Looking back at 2011: 4G LTE takes off

By on December 26, 2011 at 2:20 PM.

Looking back at 2011: 4G LTE takes off

LTE quickly became one of the most talked about wireless topics this year, but before 2011 it was a term most consumers probably had never heard of. A standard developed by the Third-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), long-term evolution (LTE) is a progression of UMTS/HSPA and GSM/EDGE networks. Just a year ago, 4G LTE wasn’t available to the general U.S. public and now, as we begin to enter 2012, a massive chunk of the U.S. population has access to it. 4G spread like a wildfire during 2011, so let’s take a look at some of this year’s LTE highlights. More →

No Comments

SIMPLE Mobile introduces $10 international calling plans

By on December 23, 2011 at 5:30 PM.

SIMPLE Mobile introduces $10 international calling plans

SIMPLE Mobile recently introduced two new international calling plans. Customers can now opt to sign up for a $10 unlimited international long distance plan or a $10 pay-as-you-go option. The $10 monthly unlimited plan allows customers to place calls to more than 50 countries including to Canada, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. The $10 pay-as-you-go option can be used to place calls to any country in the world at low per-minute rates, and the full list is available on SIMPLE Mobile’s website. The carrier also noted that international text messaging is included. “We continue to offer free international text messaging with all our current plans and our totally new international calling plans are the perfect compliment to that feature,” SIMPLE Mobile senior vice president of marketing Tim Garrett said. “The majority of SIMPLE Mobile customers have friends and family outside of the US, so these upgrades will definitely appeal to them.” Simple Mobile’s full press release follows after the break. More →

No Comments

Steve Jobs wanted to circumvent carriers, create Apple wireless network

By on November 15, 2011 at 6:45 PM.

Steve Jobs wanted to circumvent carriers, create Apple wireless network

During the Law Seminars International event in Seattle on Tuesday, Trilogy Partners chairman John Stanton said he spoke frequently with Steve Jobs about Jobs’s dream to create a wireless network owned and operated by Apple. “He wanted to replace carriers,” Stanton explained. “He and I spent a lot of time talking about whether synthetically you could create a carrier using Wi-Fi spectrum. That was part of his vision,” Stanton added, noting that he worked with Steve Jobs from 2005 through 2007. Jobs originally wanted to take advantage of unlicensed spectrum that Wi-Fi networks use, although it is unclear how advanced his plans or intentions for such a project were. Jobs reportedly nixed the idea in 2007 and, four years later, the iPhone is now available on three major U.S. wireless carriers and one regional carrier. IDG, which first reported the story, said Stanton was the former head of Voicestream before it became T-Mobile, and he also worked for McCaw Cellular, which later became AT&T. More →

No Comments

There are now more wireless subscriber connections in the U.S. than people

By on October 11, 2011 at 2:30 PM.

There are now more wireless subscriber connections in the U.S. than people

For the first time, the number of wireless devices connecting to cellular networks in the United States and its territories over the past six months has surpassed the country’s total population. A semi-annual survey conducted by the CTIA found that wireless subscriber connections now total 327.6 million while the population of the U.S. and its territories is now 315.5 million people. This means the wireless penetration rate in the U.S. in now 103.9% according to the CTIA, marking the first time that wireless penetration has surpassed 100% in the U.S. The CTIA also noted that wireless data connections increased 111% compared to its previous semi-annual survey, and wireless service revenue in the U.S. totaled $164.6 billion during the 12-month period ending June 2011, up 6% from the same period in 2010. The association’s full press release follows below. More →

27 Comments

Sharp to manufacture smartphones and tablets for LightSquared’s 4G LTE network

By on October 3, 2011 at 6:20 PM.

Sharp to manufacture smartphones and tablets for LightSquared’s 4G LTE network

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 →

2 Comments

Verizon finally launches 4G LTE in Kalamazoo (and 25 other markets)

By on September 14, 2011 at 9:40 PM.

Verizon finally launches 4G LTE in Kalamazoo (and 25 other markets)

Verizon Wireless announced on Wednesday that it will activate its 4G LTE network in 26 new markets on Thursday, September 15th. The new areas include Kalamazoo and Saginaw, Michigan; Fargo, North Dakota; Moorhead Minnesota; Canton, Lima and Mansfield, Ohio; Reno, Nevada; Iowa City, Iowa; Fort Smith and Jonesboro, Arkansas; Daytona, Florida; Shreveport, Louisiana; Las Cruces, New Mexico; Dyersburg, Tennessee; the Tri-Cities in Tennessee and Virginia; Austin, Beaumont/Port Arthur, Wichita Falls and El Paso, Texas; San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, California; Bloomington/Normal, Champaign/Urbana, Rockford, Springfield and Quad Cities, Illinois. Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network now covers more than 160 million U.S. residents in 143 markets, and the carrier hopes to cover 185 million Americans by the end of this year. Read on for a press release of Verizon’s expansion in Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota. More →

17 Comments

Carriers dig deeper hole with lack of innovative 4G LTE pricing, Ovum says

By on August 9, 2011 at 7:01 AM.

Carriers dig deeper hole with lack of innovative 4G LTE pricing, Ovum says

Wireless carriers around the world are digging themselves into a deeper hole by neglecting to experiment with innovative pricing models for 4G LTE services. While consumers have exhibited concern surrounding tiered data plans and bandwidth throttling, Ovum believes such models are necessary to combat the growing capacity crunch plaguing cellular service providers. This crunch, of course, is serious enough that AT&T is hoping to soon $39 billion in order to acquire T-Mobile USA and use the carrier’s precious spectrum for its 4G LTE network build-out. Smartphone and mobile broadband users are pumping more data over wireless networks than ever before, and speedier 4G LTE service only stands to exacerbate the situation. Additionally, carriers are missing the opportunity to find new ways to squeeze more revenue out of this new premium high-speed service. “We looked at the LTE pricing strategies of operators in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the US, and were disappointed with our findings,” Ovum analyst Nicole McCormick said in a statement. “LTE provides operators with the opportunity to experiment with new and innovative pricing models, which allows them to find the best way of deriving revenues from the premium service. However, most operators have not grasped this opportunity. Instead, LTE tariffs in the regions Ovum analysed are dominated by unlimited offerings and large data buckets, which can be problematic.” Ovum’s full press release follows below. More →

26 Comments

Mobile data revenue will grow 23% to $315 billion this year, Gartner says

By on August 5, 2011 at 7:11 AM.

Mobile data revenue will grow 23% to $315 billion this year, Gartner says

Mobile data connections are poised grow 11% in 2011, driving global mobile data revenue to $314.7 billion. Market research firm Gartner on Thursday said mobile data connections will reach 5.6 billion this year compared to 5 billion in 2010, driving global revenue from mobile data up 22.5% from the $257 billion earned last year. “Mobile data traffic will increase significantly as more people will have access to mobile data networks, there is a migration toward smartphones and an increase in sales of media tablets,” said Gartner analyst Jessica Ekholm in a statement. “Mobile data volumes will continue to grow as mobile data networks become faster and more ubiquitous, while at the same time the number of data users and data usage per user is expected to grow.” Gartner sees global mobile data connections growing steadily over the next few years, reaching 7.4 billion in 2015 creating $552 billion in revenue. Preparing networks for this growth is something carriers need to focus on. “What carriers currently need are innovative ways to increase data revenue while finding smart solutions to manage a growing demand in data,” said Gartner research director Sylvain Fabre. “Ultimately, it will be the consumer who chooses the content he or she wants to use, and carriers need to ensure that the quality of experience is good. A substandard user experience may lead to higher churn.” Gartner’s full press release follows below. More →

4 Comments

Samsung, Apple and Google considering bids on InterDigital's patent portfolio

By on August 3, 2011 at 11:41 PM.

Samsung, Apple and Google considering bids on InterDigital's patent portfolio

Apple, Google and Samsung are examining InterDigital and its 8,800-patent portfolio, and at least one is expected to bid on the company, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. InterDigital is based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and analysts from Algorithm Capital and Dougherty & Co. said the firm could be worth as much as $5 billion. InterDigital owns patents related to transferring data over wireless networks and its inventions have been used in Android and BlackBerry smartphones as well as the iPhone, Bloomberg said. “The fight between Apple and Samsung is getting serious, so if the assets go to Apple, it could be pretty risky for Samsung,” Shinyoung Securities Co. analyst Lee Seung Woo told Bloomberg. “To hedge the risk, Samsung could go ahead with bidding, although they may have to pay a big premium.” All three companies are beefing up existing patent portfolios as the legal battles between each company heat up. Most recently, Samsung acquired memory maker Grandis and Google purchased 1,000 patents from IBM. More →

29 Comments

T-Mobile to extend direct carrier billing to more digital products and services

By on August 2, 2011 at 10:00 PM.

T-Mobile to extend direct carrier billing to more digital products and services

T-Mobile announced on Tuesday that it will expand its Direct Carrier Billing option to support more digital products. The service allows T-Mobile customers to make purchases directly from their web browsers and charge them to their monthly T-Mobile bills. Customers can purchase music, games, social networking credits and more from their phones, T-Mobile tablets, or any of their computers connected to a T-Mobile network. Direct Carrier Billing will be available later this month, and once it is active, customers will see the option from participating providers during checkout. There is no additional fee for Direct Carrier Billing and customers can opt-out by contacting T-Mobile support. Read on for the full press release. More →

7 Comments

AT&T revenue up 2.2% in Q2; 3.6 million iPhones activated

By on July 21, 2011 at 8:40 AM.

AT&T revenue up 2.2% in Q2; 3.6 million iPhones activated

AT&T reported its second quarter results on Thursday. The company’s consolidated revenues were $31.5 billion, up 2.2% ($680 million) from the same quarter last year. AT&T’s wireless, wireline data and managed services were responsible for 76% of those revenues, and that figure is growing at a rate of 8.3% year-over-year. AT&T Mobility added a total of 1.1 million subscribers during the quarter, including 331,000 net postpaid adds, and it now serves a total of 98.6 million subscribers. The carrier also noted that it had its best-ever second quarter for smartphone sales: it sold 5.6 million total smartphones, up 43% year-over-year. AT&T activated 3.6 million iPhones during the quarter, more than half of the smartphones sold, and said that nearly 25% of the iPhone activations were from new subscribers. AT&T also noted that its planned acquisition of T-Mobile is still on track for closure during the first quarter of next year. Read on for the full press release.
More →

28 Comments

Verizon to activate 28 new 4G LTE markets on Thursday, expand others

By on July 18, 2011 at 9:40 PM.

Verizon to activate 28 new 4G LTE markets on Thursday, expand others

Verizon Wireless just announced that it will activate its 4G LTE network in 28 new markets on Thursday. The new markets include Decatur and Huntsville, Alabama; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Lakeland and Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida; Augusta, Georgia; Hilo, Honolulu, Kahului-Wailuku and Lahaina, Hawaii; Carbondale, Illinois; Wichita, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Baton Rouge and Hammond, Louisiana; Springfield, Massachusetts.; Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Toledo, Ohio; Tulsa, Oklahoma.; Portland, Oregon; Wilkes Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania; Charleston, South Carolina; Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee; Olympia and Tacoma, Washington; and Charleston, West Virginia. Verizon Wireless also said that it will expand the 4G LTE footprints already available in Phoenix, Arizona; Los Angeles and San Diego, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Northern New Jersey; Dallas-Forth Worth and San Antonio, Texas; and Seattle, Washington. On Thursday, the carrier’s LTE network will be available in a total of 102 markets. Read on for the full press release. More →

21 Comments

Nokia, Siemens bail on effort to sell Nokia Siemens Networks

By on July 13, 2011 at 11:00 PM.

Nokia, Siemens bail on effort to sell Nokia Siemens Networks

Nokia and Siemens have given up efforts to sell Nokia Siemens Networks, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The firms had been trying to sell the joint venture, which has had troubles reporting a profit, for the past year. “The timing for selling the unit could hardly have been worse; there are clear signs from companies like LG and ASML of European handset market descending into a slump and selling a mobile network company on the eve of a handset market downturn is a tough challenge,” MKM Partners analyst Tero Kuittinen told Reuters. Reportedly, a Siemens spokesperson also said that the firm was still looking to get out of NSN “sooner than later.” The Nokia Siemens joint venture was formed in 2007. More →

No Comments