A couple of days ago we had big news about Canadian wireless spectrum – today, the news is from South of the border in the US. Google has long been rumoured to have been preparing to enter the auction, and today we learn that Google [has confirmed their] Spectrum Bid. The rumour mill will now turn to wild speculation about Google’s intentions for wireless spectrum should they succeed in winning at auction.
Industry Canada divulged plans for the upcoming auction of additional wireless spectrum: Government Opts for More Competition in the Wireless Sector. The good news is that they have set aside a good proportion of the new spectrum to new entrants into the Canadian market, as well as mandating things like shared tower space (for antennas). Hopefully this will put some price pressure on the incumbents in the Canadian wireless industry – Rogers, Telus, and Bell.
Update: Thomas Purves has written a post about this at StartUpNorth which lays out some of the implications of this announcement.
Facebook has announced their platform for mobile devices: Introducing Facebook Platform for Mobile. Developers will have the ability to target content directly to the mobile site and to access Facebook’s SMS platform. This is important for a few reasons, but chief among them is that outside of North America, the mobile internet is a primary means of access for many. In many countries, no mobile literally means drastically reduced access to users.
Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg has published a piece on the extremely limiting role that US mobile carriers have forced on consumers in the US: Free My Phone.
A shortsighted and often just plain stupid federal government has allowed itself to be bullied and fooled by a handful of big wireless phone operators for decades now. And the result has been a mobile phone system that is the direct opposite of the PC model. It severely limits consumer choice, stifles innovation, crushes entrepreneurship, and has made the U.S. the laughingstock of the mobile-technology world, just as the cellphone is morphing into a powerful hand-held computer.
As bad as things are in the US, they’re that much worse in Canada, where the same conditions apply – except that here, we get to pay a huge premium for the “privilege”.
Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users.
Certainly many will find fault with this and say it’s too little too late, but both the marketplace and Apple’s recent history seem to prove the naysayers wrong. Now if only Rogers could their act together and offer non-insane data rates (for all wireless data) and then bring the iPhone to Canada.