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61 articles
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Now We're Getting Somewhere: U.S. Senator Introduces Bill To Allow Carrier Unlocking Phones For Interoperability Purposes

Two days ago, the White House announced its support for carrier unlocking handsets. The administration promised an FCC/NTIA investigation as well as a willingness to "work with Congress" on legislation to fix the problem. So, we can probably count on the President's support of the new Wireless Device Independence Act, introduced last night by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). The bill, which is only three pages long, has a simple goal: amend the DMCA such that it explicitly allows the unlocking of cell phones, obviating the need for a tri-yearly exemption.

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White House Officially Responds To Cell Phone Unlock Petition: "We Agree"

We've been waiting on this for a couple weeks now and the White House has finally come through with its response to the cell phone unlock petition. The short version, for the tl;dr crowd is simple: "The White House agrees." Citing not just smartphones but tablets as well, the Executive branch of the U.S. government states, in no uncertain terms, that there should be no reason that carriers should block a customer from switching carriers once contractual obligations are fulfilled.

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FCC To Investigate Cell Phone Unlocking Ban, Unsure If It Has Any Authority To Enforce Any Change

The President still hasn't weighed in on what he plans to do about the cell phone unlocking ban (he's been a little busy with that sequester business that's gonna cost some people their jobs), but FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is a little closer to the situation. Speaking to TechCrunch, the communications head said the organization plans to "look into" the issue and decide whether action should be taken and, if so, what action there is to take.

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[Update: NVIDIA And ASUS Respond] Mysterious ASUS TF500T Tablet Spotted At The FCC, Definitely Another Tegra-Powered Addition To The Transformer Family

Update: Unfortunately, neither ASUS nor NVIDIA had anything of value to say about this device:

NVIDIA's response:

Officially, no comment on unannounced products.

ASUS' response:

First I have heard of it, especially since the next tablets up on the roadmap are Windows based.

As many readers have already pointed out in the comments, perhaps this will be a Windows RT tablet. Time will tell.

This is a curious one; a mysterious ASUS tablet has shown up out of the blue at the FCC today, with the model name 'TF500T'.

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Editorial: The $3.6 Billion Spectrum Sale To Verizon That Was Just Approved Is Kind Of Really Shady

The US Department of Justice approved a sale of unused wireless spectrum to Verizon today, marking one of the largest spectrum sales to a single corporate entity in history. The unused portion of the AWS spectrum is owned by a number of cable companies (known collectively as "SpectrumCo") that bought it during the FCC AWS auction back in 2008.

Of course, back in the old spectrum heydays of, uh, four very long years ago, those megahertz were a lot cheaper.

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Verizon Gets $1.25 Million Slap On The Wrist From FCC For Blocking Tethering Apps, Via Block C Spectrum Rules

The FCC and Verizon settled out an ongoing dispute about Verizon's removal of tethering apps from the then-Android Market for devices operating on its network, stating that the "Block C" spectrum rules it agreed to when it purchased the frequency bands obligate it to provide its customers open access to software. Those rules, if you haven't seen them before, are essentially:

[Verizon] shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee's C Block network.

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Motorola RAZR HD Passes Through The FCC, Confirms NFC Support And Verizon Bands

When last we heard from the RAZR HD, it was posing for blurry cam shots. The new Motorola device, which is rumored to be packing a 13MP camera, LTE, and a mega 3,300 mAh battery, has gone through the FCC's fine-tooth comb and come out the other side. According to the filings, the device, which we know uses the code name XT926, is packing CDMA bands (800/1900), so we can likely expect this device to land on Verizon before too long.

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[Rumor] Is the Samsung SGH-T879 T-Mobile's Galaxy Note?

It's pretty clear that many consumers are interested in the gargantuan Galaxy Note. Unfortunately, it hasn't seen the same kind of mainstream success as the Galaxy S2 because only AT&T has had access to the device. But according to FCC filings and a user agent string obtained by TmoNews, T-Mobile is preparing a device that multiple pieces of evidence point to being the Galaxy Note.

First off, we have the screen resolution: 800 x 1280.

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Sprint's Galaxy Nexus Passes Through The FCC, Is Now One Step Closer To Landing In Your Hands

Well, looky what just happened to stroll through the FCC - none other than the Galaxy Nexus for Sprint. The upcoming flagship for Sprint's LTE network appears to be identical in size to Verizon's version, making it a hair thicker than the GSM variant.

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This actually offers little other details about the device, aside from the fact that it has been given the stamp of approval by the US Government, which means it's one step closer to hitting the Now Network's shelves.

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T-Mobile, Shockingly, Unhappy With Verizon's Spectrum Hoarding, Asks FCC To Block Acquisition Of Cable Companies' Holdings

Remember back in December when Verizon announced its plans to buy a truckload of spectrum licenses from several cable companies? T-Mobile does, and they're not happy about it.  The fourth-largest US carrier told the FCC that the deal would allow Verizon to "accumulate even more spectrum on top of an already dominant position."

Verizon fired back with the time-honored legal defense of "Well, why not? Nobody else is using it!" In a response to the filing, Verizon claimed that the deal would make use of spectrum that is currently going unutilized by the cable companies.

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