New wireless auction approved by administration

Here’s some good news for the wireless industry and for the economy.

The Obama administration gave a major boost to the wireless industry Monday by announcing plans to make available for commercial use a huge swath of spectrum.

Obama signed a presidential memorandum directing the federal government and private companies to identify unused airwaves that could be auctioned off, or at least shared, to expand mobile broadband for consumers over the next decade. The goal is to free up some 500 megahertz — almost double the current amount of spectrum available for commercial use — by reallocating airwaves now operated by companies, broadcasters and government agencies.

This is welcome news to those of us who believe that the wireless industries provides one of the largest areas of potential economic growth over the next 10 years.

Wi-Fi access expands on domestic flights

Here’s some good news for travelers.

In-flight Wi-Fi is not yet a commodity, but it is no longer a rarity. Most domestic airlines have been upgrading their fleets to offer the service more widely, to the point where nearly one-third of the roughly 2,800 aircraft in the nation’s passenger fleet are equipped with Wi-Fi, according to Aircell, the company that equips most of the Wi-Fi-enabled planes in the United States.

If you travel on planes a lot and plan to use Wi-Fi frequently, you can shave some expense from the process if you have a Wi-Fi-enabled mobile device like an iPhone or Droid, which incur lower charges than the fees charged by airlines if you use a smartphone or laptop without Wi-Fi. If you don’t have your own device, airlines are not yet providing one.

But no matter what device you use, the connection process is fast and usually pain free.

On the other hand, an airplane has been one of the few areas where you were forced to go without a connection for a period of time. Wi-Fi can certainly come in handy to kill time or deal with issues that can’t wait, but we’re learning that putting away your phone and laptop can be important for your long-term sanity. I guess we now at least have a choice.

CEO Steve Jobs introduces the new iPhone 4


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Apple CEO Steve Jobs poses with the new iPhone 4 during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The new features are quite impressive as Apple builds upon the momentum from the iPad.

Meanwhile, many app developers are worried as AT&T will no longer be offering unlimited data plans. I can see the concern, as users don’t want to worry about what they are consuming. The beauty of many apps is that they are free, or they are so cheap that the decision to purchase is insignificant. This may upset the balance, no matter how good the iPhone gets.

Google will phase out Windows

The Financial Times is reporting that Google is phasing out Windows from Microsoft due to security concerns. Of course it’s not lost on all of us that this can be seen as a significant blow to Google’s biggest competitor.

That said, Windows has had significant problems for years, though it remains a cash cow for Microsoft. It will be interesting to see how many more companies follow suit.

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