Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse said in a note to employees Friday that Sprint will merge the marketing and sales teams of its enterprise and consumer businesses into one body. Hesse said the carrier is restructuring in an effort to better streamline its operations, Reuters reported on Friday. As a result, Sprint is also removing four executives from their roles with the firm. “As the wireless market has evolved, the lines between consumers and businesses have blurred,” Hesse said, according to a note to employees obtained by Reuters. “We believe that we no longer need to support two separate business units, and that it is more logical now to evolve to unified marketing and sales organizations. Because of the enormous investments we’re making this year in Network Vision and in the iPhone, we need to consistently be looking for ways to be more efficient.” Sprint’s chief marketing officer Bill Malloy will run the merged marketing and sales unit. Sprint has decided to remove the president of its consumer services group, Bob Johnson, the president of its integrated solutions group, Danny Bowman, the senior vice president of its corporate development and spectrum, Chris Rogers, and the senior vice president of consumer marketing, John Carney. More →
T-Mobile’s chief marketing officer Cole Brodman recently published a letter on the company’s official blog addressing customers and discussing the carrier’s view on the iPhone. At first glance, it reads like a simple breakdown as to why T-Mobile doesn’t offer the iPhone. Brodman’s explanation of T-Mobile’s current iPhone situation, however, also reads a bit like a plea to Apple. “Today, there are over a million T-Mobile customers using unlocked iPhones on our network,” Brodman explains. “We are interested in offering all of our customers a no-compromise iPhone experience on our network,” he added, suggesting that Apple and T-Mobile have not been able to reach an agreement that would allow T-Mobile to sell the phone directly. Read on for more. More →
Steve Jobs has officially resigned as CEO of Apple, and here is his resignation letter to Apple and you, the Apple community.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith wrote a letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski and Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States, on Tuesday expressing his support of AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. Smith said he believes the FCC and the Department of Justice have only heard “one side of the story” from members of congress who provided “limited information” during recent briefings. Smith also said that his committee has “heard evidence” that the merger will:
Substantially improve the quality of the capacity of its broadband network thereby creating jobs an spurring innovation; use existing spectrum more efficiently to overcome the current spectrum shortage; expand its LTE mobile broadband Internet service to 97% of America including much of rural America; and provide better service to its customers thereby giving its competitors an incentive to improve their service.
Smith said any evidence from the congressional hearings that omits the aforementioned points “paints an incomplete picture.” Sprint has been one of the most vocal opponents of the merger and has said that, in contrast to creating jobs and innovation, the acquisition will “stifle” innovation in the U.S. Wireless market. Read on for more. More →
Senator Herb Kohl, the chairman of the Senate’s antitrust subcommittee is recommending that federal regulators deny AT&T’s $39 billion planned acquisition of T-Mobile. ”I have concluded that this acquisition, if permitted to proceed, would likely cause substantial harm to competition and consumers, would be contrary to antitrust law and not in the public interest, and therefore should be blocked by your agencies,” Kohl said on Wednesday. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, Congressman John Conyers, and Congressman Edward Markey also recently wrote a letter to the Justice Department and the FCC expressing concern that the acquisition would hurt competition in the U.S. wireless market. “We believe that AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile would be a troubling backward step in federal public policy–a retrenchment from nearly two decades of promoting competition and open markets to acceptance of a duopoly in the wireless marketplace,” the letter said. “Such industry consolidation could reduce competition and increase consumer costs at a time our country can least afford it.” Sprint and its CEO Dan Hesse have also been very involved in trying to stop the merger. While Hesse has argued the deal will “stifle innovation” in the U.S. Wireless market, AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson has argued the opposite and has said it will result in “net job growth.” In June AT&T’s General Counsel Wayne Watts said that the deal, which has been backed by other big tech hitters such as Microsoft, was on schedule for a March 2012 approval. More →
Record labels seem to have a hard time understanding one, simple truth: after a consumer purchases a song — be it on a CD or digitally — the consumer owns that file. Period. It is, however, nice to know that at least one large corporation respects that fact, Amazon. In a letter penned to music labels, the online retail giant stated that its new Cloud Drive music service has boosted digital MP3 sales and goes on to explain why it does not need permission from record labels for its use. “There has been speculation that we are looking for licenses for Cloud Drive and Cloud Player,” reads the e-mail. “We are not looking for licenses for Cloud Drive or Cloud Player as they exist today — as no licensees are required.” Amazon continues, “Cloud Player is a media management and play-back application not unlike Windows Media Player and any number of other media management applications that let customers manage and play their music. It requires a license from content owners no more than those applications do. It really is that simple.” The company did mention that further improvements may require licensing, and that record labels can “expect to hear more” from Amazon on potential licensing “in the near future.” David Israeite of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) called the move “troubling,” and added that Amazon was not creating “an environment of trust and cooperation.” More →
In conjunction with yesterday’s AT&T and T-Mobile merger announcement, T-Mobile USA’s President and CEO — Philipp Humm — sent an email to company employees explaining the move. Referring to it as “the best possible solution for our business and for our customers,” Humm assured his workforce that AT&T was committed to “keeping talented people through the transition.” The letter reiterates statements made in the company’s official press release, and acknowledges that the news may be both “unexpected” and “unsettling.” The full-text of the letter is awaiting your scrutiny after the break. More →
AT&T has started to issue warnings to customers unofficially tethering their smartphones to its network. In an email to unauthorized tetherers, the company writes, “Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.” The correspondence goes on to note that users will be automatically enrolled in the $45 per month “DataPro for Smartphone Tethering” plan if they ignore the warning. “The new plan – whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you – will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan,” the email continues. The standard DataPro offering is $25 per month and provides users with 2GB of monthly data, although some users are still clinging to a discontinued, $30 per month 5GB data plan. It is safe to assume that a large portion of the unofficial, tethering populous is jailbroken iPhone users and rooted Android users. “If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required.” A copy of the email tethering-cheaters are receiving is after the break.
Yesterday, we told you about VeriFone’s unprovoked, online vendetta waged against mobile-payments startup Square. VeriFone CEO, Douglas G. Bergeron, wrote and open letter to humanity and created a YouTube video declaring that consumers were in “dire risk” because of Square’s card reader. Although the accused company did not respond to requests for comment yesterday, Square’s CEO has published a letter of his own, downplaying VeriFone’s concerns, while taking the proverbial high-road.
“Any technology—an encrypted card reader, phone camera, or plain old pen and paper—can be used to ‘skim’ or copy numbers from a credit card,” writes Jack Dorsey, Square’s CEO. “The waiter you hand your credit card to at a restaurant, for example, could easily steal your card details if he wanted to—no technology required.”
The letter goes on to reassure Square users that the company is “constantly improving the payment experience to enhance security” and that it’s partner bank, JPMorgan Chase, “stands behind every aspect” of the company’s service. Hit the jump to read the full context of the rebuttal. More →
Looking to assuage the previously expressed concerns of some lawmakers, Chinese telecom juggernaut Huawei is asking for a formal U.S. government investigation into its businesses. Huawei is looking to sell its equipment to United States companies, but has been met by heavy political headwinds. Our company is asking for this investigation “in an effort to reach a clear and accurate conclusion,” writes Huawei.
“Efforts to do business in the United States in the past 10 years had been hurt by misperceptions,” reports Reuters. This includes “unproven claims of ‘close connections with the Chinese military.'”
Huawei made the request this week via an open letter on its website. The coalition of lawmakers who have opposed the company’s entrance into the U.S. market place have yet to issue a statement. More →
Today, U.S. wireless providers AT&T and Sprint filed a formal letter with the FCC requesting permission to exchange several blocks of wireless spectrum. The two companies claim that the move would be mutually beneficial as it would “enhance” their ability to provide and expand services. The letter reads:
The Applicants state that the additional spectrum (including the spectrum encompassed by the de facto transfer spectrum leasing arrangement) will enable AT&T to increase its system capacity to enhance existing services, better accommodate its overall growth, and facilitate the provision of additional products and services to the public in the Dallas-Ft. Worth, Denver, New Orleans-Baton Rouge, Des Moines-Quad Cities, Honolulu, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Omaha, Louisville-Lexington-Evansville, Salt Lake City, and Spokane-Billings MTAs. The Applicants also state that the transaction will enhance Sprint Nextel’s ability to expand its array of commercial mobile wireless services in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, New Orleans, South Bend-Mishawaka, Charlotte-Greensboro-Greenville, and Cleveland MTAs.
New York Senator Charles Schumer (D) has written an open letter to Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs asking for a quick and transparent fix for the iPhone 4’s antenna woes. Citing the Consumer Reports report from several days ago, Schumer’s letter also asks for “a written explanation of the formula it uses to calculate bar strength.” We’ve got the full letter for your scrutiny after the bounce. More →
Apple has released a statement regarding reception issues with the iPhone 4. The statement, which is in letter format, cites the “formula” Apple uses “to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display” being “totally wrong,” and the fact that “gripping almost any mobile phone in certain ways will reduce its reception by 1 or more bars.” We’ve got the full release for you after the break. Apple said a free software update will be coming in “a few weeks” that will allegedly provide a fix. What do you think? More →