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   Technology StocksThe *NEW* Frank Coluccio Technology Forum


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From: Frank A. Coluccio8/14/2012 12:31:37 PM
   of 46821
 
The coming wireless spectrum apocalypse and how it hits you

Small carriers are worried about getting snuffed by the deep pockets of AT&T and Verizon Wireless, and they want help. What judges and regulators decide to do could impact your wallet for years to come.

by Marguerite Reardon
August 13, 2012

C Spire Wireless, a small, southern wireless provider formerly known as Cellular South, has an ambitious plan to build a fast, 4G LTE network to reach its 900,000 customers. To do it, C Spire bought $192 million worth of 700 MHz wireless spectrum, which is considered some of the most valuable wireless spectrum that's still available because it can travel long distances and penetrate obstacles.

But there's a problem. C Spire claims it hasn't been able to use this spectrum and hasn't been able to deploy its 4G network. It says the bigger carriers, especially AT&T, have used their market power to ensure chip designers and device makers make equipment compatible with their flavor of the technology, leaving smaller carriers in the cold. And without devices and network gear, C Spire says it's been sitting on a costly resource it can't use -- and thus can't deliver to you, the consumer.

Continued, with a video of a Marguerite Reardon straight-talking interview.: news.cnet.com

hat tip: Gordon Cook

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To: Frank A. Coluccio who wrote (41271)8/14/2012 12:54:11 PM
From: LindyBill
1 Recommendation   of 46821
 
It says the bigger carriers, especially AT&T, have used their market power to ensure chip designers and device makers make equipment compatible with their flavor of the technology, leaving smaller carriers in the cold.

So what do they expect the Gov to do about it?

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To: LindyBill who wrote (41272)8/14/2012 1:18:49 PM
From: Frank A. Coluccio
   of 46821
 
Good question. If this were a single carrier, that would be one thing. But here the implication is that two dominant carriers are benefiting from a common (presumably quasi-proprietary) chip design. Given this, I suppose that, if the effect is to create an environment that excludes outsiders, hence implying restraint of trade, and if this could be traced to collusion, then, is it unreasonable that some form of inquiry, or possibly intercession, might come into play?

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To: Frank A. Coluccio who wrote (41273)8/14/2012 1:25:15 PM
From: LindyBill
1 Recommendation   of 46821
 
and if this could be traced to collusion, then, is it unreasonable that some form of intercession might come into play?

How? Sounds like sour grapes to me. You build your network with what's available. If the equipment available is not as good or as cheap as what you competitors are using, "tough toenails." You should have known that coming in.

You certainly can't expect some manufacturer to build you cheap, lower volume equipment.

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To: LindyBill who wrote (41274)8/14/2012 2:40:47 PM
From: Frank A. Coluccio
   of 46821
 
There has never been a good reason to suspect collusion leading to
anti-competive activity, if I follow your logic. Never mind the fact that
the "spectrum" in question, despite who bribed the government to
"own" it, is a public resource?

BTW, the expense comes deeper into the network, not the cost of chips
alone, but likely the effects on billing & who is allowed to support the iPhone,
for example, and other features requiring engineering that are, in all
likelihood, considered "proprietary" (or very close to being alike) to the
larger actors' architectures. And when have we seen this before - despite
it being far more egregious, arguably, and going for the most part unnoticed?

How about with the more explicit DSL Joint RFP, and a half-decade later
in the form of a Joint RFP for FTTP gear in the residential wireline space?
In both of those initiatives only the four, and then three RBOCs defined the
specifications, thus dictating where economies of scale would exist, despite
suboptimal designs for the purposes of the majority of competitors needs.

Agreed, there's nothing new here, but allow me to ask you bluntly:

If the two top players in a space were in fact acting in collusion to exclude
all other competitors, would that be okay in your view?
--

Anyway, on the lighter-yet-deeper side of commentary, our friend Bob Frankston
only moments ago sent the following message to the Open Infrastructure Alliance
board:

I find this concept of backhaul strange. What's the BFD about getting an IP
connection to a tower? The real problem is in the completely weird idea of
licensing colors.

I'm thinking of starting a NGH (Next Gen Haberdasher) by getting the
government to grant me an exclusive right to blue. Imagine what I could do
if I owned that color. OK, perhaps I can be more precise with the exact
shade of blue. The FCC (Federal Color Commission) would be charged with
policing 100% of the distribution channels for anything cloth-based and
certifying all dyes used in the process to assure that the color usage
confirms to standards and doesn't interfere with other uses of colors.

Perhaps we should call it Ultra Royal Blue.

Of course this is expensive but a $1/Shirt surcharge would cover this and
with a regulated price $100/shirt (worth it because they would last 100
years) who would notice.

We could have structural separation by keeping the cloth business separate
from the shirt business. It would make it easier to use the colors for other
purposes as long as they did not cause interference.

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To: Frank A. Coluccio who wrote (41275)8/14/2012 2:50:02 PM
From: LindyBill
   of 46821
 
If the two top players in a space were in fact acting in collusion to exclude
all other competitors, would that be okay in your view?


As long as they were not using the Government to help them do it. I am completely opposed to the Sherman Anti-Trust, and all of it's supplemental laws.

Our big problem today, IMO, is "Crony Capitalism," where laws are passed to help one business over another. We are riddled with regulations, tariffs, etc, to support one business over another. Just get out of the way of the rest of business dealings if they don't involve the use of force or fraud.

Get people on the Right to accept that there is nothing wrong with a non-coercive monopoly is one of the hardest things I know of to do. Those of the Left? Don't bother to discuss it with them.

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To: LindyBill who wrote (41276)8/14/2012 3:13:53 PM
From: Frank A. Coluccio
7 Recommendations   of 46821
 
Please stay on point, dealing in principles, rather than proselytizing over your political perceptions. The latter are temporal, at best. Cronyism, especially, could shift from right to left, back and forth, ad nauseum, just like a pendulum with the periodicity of every four or eight years.

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To: Frank A. Coluccio who wrote (41273)8/14/2012 3:27:04 PM
From: Cautious_Optimist
   of 46821
 
Monopoly (or oligopoly) capitalism is not a free market and does not maximize the wealth of a nation. Nor does it optimize superior technological innovation.

Like a sports referee maximizing fair competition under constantly improving rules, it is a desirable role for government to ensure the level playing field and rules for business battle.

As Alan Greenspan learned from the financial services industry, amoral "self-regulation" is ultimately not sustainable.

Even Adam Smith abhorred monopoly.

Ultimately such matters left to the players end up expensive battles between enterprises, in court, which is a massive economic cost; where deep pockets is the virtual value proposition.

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To: Frank A. Coluccio who wrote (41277)8/14/2012 3:52:16 PM
From: LindyBill
2 Recommendations   of 46821
 
Please stay on point, dealing in principles, rather than proselytizing over your political perceptions.

You asked me to tell you my stand on Monopoly, I told you. "Politics" is the study of how we interact with each other. I can't discuss my position on collusion between two companies without engaging in it.

My "politics" are my principles.

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To: LindyBill who wrote (41279)8/14/2012 4:19:31 PM
From: Frank A. Coluccio
2 Recommendations   of 46821
 
Ok Bill, you got me last. Let's move on.

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