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FCC mandates data roaming for phones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 10 Apr 2011 16:26 User comments (5)

FCC mandates data roaming for phones The FCC has ruled this week that carriers must now offer "reasonable" data roaming rates for their networks in the U.S.
"Mobile providers must be able to offer nationwide voice and data plans to have any chance of competing in today's market," added FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. "However, roaming deals are simply not being widely offered on commercially reasonable terms."

Sprint, US Cellular and MetroPCS have been lobbying for updated rules, which will allow their customers to use smartphones anywhere in the U.S., not just in their home states or surrounding areas.

If AT&T's $39 billion bid for T-Mobile is allowed by regulators, AT&T and Verizon would control over 80 percent of all the mobile subscribers in the U.S.

"With AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile and the corresponding threat it poses to continued wireless competition, it is absolutely critical that the FCC take steps to promote competition and level the playing field," notes Vonya McCann, Sprint's senior vice president of government affairs (via Reuters).

Even with the new rules, AT&T and Verizon will be able to freely negotiate the terms of the roaming deals, and can throttle if it will prevent congestion for their subscribers.

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5 user comments

110.4.2011 16:43

Is it just me, or has the FCC been trying to do some good these last few years? Back in the day all you'd hear about is censorship and such but they've made an amazing turnaround since then from what I can tell.

210.4.2011 19:49

I think the FCC should make sure that AT&T can handle the bandwidth and amount of customers T-Mobile brings to the table before they are allowed to complete the purchase.

310.4.2011 22:44

I just hope that T-Mobile doesn't get merged in with the worst mobile network.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Apr 2011 @ 22:44

411.4.2011 17:53

Originally posted by GryphB:
I just hope that T-Mobile doesn't get merged in with the worst mobile network.
I hear ya. T-Mobile is doing just fine as they are. The last thing I want to see on my t-mobile bill is: T-Mobile (an AT&T company)
*shudder*

516.4.2011 2:33

Originally posted by hikaricor:
Is it just me, or has the FCC been trying to do some good these last few years? Back in the day all you'd hear about is censorship and such but they've made an amazing turnaround since then from what I can tell.
You can thank Obama for that. The FCC is a five member commission, three belong to the party which has the White House, the other two belong to the other party. With Obama the FCC now enjoys a 3-2 Democratic edge, whereas with Bush it was in favor of the Republicans.

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