprint’s LTE plans include four different bands of spectrum; 800MHz (iDEN to CDMA), 1,900MHz (PCS), and the PCS “G-Block” (for FD-LTE), and possibly 2,500MHz (Clearwire) for TD-LTE.
Everywhere Sprint has 3G coverage, it will also have 4G coverage. Sprint claims coverage in many areas will improve dramatically once 4G LTE replaces 3G service. Sprint has three key partners involved with the infrastructure side of its 4G LTE plans: Samsung, Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson.
Once the iDEN network has been decommissioned, the 800MHz spectrum will be freed up for 3G CDMA voice and push to talk service as well as 4G LTE data service. Sprint is confident that it has enough spectrum to maintain capacity through 2015.
Nextel gave their interfering 800 MHz frequencies to public safety users in exchange for 10 MHz in the PCS band. That spectrum is still not utilized because Nextel first had to move legacy users – tv remote trucks – to another frequency and buy microwave gear for them. Broadcasters have traditionally received corporate welfare from the FCC in the form of free spectrum.
TV remote trucks made room for the Nextel PCS spectrum by moving up the band and using digital compression. The frequency swap also enabled the FCC to stick in a new AWS band as well as a new 2.1 GHz (MSS) satellite phone band for TerraStar and ICO (which has not been successful).
Sprint will reduce tower hardware with multi-mode radios and antennas, lowering maintenance costs. At the top of the tower, in the same radio, Sprint will have 1.9 LTE, 1.9 CDMA, 800 CDMA and in the future 800 LTE.
For the past two weeks I have been using a push-to-talk service called WAVE Connections while traveling in Norway, Germany, Spain, and England, and with it I can talk with colleagues in Europe and the United States as if they were in the same city. Before I left America I loaded WAVE on my Android Galaxy SII and iPhone 4S, MacBook Air and iPad.
This software allowed me to have almost-instant cloud-based two-way radio communications that is comparable to traditional radio services that I have been using since I was a kid. Anyone who’s ever used Nextel already know the benefits of push-to-talk services. The company behind the WAVE Connections service is Twisted Pair Solutions in Seattle.
The app works on Blackberries, iPhones, Androids or Windows phones as well as PCs and tablets, and they all can talk to each other wherever there is a data connection to the Internet.
There are three levels of WAVE Connections software: free, paid, and enterprise. The administrator registers on the WAVE site, sets up the number of talk groups and assigns users to each group. An email is sent to each registered user notifying them to download the appropriate software for their specific smartphone, tablet, or computer. A user name and password is assigned for all members of each talk group, which may be changed individually once the system is used by a particular subscriber.
Marc Tobias interviewed James Mustarde of Twisted Pair about how their push to talk software works. It uses IP on a data network, so you need a data connection (but not a voice channel).
IWN has been repeatedly scaled back. Funding for the federal government’s narrow-band 700 MHz radio network was cut in fiscal 2010 and then again in fiscal 2011, and has been suspended altogether for fiscal 2012. Further, the Department of Homeland Security is no longer participating in the effort, cutting the total number of projected users to about 30,000, and, according to the inspector general report, future participation of the Department of the Treasury appears unlikely.
The Public Safety Spectrum Trust currently holds the license for Public Safety Broad Band spectrum in the 700 MHz band, but it has been restricted to a 5X5 MHz swath for LTE. The adjoining Public Service Narrow Band channel remains for voice communications using interoperable P-25 radios (at $5K a pop).
However, the 2012 Inspector General’s report on the Integrated Wireless Network (pdf), concluded the expense and limitations of P-25 radio networks is likely to bring the narrowband effort to a virtual halt, in favor of an integrated approach with both push-to-talk voice and broadband.
Taxpayers are funding a dedicated LTE network, exclusively for use by first responders. The $7 billion set aside for constructing the network won’t come close to funding the tens of thousands of $5,000 push to talk radios that will be required, not to mention building and maintaining the infrastructure. It will never reach citizens in many rural areas.
Skeptics might wonder if the same lawmakers who lobbied for a dedicated, nationwide LTE network, will be the first to cut funding when the cost overruns and jurisdictional disputes inevitably surface. With taxpayers funding a $25 billion dedicated network, we all have the right to ask whether or not lawmakers funded a white elephant.
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) infrastructure revenues doubled in the first quarter, according to Dell’Oro Group. “We expect multiple operators will launch VoLTE services by the end of 2012 after they have tested their networks when affordable handsets are available,” said Chris DePuy, Analyst at Dell’Oro Group. “Just as important, there are signs that operators will be launching revenue-generating services such as video conferencing, location services, messaging and file sharing in the coming year. These new communication services will represent the first major wireless operator responses to the threats posed by “over-the-top” services, enabled by smartphones” said DePuy.
Reuters reports that customers lined up a day ahead of store openings in Berlin. European and Asian network operators are pitched the device heavily and are offering attractive pricing (varies by operator and country) for the device.