FirstNews Briefs for March 9, 2011
• The Wireless Communications Association International (WCAI) has released a study of 65,000 wireless bills by Roger Entner of Recon Analytics which found that less than half a percent of consumers experience overages that could even be considered candidates for the pejorative "shocking." Enter reported that the other 99.7 percent of consumers actually save money by incurring the occasional overage rather than paying a higher, recurring rate for an upgraded plan. The WCAI argues the report shows the FCC's bill shock proposals are unnecessary.
• Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.) slammed the FCC's analysis of the potential economic impact of its net neutrality regulations. In a statement, the lawmakers said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's analysis, provided on the request of the Congressmen, "does little more than summarize the comments of parties and provide conclusory statements." Genachowski's analysis was not available for review by press time.
• Twitter updated its new iOS app to fix repeated crashes and problems with its new Quick Bar feature, which has annoyed users by overlapping tweets in the timeline. The 3.3.1 update is available on iTunes.
• Video ringtone company Vringo has signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire m-Wise, which provides a platform to handle sales of digital goods on the mobile channel. Under the terms of the agreement, Vringo will issue m-Wise 1.9 million shares of its common stock, provide m-Wise's management with a retention package comprised of options to purchase 500,000 shares of common stock, and pay $615,00 to cover m-Wise's expenses over a two year period. The deal is subject to customary regulatory and shareholder approvals.
• Kobo has closed its Series C investment round, which was led by an unnamed "major institutional investor." Kobo did not say how much money it had raised. Indigo Books & Music, Kobo's founding shareholder, invested in the round and maintains majority ownership. The funding will help Kobo grow its eReader business into international markets.
• MobileIron has released version 4.1 of the MobileIron Virtual Smartphone Platform (VSP) and has landed a reseller agreement with SoftBank BB in Japan. MobileIron also announced that it has developed a high-security version of its TouchDown e-mail platform for Android devices.