Google kicked off what could be a big satellite technology investment spree with a $500 million bid for startup Skybox Imaging. Skybox takes hi-rez images of the Earth’s surface, but Google has broadband plans for the company.
LightSquare may have seemed to be a beacon of hope for rural broadband, but after looking at the details of the plan, rural America will be better off without the service the company planned to offer.
Unlike the first installment of this series, Globalstar’s sequel may have a happy ending. Globalstar’s low-power Wi-Fi plans don’t have the interference problems of LightSquared’s LTE network. The FCC also let Dish repurpose its spectrum.
The wireless technology Amazon is testing is called TLPS, which is basically Wi-Fi on its own boutique band. If Amazon can get it to work, then it could connect to Kindles to 4G-style services at Wi-Fi prices.
With the three tie-up between Sprint, Clearwire and SoftBank now final, Dish Network is left empty handed. But Dish’s chairman Charlie Ergen is hatching other plans, some of which he’s already set in motion.
Clearwire resisted Dish’s advances for five months, but it has finally given in. Clearwire’s board recommended today that shareholders give Sprint the old heave-ho and back Dish’s offer to assume a major stake in the WiMAX operator.
Dish finally has permission to become a full-fledged cellular network operator, though it remains to be seen whether it will actually become one. The FCC also set the wheels rolling for an auction next year of new 4G licenses that Sprint has been eyeing.
According to the WSJ, Dish Network and Google have been in talks about launching an LTE network. Google would bring cash, while Dish would bring spectrum, but neither company has the infrastructure or expertise to run a mobile carrier. Maybe that’s why Google is interested.
AT&T aims in three years to have a new LTE network up in the airwaves the FCC just approved for 4G use. In the rather plodding world of telecom, three years is a quick timeline. But AT&T has political and strategic reasons for moving soon.
The FCC wants to kick off an incentive auction in 2014 that would buy back TV airwaves from the broadcasters and sell them to mobile operators at a premium. The plan isn’t without critics, but in general it was lauded by both consumer groups and carriers.