Verizon Wireless CEO Daniel Mead said on Monday that the company has no interest in a merger with Sprint, a notion that had been tossed around by analysts over the weekend following news that AT&T intends to Acquire T-Mobile USA. “We’re not interested in Sprint. We don’t need them,” Mead told Reuters reporters in Florida ahead of this year’s CTIA Wireless conference. Should AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA from European telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom receive regulatory approval, AT&T would become the nation’s top wireless carrier by subscriber count. Verizon Wireless currently holds the No. 1 position, which it took from AT&T back in January 2009 when the carrier completed its acquisition of top regional carrier Alltel. AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile USA stands to create a much more substantial lead where subscriber count is concerned, however, making AT&T home to over 130 million wireless subscribers compared to Verizon Wireless’ 102 million. More →
Two new Palm handsets allegedly hit Sprint’s inventory system; webOS fans allegedly cry tears of joy
It appears as though webOS junkies may soon have a new way to get their fix — two new ways, even. According to a screenshot allegedly depicting Sprint’s inventory system, not one but two new Palm handsets have materialized; the 120 and C40. Let’s look at what we’ve got: Sprint’s Pre is coded as 100, or P100 in internal systems. At Verizon, it’s pretty safe to assume the Pre has been dubbed P101 as we’ve seen several references to it. Both the screenshot above and the shots in this post also depict a device coded 12x — the 120 is listed above and the P121 is reportedly in Verizon’s inventory system right now. We’ve seen the 120 referenced earlier as well, and it was always thought to be the Eos. As both carriers are rumored to be getting Palm’s Centro replacement in the near future, the Eos being designated as 12x might still be a safe bet. As for what the C40 could be however, we’re stumped. If the C40 is actually the Eos and the 120 is a refreshed Pre of some sort, why does Verizon have both the P101 and P121 in its inventory right now? Does Big Red plan to launch 8GB and 16GB Pre models simultaneously, a la older iPhone models? Hit the comments and let us know what you think.
Earlier this week, we exclusively scooped the presence of Sprint’s upcoming Instinct HD on Best Buy’s website and the simple fact that it hasn’t been pulled suggests a launch is imminent. For a bit more supporting evidence, someone apparently got a little excited because a handful of live shots hit the Web yesterday, including several device-on shots showing off the UI. Barring the horribly lame clownfish wallpaper we sincerely hope was added by the user and not on the handset by default, we’re seemingly looking at a pretty sexy feature phone here — clearly in the same vein as previous Instinct models. Sleek case, nice big touchscreen display, 5 megapixel camera, HD video-out… It’s definitely a solid offering as long as it launches at a decent price. Hit the jump for some more shots with varying levels of blurriness.
As the line between Clearwire and Sprint’s 4G services continues to get more confusing with each passing day, we can at least take solace in knowing that WiMAX is progressing somewhere in the country. Corny and redundant press release titles aside, Sprint announced yesterday that its 4G services are now live and ready to rock in three “new” markets: Las Vegas, NV; Portland, OR and Atlanta, GA. The announcement comes two days later than the leaked WiMAX roadmap indicated earlier this month but we’d say it’s now safe to assume the rest of the list will pan out as it suggests — provided Sprint stays on schedule, of course. In terms of pricing, Sprint’s mobile broadband plan with a 4G cherry on top will run you $69.99 per month for unlimited 4G (includes 5GB of 3G data) and $10 day passes are available.
Read, Read and Read
It’s here, mobile fans. The moment you’ve been waiting for. The results you’ve been itching for. The numbers you’ve been clamoring for. The… Ok, you get the idea. Last week we asked Sprint subscribers to test their 3G handset speeds and show us what their carrier of choice is made of. Well the results are in and they might just surprise you. So how does the nation’s number three carrier stack up against the big boys? Hit the jump to find out.
Yay green. Sprint announced this morning that it is now the latest carrier to jump on the eco-conscious bandwagon — and being conscious of the environment is definitely a good bandwagon to jump on. Made with 80 percent recycled materials, the Samsung reclaim is a phone that has been rumored to hit Sprint for a while now. Sprint calls the phone “the most full-featured QWERTY phone launched by Sprint at less than $50″ and truth be told, it probably is. In fact, it’s probably the most solid green offering we’ve seen from any US carrier considering its QWERTY keypad, 2 megapixel camera with video capture, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP, GPS and microSDHC support (up to 32GB). No, it’s not going to satisfy the power users out there but if you know a tween looking for a messaging machine, this little guy is just about as good as it gets. The Samsung Reclaim will be available nationwide on August 16th for an affordable $49.99 on contract. For every handset purchased, Sprint will donate $2 to The Nature Conservancy’s Adopt an Acre program.
Welcome back to Carrier Wars, the ongoing feature where we ask our readers to post their 3G speed test results, we collect the data and dish the outcome, and then a bunch of people whine about said outcome in the comments section. So far we have AT&T clocked in with raw averages of 933kbps down/180kbps up and Verizon Wireless on the books with raw averages of 701kbps down/322kbps up. Next up to bat: Sprint. While Verizon and AT&T bicker about who has the nation’s “fastest” or “most reliable” 3G network, Sprint is apparently flying under the radar by advertising “America’s most dependable 3G network”. Well Sprint fans, it’s time for you to break out those 3G handsets and latch on to Sprint’s uber-dependable network — we want your speed test results.
Please post your test results in the comments section of this post and you get extra points for linking a screenshot. We only care about 3G and we absolutely must know what handset you’re using; again, this is to separate EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. 0. So what are you waiting for Sprinters? Get moving!
Note: Don’t forget guys, we want phone model, average download speed AND average upload speed! If you’re wondering how to perform a speed test on your phone, check the first few comments below for links to various options.
Still managing to skirt the ever-present how many Palm Pres has the company sold question, Sprint reported its Q2 2009 results this morning. While the company did post a slightly bigger loss than expected, it wasn’t the bone crushing declines we’ve seen from Old Yeller in recent history. Operating revenue came in at $8.1 billion, down 10 percent YoY and just short of the Street’s $8.12 billion projection, and it posted a net loss of $384 million or $0.13 per share, down 12 percent from $344 million in the same quarter last year. The part that’s really hard to swallow here is that despite the release of the Palm Pre, one of the most highly anticipated handsets of the year, Sprint still managed to shed 257,000 subscribers net in the quarter, up from 187,000 in Q1. Its subscriber count now stands at 48.8 million. The shocking part — Sprint lost 991,000 postpaid subscribers this past quarter, meaning the bleeding has barely slowed in this crucial category. If the Palm Pre, endless time spent improving customer service, vastly improved network quality and some amazingly attractive plans can’t keep subscribers on board, what can?
Didn’t see this one coming… Apparently Branson’s Helio-hawking MVNO Virgin Mobile is about to be gobbled up by the nation’s number three. Sprint has officially announced its intentions to acquire the popular prepaid peddler and according to the release, it’s a done deal. Sprint will cough up $483 million in total for the acquisition, though its current 13.1 percent stake in the company factors into that figure. The carrier will also cover VM’s $250 million in debt at closing. We’re not yet sure how the VM brand will be positioned in Sprint’s arsenal — perhaps it will remain a separate brand or maybe it will be folded into Boost Mobile — but the bottom line is Sprint sees plenty of potential in the prepaid market. You know what they say… There’s no money like up front money.
Following a tumultuous start, it looks like Sprint’s troubles with stocking and delivering BlackBerry Tour units are almost over. A series of three posts from Sprint’s twitter account suggest two shipments from RIM should allow the carrier to catch up with “strong demand”. One shipment apparently arrived this week and a second is scheduled for delivery early next week. Those who still haven’t been able to get their hands on RIM’s latest handset will hopefully accept Sprint’s apologies and sit tight for just a short while longer. We’re still not sure why the Tour was listed as in stock earlier this week when customers received backorder notices immediately after placing orders, but our guess is we’ll never know exactly what went wrong. The bottom line is these two Tour shipments should take care of everyone still waiting to snag a unit.
Next up in today’s line of handsets eager to fight their way into the pockets of the 14-and-under crowd is LG’s LX290. Available nary a day after Sprint’s BlackBerry Tour hit the scene — just to help ensure our readers would barely blink — this latest offering from Sprint features, well, basically nothing:
ENTERTAINMENT & PERSONALIZATION
- NFL Mobile Live providing live audio broadcasts of every regular season game and watch the live broadcasts of all NFL Network games. Get real-time red zone alerts, scores, stats, live NFL Network 24/7 and more. Manage your fantasy football team like a pro with up-to-the-minute insights, analysis, stats and alerts.
- 1.3 MP camera with 2x digital zoom and Picture Messaging to shoot, share, print high-resolution digital photos instantly, and upload photos directly to social networking sites.
- 2.5 mm headset jack
- Sprint Navigation with GPS-enabled audio and visual turn-by-turn driving directions, one-click traffic rerouting and more than 10 million local listings
- Four conveniently-located shortcut keys for quick access to texting, email, personal calendar and alarm
- Easy, one-touch access to all your personal and work email including AOL/AIM, Yahoo!, Windows Live (Hotmail and MSN) and more
- Record a voice message and send it to as many as 25 friends at once, without even making a call
- Built-in productivity tools such as planner and scheduler, memo pad, world clock, alarm clock, calculator and more
- Dimensions: 4.09 x 1.94 x 0.63 inches; 3.6 ounces
- Display: 1.33 x 1.77 inches TFT (240 x 320 pixels QVGA and 262K vibrant colors)
- Standard Lithium (LiIon) battery: up to 6 hours continuous talk time*
Imagine… A handset with specs so sparse that a 2.5mm headset jack is actually worth highlighting. Right on. The LG LX290 is available immediately for $29.99 after mail-in rebate on a 2-year contract. The line forms to the right this time.
[Via Press Release]
Big, big news from Sprint today boys and girls… Following unending rumors and speculation that Sprint is likely growing accustomed to at this point, the nation’s number three carrier made a huge announcement today that will finally put an end to the rumors. No, Sprint is not selling its network. No, Sprint is not leasing its network. No, Sprint is not being acquired. The carrier is in fact contracting Ericsson to perform day-to-day operation of its wireless and wireline networks. Key clarifications direct from Sprint:
- Sprint is not selling or leasing our networks. We will continue to own and control them, with responsibility for network strategy, investment decisions, technology and vendor selections. The term “outsourcing” implies that we would be giving up control, and we are not — that would be a misleading characterization.
- We are not laying off people – we’re adding the skills of more people. About 6,000 Sprint employees will become employees of Ericsson, doing primarily the exact same jobs. They’ll be augmented by the skills, tools and knowledge of 30,000 more people at Ericsson.
- Customers will continue to work directly with Sprint employees as their primary contact, because Sprint retains full control of the customer experience, customer technical support and services review.
- Ericsson will perform day-to-day network functions under Sprint’s direction – working at the towers, installing lines, managing the storage and movement of equipment, overseeing daily network traffic, etc.
- The deal delivers efficiencies for Sprint, access to improved network tools and processes, and allows Sprint to focus more attention on other areas of innovation.
The seven-year $5 billion deal, which is not common practice here in the US, is a big one indeed — for both parties. Ericsson will assume responsibility for day-to-day services, provisioning and maintenance for the Sprint-owned CDMA, iDEN and wireline networks, adding to the 80 networks covering 270 million subscribers it already manages. Sprint will maintain ownership of its networks as well as responsibility for network strategy and investment decisions. Big changes for sure; but hardly the apocalypse many had been speculating.
Fear and Loathing joke aside, you know a phone has heat when people would rather drive through a store window than wait for the store to open… If you’ve been chained up in a basement for the past few months and haven’t heard, Sprint and Palm just launched one of the most highly anticipated handsets of the year — the Palm Pre. The webOS-powered wonder is now available in stores across the country and supplies are likely to be a bit limited so if you want in on some steamy Pre action, you best crawl out of bed and get yourself to a Sprint store. Now if you’ll excuse us we have some more Pres to scoop up and if you’re grabbing one today as well, let us know what you think!
(source image courtesy of NBC)