1. tickerguy's Avatar
    I filed a FCC complaint on the Band12 issue, and you can too.

    Here's what I sent:

    I have a device that supports Band12 and VoLTE; it is a BlackBerry DTEK60 which is newly released. I have been informed that T-Mobile is refusing to allow said device, which is capable of operating on Band12 (their 700Mhz spectrum) with VoLTE, from using same. This effectively destroys my ability to choose them as a provider unless I buy some other device, despite the fact that my DTEK60 is perfectly capable of operating properly on Band12 and utilizing VoLTE and IMS, as there are large swaths of the United States where the only service on T-Mobile is in fact on Band 12. One such extremely large area is the entire northern half of the state of Michigan; there is no T-Mobile service of any sort available on other than Band 12 in that geographic area.

    There are other devices that similarly are impacted; the BlackBerry DTEK50 is another example. The Priv, which is also a BlackBerry device, is not -- but T-Mobile at one time sold that device and thus made money off its sale, where with the DTEK50 and 60 T-Mobile did not and does not retail the devices and thus has a financial incentive to force me to buy "something else" rather than the device I desire to use.

    If there was a technical incompatibility involved then I would understand, since technical incompatibility is not T-Mobile's responsibility. But in this case there is no such incompatibility -- it is simply a matter of T-Mobile blackballing devices they have not "approved", discriminating by IMEI rather than capabilities, despite their technical capability to operate properly in this band.

    The FCC recently required the provision of unlocking codes to customers with fully paid handsets to stop the practice of telecom providers forcing customers to buy handsets from them and destroying their value if they changed carriers. The carriers have apparently decided as a group to "get around" this mandate from the FCC by intentionally crippling service for devices they did not sell. T-Mobile is not alone in this practice in that AT&T also does the same thing, even in the case (such as the BlackBerry Priv) where the hardware and software are *identical*, simply based on the IMEI and the fact that AT&T didn't originally sell the phone.

    This sort of discriminatory practice should be barred as a matter of law and regulation as it is a clear circumvention of previously-issued regulations and has effectively destroyed the consumer friendly nature of the FCC's previous rule on unlocking codes.

    -------------

    The FCC complaint page is found here: https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov

    Note that complaints served on telcos do get routed to them and will basically force them to respond in some fashion -- it might be a "screw you", but with enough volume the FCC will notice!

    Let's get this Band12 discrimination (along with AT&T's similar games with VoLTE and IMS generally) stomped on and eliminated.
    10-28-16 09:08 PM
  2. anon(3732391)'s Avatar
    WOW. Just when you think it may be safe to come up for a breath of air, something else smacks you upside the head with another issue to protest.
    Hey don't get me wrong, I did my share of protesting in the 60's and 70's.

    Adding your name to this list could be a good start but the companies already knew what they were doing and all the signatures in the world won't have any effect and won't change a thing.
    If you want to be heard you have to be prepared to hit the streets and protest.

    I joined thousands of others in Washington DC to protest the Vietnam War. We got tear gasses, billy-clubbed and arrested for promoting peace but
    it had little to no effect on our protesting the war.

    What it takes to beat the machine is Money! and they have more than you and better connections.
    And considering you're talking about a pretty insignificant little handheld mobile toy, there are much bigger issues that need to be addressed, like the change in life as we know it that is coming very soon.

    But, this is just my opinion and I do respect the OP's issues and agree SOMETHING should be done.
    But, it should have been addressed before it was put in place.
    10-28-16 11:18 PM
  3. Froboy817's Avatar
    Nice letter.
    10-29-16 06:37 AM
  4. Froboy817's Avatar
    WOW. Just when you think it may be safe to come up for a breath of air, something else smacks you upside the head with another issue to protest.
    Hey don't get me wrong, I did my share of protesting in the 60's and 70's.

    Adding your name to this list could be a good start but the companies already knew what they were doing and all the signatures in the world won't have any effect and won't change a thing.
    If you want to be heard you have to be prepared to hit the streets and protest.

    I joined thousands of others in Washington DC to protest the Vietnam War. We got tear gasses, billy-clubbed and arrested for promoting peace but
    it had little to no effect on our protesting the war.

    What it takes to beat the machine is Money! and they have more than you and better connections.
    And considering you're talking about a pretty insignificant little handheld mobile toy, there are much bigger issues that need to be addressed, like the change in life as we know it that is coming very soon.

    But, this is just my opinion and I do respect the OP's issues and agree SOMETHING should be done.
    But, it should have been addressed before it was put in place.
    You're comparing apples to oranges and we're not in the 70's anymore.
    anon(3732391) likes this.
    10-29-16 06:38 AM
  5. tickerguy's Avatar
    It takes less than 5 minutes to file a protest with the FCC on this issue, and every one of those DOES get sent to the carrier in question and the FCC *requires* a response from them.

    You either care about customer choice (as a customer!) or you don't. If you don't, well, just bend over now because if you think it's bad today it is going to get a LOT worse as new spectrum opens and old is repurposed. This was thought to be "no big deal" originally with T-Mobile and wasn't, right up until they started shutting down their old GSM spectrum, and everyone will be doing the same thing (AT&T has announced their intention to shut down all their GSM/EDGE spectrum and repurpose it within the next year or two.) Then there's 600Mhz, which is coming online in another year or so.

    The FCC tried to put a stop to this crap with the unlocking requirements so the INTENT is there within the government to prevent these anti-customer acts. But they won't act on a followup without some noise being made, so either you care about this and are willing to raise hell or you simply don't care and are willing to take whatever the carriers shove down your throat.

    C'mon folks, is 5 minutes really too much of your time, especially at zero cost, toward a solution?
    10-29-16 07:31 AM
  6. Peter Fan's Avatar
    Good point, unless compelled by the consumers, the government and the telecoms will not do anything. I will take your letter,modified it somewhat and file a complaint.

    Posted via CB10
    10-29-16 08:31 AM
  7. anon(3732391)'s Avatar
    You're comparing apples to oranges and we're not in the 70's anymore.
    Really?? That's the best reply you could come up with???
    What part of my agreeing with the OP and that SOMETHING should be done did you NOT understand?
    The OP couldn't have made it any clearer as to how important this issue is . No need to agree or disagree with everything already said. I made a comment here and there.
    I commented about signatures as a way of protest being a starting point, (armchair activist)
    I didn't follow with what could or should.... I gave a first hand account of what it means to commit.
    If you say your proud to be an American I defy you to give me an unquestionable answer why and what it is that makes you proud. Give me one reason and I'll give you five that will disprove it. Do you trust your government? Then there's nothing anyone can say to save you. Your government is the largest and most powerful terrorist organisation on the planet. You think you live in the land of freedom? Reread the OP's post.
    The fact that you have a government sanctioned club called Homeland Security which allows your government to invade your freedom for any reason, without any excuse is not freedom by any definition.
    If you haven't been paying attention, your government tried to take control of the internet. they tried to take away our right to a free world wide web. We hit the streets in cities around the world in the thousands to protest while this is probably the first you've heard of it.

    Well, I'm not at all surprised that considering you somehow came away with comparing fruit
    It's no wonder My mention of the 70's as a way to convey an "Idea" went way over your head.

    My "comparison" was to express the difference between all the brave "armchair" activists to those that actually ACT on their convictions.

    But, it's only fair to give credit where credit is due.
    While you were totally out in left field, as I made NO mention of fruit what-so-ever, with a 50/50 chance you chose correctly that the 70's is indeed behind us.

    So, at least it wasn';t a complete loss to you.

    By the way, I DID what I considered could be a good start and I file My protest. I'm pretty sure you're too busy playing games on your toy for this to be of any interest to you.
    ignorance is bliss.... has been upgraded. In about a week, your world as you've know it will no longer exist.
    And it's ignorance that has brought us here. Ignorance is dangerous. But, I'm confident you'll do what humans have always done. Put your blinders on, crawl back into your comfort zone and pretend it isn't happening.
    Last edited by Lostboy5151; 10-30-16 at 04:23 AM.
    10-30-16 02:25 AM
  8. lawguyman's Avatar
    If BlackBerry actually cared, it would spend the money to get its devices certified like everyone else does.

    It's BlackBerry putting you in this spot, not T-Mobile.
    anon(3732391) and JeepBB like this.
    10-30-16 06:09 AM
  9. anon(3732391)'s Avatar
    If BlackBerry actually cared, it would spend the money to get its devices certified like everyone else does.

    It's BlackBerry putting you in this spot, not T-Mobile.

    THis is starting to sound like a conspiracy!

    Let's all just agree for once... for the sake of the holiday spirit.

    This whole thing is being controlled by extraterrestrials!


    You Know I'm right!
    I'm always right!!

    10-30-16 06:32 AM
  10. Ay sini's Avatar
    Nice initiative OP, that's the spirit- to always stand up for what is right, even when it's not convenient / easy. I am not in the US but you have my support all the way.

    Posted via CB10
    10-30-16 07:25 AM
  11. tickerguy's Avatar
    If BlackBerry actually cared, it would spend the money to get its devices certified like everyone else does.

    It's BlackBerry putting you in this spot, not T-Mobile.
    This is flat-out ignorance.

    Do you think Google spent the money to have the Pixel certified? I bet they did not, since T-Mobile doesn't carry it. In fact, I bet T-Mobile did it for free or just "exempted" it, because it's Google. Is such a discriminatory practice legal? Maybe, maybe not, but if you want consumers to have choices (including you as a consumer) you sure don't want that sort of discriminatory practice to continue! Sitting on your hands is equivalent to ratifying Google's pricing on the Pixel, which is exactly the sort of thing you get when competition is lessened through any sort of back-door means.
    Do you think any company ever actually "spends" any money like you or I? It does not. Ever. You cannot tax or otherwise impose cost on a corporation. A corporation does not "spend" resources like a person does.

    Ever.

    A corporation exists for the purpose of providing a good or service to customers and it does so by employing people. Any cost said corporation incurs is thus taken on by said customers or employees, one way or another. If you have ever run a company you know this, because you've been the one who helped produce and ultimately signed off on the balance sheets, income statements and similar (which irrespective of how small or large you have to do in order to file tax returns.)

    In this sort of situation said cost has to be amortized over the expected number of units to be sold for use with said carrier. There's a secondary problem, which is that if you acquiesce to such a demand from one carrier you are admitting you'll put up with it from all of them, and there is no way for others to learn of this.

    For a manufacturer that is producing a relatively small number of devices upon which to amortize such costs, depending on the amount of said demanded money and its frequency this could wind up being a very sizable amount on a per-unit basis, and guess what -- that shows up directly in the PRICE charged to you, dollar for dollar.

    It's particularly outrageous in this case because in the United States all vendors of such devices already have to put their phones through a paid FCC process to verify that they are technically compliant with RF-related standards. ALL intentional emitters of RF energy on licensed bands (all of which cell bands are) must go through such a certification process in one form or another in order to be able to be legally sold in the United States.

    So in this case you have a certification that has already taken place. If there is a legitimate requirement (e.g. for 911 service) the place for said certification testing is at the FCC. To allow carriers to impose a secondary testing and fee requirement after a device has already passed government-required testing effectively creates a tied-sale environment. Force-tied sales are subject to fairly strict scrutiny under federal anti-trust law. In this specific case the claim of a "technical compatibility requirement" is a lie, since the required compatibility (VoLTE) is a published, international standard and part of the SOC and RF chipsets in modern devices. It's either there or its not, and T-Mobile does not design and produce its own base station equipment with which a handset operates, it buys said gear from various firms all of which produce what amount to commodity gear and all of which also must pass through FCC testing in order to be legally sold in the United States to said carriers!

    This sort of nonsense "magically" showed up in the carriers right about the time that the FCC mandated that unlocking codes be provided to any customer who had a paid-in-full handset. Up until that point the carriers were in fact refusing to provide those codes which effectively gave them the ability to force tied sales of handsets (which they made a margin on) along with service plans. To use one you had to buy the other, from them, whether you wanted to or not.

    Tied sales are not always illegal but when they serve to reduce choice, increase the price to consumers or protect a firm with market power they implicate anti-trust law, at least in the US. In this particular case the appearance of these "requirements" that formerly did not exist at approximately the same time that the FCC required cell carriers to provide unlocking codes appears to demonstrate improper intent. Since there is already a compliance process the handsets must go through, in addition, the argument of "technical necessity" is a lie, which lends further weight to the argument that this is an unlawful practice and the FCC should get involved.

    Of course sitting on your hands and blaming BlackBerry for not larding up the price of their devices by a hundred bucks might feel good, but if you want consumer choice and a reasonable price-point (and you certainly got the latter in this case with the DTEK50 and 60!) then applying a bit of logic to the question and raising hell with the FCC, demanding that they enforce the clear intent of their previous order related to unlocking codes, certainly seems to be the correct approach.
    cjcampbell likes this.
    10-30-16 08:58 AM

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