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Smartphone Batteries Not the Life of the Mobile Wallet Party

October 24, 2013 5:18 pm | by Ben Munson | Comments

Mobile payments will inevitably gain more traction with consumers, merchants and retailers as the technology becomes more widely distributed. If one technology eventually prevails in the market, that would be even better for adoption. But the likelihood of a connected device fully replacing our wallets is about zero until battery life turns into afterthought for smartphone users.

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T-Mo Advances as Rogue Roamer

October 10, 2013 1:10 pm | by Andrew Berg | Comments

T-Mobile's announcements Wednesday that it will offer unlmited international data roaming and free texts in over 100 countries, as well as 200 million POPs covered with LTE, are yet more reasons the un-carrier is succeeding at its mission to become the value offering in America. 

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Is it Worth Picking Sides in a Spectrum Auction?

October 9, 2013 12:18 pm | by Ben Munson | Comments

Taking all of this into account, the picture gets murky and it’s difficult to choose any potential auction participant worth rooting for. If AT&T and Verizon can help maximize revenue, good for them. If Sprint and T-Mobile can increase competitiveness, good for them. If someone else can snap up some spectrum and put it to good (potentially disruptive) use, good for them. Whoever comes out ahead, it should be a good show.

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Qualcomm Suddenly Big Smartwatch Contender

September 5, 2013 5:07 pm | by Ben Munson | Comments

Save for a few hints derived from FCC patents, there were few clues about Qualcomm’s smartwatch ambitions. So it surprised the crowd at Qualcomm’s Uplinq developer conference in San Diego when CEO Paul Jacobs rather casually unveiled Toq at the end of his keynote address, at almost precisely the same time Samsung was introducing Galaxy Gear.

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T-Mobile? They're Not Our Competition: Or Are They?

August 9, 2013 2:10 pm | by Andrew Berg | Comments

I recently had an interesting chat with my wireless provider's customer service department, when I told the rep that I was moving my four lines to T-Mobile, which offers a family plan for $120, roughly half what I'm paying now.  "How can that be?" she exclaimed. "I hadn't heard of that, and usually we're pretty up to date on the market."

Half-Caf Latte with a Shot of Google?

August 1, 2013 1:20 pm | by Andrew Berg | Comments

Google's recent move to provide Wi-Fi at all of Starbuck's 7,000 company-owned stores is intriguing. It seems to portend a continued encroachment on the connectivity market from the Internet giant. After all, Google has already launched its uber-fiber project in Kansas City, and Provo, Utah, with more markets on the way...

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The Conundrum of Parent-Controlled Phones

July 18, 2013 5:07 pm | by Ben Munson | Comments

It used to be so easy to keep tabs on kids’ phone activity. Simply pick up a different phone and try not to breathe too heavily into the receiver. But the kids don’t want a landline anymore and as the functionality of their cell phones have become more impressive, monitoring their activity on them has gotten more complicated.

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Kutcher's Down with OTT, Carriers Not so Much

June 5, 2013 4:38 pm | by Andrew Berg | Comments

I was impressed by Ashton Kutcher's keynote at CTIA. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that he was one of the best keynotes I've seen at either CES or CTIA, and I'm not even a huge fan of the characters he plays on TV. It's possible, that at 35 years old...

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Viva Móvil Could Be a Step in the Right Direction

May 29, 2013 5:13 pm | by Ben Munson | Comments

When Jennifer Lopez last week showed up at CTIA to announce the new wireless Latino-targeted retailer Viva Móvil, the first question from the audience was about how this could translate to the retail experience for all Verizon customers. The question seemed to suggest, “It’s great what you’re doing for the Latino population, but what can be done do make the wireless retail experience more tolerable for all humans?”

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The "Un-Carrier" Cometh

March 19, 2013 3:32 pm | by Andrew Berg | Comments

I have to admit that I'm excited to hear what T-Mobile has on its mind tomorrow. I want to know more about what's behind John Legere's devious, trouble-making smile. Basically, I want the specifics on what it means to be the "un-carrier"?

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Samsung Made it Weird, and I Liked it

March 15, 2013 11:52 am | by Ben Munson | Comments

The headline adjectives, like “completely weird” and “baffling,” used to describe Samsung’s unveiling of the Galaxy S4 speak to what the company got right. The video of the whole thing, up now on YouTube, features fantastically bad acting, bad jokes, tap dancing, a symphony orchestra, bridesmaids, a sideways car and tons of difficult to explain additions.

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Buyer Beware: Future-proofing Can Save You Some Heartache

March 4, 2013 10:02 am | by Ben Munson | Comments

When the stars align for handset and network technology, it must be a thing of beauty. Match an LTE-enabled handset with an LTE network and magic happens. But I wouldn’t know about that because I foolishly bought a 4G phone on a two-year contract five months before LTE was turned on in my market. And it’s killing me inside.

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Firefox OS is Not the Third OS U.S. Operators Are Looking For

February 26, 2013 1:29 pm | by Andrew Berg | Comments

The idea that Mozilla's Firefox OS will compete for significant market share on the same court as iOS and Android is laughable but that's exactly what much of the mainstream media seems determined to report. I have read a number of articles desperate to make the case that Firefox OS...

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App Anticipation is New to Me

February 12, 2013 3:49 pm | by Ben Munson | Comments

I started at 178,735. Yuck. That’s the huge registration number I pull, my spot in line for Mailbox, a new Gmail app that’s getting all the attention. My initial reaction was, “Barf. I’m not going to sit here and wait for something that performs a function that my native email app, plenty of more readily available OTTs or even my mobile browser can already do well enough.”

FTC Wanders Down the Wrong Path

February 1, 2013 5:06 pm | by Andrew Berg | Comments

Friday’s announcement of Path’s settlement is illustrative of the way regulation works when you're trying to safeguard consumers from technology that the regulators themselves don't understand. It's also the way regulation works when you're trying to drum...

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