This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

E Pluribus Unum Wireless

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- E Pluribus Unum is the Latin on your money. It means, roughly, "out of many, one."

That's what the Internet is, too -- many networks acting as a single network, because carriers move data first and talk about money later.

But if it were up to the carriers, the Internet might never have been invented.

I was a telecomm reporter 20 years ago and I remember it well. Owners of data networks wanted exclusive control of customers, or at least wanted to be paid first before taking other networks' data.

The Internet, with its government funding, offered another way. First you interoperate, under a single standard, and then we'll talk about who gets paid what for their infrastructure. It's called "peering," in that I take your traffic and you take mine, as Encyclopedia.com explains. It worked. It still works.

Peering was never demanded in the wireless space. Instead, the government sold exclusive use of frequency bands to the carriers. The result has been the creation of multiple incompatible networks, which is how the biggest carriers -- AT&T (T - Get Report) and Verizon (VZ - Get Report) -- like it.

Even the development of a single global standard for mobile broadband, LTE Advanced, hasn't pushed the big guys toward interoperability. It's not in AT&T's interests to be anything but a monopoly, or a shared monopoly with Verizon, as CNET notes.

When the rest of the industry, organized as the Competitive Carriers Association, which now includes Sprint (S), tried to push AT&T toward interoperability, the bigger carrier simply refused, saying the group had other options, as Fierce Broadband Wireless reported.

Thus the wired Internet is, from the user's point of view, one network, while the wireless Internet is multiple networks. This means duplicated services in high-traffic areas, and no service at all in low-traffic areas.

For you to get a 10 MHz slice of spectrum for watching the football game, as seen on carrier commercials, there really needs to be 40 MHz available -- one 10 MHz slice for each carrier you may choose. And if a rural carrier is thinking of adding a cell tower in a remote location, it has to consider that only its customers will be able to use it, making the expense harder to justify.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
S $5.21 0.00%
T $34.00 0.00%
VZ $49.07 0.00%
AAPL $128.54 0.00%
FB $80.90 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,096.90 -106.47 -0.58%
S&P 500 2,098.53 -9.25 -0.44%
NASDAQ 4,967.1410 -12.76 -0.26%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs