Bidding in the Federal Communications Commission millimeter-wave wireless auction reached $7.5 billion and shows signs of ending within the next few rounds. Participants had moved earlier to offer bids on large urban and mid-sized markets but a number of smaller, rural licenses remained in low demand until the FCC acted to force carriers' hands this week.
The US needs to do more to eliminate the hurdles to the spread of 5G service, Borje Ekholm, chief executive officer of Ericsson, told President Donald Trump during a recent speech to a group that included many global CEOs. Ekholm urged Trump to move faster on freeing up C-Band spectrum, invest in power grid upgrades and make it easier for carriers to obtain site permits for 5G infrastructure.
Compensation for satellite companies is essential for publicly auctioning off midband spectrum, the C-Band Alliance argued in a filing to the Federal Communications Commission last week. The CBA asserted that companies that take part in public auction bidding should pay spectrum holders a fee, saying that it would speed up the process, avoid litigation and compensate current owners for the cost of their equipment as well as that of transferring the frequencies.
Early bird discounted pricing is in effect for MCS 2020! CCA's 2020 Mobile Carriers Show is headed to Dallas, TX, March 30-April 1, and you should be there. MCS will feature a great community service event, FREE networking opportunities, extended exhibit hall hours, and of course, expert-led educational and keynote sessions. Prices increase on February 21, so register soon.
Microsoft will partner with T-Mobile on a pilot project aimed at providing broadband access to schools in underserved US areas. T-Mobile will contribute free LTE service and SIM cards to power the Microsoft PCs in the program, which is expected to start in February.
C Spire has completed its fiber-build in Mississippi, an $11 million project that spanned 300 miles and 15 counties aimed at bringing broadband services to rural areas across the state. The regional carrier worked with Entergy Mississippi on the public-private project that also upgraded the state's electricity grid.
Apple is reportedly preparing to put a new budget iPhone into production next month as a way of expanding its customer base before it begins marketing 5G handsets, Bloomberg reports, adding that the company could begin selling the phone by March. The model would represent Apple's first effort at a lower-priced iPhone since the $399 iPhone SE debuted in 2016.
A Seattle-area county is allowing the region's 1.2 million voters to cast ballots via their phones or computers for a conservation board election, a move that concerns security experts who fear vote tampering, while proponents said it would encourage participation. The voting, which will last until Feb. 11, is being funded by a local philanthropic group.
Crown Castle is poised to gain ground on its cell tower rivals even as the company has suffered from backlogs caused by local permitting delays, slower industry growth and changing economic conditions, MoffettNathanson analyst Nick Del Deo wrote in a recent report. He pointed to Crown's large capital investments that have prepared the company to narrow the gap in the coming years as its backlog dissipates.
This is the last issue of CCA's SmartBrief. We know it's sad, but don't worry -- we're not going anywhere. We've got some big things coming up, like our 2020 Mobile Carriers Show in Dallas and even a shiny new website. Thanks for being faithful subscribers over the last few years. We hope you enjoy this last edition, and hope to see you soon at a future CCA event!