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Sprint's Spark Starts Flying
November 01, 2013
Sprint announced Wednesday that it had demonstrated 1 Gbps over-the-air speed on its new Spark network at a Sprint lab near Silicon Valley, Calif. The company is just beginning to roll out the super-high-speed network, targeting customers who run data-intensive applications. It will start by offering peak speeds of 50-60 Mbps in five markets and will increase those speeds over time.
AT&T Rustles Up New Subscribers, Beats Street
October 24, 2013
AT&T on Wednesday posted third-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations with increases in revenue and net income, thanks largely to solid subscriber growth. It reported net income of $3.8 billion, or 72 cents per share, a 4.9 percent increase from the $3.6 billion, or 63 cents per share, it reported in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue was up 2.2 percent to $32.16 billion.
AMD, Verizon Pump Each Other Up
October 22, 2013
Customer testimonials play an odd role in many IT industry announcements. At first glance, they offer proof that technologies are actually being used successfully as advertised, lending credence to vendors' sometimes lofty go-to-market claims. Even the most enthusiastic clients tend to guarded, though, for fear that they may injure relationships with other vendors or negate competitive advantages.
Huawei: No One Bothers Us for Data
October 18, 2013
Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, long suspected of being in cahoots with Beijing authorities, said Friday that no government has ever asked it to divulge information about citizens. Translation: Anyone concerned about government meddling should be more concerned with Washington's connections to U.S. companies than Beijing's connection to Huawei. It called for global standards on security.
T-Mobile's Dangerous Game
October 17, 2013
T-Mobile USA is really trying to shake things up. Now it is offering free, unlimited, international, wireless data and texts -- something other carriers charge for. Feature after feature, T-Mobile seems like it is really trying to start on its recovery path. So is it recovering? Let's take a look. T-Mobile has been the No. 4 wireless competitor for many years. It still is.
26 Years Later, Google Earth Helps Lost Indian Boy Go Home
October 16, 2013
Indian Saroo Munshi Khan used Google Earth to track down his long-lost family 26 years after accidentally falling asleep on a train. Then 5-year-old Saroo reportedly took a break from searching for change with his brother in Berhanpur, India, and hopped onto a stationary train where he fell asleep. Hours later, he woke up in Calcutta, alone and more than 900 miles away from home.
Job Ad Triggers Heated Apple-China Mobile Speculation
October 11, 2013
More evidence that Apple is moving toward cutting a deal with China's largest mobile carrier appeared Wednesday on an Apple website. An employment notice for an engineer with extensive knowledge of China Mobile's homebrew mobile technologies was spotted on Apple's China website. The Beijing-based engineer reportedly would support and drive the carrier approval of mobile phones.
Sprint's Deafening Silence
October 10, 2013
Sprint has been holding its breath while under water for a painfully long time. Several months ago, it surfaced for a gulp of air on news it would be acquired by Softbank. Since then, I've been listening for the buzz, but so far, I'm just hearing crickets. This is a mistake. Investors, customers, workers and competitors are all anxiously waiting for some kind of signal.
Smartwatch May Help Keep a Watchful Eye on Kids
October 08, 2013
AT&T is teaming up with FiLIP to launch a smartwatch designed to appeal to kids -- and their parents. The colorful, durable FiLIP watch connects to a parent or caretaker's smartphone and tracks the child's location using WiFi triangulation, cellular towers and GPS information. It offers two-way calling to five set contacts and the ability to receive one-way text messages.
How to Avoid Excessive Phone Charges When Traveling in Europe
October 03, 2013
If you've been stung by roaming charges in the past when using a U.S. cellphone abroad and you've recently heard about new, supposedly fair roaming caps in Europe, beware: It's not what it seems. As of July 2013, European-carrier SIM card roaming rates are capped in Europe at 0.45 euros, or about $0.60, per megabyte for data and 0.24 euros, or about $0.32, for one minute of voice.
FreedomPop Could Burst Big 4 Mobile Carriers' Bubble
October 02, 2013
After announcing its VoIP mobile phone plan back in June, FreedomPop on Tuesday launched the service into beta, calling it the world's first completely free mobile service with free voice, text and data. Users get a guaranteed 500 MBs of data, 500 text messages and 200 anytime voice minutes free every month for life. FreedomPop will also offer heavier users unlimited voice and texting for $10.99 per month.
White House Urges FCC to Legalize Cellphone Unlocking
September 19, 2013
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration this week petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to require wireless carriers to unlock mobile phones, tablets and other devices upon request of the customer. This rule change would benefit the public, argued the NTIA, an executive branch agency that advises the president on telecommunications and information policy issues.
Aio Wireless Hits the Ground Running
September 19, 2013
Last week, I met with Aio Wireless, a subsidiary of AT&T. As an industry analyst for almost 30 years, I have met with my share of companies -- new and old, growing and struggling. They all want to put on a good front so I'll say nice things about them. Each has its own special set of opportunities and challenges, and that's the case with Aio Wireless. However, Aio seems to have four key strengths.
Net Neutrality Wrecking Ball May Be in Motion
September 12, 2013
A federal court this week heard oral arguments in Verizon's battle with the FCC over Net neutrality. The FCC's position is that the Internet depends on openness, which has driven jobs and innovation, and that prior to its issuing the Open Internet rules, several broadband access providers had blocked or degraded service, threatening the engine that drives investment in broadband facilities.
Apple's Shrewdly Radical iPhone Trade-In Program
September 05, 2013
Apple's new iPhone trade-in program has the potential to radically amp up Apple's control of its iPhone customer base and even has the potential to change how iPhones are sold. On the surface, it's just a play for customer convenience, a move to get a customer to walk back into a retail store and buy something. Fair enough. Definitely smart.
AT&T Plans Exclusive Debut for $100 HTC One Mini
August 20, 2013
AT&T announced Monday that it will be the exclusive carrier to launch the HTC One Mini, the smaller, cheaper version of the company's flagship smartphone. The HTC One Mini has already made its debut overseas, but AT&T will be the first carrier to offer a slightly different version of the phone in the U.S. The device checks in at 4.3 inches, only a little smaller than the 4.7-inch HTC One.
The Supersized Smartphones Cometh
August 19, 2013
There's no doubt phablets have become increasingly commonplace in the mobile computing arena, but several new devices promise to take the tablet-smartphone hybrids to bigger size extremes than ever. Samsung, for instance, announced on Monday that it is bringing its Galaxy Mega smartphone -- featuring a 6.3-inch screen -- to the United States market.
T-Mobile Turns the Tide With Wave of New Customers
August 09, 2013
T-Mobile stock hit a five-year high Thursday on a better-than-expected second-quarter earnings report and news that it added more than 1 million new customers in the period. Shares continued to trade above the $25 mark on Friday. Investors seemed most energized by the company's strong customer growth. The 1.1 million net new customers included 688,000 contract customers.
Do Your Homework Before Choosing an Unlimited Wireless Data Plan
August 08, 2013
Six years ago when Apple's iPhone and smartphones running Google's Android hit the streets, it seemed that lots of carriers jumped into the unlimited space. They did this to let customers test drive the wireless data app world and get hooked -- and customers loved it. Since then, both AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless have dropped their unlimited plans; they now charge based on usage levels.
Moto X Launches a Rainbow of DIY Phone Possibilities
August 01, 2013
Motorola on Thursday unveiled its Moto X sensor-laden smartphone at meetings with the media and analysts in New York. As expected, the device is chock-full of sensors and is controlled directly by voice. "You can stand on the other side of the room and say, 'OK Google Now' and it responds," said Ramon Llamas, a research manager at IDC. "This is Siri on steroids."

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