The biggest news this week was the statement by President Obama that he thinks that broadband should be reclassified under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. It was a political statement. At one time, the President pointed out that the Federal Communications Commission is an independent body that will decide on its own. He also knows that he’s the boss, and he knows that discussing his position on camera — not behind closed doors – clearly has impact.
The net neutrality issue will take a long time to work through. In the meantime, there was much news and commentary of a more immediate nature. Here are some highlights.
Apple Gets Good Results in Good Technology Survey
Good Technology released its Mobility Index Report this week. VentureBeat reports that Apple reversed a trend of declining enterprise activations. In the third quarter, the company said, 69 percent of enterprise activations were iOS devices. That’s 2 percent more than the second quarter.
The breakdown between iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was about the same as VentureBeat has noted elsewhere, according to writer Emil Protalinski. The iPhone 6 represented 85 percent and the iPhone 6 Plus 15 percent of iPhone activations. Android represented 29 percent of activations. Windows Phone and “other” each garnered 1 percent.
AT&T Inflight Wi-Fi Service Not Cleared for Take Off
Re/code and other sites report that AT&T has ditched plans to launch an in-flight wireless service. The LTE service, which would have competed with Gogo, would have been in partnership with Honeywell. It could have started as earlier as next year.
The story didn’t say why the decision was made. An analyst suggests that the reason may have been that many airlines are locked into long-term agreements with other providers, leaving little room for AT&T.
HP and Nokia Deepen Their NFV Relationship
Nothing will change networking as much as software-defined networks and network functions virtualization (SDN and NFV). The big vendors in both technologies are picking sides and creating partnerships. Two giants said this week that they plan to offer telecommunications companies an NFV platform: Hewlett-Packard and Nokia Networks will create a platform that combines Nokia’s NFV technology with HP’s Helion OpenStack cloud platform.
The offering includes HP’s data center hardware, hypervisor and virtual management software. eWeek adds that Nokia’s Cloud Application Manager will enable quick deployments in telecommunications networks.
FCC Experiment Gets 181 Applicants
Telecompaper reports that an experimental project run by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has attracted 181 applications that cumulatively propose about 600 projects.
The program is aimed at finding new ways to bring broadband to hard-to-serve remote areas. The applications cover more than 76,000 census blocks in the 50 states and Puerto Rico and potentially represent about $885 million in investment, the story says. The next steps are for the FCC to identify potential winners and check on their financial and technical capabilities. Some projects could launch next spring.
Hooray for Hollywood
And, finally, comes a story about the past. Once upon a time, there was a very sexy actress by the name of Hedy Lamarr. She was a big star. Lamarr’s real name was Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler and she was born 100 years ago this week in Vienna. In addition to being an actress, Lamarr was a scientist. She initially was exposed to applied science with then husband Friedrich Mandl.
Much later, when Lamarr had immigrated to the United States and settled in Hollywood, she met composer, author and inventor George Antheil. They began to discuss radio-controlled torpedoes which, of course, were an important topic during World War II. The two began to work on frequency hopping technology and eventually were granted a patent. The core of the system is the backbone of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), which still is used by cell networks, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at [email protected] and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.