New larger Las Vegas event to start September 2014
CTIA is combining two mobile trade shows into one larger industry event, starting from next year. The US wireless industry group will merge the existing CTIA spring event, held in Las Vegas during May, with the fall event, renamed MobileCon in 2012 and takes place in San Jose in October, and create a single show that will be held between the two.
Siri-like tech at core of XTS iPad application
At the CTIA conference, Cadillac announced an initiative that will teach purchasers about CUE, the new dashboard system in the 2013 Cadillac XTS. A simulated CUE system as well as all the users' manuals for the car will be provided on a pre-loaded iPad.
Carrier trade association against privacy bill
A proposed privacy law requiring police to obtain warrants for handset tracking has been criticized by a trade association respresenting AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, CNET has reported. CTIA - The Wireless Association wrote that the California law would "create greater confusion for wireless providers when responding to legitimate law enforcement requests."
T-Mobile joins the Rural Cellular Association
T-Mobile USA has become the latest major carrier to join the Rural Cellular Association. The RCA is devoted to represent the interests of carriers that have less than 10 million subscribers, though those with more, such as T-Mobile, can be affiliate members. Sprint joined the RCA last year.
CTIA to appeal San Francisco phone law decision
The CTIA will continue its legal fight against a San Francisco law that would require retailers to put up posters warning buyers of potential cell phone radiation health risks. The agency will appeal a federal judge's recent decision, arguing the new ruling still violates freedom of speech protections. The CTIA was fighting the law in its many forms for over a year.
San Francisco law said misleading, not scientific
San Francisco's contested cellphone radiation warning law was at least temporarily denied on Thursday over scientific grounds. Judge William Alsup, the same judge overseeing Oracle's lawsuit against Google, said that the claim cellphones triggered cancer was a "debatable question" and that it was a "matter of opinion," not an incontestable fact the city could use to make laws. He added that the tone of the proposed fact sheet, which would post radiation levels, was "misleading" by implying that phones weren't just dangerous but had circumvented the law just by being on sale.
Denmark study shows no sign of phone cancer risk
The frequently contradicting studies on cellphones producing cancer leaned against such a verdict late Thursday after the publication of a Danish study. A very large 358,403-person, 18-year Institute of Cancer Epidemiology project in the British Medical Journal showed 356 instances of gilomas (brain cancer variants) and 846 central nervous system cancers, the same ratio as for those who didn't have a cellphone at all. Not all users had the the same use, but even those who had a cellphone for a long time, up to 13 years, showed no increased rate.
User-downloadable upgrade at Ford Sync website
Ford has released a free software update for its SYNC in-car system. Version G1 V3.2.2 will give more SYNC users the ability to have text messages read aloud to them while driving through the emerging Bluetooth Message Access Profile (MAP). Last year, Ford praised RIM for embracing the standard, and called on other manufacturers and OS developers to do so. HTC, Samsung and LG have all only recently been certified for the MAP protocol.
CTIA agrees to warn users of data, voice limits
The US carriers behind the CTIA telecom group on Monday agreed to make concessions to the FCC on curbing "bill shock." Guidelines at the cellphone giants will see them warn subscribers when they either get close to or reach caps on data, text messages, and voice. Subscribers will also be warned about roaming costs when they go abroad.
CTIA argues SF cellphone ordinance violates right
As promised, the CTIA has asked a federal court to block the enforcement of San Francisco's Ordinance that warns users of the potential radiation danger from cellphones. The "Cell Phone Right-to-Know" ordinance allegedly violates the First Amendment to free speech, the CTIA argues. It also purported conflicts with federal law that governs the safety of wireless devices.
Trade group challenges radiation warnings
The CTIA is reportedly considering a fresh legal battle with the city of San Francisco over cellphone radiation warnings. The trade group has told CNET it is still not satisfied with the toned-down regulations, which require retailers to post materials addressing the risks of radiation from cellphones and recommending ways to minimize personal exposure.
New law only requires hand outs if requested
San Francisco has passed a new ordinance that requires retailers to provide consumers, if they request it, with a boilerplate warning about the potential dangers of radiation emissions from cell phones. The law replaces much stronger legislation that was passed in June 2010. That ordinance met very strong opposition and legal actions from wireless carrier lobbyists and was never enacted.
Journal says cellphones not likely creating cancer
The scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives has published a reexamination of medical studies that has cast doubt on claims that cellphones cause cancer. Partly contradicting a WHO study from May that raised the possibility of a health risk, the study argued that the proof was "increasingly against" a link between frequent cellphone use and brain tumors. The WHO's report was simply trying to classify what kind of risk might exist and not the actual likelihood of an illness, EHP said.
Next Gen Wireless Disclosure Act talks 4G in House
Democratic Congresswoman Anna Eshoo has proposed a bill that would require carriers be forthright about increasingly confusing 4G terminology. The Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act would require that carriers publish details about their minimum 4G speeds, their coverage, and the reliability of the network. Eshoo hoped to set a framework for "what 4G speed really is" and make sure customers knew what they were getting.
San Francisco stalls phone radiation law effect
San Francisco has effectively dropped its cellphone radiation warning law this week by postponing it without a new enforcement date. The bill, which was to have required clear radiation levels posted next to phones in stores, had already been delayed twice and would have taken effect June 15. City Supervisor John Avalos explained to the Chronicle that the law was likely to come back but would have "somewhat less" information than originally planned, such as a guide to reducing radiation exposure.
Device expected to be introduced tomorrow
Corroborating several recent rumors, specs for HTC's Evo 3D and Evo View 4G devices have been reaffirmed ahead of the expected launch tomorrow at CTIA in Orlando. Pictures from HTC's CTIA booth, captured during setup and posted on Pocketnow, provide further confirmation of the hardware features of HTC's flagship smartphone and tablet.
Sprint warns ATT T-Mobile deal antitrust concern
Sprint and T-Mobile late Sunday quickly issued formal reactions to the AT&T buyout of T-Mobile. As expected, Sprint objected to the $39 billion deal and said it would "alter dramatically" the US cellular landscape. It would put too much power in the hands of AT&T and Verizon, making them gatekeepers for things such as backbones and roaming deals.
CTIA finalist chart hints G2X and new LG phone
Clues as to the launches of a pair of important Android phones popped up late Monday in the CTIA's finalist chart for its E-Tech Awards. While virtually every device in the list is named, the phone category mentions two instance of "LG Mobile Phones" without the name of the device attached. One is almost certainly the T-Mobile G2X, a spin on the Optimus 2X with T-Mobile's 3G network.
CTIA VP alludes to Galaxy Tab 8.9 plan
CTIA VP Rob Mesirow alluded to the probable introduction of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 at the association's spring show in new remarks on Thursday. He expected there to be a "significant" tablet introduction that would likely be Samsung's mid-size, Android 3.0-loaded slate. His only clue to PCMag was that the theme of the show was invariably "Android, Android, Android," in part because Apple would never show.
Jabra shows Skype-certified Bluetooth headset
Jabra has introduced a new Extreme-series Bluetooth headset with the 'For PC' suffix that is certified to work with Skype. It ships with a pre-paired USB adapter that connects the headset to computers for VoIP apps or others that can use wireless audio.
T-Mobile prepaid data to start at 10USD a week
A source has leaked an internal training document for T-Mobile employees detailing the company's prepaid broadband access plans. According to the Engadget document, the plans will be dubbed "T-Mobile Passes." Pricing will start at $10 for one week's access or 100MB of data, whichever comes first. Other options include $30 for 300MB or one month's access, and $50 for one month or 1GB of data. The leaked training document indicates that all mobile broadband products will be eligible for the prepaid plans, including a new Jet USB modem and a new SIM card that will be available with the prepaid option.
Carriers sue San Fran, say FCC has authority
The CTIA on Friday sued the city of San Francisco in a bid to stop a mandatory radiation warning law. The carrier-run organization claims that the city is overstepping its boundaries and that only the FCC has the "exclusive and comprehensive" authority to determine how radiation is displayed. The CTIA insisted that San Francisco's decision to show the SAR radiation levels for all phones was misleading, as it gave the impression certain phones were safer without definitive scientific proof.
Sprint would get Android HD2 with 4G
Sprint is reading an ultimate Android smartphone that it hopes would draw attention to its network, a leak late Sunday hints. Nicknamed "Supersonic," the HTC device is expected to be similar in spirit to the HD2, including its very large 4.3-inch touchscreen. The Engadget contact notes it would run Android 2.1, however, and would be one of Sprint's first phones with WiMAX, beating other US carriers to having the first 4G phone in the country.
SF wants phone radiation notice at retail
San Francisco could soon require that all cellphones sold in local stores include an easily visible warning of their radiation levels. Mayor Gavin Newsom says he hopes to pass an ordinance in January that would demand the public display of the possible effects and has backed a city commission that would call on the US government to require such labels on the packaging. The non-binding request would also ask for warnings that phones may cause brain cancer and demand that companies offer headsets to distance the phone from its owner's head.
Law forces VZ, others to keep ETF in check
Minnesota Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar said on Monday that she will introduce a measure to prevent US cellular carriers from raising their early termination fees (ETFs) quickly. The move is a direct reaction to Verizon's decision to double ETF rates for "advanced devices" like the Droid to deter customers from exiting their service early. Klobuchar claims the rate hike has "little to no relation" to the cost of the phone and that it punishes those who depend on cellphones and have to quit for honest reasons, such as moving into regions that don't have coverage.
FCC broadband plan may need $350 billion
A mid-progress update from an FCC panel said today that the US may need $20 billion to $350 billion invested into broadband to realize current government plans for readily available, national Internet access. The agency warns that its data is incomplete but that the figures may be necessary depending on the guaranteed speeds, with $20 billion covering relatively basic broadband while the top sum would cover high-grade access. The figure is well beyond the $7.2 billion so far assigned to the initiative.
FCC Wants More Spectrum
FCC broadband head Blair Levin today pushed for more access to wireless spectrum as part of his organization's plans to expand broadband Internet access in the US. Pointing to complaints that there isn't enough available, the official suggested that the FCC could use the technology not only to grow coverage in rural areas where landlines are impractical or simply to improve the bandwidth available to everyone. He added that the extra spectrum could even be necessary as more wireless devices come online and saturate existing networks.
FCC Cellphone Inquiry
The FCC on Thursday morning began a formal inquiry into the state of the cellular industry. In line with the US government agency's timetable for events, the investigation is part of a new annual look at whether carrier practices may be hurting subscribers as well as its contribution to the economy and to the spread of long-range wireless Internet access. Officials began the inquiry following a unanimous vote.
Samsung Instinct S30 debut
(Updated with pricing information) Sprint and Samsung Mobile on Tuesday evening announced the much-rumored Samsung Instinct s30, a thinner, more streamlined successor to the Samsung Instinct touchscreen phone that debuted last summer. The updated Instinct s30 offers full touchscreen functionality, broadband speeds using Sprint's 3G network, and services such as built-in instant messaging, improved Web-browsing using either the default browser or Opera Mini 4.2, and new games such as “Guitar Hero® – World Tour” and “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” preloaded. The Instinct s30, available in two color options -- Cobalt blue or Copper, also includes quick access to corporate calendar functionality via Microsoft Outlook, while Sprint Mobile Email Work provides access to corporate email, contacts, and calendar from Microsoft Exchange Server 2000/2003/2007 or IBM Lotus Domino accounts at no additional charge.
Cellphone Tax Fairness Act
A cross-party bill has been submitted in the US Congress this week that would at least temporarily ban additional taxes on cellphones or their service. The Cellphone Tax Fairness Act, sponsored by California Democrat representative Zoe Lofgren and Arizona Republican Trent Franks, would prevent any form of "discriminatory" state tax being applied to the technology for five years after the bill is passed. It wouldn't affect existing state taxes or new federal taxes.
Enhanced Messaging Spec
The CTIA finished its week by publishing the final use conditions for a service that should enable more than two-way simple communication by phone. Called Mobile Enhanced Messaging, the format would allow three or more users to maintain an ongoing conversation; like SMS and MMS, this would work through either text alone or with extra media, including audio, photos, videos and other future content. Similar to instant messaging, users could keep buddy lists and would also have the option of a cosmetic display name rather than a strict user ID.
CTIA On White Space
The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association today lent support to a movement for new wireless standards by asking that the US government officially license white space frequencies. The organization, which typically represents carriers, is opposing attempts by the Google-backed White Space Coalition to develop and used devices with the deliberately blank spectrum on grounds that the technology could create problems for existing services. By leaving little to no gap between one frequency band and another, new companies using the service could create interference on existing services or cut out space that could be used for background portions of established, licensed networks, the CTIA claims.