Telecom news roundup

Your cell phone is your boarding pass

Last year’s pilot projects seem to have been a success — American Airlines, Continental Airlines and Delta Air Lines are offering mobile ticketing at some airports, including Washington, according to CNET.

Users show Transportation Security Administration agents a bar code they’ve downloaded to their phones to move through security checkpoints.

Now being tested: radio frequency identification tags for luggage and passenger check-in.

Obama budget proposes wireless spectrum fees

The “better use of the nation’s wireless spectrum” promised by President Barack Obama may include a hefty rise in wireless spectrum use fees.

The proposed 2010 budget would boost annual fees for spectrum licenses from $50 million in 2009 to $200 million in 2010 and eventually to $550 million annually per user for a total of $4.8 billion over the next 10 years, according to Reuters.

In last year’s spectrum auction, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless spent about $16 billion to get access to public airwaves.

Verizon to lose Metro cell service edge

If you’ve wanted to use your cell phone on Washington’s Metro subway trains, you’ve had to have service with Verizon, but all that’s about to change, a Washington Post report said.

Under a new agreement, Networx providers AT&T and Sprint Nextel are among the carriers that will be allowed to install equipment in train tunnels over the next four years.

Washington Metro Area Transit will get $25 million during the first 15 years; five two-year renewals would bring an additional $27 million.

About the Author

Sami Lais is a special contributor to Washington Technology.

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