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BlackBerry Bold gets FCC’ed

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BlackBerry 9000There hasn’t been much hard and fast information on the guts of the upcoming BlackBerry 9000, but it’s made it through the FCC approval gauntlet and emerged with plenty of specs. A lot of the report is funky-coloured thermal graphs and radiation tests, but interestingly many indicate WCDMA readings. I’m no engineer, but maybe a CDMA BlackBerry Bold is on the way sooner than you think… More importantly is the timing of the filing. The tests ran around late April, and the first we heard of the BlackBerry Bold battery bruhaha was late March. Sending in reports to the FCC involves a fair bit of device-polishing on RIM’s part – I’m sure it would have been a little unfair back then to bash the Bold before it was even ready for the FCC, just as it might be unfair to stomp all over other upcoming devices well before they’ve gone through the testing ropes. Jussayin’.

(PhoneArena via Rimarkable)

BlackBerry 8120 gets FCCed

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FCCThe FCC has released the docs and testing information for the BlackBerry 8120, giving us hope, however vain, of a North American release. The recently-cleared instruction manual for the BlackBerry 8120 doesn’t reveal too much that’s new about the Wi-Fi, GSM Pearl. UMA (voice handoff to Wi-Fi) is working soundly, making T-Mobile’s Hotspot@Home a likely target for the new device.

FCC threatens to pull plug on Nextel

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StompyBack before its acquisition by Sprint, Nextel’s airwaves were overlapping a little too much with fire department and police radio frequencies, causing a bit of a stir. Nextel promised the FCC to fix the issue, and were on board to make a complete switch even after being bought up by Sprint. Well, they’re trying to buy more time, but the FCC isn’t listening. If Sprint can’t meet the deadline, Nextel’s some 20-odd million subscribers could have the plug pulled on them. Hopefully this is just big talk on the FCC’s part to light a fire under Sprint to get the rebanding done, but if not, there could be even more unhappy Sprint customers in the world.

Weekly Contest: What does open access mean for BlackBerry?

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FCCWe haven’t talked much about the whole open access frequency thing since the implications on BlackBerrys and RIM in particular haven’t been made completely clear yet. Regulations on the bidding process are still being finalized, but what’s been established so far can be found here. Suppose Block C, which will have to remain publicly available by the winning bidder, gets bought up. RIM already manages to offer some services, like BlackBerry Maps and BlackBerry Messenger of their own accord. This week’s contest asks you, BBCool readers: what would you like to see RIM do with its share of open spectrum? It’s not much, and there’s bound to be plenty of limitations on what can be used over the frequency, but let’s say there’s just a little bit of network that BlackBerrys would be able to use regardless of carrier. That opens up some very interesting possibilities not only for RIM, but for third-party developers too. Google and Skype are both pushing hard for the open access; Google and RIM are already pretty tight… what can we hope to see from The Big G? The one to leave the most compelling application for Block C on BlackBerrys will get 3 free themes from Bplay.

The extra-long contest we mentioned earlier is going to be postponed until next week. Sit tight!

Check behind the jump for last week’s winner!

Verizon to sue FCC over open access

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VerizonIf you’ve been following wireless news, you’ll have heard about FCC’s push to designate a chunk of the wireless spectrum as open access, meaning there would be some airspace that isn’t tied down to a particular carrier. Progress has been pretty steady on opening some of the 700mhz range up for bid in January, but Verizon has finally piped up and called the whole thing “arbitrary and capricious, unsupported by substantial evidence and otherwise contrary to law.“, whatever that really means. Skype and Google have been all for the change, but Verizon’s litigation will likely slow this whole thing down.

FCC slows down U.S. voice roaming charges, data still at large

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Penny PincherThe FCC has passed a ruling that will force all American carriers to make their networks available to compatible handsets for a “reasonable” fee, which will hopefully translate to lower roaming rates. A hard cap hasn’t been imposed, but the big thing here is that open roaming access has been established. Rural citizens are pretty happy now that the smaller carriers they subscribe to will finally be able to offer wider access. Unfortunately, no such resolutions have been applied to data charges.

“I believe we should have taken another step forward today,” said Commissioner Michael Copps, a Democrat. “Consumers rely upon their mobile handsets these days for a dizzying array of data services, going well beyond those we cover in today’s item.”