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T-Mobile Gives Customers No-fee Checking
January 23, 2014
T-Mobile USA on Wednesday launched Mobile Money, a money management application for smartphones that is meant to be used in conjunction with a reloadable T-Mobile Visa Prepaid Card. There is no charge for activation, monthly maintenance, in-network ATM withdrawals, or for replacing lost or stolen cards. There are also no minimum balance requirements.
The Net Neutrality Ruling: All Sound and Fury?
January 16, 2014
A federal appeals court's Tuesday ruling on Net neutrality has sparked dire predictions: Streaming video will cost more; Internet-based multiplayer games could get expensive; and innovation might be stifled. Credo Mobile is gathering names for a petition to FCC Chair Tom Wheeler. However, nothing is going to happen for a while because "it's not a done deal," said tech analyst Dan Rayburn.
T-Mobile, the Rip Van Winkle of Wireless
January 16, 2014
What's up with T-Mobile? It reminds me of that old Rip Van Winkle tale. Rip fell asleep for 20 years, somewhere in the Catskill Mountains, and then woke up with a long, white beard. Except for the facial hair and the length of time, his story sounds a lot like T-Mobile USA's, right? It too has awakened from its long nap and has come out swinging. So what can we expect next?
Net Neutrality Takes a Licking
January 15, 2014
Net Neutrality received a body slam from a federal appeals court Tuesday, but the door was left open for resuscitating the policy. In a case brought by Verizon against the FCC, the judges on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found the agency lacked the authority to impose antidiscrimination and antiblocking rules on providers of Internet broadband services.
Google Apologizes for Hitler Miscue
January 13, 2014
Google has had its share of headaches in Germany, but this one is new. Google apologized after Google Maps briefly changed the name of a Berlin intersection, "Theodor-Heuss-Platz," to its Nazi-era moniker, "Adolf-Hitler-Platz." Google released a statement explaining that user-submitted edits for Google Maps are reviewed by Google moderators or "the community of mapping volunteers."
T-Mobile's Legere Comes Out Swinging at CES
January 09, 2014
John Legere, T-Mobile's feisty CEO, gave a speech at CES best described as highly entertaining. His remarks came one day after being kicked out of AT&T's party at the technology event. "I was circled by this huge amount of humanity -- four large guys," Legere related. "... I looked at these people and I said, 'Listen, that's not why I came here. Are you sure AT&T wants to kick me out?'"
Verizon to Disclose Some of What It's Disclosing to the Government
December 20, 2013
Verizon on Thursday said it will release a semiannual report about the data requests it receives from the government. It is the first major telecom to make such a move. Verizon and other tech industry giants have come under fire for cooperating with government surveillance programs. Verizon and AT&T in particular were named in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The Wireless Industry's Transformational Ripple Effect
December 19, 2013
It looks like 2014 will be a very exciting year as the wireless industry continues to transform not only itself but other industries as well. Have you noticed how things are changing, thanks to the wireless industry, smartphones and all those apps? Over the next few years we will see industries like healthcare, automotive and retail change and benefit from this early transformation.
Tech Firms Vie With Telecoms for Internet Infrastructure Control
December 18, 2013
Several major tech firms are making a strong push into Internet infrastructure, leading to increasingly fraught relationships with telecoms. Google and Facebook in particular have drastically invested more in Internet infrastructure over the last year, installing new undersea and underground cables, creating their own networking hardware systems, and cutting long-term dark fiber deals.
Softbank May Be Gearing Up for T-Mobile Bid
December 16, 2013
SoftBank is considering a bid for T-Mobile USA, according to a new batch of rumors circulating in the press. Softbank shares were down 3.2 percent on Monday by the close of trading in Tokyo. SoftBank acquired Sprint, the third-largest U.S. mobile phone carrier, earlier this year, and now may be studying antitrust concerns prior to bidding for T-Mobile, the fourth largest carrier in the U.S.
What Does AT&T Have That Verizon Doesn't?
December 12, 2013
Lately I have been reading several very interesting stories in the media about both Verizon and AT&T. It looks like things are starting to change. AT&T quality and reliability reportedly are getting better. At the same time, Verizon seems to be losing its grip in those same areas. So what's up? Over the last decade or two, Verizon and AT&T have been competing on both the wireline and wireless sides.
Cops' Cellphone Data Collection Challenged
December 10, 2013
Sen. Edward Markey plans to soon introduce legislation that will restrict the bulk collection of Americans' cellphone data by U.S. law enforcement agencies. "We need a 4th Amendment for the 21st century," he said. "Disclosure of personal information from wireless devices raises significant legal and privacy concerns, particularly for innocent consumers."
AT&T Dials Down Pricing on No-Contract Plans
December 05, 2013
AT&T on Thursday announced new, lower-cost no-contract plans for customers who pay for their own devices. The new Mobile Share Value plans, which will be available beginning Dec. 8, will be open to new and existing wireless customers and will include a no-contract option that allows smartphone customers to save $15 per month by supplying their own device, AT&T said.
Sprint and T-Mobile Are Gunning for 2014 Recovery
December 05, 2013
Sprint and T-Mobile have had the roughest time during the last several years. At the same time, both AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless have been hitting home runs, year after year. Now it looks like both Sprint and T-Mobile are gearing up for a recovery in 2014. Three questions: Will they be successful? Will they impact the industry? Which companies will they take business from?
Potential for Abuse Stalls Cellphone Kill Switch Debate
November 26, 2013
Law enforcement officials and mobile phone makers last week knocked heads with wireless carriers over planting "kill switches" in smartphones. Led by San Francisco's DA and New York's AG, law enforcement wants smartphones to contain firmware that allows a consumer to "brick" a mobile that's lost or stolen. The largest mobile phone maker in the world, Samsung, is on board with the program.
FCC Chair Moves Network Revamp to Top of To-Do List
November 21, 2013
The FCC is ramping up efforts to transition U.S. phone networks from their current TDM technology to VoIP. The commission's January meeting will include consideration of an Order for immediate action, said Chairman Tom Wheeler, including recommendations on how best to conduct experiments that will let the commission and the public observe the impact of the transitions, he said.
AT&T and Verizon May Start to Sweat in 2014
November 21, 2013
AT&T and Verizon, the leading telecom service providers in the U.S., are growing in several different sectors. They offer the widest variety of services, including wireless, landline telephone, Internet protocol television and high-speed Internet access. They are also the biggest targets. If 2014 will see lots of change, how will that impact AT&T, Verizon -- and you?
US Carriers Nix Samsung's Smartphone Kill Switch
November 20, 2013
U.S. wireless carriers have rejected Samsung's proposal to preload theft deterrent software on its phones, said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. Samsung wanted to preload Lojack for Android, which could brick phones and thus eliminate their value in the secondary market, "but only if it was made standard on all devices," Gascón continued.
The Wireless Universe Is (Too?) Rapidly Expanding
November 13, 2013
The next six years will see smartphone subscriptions triple and LTE network deployment make large strides in North America, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, which details the ongoing evolution of the wireless industry. Mobile subscriptions are expected to increase from 6.3 billion in 2012 to 9.3 billion in 2019. That figure includes 5.6 billion smartphone subscriptions.
Get Ready for World War TV
November 07, 2013
AT&T and Verizon have quietly been building a strong TV business. In fact, I read last week that where they offer service, they have almost the same market share as the cable television company leaders like Comcast, Time Warner and Cox. That's an incredible accomplishment. Telecom is changing. If you pull the camera back, the entire communications industry is changing.
T-Mobile's 'Un-Carrier' Strategy Pays Off
November 06, 2013
T-Mobile U.S. ended its third quarter of 2013 with roughly a million more customers than it had at the end of the preceding quarter, it announced in an earnings report on Tuesday. Included among those new customers were 648,000 branded postpaid net customers for the quarter. T-Mobile now counts 45 million people as its customer base. It also reported that total revenues increased by 7.4 percent quarter-over-quarter.
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.

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