Hate the fact that your wireless carrier keeps your smartphone locked? President Obama does too. The White House has filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission asking that wireless carriers be required to unlock all mobile devices.
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AT&T has decided that it wants to make its 4G LTE service available to over 270 million Americans by the end of 2013, but with limited wireless spectrum available in the areas it needs to improve, the company has decided to strike a deal with its archenemy Verizon.
To expand its coverage AT&T has purchased $1.9 billion worth of Verizon’s lower 700MHz band B block wireless spectrum. The extra wireless spectrum will give AT&T access to cover 42 million people in 18 states.
The New York Attorney General has called for Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft to invent new ways to curb the ongoing smartphone theft “epidemic.” Eric Schneiderman wants meetings with representatives from all four companies, and he has urged them to “be as innovative in solving this problem as they have been in designing devices that have reshaped how we live.”
Wireless interference from an iPhone has been blamed for disrupting the compasses on a regional airliner and sending pilots several miles off course. The incident happened on a 2011 flight as it climbed past 9,000 feet, but the issue was resolved when a flight attendant asked a passenger to turn their iPhone off.
Last month, a petition was created on the White House’s ‘We The People’ website that demanded the White House ask Congress to rescind its decision to make unlocking cellphones illegal.
After 114,000 signatures were collected on the petition, the White House invited experts on telecommunications, technology and copyright law to come over to the White House and talk about the issue.
The official White House response was issued today stating that the Obama Administration believes that consumers should be able to unlock their cellphones without risking criminal penalties.
That new Apple TV that went through the FCC last night? Apple says not to get too excited, it’s just a small tweak: it won’t be physcally smaller, nor will it feature any new functionality.
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today pushed for a wider use of electronic portable devices in-flight.
In a letter to Michael Huerta, the acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski called for the FAA to “enable greater use of tablets, e-readers, and other portable devices” during airplane travel.
About time, right?
SoftBank, Japan’s third-largest carrier, has this morning announced that it will acquire Sprint in a deal worth $20.1 billion. The company will purchase $8 billion in newly-issues shares from Sprint, in addition to $12.1 billion in existing shares — giving it a 70% stake overall.
When Apple releases iOS 6 tomorrow, it will finally allow users to make FaceTime calls over 3G and 4G data connections. But AT&T has decided — unlike most other carriers — that it’s going to charge its customers extra to take advantage of the feature. Understandably, this has annoyed a lot of people.
So much so that the Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute have warned AT&T that they will be filing a complaint with the FCC against the carrier for violating network neutrality rules.
AT&T: Because FaceTime Is Built Into Your iPhone, We Can Block It And There’s Nothing You Can Do About It
AT&T upset a lot of customers when it revealed that it would only allow those subscribed to its new Mobile Share data plans to access FaceTime over 3G/4G on their iOS devices. Today it has responded to that upset by explaining that because FaceTime is a feature built into the iPhone — and not one that is downloaded by the user — the company can disable it as it wishes and there’s nothing you can do about it.