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Sprint files to have conditions imposed on VZ/Cable deal


marioc21
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Thought this might have been posted earlier, but here you are. Sprint has filed papers with FCC detailing condition it believes should be imposed on the pending deal between VZ and the big cable companies. No a lot of new info, but at least one nugget I found interesting. At various points I've read stories about Sprint workiing on a wifi offload strategy, but no details were ever released. Now there's news. It looks like Sprint was trying to work out a wifi roaming deal with the cable companies to use their new shared wifi network for Sprint customers. The negotiations were stopped once VZ got into the act. Sprint's saying that there have been no negotiations since then. Interesting. I wonder what plan B is if they can't get any of these restrictions imposed on the deal?

 

 

Wi-Fi

 

Sprint wants assurances that cable companies that operate Wi-Fi networks won't use discriminatory access or authentication procedures that could prevent Sprint or other wireless carriers from accessing them. Sprint also asks that any Wi-Fi technologies or protocols developed by cable and Verizon Wireless be made available to other wireless carriers "at non discretionary rates and terms."

 

In an ask with some network neutrality overtones, Sprint also wants the FCC to put in measures that would prevent cable from degrading speeds on their Wi-Fi networks based on a user's choice of wireless carrier. Those concerns come amid a series of Wi-Fi roaming agreements between several top U.S. cable operators that have aims of providing seamless hand-offs between access points. (See Cable Goes Big With Wi-Fi Roaming and Comcast Gives Wi-Fi a Voice .)

 

On that point, Sprint's afraid that the cable operators and Verizon could erect barriers that would make Sprint customers enter "a complex code" whenever they try to access the one of these access points. Sprint said it had been in talks with "several large cable companies" about allowing its customers to use cable's wireless hot spots, but claims the MSOs broke off those talks late in 2011, before the Verizon Wireless deals came into play. "Those negotiations have not resumed," Sprint said.

 

 

http://www.lightread...&site=lr_cable

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At a quick glance, that sounds very anti-competitive in nature. The cablecos selling WiFi roaming to other carriers should have no bearing on a spectrum swap/network sharing deal with Verizon. Also, its stupid business. If they have built out WiFi, they should want to monetize that any way they can. Shareholders should be outraged.

 

Given how the current FCC has come down on anti-competitive issues thus far, I think Sprint will be able to make a good case on this. I think this will ire the FCC.

 

Robert via Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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At a quick glance, that sounds very anti-competitive in nature. The cablecos selling WiFi roaming to other carriers should have no bearing on a spectrum swap/network sharing deal with Verizon. Also, its stupid business. If they have built out WiFi, they should want to monetize that any way they can. Shareholders should be outraged.

 

Given how the current FCC has come down on anti-competitive issues thus far, I think Sprint will be able to make a good case on this. I think this will ire the FCC.

 

Robert via Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

 

From a technical standpoint, it's also silly to only allow your citywide WiFi network to be used by one cellular carrier, when such networks tend to take up a huge chunk of the available spectrum for WiFi. Its not like any of the cablecos would want someone else to set up their own WiFi offloading network in those areas...it would interfere with the cable companies' own network! But it might take the FCC forcing them to keep from doing something boneheaded like only allowing VZW to use their network. If it's there, cable companies should wholesale it to whoever wants it, at prices proportional to volume of data transferred or whatever.

 

The backhaul side of things is a bigger deal though, I think. If Verizon (or AT&T)) locks up an exclusive contract with a backhaul provider for a certain tower that also has Sprint equipment on it, that artificially raises prices for everyone, including Sprint, due to the lack of economies of scale that result (Sprint would either have to bring in another BH vendor, or use microwave). It also slows deployments on those towers way down.

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And then consider the fact that the cablecos are using unlicensed spectrum for free, and then refusing to allow someone to roam on it, even though they want to pay you for it. It may be the very definition of anti-competitive. I see a FCC hand smacking coming.

 

Robert via Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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As anti-competitive as it is, it's not surprising that CableCo's are more in favor of doing any business with VZ than anyone else. Having Sprint as a WiFi offload customer doesn't affect the deal and only offers more revenue. Nevertheless, Sprint isn't in a friend in the eyes of CableCo anymore. Sprint opposing the SpectrumCo deal(that Sprint used to be part of), the VoIP lawsuits, the outcome of Clearwire isn't helping them...

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And then consider the fact that the cablecos are using unlicensed spectrum for free, and then refusing to allow someone to roam on it, even though they want to pay you for it. It may be the very definition of anti-competitive. I see a FCC hand smacking coming.

 

Robert via Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

 

Time is way overdue for some wide written policies on roaming with 3G/4G , especially unlicensed spectrum. I'm still baffled that both ATT and Verizon have been allowed to lock their 700mhz spectrum down the way they have given the restrictions the FCC set....

 

On one hand, you have sprint who's willing to resell access to any and everything they've got, even in capacity constrained places... then you have Verizon demanding its business partners refuse business from a distant wireless competitor ? It just stinks.

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