Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure defended the company's support of Title II-based net neutrality rules this week, proclaiming that the company won't be able to survive in a fight against AT&T without some tougher rules of the road. Back in January, Sprint surprised the industry
by throwing its support behind reclassification of ISPs as common carriers under Title II. While companies like AT&T and Verizon claimed the new neutrality rules would kill sector innovation and stall investment, Sprint's basically been just short calling its industry compatriots liars.
"Unless there is light-touch regulation that oversees AT&T and Verizon, they are going to drive us out of business," Claure stated at the Competitive Carrier Association's trade show this week in Atlanta
. "I'd rather there be light-touch regulation than a complete free-for-all," he added.
Back in February Sprint Stephen Bye repeatedly shot down
the notion that Title II would harm the industry, or that tougher net neutrality rules would somehow stifle investment. "Our competitors are going to continue to invest so they are representing a situation that won't play out," Bye noted at the time.
Of course Sprint's public support of net neutrality isn't entirely altruistic. Given they're in fourth place among the major carriers there's little risked by supporting a policy that most consumers are behind. Similarly, Sprint's support of Title II helped to highlight the fact that T-Mobile -- with a reputation as being a consumer darling -- initially balked at the idea of Title II net neutrality rules.
It may also go without saying, but given the fact that Sprint's network often ranks last in speed, latency, coverage and reliability in most of the current industry studies, net neutrality might just be the least of the company's problems at the moment.
T-Mobile owned MetroPCS this week took the wraps off a new prepaid plan
that offers users unlimited voice, text and data for $30 a month. According to the press release
, the new plan started yesterday (Tuesday) and sets a "new standard in value" when compared to comparable offerings from Boost Mobile and Cricket. It's worth noting that only 1 GB of your "unlimited" allotment is at 4G speeds -- after that you're throttled back to an unspecified data rate for the remainder of your billing cycle. MetroPCS also notes that LTE phones won't quality for the new discounted rate, and the phone you use needs to be purchased from a MetroPCS store
As we noted last month
, Dish Network has been taking heat for some creative shenanigans at the recent AWS-3 spectrum auction. One, despite spending $13.3 billion at auction Dish appears to have used a legal "small business" loophole to save themselves around $3 billion.
For those of you that struggle to nab a reliable hotspot connection at your favorite airport, you may find it worth noting that Verizon and T-Mobile have taken top honors in a new study that specifically examines wireless network performance at airports. According to the full RootMetrics study
, the firm studied not only available speed, but overall network reliability across fifty different airports.
The FCC today announced that Verizon has paid the agency $3.4 million to settle allegations the company intentionally failed to publicize a major 911 outage last year. According to the FCC announcement
(pdf), the multistate outage impacted customers for a period of six hours.
T-Mobile today held the company's latest "uncarrier" press event, unveiling new discounts for business customers, as well as a number of new offerings for traditional residential customers. According to the T-Mobile announcement
, T-Mobile's simplified pricing for business customers offer unlimited voice and text and 1 GB of mobile data.
In June of last year Google unveiled Google Loon
, the latest in a long line of similar projects that will use hot air balloons to deliver broadband and wireless services to under-served or emergency prone areas. Project Loon will use hot air balloons 49 feet wide stationed 12 miles above the planet, well above the range of commercial aircraft.
Late last year T-Mobile did something most cellular customers have been asking for for quite some time: they allowed postpaid users to roll over unused data from month to month
. The company's new "Data Stash" option was made available for the company's new and existing Simple Choice customers with at least a 3GB smartphone plan or 1GB tablet plan starting in January.
As we have previously discussed
, wireless operators and vendors haven't defined fifth generation wireless networks (5G) yet, but that's certainly not stopping them from hyping their deployment of it -- even if they're not really even sure what it is yet. In the last year, we have seen carriers announce
“4.5G” and “Pre-5G” technology and island’s vying for the first 5G network.
You'll of course recall a few years ago when all of the wireless carriers were simultaneously proclaiming
they offered the "nation's largest LTE network." Several years (and a few lawsuits) later and carriers have had to get a little more creative with their network claims. T-Mobile now claims it has the "fastest" network, Sprint crows about having the "newest" network, and Verizon's current ads insist it has the "most reliable network."
In a new wrinkle AT&T is declaring that the company is home to the nation's strongest LTE signal
, though as you'll see in the ad to the left (note the very scientific "power" graph?), there doesn't appear to be much science behind the claim.
TMONews story continues..
notes that T-Mobile has been reaching out to select customers and offering unlimited LTE data for the rest of the year. Starting April 1st and lasting until the end of 2015, T-Mobile users notified about the promo can surf and stream as much as they want until the end of the year.
For much of last year, T-Mobile's pricing antics were pressuring AT&T and Verizon
's bottom lines, though both companies now claim the price competition has quieted down. "It seems to have stabilized," AT&T CFO John Stephens told attendees of an investors conference this week
. "I feel whole lot better about competitive environment." "Things have calmed down a bit," Verizon CFO Fran Shammo stated one day earlier. For both AT&T and Verizon, pricing responses to T-Mobile have been rather cosmetic in nature, and the intensity of the current price competition has largely been overplayed. Of course T-Mobile is planning another "uncarrier" event for March 18, so things may not stay quiet for long.
The good news? The latest report by OpenSignal
indicates that T-Mobile has the fastest performing LTE network in the United States. The bad news? That same full report
(pdf) found that average LTE speeds in the United States dramatically lag behind LTE performance in other countries.
When Google launched the Nexus 6
back in November, Verizon was nowhere to be found -- not unsurprising given big red's total absence when it came to the Nexus 5. Now four months after the device was launched by the other three big carriers, Verizon Wireless has officially announced
the Verizon-compatible Nexus 6 will be on sale starting March 19. According to Verizon, the 6 will come loaded with Android 5.1 and will be ready for HD voice. It will run users $250 with new two-year activation or $27.08 per month for 24 months with Verizon's Edge early upgrade program.
Apple has formally replaced AT&T
in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Apple is now the largest company in the world in terms of market value at $736 billion, and its stock has delivered an annualized total return, reflecting price gains and dividend payments, of 36% over a decade.
As we've been discussing
, Google is on the cusp of creating a new wireless MVNO that will lean heavily on Wi-Fi, but use the Sprint and T-Mobile networks as backups. Google confirmed the efforts a few days ago
, stating that the effort would be conducted on a "small scale" to "show what's possible." Now a new report in the Wall Street Journal
indicates that while the service may launch sometime this month, initially availability may be quite small indeed:
The service, designed to switch among Wi-Fi and cellular networks, will initially be available only on the latest Nexus 6 smartphone designed by Google and made by Motorola Mobility, a former Google unit now owned by China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. , two people familiar with the matter said. One of the people said the service won’t work with older Nexus devices, such as LG Electronics Inc. ’s Nexus 5.
The report goes on to state that while the launch could occur in weeks, sources state the launch may be delayed if Google can't get all its ducks in a row.
Since the FCC passed its new net neutrality rules we've seen no limit of entertaining claims when it comes to what the rules purport to do, whether that's outright destroying the Internet to killing startups
. Speaking at Mobile World Congress Nokia joined the fun, CEO Rajeev Suri proclaiming that net neutrality isn't a good idea because intelligent, automated cars might not work properly
"There are some services that simply require a different level of connectivity," says Suri.
T-Mobile will be among the first carriers to utilized unlicensed Wi-Fi spectrum to help supplement the company's LTE network, the company announced today. According to a press announcement by Alcatel Lucent
, T-Mobile will be deploying Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) in 5 GHz spectrum sometime in 2016.
Confirming numerous rumors from earlier this year
, Google has announced that the company will soon formally unveil their foray into wireless services. Speaking at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Google's Sundar Pichai told attendees
that their MVNO would be launched sometime in the "coming months."
Those hoping for Google to jump into the wireless market with both feet may wind up being disappointed.
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