A Microsoft filling with the Federal Communications Commission for a new wireless device has built a buzz in the media pointing to the possibility of a Zune phone, to tackle the forthcoming release of Apple's iPhone. Although a
Zune phone is being conceived in the Microsoft laboratories, the prototype that has been submitted for testing with the FCC is a generic wireless device.
One argument that comes to prove this aspect is the fact that the wireless device has been submitted for testing on behalf of Dell, Google, HP, Intel,Microsoft and Phillips. Additionally, the filling itself mentions in no way the Zune digital media player. And to top it off, a Microsoft representative has denied any connections between the FCC filling and Zune.
Microsoft has provided some clarification on the issue at hand. The prototype submitted by Microsoft to the FCC is in fact related to the licensing of wireless “white spaces” around the broadcast TV bands. In this context, the handheld device is designed to take advantage of the opening of airwaves for wireless Internet access.
The prototype is most likely an answer to the October 2006 announcement that the FCC was going to allow low power devices to operate on vacant TV channels.
Microsoft's role in the coalition is to develop the prototype that in its final form will offer broadband access and networking. However, Zune is not involved in this initiative. To this date Microsoft has not disclosed the actual plans for Zune, outside of revealing that a whole range of functionality will be added to the digital media player.