AT&T CFO John Stephens this week stated that AT&T would be "surprised" if the government allowed Sprint to acquire T-Mobile so soon after the government blocked AT&T's attempted takeover of the company. "It would be interesting to see if the government varies from that," Stephens told attendees of this week's Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference
, adding that he would be "surprising today if they changed or reversed that opinion." AT&T this week also stated they've temporarily shelved their overseas expansion ambitions, though they failed to mention that a big part of that is European regulators' discomfort at the telco's close relationship to the NSA
Sprint Chairman and Softbank boss Masayoshi Son is pretty clearly making the U.S. media rounds this week in the hopes of softening regulators to the potential idea of a T-Mobile Sprint merger, even if every indication is that such a deal wouldn't be approved. story continues..
AT&T has been chosen to power the in-car LTE service now being integrated by Audi, and the privilege of the data integration won't be cheap. According to an Audi announcement
(via The Verge
), the plans will be "competitively priced" at $100 for six months of LTE connectivity or a data cap of 5 GB, or $500 for 30 months of connectivity or a data cap of 30 GB.
Sprint Chairman and SoftBank boss Masayoshi Son doesn't seem prepared to take no for an answer. The Japanese cellular titan insists he'd still like to see Sprint buy T-Mobile
, even if every indication coming from regulators so far suggests that a deal wouldn't be approved.
Back in December we noted
that a software bug in the Xbox One game console prevented Comcast users from using the console's Wi-Fi connection -- if they were connected via IPv6. According to a Comcast blog entry
(via Multichannel News
), the companies have squashed the bug. The software glitch only impacted Arris-made XB2 (TG852/TG862) integrated wireless DOCSIS 3.0 gateways that were operating in Comcast areas where IPv6 had been enabled. "Comcast and Microsoft have collaborated closely since this issue was discovered and are happy to report that this issue has been resolved," Comcast states.
Despite all the drama surrounding T-Mobile's price disruption, overall industry prices continue to rise, notes the Wall Street Journal
. While T-Mobile's moves may have had some positive impact on policies like early termination fees and contracts, overall prices aren't trending downward, and companies (including T-Mobile) are being very careful to avoid a price war.
T-Mobile continues to disrupt the sector on price, and its latest effort involves tweaking their Simple Choice plans even further. According to a company announcement
, data allotments on a lot of the plans, originally launched last fall, will be boosted while a few prices will be increased.
Responding to T-Mobile wireless pricing pressure, AT&T announced over the weekend that the company is dropping the price of its 2GB Mobile Share Value no-contract plan by $15, to $65 a month for customers with one or two lines. According to the company announcement
, as of Sunday one line with unlimited talk, text and 2 GB of data will cost $65, while two lines of unlimited talk, text and 2 GB of data will cost $90. It's only the latest volley in an ongoing AT&T, T-Mobile price battle that never would have happened had AT&T been allowed to buy the company.
Sprint's new ownership by SoftBank hasn't born much fruit yet here early on, with Sprint continuing to flounder in most speed, latency and consumer satisfaction studies, while playing second fiddle to T-Mobile's recent bout of aggressive pricing promotions. But SoftBank boss Masayoshi Son has taken aggressive steps to shore up what the Japanese industry titan has declared is a "loser" mentality at the company. story continues..
While AT&T has been winning most of the recent LTE speed tests
, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray has recently been promising that will soon change. The company is in the process of migrating to 2x10MHz channels to speed up LTE connectivity, and early indications were that they were starting to nip at AT&T's heels in terms of speed, after spending the last few months hitting AT&T in terms of pricing.
By this point, most of us are familiar with the concept of COWs
, or cellular towers on wheels. They're usually brought in either during major events like the Superbowl -- or during natural disasters to quickly shore up cellular infrastructure.
The Center for Disease Control has long been an excellent source of statistics on cell phone and POTS usage, since they collect that data to maintain accurate polling statistical information (in large part because those with no landlines trend younger). The latest data from the CDC
(pdf) indicates that nearly 40% of American homes rely solely on wireless phones.
It appears that Deutsche Telekom is heeding warnings that the company's attempted sale of T-Mobile to SoftBank/Sprint would have a tough time getting past regulators. Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Hoettges told directors yesterday that a sale of T-Mobile is "less likely in the near term" because of steep regulatory opposition
While selling its 67 percent holding in the fourth-largest U.S. wireless operator to SoftBank remains the preferred option, Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom is open to alternatives, said the people. Options include selling a part of the stake on the market, they said.
DT has long been eager to exit the states and sell their 67% stake in T-Mobile, but regulators worry a sale to Sprint would lessen competition at a time when T-Mobile is only just starting to make waves in wireless sector policies and pricing. About a month ago SoftBank stated they'd decide in weeks whether to keep pushing for a deal
, but every indication is they won't "pull an AT&T" and try and bully and bluff the deal through.
A new study by wireless performance measurement firm Rootmetrics has declared that while AT&T has the fastest network across the country, Verizon has the most reliable. According to the company's findings
for the second half of 2013, Verizon took the top overall performance spot with an overall score of 89.7, which factored in speed and reliability data for data, text messaging, and voice.
In June of last year Comcast announced
that the company was launching a new, Fon-like effort that involved new router firmware that turns your gateway into a publicly-accessible hotspot. More specifically, update routers would now offer two signals: one being yours, and the other being a "xfinitywifi" SSID signal providing free Wi-Fi to other Comcast users in your general area.
Verizon today announced that the company is making a few tweaks to their prepaid data options, in the process providing users with roll over data. According to the Verizon announcement
, the company's new "AllSet" prepaid pricing plans lower prices, but also lower the data allotments of their previous prepaid offerings.
Some time back C Spire wireless raised net neutrality eyebrows by requiring that some users pay an additional sum if they wanted to stream video on their wireless connections. The company's $80 per month for Unlimited Lite plan, for example, offers users unlimited voice, text and picture message, but restricts data usage by content type -- allowing you to browse the Internet and play online music, but not video. story continues..
In addition to Google Fiber, Google has been quietly spending a lot of time pushing Wi-Fi in a number of new locations around the country including San Franciso parks
. However, hometown locals have been complaining the company has been neglecting the health of the network that started it all: the Wi-Fi operation they launched near their Mountain View, California headquarters back in 2006.
Surprising absolutely nobody, Dish should announce this week that the company is the big winner in the FCC's H Block auction, which officially closed today after meeting the $1.56 billion set reserve price exactly. The "win" wasn't hard; other potential suitors for the spectrum dropped out months ago
Wireless operators and vendors haven't really truly even defined fifth generation wireless networks (5G) yet, but that's certainly not going to prevent them from hyping their deployment of it
-- even if they're not really even sure what it is yet. South Korea is expected to take the lead in the technology (whatever it winds up being), the government there investing $1.5 billion in an attempt to have the ultra-fast networks deployed by 2020
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