Smartphone Companies Battle for Supremacy of the US Airwaves

T-Mobile and Sprint are urging federal government officials to pass new legislation that might save them more than $2 billion by preventing larger companies from snatching up all the available cell phone wireless frequencies in next year’s auction.

The two service providers have bumped up spending to lobby Congress members by one-fifth and spoken with lawmakers dozens of times already this year. They’re attempting to keep wealthier AT&T and Verizon from overwhelming a US auction that could be the biggest since the $19 billion deal conducted in 2008.

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As broadband ISPs fight for the top position, Apple continues to dominate the mobile electronics market with its iPad, iPhone, and emerging wearable technology. Apple executives have been recruiting health-care professionals as consultants for the highly anticipated iWatch, a device that assists users with common medical activities.

The implications of more control over wireless broadband

As police recently investigated a cybercrime in Isla Vista, they used a new mobile technology that developers say was made particularly for this kind of situation. Scott Edson, a commander in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, described the emerging technology as precisely the “mechanism” to use when a victim “really wants to catch” perpetrators.

Edson helped create the framework in the wake of the Boston Marathon disaster. The technology, called LEEDIR, or the Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository, combines an application with online database storage to enable police to use cell phones as a method of collecting evidence.

Advocates say that crowdsourcing gives investigators a reliable, centralized database for the large number of anonymous tips that pour in during an emergency. Also, since it makes use of remote servers that monitor activity on the Web, surges of information won’t result in server crashes or require large cash reserves to store.

Most government agencies don’t have excess bandwidth to spare, as Edson explained. Security proponents say the application is excessively broad, because it brings innocent bystanders under police scrutiny and is unlikely to yield a lot of useful evidence.

Nate Cardozo, a civil liberties attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, commented that “there’s a reason” human beings have traditionally been used to sort through electronic evidence.

Shifts in market forces change the mobile landscape

Over the past four years, Apple has dominated the tablet market with its iPad device. But recently, Samsung has been gaining on it.

This rivalry could have implications for broadband dominance and police investigations under various circumstances.

  • Last quarter, Samsung earnings rose from 17.2 percent to 22.3 percent.
  • The South Korean tech giant is making aggressive attempts to control wireless data service through exclusive contracts with providers.
  • While Samsung’s stock has risen lately, Apple still holds the top spot with a 33.2 percent market share in the tablet industry.

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