Wholesale wireless reseller LightSquared announced on Monday that Sharp will manufacture smartphones and tablets capable of running on its 4G LTE network. LightSquared said that it will demo the first devices during the upcoming CTIA Wireless trade show in San Diego, California. “Sharp has a rich history of producing unique products that push the extremes of design and functionality, and we’re proud that they will be developing innovative devices for LightSquared’s 4G-LTE network,” LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said. “LightSquared’s wholesale-only business model and open network will provide Sharp with a platform from which they can aggressively expand into the U.S. wireless market with an exciting portfolio of smartphones and tablets.” Sprint announced an LTE partnership with LightSquared on July 28th, and we expect to hear more about its 4G LTE plans on Friday during its Strategy Media Update event in New York City. Read on for the full press release from LightSquared. More →
Clearwire is in discussions to sell sell some of its wireless network capacity to Verizon Wireless and AT&T, Bloomberg reported recently. “All those discussions are under way,” Clearwire CEO Erik Prusch told Bloomberg. “I’m confident we’ll bring in new wholesale partners. Our message to the industry is that we’ve got the capacity to handle their needs.” However, it is more likely Clearwire is approaching the carriers in an effort to raise cash for its 4G LTE network plans. On August 3rd, Clearwire announced its intentions to build out a nationwide 4G LTE network but said those plans were “subject to additional funding.” Clearwire needs $600 billion to build its 4G LTE network. “We want to be the Switzerland of mobile broadband,” Prusch said, noting that his company is talking to, and willing to work with, anyone who needs network capacity.” In mid-August reports surfaced that Sprint was in talks to buy Clearwire outright in order to build its own LTE network. We expect we could hear more on Sprint and its Clearwire plans during a “Strategy Update” event on October 7th in New York City, where BGR will be reporting live. More →
Sprint announced on Tuesday that it is now selling access to its 4G WiMAX network, currently available in 71 markets across the United States, to its wholesale customers. Typically the carrier only sells its 3G network to wholesaler customers and it is now the first U.S. carrier to sell 4G wholesale. Sprint said that it will offer its customers the Sierra Wireless 250U 3G/4G data card as well as the HTC Detail 4G handset and the EVO Shift 4G. Mitel is among the first of Sprint’s wholesale customers to deploy a 4G network. Read on for the full press release from Sprint. 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 →
FierceWireless is reporting that U.S. wireless carrier Sprint and its WiMAX-network partner Clearwire have entered arbitration over the monthly rate the latter company charges for WiMAX enabled smartphones on its network. Currently, around 810,000 Epic and Evo handset owners use their device in areas where Clearwire’s service is unavailable. Despite this fact, the WiMAX network provider continues to charge Sprint a monthly fee for the devices existence.
According to the report, Sprint filed for arbitration on October 29th of this year to resolve the dispute. As most Sprint, WiMAX-enable handset owners know, the wireless company charges a $10 monthly premium for its 4G handsets whether the service is available or not; there is no information available that indicates the $10 tariff could be reduced or dropped if the arbitration were to favor Sprint. Allegedly, Sprint pays Clearwire $4.46 per 4G-handset user.
“If we are unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of these issues, we end up agreeing to an amount less than what we expected, or the arbitration process is not resolved in our favor, we could end up receiving substantially less in future wholesale revenues than we expect or for which we have planned,” said Clearwire.
“We do have an agreement between the parties,” added Clearwire Chief Commercial Officer Mike Sievert. “What we have right now is a difference in the interpretation of it.”
The news comes on the heels of a dismal Q3 earnings call where the company announced a 15% reduction in work-force to help “raise short-term funding.”
It will be interesting to see how this one pans out and how, if at all, it affects the monthly charge Sprint passes on to its 4G handset owners.