Google hasn’t been known as a hardware vendor in the past. That may soon change thanks to the company’s pending acquisition of Motorola, and recent reports suggest Google is already working on a self-branded home entertainment system and HUD glasses. Through a recent FCC filing, it has now been discovered that Google is also planning a “next generation personal communication device.” Details surrounding the mystery device are few and far between, although the filing does confirm both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on board. The company has requested to test 102 units near Google office locations throughout the United States. The Mountain View-based company is listed as the manufacturer of the devices and it is described as being “in the prototyping phase and will be modified prior to final compliance testing.” More →
Following a long history at the forefront of the wireless industry, Nokia holds more than 30,000 patent licenses and applications. On Thursday, the Finnish vendor’s portfolio was confirmed to be slightly lighter as patent troll Sisvel International announced that it had acquired more than 450 Nokia patents. According to the Italy-based patent licensing firm, more than 350 of the patents it acquired from Nokia are essential to wireless standards. “Sisvel has been extremely active in recent years working with the wireless industry to provide simplified access to essential wireless patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory, or FRAND, conditions,” said Sisvel CEO Giustino de Sanctis in a statement. “Acquiring the many essential patents in this key portfolio is a very significant step for Sisvel and a testament to Sisvel’s commitment and determination to succeed in this space. We look forward to offering these essential patents on FRAND terms and to continuing our work within the wireless industry.” The company’s press release follows below. More →
In an interview with Reuters, Verizon Communications’ chief financial officer, Fran Shammo, reaffirmed several details about his company’s next iPhone offering. “Verizon’s [next iPhone] version will also work in as many countries as AT&T’s iPhone, which has global coverage,” writes Reuters, paraphrasing Mr. Shammo. The executive also noted that the inclusion of LTE in the next CDMA iDevice is not something Verizon has control over. “I think it’s a bigger issue for Apple than it is for us,” said Shammo speaking about the need for an LTE iPhone. “Depending on where Apple plays, that’s where we’ll sell.” The latest rumors have Apple releasing a refreshed version of its smartphone product later this fall. Most pundits agree that the update wil not include a Verizon-compatible LTE radio. More →
In a report today, Reuters noted that Verizon Wireless’ cellular data offerings are in for a major overhaul. “Verizon Wireless plans to kick off pricing changes this summer by eliminating smartphone plans that allow unlimited Web access for a flat fee,” reads the article. “It will replace them with tiered pricing that forces heavy data users to pay more for mobile data.” The report goes on to paraphrase Verizon Communications’ CFO, Fran Shammo, who explained that “after this change, which forces heavy data users to pay more, the company will look to soften the blow by offering more options such as family plans for data services.” Currently, Verizon Wireless smartphone users with family plans are required to pay $29.99 per line for cellular data. Non-family-plan smartphone customers can purchase unlimited mobile data (with a 5GB allowance) for the same monthly price. More →
As you can see from the above image, the destruction and slow reconstruction of AT&T is quite a story. With the T-Mobile merger currently being debated by Congress, potentially adding another chapter to the saga, we thought it might be a good idea to look at the genesis of AT&T Mobility as it stands today. It all started back in 2001 with AT&T Wireless… More →
The Department of Justice will perform an “in-depth” investigation of AT&T’s proposition to acquire T-Mobile USA, Reuters is reporting. Such an investigation comes as no surprise, as one FCC official assured the public on April 14th that the acquisition would get a thorough review from government antitrust and communications officials. Bloomberg says that the DoJ can issue a decision in as little as 30 days, however, a “second request,” could mean that the investigation will take longer. AT&T announced its plan to purchase T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion on March 20th. Despite Sprint’s claims that the acquisition will stifle competition in the U.S. wireless market, AT&T has argued that the deal will fuel economic growth and create new jobs. More →
The first-quarter financial figures for Verizon Wireless were not all that surprising. The nation’s largest wireless carrier was widely expected to post strong quarterly results, and it did. Verizon Wireless saw its churn rate fall year-over-year to 1.01 for postpaid customers and 1.33 overall. The company’s data revenues were up 22.3% from the same period last year, fueled by 1.8 million net additions, 2.2 million new iPhone activations, 260,000 HTC ThunderBolt activations, and 32% of retail postpaid customers using smartphones. Verizon Wireless now has 104 million total connections on its network, which represents a 6.1% increase year-over-year. If you are interested in reading the entire Verizon Communications release, it is waiting for you after the break.
Update: Although not included in the Q1 press release, the company’s conference call presentation indicates that 2.2 million iPhone 4s were activated during the three month period. Title updated to reflect this new information. More →
AT&T’s plans to purchase Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile USA will get a thorough examination from government agencies, including antitrust and communications investigators, an FCC aide affirmed on Thursday. AT&T proposed the $39 billion deal on March 20th and a company spokesperson told Bloomberg that Ma Bell plans to file its official application to the Federal Communications Commission “around April 21st.” Once the application has been submitted, the FCC reportedly has 180 days to grant approval. However, one FCC employee told Bloomberg that the FCC isn’t always limited to 180 days, so it could take a bit longer before a final decision is released. The deal has been openly opposed by Sprint, which claimed the transaction would “harm consumers and harm competition at a time when this country can least afford it,” and one anonymous FCC official has said “there’s no way the chairman’s office [will] rubber-stamp” the deal. AT&T’s CEO Randall L. Stephenson sees things differently. On March 30th he said the acquisition will immediately improve reliability for AT&T customers, and argued that there’s plenty of wireless competition in the United States that will continue to help push prices down for consumers. More →
On Tuesday, Verizon Communications agreed to pay $93.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department. Verizon was accused of overcharging the U.S. government for both voice and data services. Reuters reports that the the company’s MCI Communications Services unit “invoiced the General Services Administration for various taxes and surcharges in violation of contracts or regulations.” Back in October of 2010, Verizon was ordered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to repay customers more than $52 million for erroneous data charges. More →
The FCC today announced that it will hold an auction on July 19, 2011 for sixteen licenses in the 700MHz spectrum. The government agency has two licenses that operate in the 698-704MHz and 728-734MHz frequencies (Block A) along with fourteen licenses that operate in the 704-710MHz and 734-740MHz frequencies (Block B); all sixteen licenses have a 2 x 6MHz pairing and 12MHz of bandwidth. The 700MHz spectrum is currently what wireless providers AT&T and Verizon Wireless are using to build out their 4G, LTE networks in the United States. The proceeding has been designated with the name “Auction 92.”
Last week, we told you about Canada’s Competition Bureau slapping Rogers Wireless with a $10 million fine for inaccurate statements it made while advertising for its pre-paid wireless arm chatr. Unsurprisingly, the folks at Rogers have released a retaliatory statement vowing to “vigorously defend” itself and its statements in court:
Rogers Communications commented today on the actions of the Competition Bureau regarding chatr wireless. “We’re surprised by the actions of the Competition Bureau,” said Ken Engelhart, Senior Vice President of Regulatory, Rogers Communications. “We have extensive, independent third party testing to validate our claims and we stand by our advertising. We will vigorously defend this action in court.”
“We’ve completed extensive testing in coverage areas across the country and there’s no question that the testing validates the advertising in market,” said Todd Stone, President & CEO, Score Technologies.
Score Technologies is an independent third party organization that specializes in network testing for leading wireless carriers across North America.
We’ll keep you updated on any additional developments that come out of Canada.