Archives: Spectrum & Mobile

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FCC: Customer Data Carriers Obtain Through Mobile Devices Subject to Existing Privacy Rules

Telecommunications carriers and providers of interconnected VoIP service with access to certain kinds of customer information collected through mobile devices are subject to existing privacy rules governing their use and disclosure of that information, the Federal Communications Commission announced in a declaratory ruling adopted at its June 27 meeting.  Significantly, the decision makes clear that … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Draws Criticism on Band Plan Proposals

A joint statement released today by AT&T, the National Association of Broadcasters, and Verizon criticized the FCC for seeking comments on new proposals for reorganizing the spectrum currently used by television broadcasters, which the statement said would go against the “growing consensus” of the broadcast and wireless industries.… Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Considers Alternative Band Plans for Post-Incentive Auction Spectrum

In a Public Notice released yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission asked for comments on several possible plans for reorganizing the spectrum currently used by television broadcasters. Initial comments are due June 14, with reply comments due June 28. Under a statute passed last year, broadcast television stations will be allowed to voluntarily participate in an … Continue Reading

FCC Cracks Down For First Time on Mobile Jamming Device Use; Fines in the Six Figures

Last week, the FCC for the first time proposed to fine companies for using mobile phone signal jamming devices.  The FCC found that two entities, Taylor Oilfield Manufacturing, Inc. and The Supply Room, Inc., willfully and repeatedly imported and operated multiple illegal mobile phone signal jammers in the U.S.  Although the FCC in the past … Continue Reading

Apple Changes Warranty Policy in China Following State Media Attacks

By Joanne Sum-Ping with research assistance by Susan Shao After enduring weeks of attacks from Chinese state-owned media, Apple has announced a change in its warranty policy in China.  The attacks began on March 15 when China Central Television (CCTV) criticized Apple’s customer service policies during a special program observing World Consumer Rights Day.  CCTV’s … Continue Reading

FDA Tells Congress to Expect Final Guidance on Mobile Medical Apps This Year

As was reported previously on our sister blog, InsideMedicalDevices, the regulation of mobile medical apps continues to be an issue on Congress’ radar.  Last week, the Republican-led House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee held three days of hearings addressing how FDA regulation and the medical device tax could affect innovation in mobile applications and devices, … Continue Reading

FTC Releases New Guidance For Online Advertising Disclosures

On March 12, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released new guidance for online advertisers, providing specific tips and examples of how to make disclosures clear and conspicuous, and, therefore, not deceptive in the context of emerging technologies, space-constrained screens, and social media platforms. The guidelines—titled “.com Disclosures:  How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Approves T-Mobile/MetroPCS Merger, Citing Competitive Benefits

On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) approved the proposed merger of cellular service providers T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS.  In its written opinion and order, the FCC’s Wireless Bureau concluded that the proposed merger would benefit competition in the wireless market by, among other things, providing the combined company with greater spectrum resources for its … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Considers Relocating Spectrum for Wireless Medical Devices in Repacking of Broadcaster Spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission sought comment, in connection with the incentive auction and repacking process reported in previous posts, on whether to relocate wireless medical telemetry service (“WMTS”) users from the 608-614 MHz spectrum band, known as Channel 37, or allow unlicensed devices to coexist with WMTS on Channel 37.  The proposal elicited comments by … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: 3 Key Areas of Industry Agreement Regarding the FCC’s Spectrum Auction and Repacking Proposals

The Federal Communications Commission received over 300 comments from the public regarding its proposals to allow broadcast television stations to voluntarily participate in an auction of their spectrum to mobile broadband providers and to involuntarily repack remaining television stations into a smaller television spectrum band.  Broadcast television station groups, individual stations, mobile broadband providers, wireless … Continue Reading

FCC Reminds Wireless Service Providers of Jan. 15, 2013, Hearing Aid Compatibility Report Deadline

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently issued an enforcement advisory reminding wireless service providers and resellers that they must report on their compliance with the hearing aid compatibility rules by January 15, 2013.  Under FCC rules, most wireless service providers must offer consumers a minimum number of hearing-aid compatible phones or other handsets.  The purpose … Continue Reading

FCC Begins Implementing mHealth Task Force Recommendations

In response to recommendations by the mHealth Task Force, the Federal Communications Commission has launched a new website to serve as a central repository for the FCC’s health care-related work and is searching for a new position to coordinate the agency’s health care technology-related initiatives.   Chairman Genachowski convened the FCC’s first mHealth Summit earlier this … Continue Reading

FCC Provides Consumer Tips On Mobile Privacy And Security

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday released a Smartphone Security Checker, a tool designed to help consumers secure their smartphones against mobile security threats.  The tool provides consumers with tips that are customized for four different mobile operating systems.  Many of tips focus on security-related topics.  For instance, the tool recommends that consumers set a password … Continue Reading

China Moves to Further Regulate Smartphones

China appears to be moving forward with plans to further regulate smartphones.  The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently filed a notification with the WTO’s Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade of draft regulations governing applications that are pre-loaded on to smartphones.  The regulations were initially released for comment on June 1, and attracted … Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Gives a Jolt to FCC Authority By Upholding Data Roaming Rules

Yesterday a federal appeals court upheld the Federal Communications Commissions rule, adopted in April 2011, requiring wireless carriers who provide mobile data services to offer roaming agreements to other wireless providers on commercially reasonable terms.  (For example, if a Cricket Wireless subscriber leaves that provider’s coverage area, he or she may still use data services … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: All Five FCC Commissioners will Testify Before House Communications and Technology Subcommittee on December 12 Regarding Spectrum Act Implementation

All five Federal Communications Commission Commissioners will testify on “Keeping the New Broadband Spectrum Law on Track” on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 before the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. As they become available, further details will be posted here. Congress gave the FCC authority to conduct incentive auctions to … Continue Reading

Spectrum Watch: FCC Holds Broadcaster LEARN Program Workshop

On Friday, October 26, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission held its first workshop as part of its Learn Everything About Reverse-Auctions Now (“LEARN”) Program — a series that seeks to provide broadcasters guidance on the incentive auction process by which the FCC will reallocate a to-be-determined amount of broadcast television spectrum in the 600 MHz … Continue Reading

Spectrum Watch: UK Completes Digital Television Transition, With Plans to Auction Freed Up Spectrum for 4G Services Within a Year

This week the United Kingdom completed its five-year transition from analog to digital broadcast television operations.  The switch to digital has allowed broadcasters in the UK to offer more channels and high-definition television services to the public.  In addition, the transition freed up spectrum that the UK government will auction for fourth generation (4G) mobile broadband services in … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Approves Deal to Spur 4G LTE Deployment in “Long-Troubled” WCS Band

The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday approved rules to spur the long-stalled development of the 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service band by resolving interference issues between WCS and satellite radio services. The FCC noted that “most of the WCS licenses have gone unused for approximately 15 years,” since the licenses first were auctioned in 1997.  … Continue Reading

Telemarketing Recap: Recent Key Developments at the FCC, FTC and in the Courts

A number of key developments affecting telemarketing emerged over the past week: 1.  The distinction between informational and telemarketing calls was further defined.  The 9th Circuit held that calls intended to impart information about a customer rewards program could be construed as “dual purpose” calls subject to federal and state telemarketing restrictions.  See Chesbro v. … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Initiates Review of Mobile Spectrum Holdings Policies

Tomorrow, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will publish comment deadlines for its recently-released Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that begins the process of reviewing its policies regarding the allocation of mobile spectrum.   The full text of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is available here.  While the simultaneous adoption of proposed rules for an incentive auction of … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Initiates Incentive Auction Rulemaking

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the full text of its widely-anticipated proposed rules for an incentive auction of television spectrum and broadcast “repacking” process that will accompany the auction.  (The FCC had voted to adopt these proposed rules on Friday, but had not released the text until yesterday.)  The proposed rules address three … Continue Reading
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