Google's 'Project Fi' MVNO won't shake up the wireless industry, but it could give it an important nudge
Google's Project Fi MVNO will not be a "game changing" move in the wireless industry, for a variety of reasons related to its pricing, scope and experimental nature. However, it could push the wireless industry in a new direction and spur carriers provide faster service and introduce more consumer-friendly offerings, which I think would be a net positive for customers and the wider industry.
Sprint has made a lot of news recently about plans to expand its distribution and even bring phones directly to customers. It's all part of an effort to retain the company's customer base and drum up more sales in the hopes of growing net subscriber additions. However, unless Sprint clarifies its brand message and improves its 2.5 GHz LTE network, I fear it will not amount to much.
As the first-quarter earnings season draws near, one of the big questions is whether T-Mobile US will officially surpass Sprint in terms of total subscribers to become the No. 3 U.S. carrier. It's one of several interesting questions that will be worth watching for as the carriers hold their quarterly earnings conference calls.
Dish Network's spectrum licenses right now could be worth as much--or possibly more--than the spectrum licenses owned by Sprint or T-Mobile US. Dish's spectrum position, bolstered by the incredible increases in Americans' demands for wireless service, makes Charlie Ergen's Dish an incredibly powerful player in the U.S. wireless market. But how exactly will Dish cash in on that position?
While there is a legitimate concern that LTE Broadcast content will be given a higher quality of service than regular, over-the-top video content, I don't think the situation will violate net neutrality. In fact, based on conversations I have had this week with experts at vendors that specialize in LTE Broadcast (and, admittedly, are proponents of the technology), carriers' use of it is likely to benefit customers, even those who are not taking advantage of it.
Now that the jetlag has subsided and the blisters on my feet have healed, I'm taking a look back at last week's Mobile World Congress 2015 and pinpointing what I believe were the highs and lows of the annual gathering of wireless executives from around the globe.
Smartphone makers are seeking to emulate and put their own spin on Apple's success as more than just a device maker but as a services provider and maybe even a lifestyle brand. The question is whether device companies can provide services and products to consumers beyond smartphones that actually make their lives better.
BARCELONA, Spain--A major topic at this year's Mobile World Congress trade show here is whether, how and when wireless operators should conduct LTE transmissions over unlicensed spectrum. And based on comments from those in the industry, it appears this technology is well on its way to being deployed broadly starting next year. But there remain concerns among Wi-Fi proponents that the technology could affect the Wi-Fi industry. And hanging over the whole issue is the nagging notion that allowing wireless operators to butt into unlicensed spectrum is fundamentally unfair.
BARCELONA, Spain--The logic behind LTE (CAT 1), a slower speed version of LTE, makes a lot of sense for its intended application--the Internet of Things--particularly when it is coupled with reduced module size, less power consumption and perhaps more importantly, lower cost.