wireless

How is wireless spectrum managed?

Episode 1258

Don from Fallbrook, CA

Don is calling to discuss wireless spectrum and the way it is managed. Don doesn't think most Americans really know what's happening with the sale of wireless spectrum. Leo says we own the spectrum, the air above us is property of the American people. But there has to be some way of managing it so everyone doesn't use the same frequencies. So the FCC is chartered by congress, among other things, to manage spectrum. They've determined what radio stations are on what frequencies, and that has worked for almost a hundred years now.

How can I block caller ID on Google Fi?

Episode 1254

Larry from Petaluma, CA

Larry has a Samsung Galaxy S4, but it's time to upgrade, so he ordered a Nexus 6P with Google Fi. He doesn't like that he can't hide his number during outgoing calls unless he adds a few extra numbers each time. Leo says that may be carrier specific. Google Fi is an MVNO, using Sprint & T-Mobile plus Wi-Fi. So it's likely that it's hard to have a setting to block a number when it's moving from carrier to carrier. Larry will need to clarify with the carriers to see what they require.

What Bluetooth transmitter should I get?

Azeca BT005 Bluetooth Transmitter

Episode 1252

Rene from San Bernardino, CA

Rene wants to use Bluetooth speakers to listen to his stereo, but his stereo doesn't have Bluetooth capability. He could find a cheap transmitter on Amazon that would use an analog connection to his stereo. Leo recommends the Azeca BT005 Bluetooth Transmitter for around $28. This would plug into the headphone jack of his stereo. He should know that the range for Bluetooth is only about 30 feet.

How can I improve my cell phone signal?

Episode 1184

George from Santa Monica, CA

George got a Samsung Galaxy phone and he's having issues with coverage in his area. Verizon sent him a FemToCell to create a cell site through the Internet, but he's still getting dropped calls. He went back to his flip phone and it works just fine. Leo says that pinpoints the problem -- it's the antenna on the Galaxy phone. He can get an antenna system, but the FemToCell is the best possible solution because it turns his cellphone into a VOiP phone.

Google Plans to Enter Wireless Business

Episode 1168

Multiple news reports are saying that Google has plans to enter the wireless business. The idea is that you'll be able to buy a phone with Google as the service provider. The interesting part, however, is that Google is negotiating with Sprint and T-Mobile. The phone you buy will work with both carriers, and it will connect to whichever network has the best signal. It will also utilize Wi-Fi whenever possible.

This is only a rumor as of now, but it's an interesting idea. The cell phone industry is ripe for disruption.

What are my choices for internet access if I don't have cable?

Episode 1158

Wayne from Tampa, FL

Wayne just moved into a new house and it doesn't have cable or internet access. What are his options? Leo says that there are wireless internet providers (called WISP) if he doesn't want to trench and wire the house from the cable junction. He could also go with satellite, but it's a bit slower. The other choice is DSL through his phone company. FiOS would be the cream of the crop. The question isn't really who to go with, but who's going to have to do the trenching?