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RAIN 12/3: Verizon steps up wireless broadband coverage

Posted on: 12/03/2010


Verizon Wireless will fire up its 4G mobile broadband service in 38 U.S. cities and 60 U.S. airports on Sunday, making it available to 110 million Americans.

Verizon calls its 4th-gen technology ‘LTE’ (“Long Term Evolution,” which you can read up on in Wikipedia here), and says its capable of speeds ten times its current 3G service. The Washington Post reports that’s downloads of 5-12 Mbps and uploads of 2-5 Mbps.

Though the service will only be accessible via $100 USB modems until manufacturers start shipping LTE-compatible phones in mid-2011, the implication for streaming media (like Internet radio) are clear.

Or is it? The LTE data plans will cost $50/month for a 5 GB plan, $80 for 10 GB. $50 would get you just under 87 hours of listening a month (or just under 3 hours per day, 7 days a week) to a 128kbps stream, if you didn’t use the data plan for anything else (see the math below).

Read more about Verizon’s LTE rollout from the Washington Post here.

[math: convert 128 kilobits/second to 16 kilo*bytes*/second (you divide by 8), multiply by 3,600 (number of seconds in an hour) to get 57,600 KB/hour, then (divide by 1M) to convert to 0.0576 GB/hour. Divide 5 GB/month (the lower LTE monthly plan) by 0.0576 GB/hour to get 86.8 hours/month. Obviously, the 10 GB/month plan will double that number (173.6 hours/month)]


Jacobs Media and jacAPPS president Fred Jacobs doles out his version of Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger in his blog today, regarding the brouhaha that unfolded last week on rumors that Apple was banning iPhone apps that streamed only single radio stations.

(For background: RAIN‘s original coverage is here ; follow-up here)

In the post titled “The Anatomy Of A Controversy,” Jacobs, whose jacAPPS creates bespoke apps for broadcasters, bemoaned the lack of fact-checking at several online news sources, who instead went with the “juicy story” — that Apple, based on the alleged experiences of a single developer, was apparently no longer allowing the single-station apps.

“We did a little research in the iTunes store (which any blogger or reporter could have done) and saw… our jacAPPS division had several apps and updates approved by Apple. And we also saw other developers of single-station apps having similar experiences.” Jacobs makes a point of citing those news sources that did not report the rumor as fact, including this one. “We found it interesting that the radio trades – by and large – did a better job… than did the web-heads and bloggers.”

Read Fred Jacobs’ blog, “The Anatomy of a Controversy,” here.

Jacobs Media will hold the Jacobs Summit on December 9 in Baltimore, MD (after the Arbitron Client conference December 7-8). Speakers include former Tribune Chief Innovation Officer Lee Abrams, Bonneville Senior Regional VP and WTOP manager Joel Oxley, NPR Senior Director/Product Development Michael Yoch, and RAB President/CEO Jeff Haley. Info (and register) here.


Citadel Media and Abacast jointly announced yesterday that the two companies have entered into a comprehensive online sales and marketing deal.

Citadel Media is a network (owned by Citadel Broadcasting) with 4,200 affiliate stations reaching an audience of more than 107 million listeners each week, and which offers programming like ABC News Radio, The Mark Levin Show, The Michael Baisden Show, The Huckabee Report, and Imus in the Morning. Abacast is a “digital radio service provider” that offers services like streaming, advertising, and analytics.

According to the announcement, Citadel Media will sell on-air and in-stream ads for select Abacast clients, while both companies market Abacast services to radio (obviously, including Citadel Media affiliates).

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  1. As to the bandwidth caps, I’ve put up comments at the FCC site in a proceeding regarding wireless broadband that the FCC should ban those, this was in the wake of the AT&T implementation of caps.

    Additionally, this is a possible antitrust ‘collusion’ matter. A news report came out the week of or the week after the April CTIA meeting indicating that the industry was ‘planning’ on discontinuing unlimited bandwidth plans. This indicates an agreement among carriers to limit access to the Internet. I mentioned this I believe in those aforementioned comments.

    RAIN’s math is better than mine, but it still means that it could stifle growth of Internet audio and video services. So without legal ‘floors’ or an outright ban on capping user bandwidth (with exceptions in place to handle abuse), Internet radio may be screwed in the short term until the caps are banned.

    James W. Anderson · Dec 3, 08:33 AM · #

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