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First News Briefs for November 9, 2012

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 5:29am
Wireless Week Staff

Verizon is bringing in 1,200 additional workers from its wireline side to address major storm damage to its facilities in the New Jersey and New York City metropolitan area, which was hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy. The operator is allowing customers to suspend landline services free of charge in some situations, and others are being offered credits for service outages. Meanwhile, AT&T reports that 99 percent of its cell sites are now operational across areas affected by the hurricane, and nearly 97 percent of its sites in New York City are up and running.

AT&T has begun a new promotion for its tablets. Starting today, customers who sign up for a two-year data plan will get $100 off a tablet. The offer includes tablets added to AT&T's shared data plans. Separately, AT&T announced it will begin selling Novatel Wireless' Liberate mobile hotspot for $50 and the Samsung Galaxy Express smartphone for $100 on Nov. 16. The pricing requires a new two-year contract.

Aegis Mobility has acquired ZoomSafer for an undisclosed amount of money. Both companies specialize in solutions to prevent distracted driving. The combination of Aegis and ZoomSafer "creates the world’s most comprehensive service capability promoting safe and legal use of mobile devices while driving," Aegis said in a statement. Aegis also announced the closing of its final tranche of $5 million in equity financing led by West Michigan and Chicago Angel Groups.

As promised, Verizon Wireless is making its new Windows Phone 8 smartphones available before Thanksgiving. Pre-orders began today for the HTC Windows Phone 8X and the Nokia Lumia 822. The HTC smartphone retails for $200 with a new two-year contract and the Nokia Lumia 822 carries a $100 price tag with a $50 mail-in rebate and contract. It will also launch the Samsung ATIV Odyssey before the end of the year.

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