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First News Briefs for March 23, 2012

Fri, 03/23/2012 - 7:19am
Wireless Week Staff

AT&T customers with the HTC Vivid are getting updates to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The update includes Beats by Dr. Dre audio and improvements to the HTC Sense user interface. AT&T claims the HTC Vivid will be the first U.S. smartphone to receive Ice Cream Sandwich as an update and the first to be issued by a wireless carrier. A number of other AT&T smartphones will get the new version of the operating system in the coming months, including the LG Nitro, Motorola Atrix 4G and the Samsung Captivate Glide. 

Consumers Union is urging lawmakers to adopt the same legal safeguards for mobile payments as those protecting credit and debit card users. "Consumer protections haven't kept pace with new payment options which can leave consumers vulnerable to losing money depending on what kind of mobile payment service they use," Suzanne Martindale, staff attorney for Consumers Union, testified during a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions yesterday.

U.S. Cellular is offering its customers Zipwhip's cloud texting service. The co-branded service initially will be offered for free. Jennifer Micek,  senior director of the product group for U.S. Cellular, said in the company's announcement that cloud texting would help its customer stay connected to family and friends and help simplify and organize their lives. 

Comba Telecom Systems Holdings and CommScope are squaring off over patents on remote electrical tilt technology used in base station antennas. Comba wants CommScope's U.S. patents declared invalid; CommScope says its patents are valid. CommScope and its Andrew subsidiary previously filed suit against Comba for patent infringement in international courts. 

A slowdown in U.S. carrier spending has prompted Pctel to lower its first-quarter revenue guidance to between $16.5 million and $17.2 million, down from its previous range of between $19 million and $20 million. "Carrier spending delays have resulted in order flow for its scanning receiver product line to run at approximately 60 percent of its historical run rate in the current quarter," the company said in a statement. PCTEL distributes its scanning receivers through the major providers of wireless test and measurement equipment, including Ascom, Anite, Swissqual, Accuver and Huawei. Its management anticipates a return to historical run rate orders from these customers as carriers finalize their budgets. 

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