T-Mobile Led the FCC’s Incentive Auction That Drew $19.8 Billion

T-Mobile's FCC Incentive Auction

Conducted recently by the Federal Communications Commission, what is known to be the World’s First Broadcast Incentive Auction, has been a great mix of events!

The auction drew $19.8 billion in bids, out of which T-Mobile spent $8 billion. Thus, becoming the leader of the auction. With a number of mobile, wireless, and long distance phone service providers, the spectrum auction by FCC has been a hit.

However, certain events started a buzz in the telecommunications industry.

T-Mobile Participating and Leading the Auction

Among the behemoth prepaid and cheap home phone service providers, T-Mobile managed to win the most number of licenses with its huge spending of $8 billion. According to the FCC, the telecommunication company won the auction for more than 1,500 spectrum blocks, ranging to more than 400 markets.

According to a Twitter update by Neville Ray, the Chief Technology Officer at T-Mobile, “T-Mobile expects 1 million+ sq. miles of 600 MHz will clear in 2017 AND we will begin deployment this year in new & existing markets,”

Thus, the winning spectrum is to be used by the prepaid and long distance phone service provider, to its best. The subscribers are also said to require an upgrade of their phone quipment to be capable of getting great network services in the latest band.

This latest buzz is turning out to be great for the wireless and mobile users of T-Mobile.

The Participation by Other Companies

Besides T-Mobile US Inc., the other two among the top buyers in the auction were Dish Network Corp. and Comcast Corp. The two companies spent $6.2 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively.

The participation of companies like Comcast that isn’t even involved in cellular services yet is a great sign of some changes coming in the telecommunications industry.

Surprisingly, the telecommunication behemoths like AT&T and Verizon did not seem active during the auction.

Whereas AT&T, one of the best long distance phone service providers, spent $910 million only on licenses, Verizon declined to place any bid.

About the auction, Verizon said that spending on the spectrum uses a great amount of capital as the waves are quite expensive. The mobile and cheap home phone service provider is interested in investing in improved technology, instead.

Though Verizon didn’t spend on the airwaves, the telecommunication giant seems quite poised to grow its network.

Another reason for AT&T and Verizon’s cold response at the auction can be their recent investment of a billion dollars in the high-frequency airwaves. With these investments, both the mobile and cheap home phone service providers are aiming at growing their ultrafast networks.

However, the absence and less participation of both these telecommunication companies has raised a number of questions with a number of people being surprised by the news.

Final Thoughts

Until today, T-Mobile has not held any low-band frequencies and thus, its network has been weak and interrupted in the rural areas as well as in buildings. Thus, its investment in the airwaves is an important step towards the growth and betterment of this prepaid and long distance phone service provider’s network.

Verizon Testing Drones To Provide Network during Natural Disasters

Verizon Drone Testing

Known for its mobile and cheap home phone service, Verizon has been striving hard to be the first telecommunications company providing 5G services to its customers. However, with the 5G network in mind, Verizon has still not wavered from its path to LTE innovations.

And a recent instance explains it all.

Verizon’s Next Step to LTE Innovation

A few days ago, Verizon launched its latest technology in the form of drones carrying the network equipment of LTE, for testing. With this, the prepaid phone service provider seeks to provide its 4G services even in cases of storms, natural disasters, or scenarios when there is a power failure in an area.

So, the coming times promise a good 4G network coverage through Verizon’s network even when the area is struck by storms or natural calamities, when there is often wireless network outages.

The drones by Verizon are out in the testing phase and Verizon is still examining the coverage area of the drones and some other technical aspects of the technology.

The High-Endurance Drone Technology

Verizon’s drones are designed in the form of small airplanes carrying small cell sites. The portable cell network site is not introduced for the first time by this huge prepaid phone service provider. The technology has been in existence in the form of wheel-based portable sites or small pop-ups for events where the network traffic tends to be excessive.

However, Verizon, the giant mobile and cheap home phone service provider is the first one to bring the portable cell network sites in-flight with such a reduced size.

The test flight of the drone was conducted at the Woodbine Municipal Airport, New Jersey and was carried out by American Aerospace Technologies, Inc. (AATI).

The drones have a 17-foot wingspan and can fly to a height of 22,000 feet. The time interval for one flight of a drone is 12-16 hours. The drones will not only provide good network coverage but they can also send live streaming images of the area to the emergency management staff.

Similar drone tests have also been conducted by the prepaid phone service provider in the previous year.

“This new test builds upon our leadership in conducting the first successful demonstration in the U.S. for providing aerial coverage from a long-endurance medium altitude aircraft with AATI in Cape May last October,” said Christopher Desmond from Verizon Network.

Final Thoughts

With a step forward toward the 4G LTE innovation, Verizon’s drone cell sites have come out as a great idea. If the technology comes into being, it will be a great help to people stuck in power grid failures, natural disasters, storms, or any other areas where there is no network coverage due to any reason.

So, people can have uninterrupted communication even during calamities.

Being the innovator of this great idea and technology, the mobile and cheap home phone service provider can surely bring laurels to its name. However, a lot depends on further testing of the drone technology.

If things work out well, Verizon can surely be considered a top innovator in telecommunications.

Verizon Blamed For Launching Spyware for Its Customers

Verizon Spyware

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the AppFlash service offered by Verizon is considered to be ‘spyware’! The news held momentum just after the move that Congress made towards the prepaid phone service and mobile internet providers. Congress clarified the ways for these telecommunication companies to sell the web browsing history of their users.

In a blog post published on 30th March 2017, EFF represented Verizon’s intention on introducing the AppFlash application as a way to sell the private data of their customers. Let’s have a close look at the matter.

AppFlash and its Privacy Policy

Verizon is known as a telecommunication behemoth, providing affordable telephone service and mobile network services for years.

The company recently introduced AppFlash, a mobile platform that helps the users have easy access to search options and apps. The users can easily look for a movie, restaurant, app recommendations, and music on their mobile phones, using the AppFlash.

AppFlash uses the privacy policy of the prepaid phone service provider, and the app-specific privacy practices.

In the AppFlash Privacy Policy, Verizon stated, “We collect information about your device and your use of the AppFlash services. This information includes your mobile number, device identifiers, device type and operating system, and information about the AppFlash features and services you use and your interactions with them.  We also access information about the list of apps you have on your device.”

“Information we collect is used to deliver, maintain and support AppFlash services; enhance application features; customize and personalize your experiences including the advertisements you see; and provide social network interactions. Location information enhances your AppFlash experience, by, for example, providing nearby restaurant and movie options. Contact information stored on your device is used to facilitate calls you initiate from within the AppFlash experience”, the mobile prepaid phone service provider mentioned, talking about the usage of the information collected through the app.

What EFF Has To Say

According to EFF, the spyware (term used for the AppFlash) is used by Verizon, the internet and cheap phone service provider, to sell more adds to the customers through their internet service. And this is done by utilizing the information related to the apps you’ve downloaded, the bank you’re using, etc.

EFF had clearly defined the use of AppFlash by Verizon as the internet service provider’s great willingness to jeopardize the privacy and security of its customers “by installing spyware on end devices”.

According to EFF, within 48 hours of Congress’s move on the monetization of private data of the internet users, the telecommunication companies have started with the installation of spyware on their customer’s devices. Verizon’s announcement of the AppFlash launcher brought it into clear light that the mobile and affordable telephone service provider, is up to selling the private information of its customers too.

The Current Situation

The blog post published by EFF was taken down with an update. The organization retracted the blog post after receiving information from Verizon on their privacy policy with AppFlash. The organization will be investigating further to have a closer look into the matter.

Thus, with a clear statement from Verizon, things have been put on a hold by EFF for a while now, giving the renowned prepaid phone service a chance to save its reputation.