First News Briefs for May 16, 2012
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse gets to keep his post on the company's board of directors after a shareholder vote Tuesday defeated a motion by investor Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan to remove him from the position. More than 90 percent of shareholders at Sprint's annual meeting voted in favor of Hesse, the operator said. Shareholder proposals to defer executive bonuses, disclose political contributions and formally commit to net neutrality were voted down.
The FCC is asking Verizon Wireless for more information about its pledge to sell off its lower 700 MHz A block and B block licenses if the commission approves its AWS purchase. In a letter sent Tuesday to the operator by Rick Kaplan, head of the wireless bureau, the agency asked Verizon what steps it had taken to use the spectrum, challenges to using the airwaves and whether it would withdraw its offer to sell the licenses if the AWS deal fell through. Verizon declined to comment on the letter but has previously stated that it would not go through with the lower A block and B block sale if the AWS transaction failed.
Isis has come out with a long list of local businesses that will support the launch of its mobile wallet service in Austin and Salt Lake City later this year. The list ranges from cafes to book stores. The three-way joint venture also named a number of national merchants including Aeropostale, Coca-Cola, Champs Sports, Dillard’s, Foot Locker, Jamba Juice and Macy’s.
Nvidia and Intellectual Ventures have together acquired a portfolio of about 500 patents from IPWireless. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The portfolio includes "essential concepts" on LTE, LTE-Advanced and 3G technologies, the companies said. The intellectual property assets will help Nvidia protect itself from patent lawsuits plaguing companies in the tech industry.
Kyocera has announced a new handset lineup that includes two new phones for the Japan market that are the first to employ Kyocera's proprietary “Tissue-Conduction Audio Technology,” which was announced at CTIA Wireless 2012 in New Orleans. The new handsets are the Kyocera Urbano Progresso, part of the Kyocera Digno Series of smartphones, and the Kyocera K012 Simple Mobile Phone, which is Kyocera's latest addition to the Simple Mobile Phone Series aimed at seniors and other people who want easy-to-use phones primarily for voice calls. Tissue-Conduction Audio Technology is aimed at improving the quality of voice calls by reducing the effects of ambient noise.
T-Mobile USA is aiming to gain a larger share of the enterprise market with new rates and a promotional giveaway. The new small business service plan starts at about $100 per month. Until May 27, customers who sign up for the plan can get a Samsung Exhibit II smartphone and mobile hotspot for free with a new two-year contract and mail-in rebate. T-Mobile is also holding a sweepstakes contest with a grand prize worth $60,000.
Allot Communications said Tuesday it has closed its acquisition of Ortiva Wireless two weeks after announcing the deal. Ortiva's video optimization technology will be used to add new capabilities to Allot's service gateway. Allot said when it first disclosed the merger that Ortiva's assets would add up to $5 million to its revenue during second half of the year.