The FCC today announced that it will hold an auction on July 19, 2011 for sixteen licenses in the 700MHz spectrum. The government agency has two licenses that operate in the 698-704MHz and 728-734MHz frequencies (Block A) along with fourteen licenses that operate in the 704-710MHz and 734-740MHz frequencies (Block B); all sixteen licenses have a 2 x 6MHz pairing and 12MHz of bandwidth. The 700MHz spectrum is currently what wireless providers AT&T and Verizon Wireless are using to build out their 4G, LTE networks in the United States. The proceeding has been designated with the name “Auction 92.”
Bloomberg is reporting that European Union antitrust regulators are preparing to launch an investigation aimed at concluding whether or not search giant Google “imposes exclusivity obligations on advertising partners.” Several companies, including Microsoft, are claiming that Google is preventing said partner-sites from placing ads for “competing services” on their websites. Foundem, a U.K. based price-comparison site, said Google was “stifling innovation” and that the company “should not be allowed to discriminate in favor of its own services.” In a written statement, Google explained: “There’s always going to be room for improvement and so we’ll be working with the commission to address any concerns.” The European Commission can levy fines of up to 10% of a company’s revenue for monopolistic practices. More →
Technology juggernauts Apple, Inc. and Nokia Oyj are preparing to plead their respective patent-infringement cases to the International Trade Commission (ITC) this week. In preparation for the court battle — which Bloomberg likens to two “800-pound gorillas fighting each other” — the publication is reporting that Apple is actively “recruiting lawyers who have fought for and against some of the world’s largest companies, including Microsoft, Intel Corp., and Broadcom Corp.” Nokia filed a complaint against Apple in October of 2009 claiming infringement upon several of its patents; Apple followed with a counter complaint shortly after. The hearings between Apple and Nokia this week kick-off a round-robin of patent litigation between Apple, Nokia, Motorola, and HTC. We’ll stay on top of this one and let you know of any major developments that occur. More →
Uh oh! It looks like there is trouble brewing within the rank and file of the Rogers and Fido sales staff, assistant managers, and employees at the director level. A decision by the Rogers finance department to cut sales commission by as much as 50% has seriously irked the sales staff who played an integral role in the approximate 30% increase in sales since the beginning of 2008. Normally one would assume that a company wouldn’t mind fairly compensating their employees with commission for all of their hard work and doing such a damn good job at selling their products and services, but as we have seen so many times in the past, Rogers isn’t a normal company.
Consider the following as an example of what would happen to the average large store employee working on commission-based sales. Under the old system, signing a customer up on a 3-year contract with a monthly plan above $40 would net a $25 commission. With the cut the same employee only stands to make $16.20, a decrease of 35%. If the monthly plan is under $40 a month the new commission system makes for a cut of 34%.
- Single options now only pay $1, a decrease of 50%
- Value packs now only pay $3.80, a decrease of 24%
- Non-term data now only pays $9, a decrease of 10%
- Month-to-month activation now only pays $3, a decrease of 40%
- Commission on accessories has decreased 30%
Added up, the average employee of a large store stands to lose over $500 a month in commission because of these cuts at a time when the amount of sales are so high that many stores are paying 50% more than their budgeted commission because of a drastic increase in the volume of sales due to the iPhone 3G, lower data costs, and new low-cost monthly plans.