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Verizon Launching Car Share Program Via Smartphone App

September 8, 2014 11:35 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Verizon today announced that Verizon Auto Share, the carrier’s secure car share program, will be available by the end of 2014. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet. The program will allow users to download a mobile application that can locate a vehicle and then scan a QR code to gain access and pay for rental. The carrier is planning on working with car rental companies, auto dealers and other companies.

FirstNews Briefs: T-Mobile, Boingo, Sierra Wireless, Averna, Cal-Bay Systems

September 8, 2014 11:08 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Boingo Wireless today announced S.M.A.R.T. Networks, a new approach to providing public Wi-Fi access in airports and other large-scale venues. Boingo’s new S.M.A.R.T network design – which stands for Secure, Multiplatform, Analytics-Driven, Responsive and Tiered – is based on usage data that identified multiple classes of users with significantly different connection and usage profiles.

Microsoft Refines MSN to Flow Across Devices

September 8, 2014 11:07 am | by Mae Anderson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

The company says the revamped site fits in with Microsoft's overall strategy of making mobile phones and Internet-based services priorities as its traditional businesses — Windows and Office software installed on desktops — slow down or decline. The changes also come as people increasingly read news on smartphones and tablets rather than desktop computers.

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Apple's Larger iPhone Poised to Drive Phablet Market

September 5, 2014 11:26 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, noted that while interest among U.S. consumers in larger screen smartphones is growing, sales growth has been relatively disappointing over the past two years due to Apple’s dominance of the market with smaller phones. 

FirstNews Briefs: Netgear, AT&T, Belkin, Sylvania, Tuxera

September 5, 2014 11:25 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

NETGEAR, Inc. today announced an “unlocked” 4G LTE mobile hotspot with simultaneous dual-band WiFi coverage. The NETGEAR AirCard 785 4G LTE mobile hotspot will become available throughout Europe in October at an MSRP of €149.99 (EUR) and £119.99 (GBP).

Sprint Adds 15 More Rural Carrier LTE Roaming Agreements

September 5, 2014 11:18 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint today reached LTE roaming agreements with another 15 rural carriers. Joining the Rural Roaming Preferred Provider program it announced earlier this year with CCA will be Bluegrass Cellular, Pioneer Cellular and 13 others including nine Rural Independent Network Alliance partners. With the new agreements, Sprint says it has agreements with 27 carriers covering 27 states and more than 38 million people.

Moto 360 Available Today, Moto X Out Later This Month

September 5, 2014 10:41 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Motorola today rolled out its anticipated batch of new products and revealed pricing and availability. The Moto 360, the company’s much-hyped round Android Wear watch, is priced at $250 and goes on sale today at 12 p.m. ET. The smartwatch will be available online at Motorola.com, Google Play and BestBuy.com as well as in Best Buy retail locations.

Apple to Beef Up Security Protocol After Celebrity Photo Thefts

September 5, 2014 10:10 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

While Apple maintains that its iCloud has not been hacked, the company did admit in a statement on its website that "certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions." 

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Google Fined $19M to Cover In-App Purchase Refunds

September 5, 2014 9:36 am | by Mae Anderson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

According to the FTC complaint, when Google introduced in-app charges to the Google Play in 2011, they were not password protected. As a result, children could buy virtual items just by clicking on popup boxes within an app while they used it. 

AT&T Covers 300M LTE POPs Ahead of Schedule

September 4, 2014 11:02 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

AT&T today announced its LTE network now covers more than 300 million POPs. Hitting that milestone puts the carrier ahead of the timetable it announced in 2012 along with its Project Velocity IP (VIP) initiative. At that point, AT&T promised 300 million people covered with LTE by the end of 2014.

Microsoft Rolls out New Lumia Flagship, Windows Update

September 4, 2014 10:59 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

According to IDC's most recent numbers, Microsoft shipped 7.4 million Windows phones in the second quarter, accounting for 2.5 percent of the global smartphone market. That was down from 8.2 million in the same quarter last year, when Windows accounted for 3.4 percent of the global smartphone market. 

MetroPCS Expands Into 10 New Markets, Ups Data for Existing Subs

September 4, 2014 10:34 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The T-Mobile prepaid brand will be setting up shop in Chattanooga, TN; Chicago; Kansas City, MO; Minneapolis-St.Paul; Milwaukee, WI; Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA; Richmond-Petersburg, VA; Salt Lake City; St. Louis, MO; and Yakima-Pasco-Richland-Kennewick, WA.

FirstNews Briefs: Huawei, Ericsson, WeMo, Holmes, Harman, Spotify

September 4, 2014 10:02 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Ericsson Thursday announced that it is partnering with security firm Guardtime on a cloud-based solution that will help catch data thieves. According to a press release, the solution will integrate Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI) technology into the Ericsson cloud portfolio to provide “immutable evidence that will hold in court.”

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Apple Shares Take Hit as New Samsung Phones Launch

September 4, 2014 9:53 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Samsung announced the Galaxy Note Edge phone, which has a side display for quicker access to the flashlight, Twitter, news and other apps. It also showed off a new Galaxy Note 4 phone and a virtual-reality headset for the phone called Gear VR to watch concerts or play games.

AT&T Network VP Rinne Retiring

September 3, 2014 11:40 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Kris Rinne, senior vice president of network technologies at AT&T Labs, plans to retire at the end of November, according to FierceWireless. Tom Keathley will take over for Rinne after she leaves. He’s been named senior vice president of network and product planning.

Amazon CFO to Retire

September 3, 2014 10:45 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon.com says its chief financial officer, Thomas Szkutak, will retire after 12 years on the job in June 2015. The e-commerce site says he will be replaced by Brian Olsavsky, vice president of finance for the company's global consumer business. Szkutak and Olsavsky joined Amazon in 2002, Szkutak as CFO and Olsavsky vice president of finance.

Sprint’s Boost Lowers Prices, Doubles Data for Limited Time

September 3, 2014 10:43 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint prepaid brand Boost Mobile announced a limited time offer that will reduce prices and double data for its Monthly Unlimited Select plans. From Sept. 3 to Nov. 3, customers will be able to get $40, $50 and $60 plans for $5 less. All the plans will still include unlimited talk and text but now $35 gets 1GB, $45 gets 5GB, and $55 gets 10GB.

Isis Mobile Wallet Changes Name to Softcard

September 3, 2014 10:41 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Isis Wallet today announced it’s changing its name to Softcard. In July, Isis—a mobile payment joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon—announced its intent to ditch its old name to avoid any confusion with the radical Islamic militant group ISIS.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, Gear VR Ready by Holidays

September 3, 2014 9:56 am | by Frank Jordans and Anick Jesdanun, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Galaxy Note Edge was announced at a trade show in Berlin on Wednesday, alongside the new Galaxy Note 4 phone, which lacks the side screen, and a virtual-reality headset called Gear VR. They are due for release this fall, in time for holiday shopping, and aim to compete with Apple's new iPhones due to be unveiled next week.

FirstNews Briefs: Alcatel-Lucent, nTelos, Apkudo, Syntonic, GENBAND

September 3, 2014 9:40 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Apkudo announced the launch of 'Confirmed Kill' testing to verify and validate smartphone kill switch implementations. The test suite – an extension of Apkudo Approved device analysis – will ensure device kill switches meet the requirements of the law.

AT&T Rolls Out New Secure Cloud for Government Clients

September 2, 2014 11:05 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The STaaS storage towers are physically separated from other towers in the data center, government customer data won’t co-exist with commercial data, government customers get a separate cloud portal, and all their users are assigned RSA hard token for 2-Factor Authentication.

Iliad Seeking Possible American Partner for Larger Stake in T-Mobile

September 2, 2014 10:48 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Iliad Chief Financial Officer Thomas Reynaud said the deal could still “evolve” and that his company is currently talking with potential partners, some American, about possibly bidding for an increased stake. Reynaud told reporters that the possible partners were either industrial competitors or private equity firms.

T-Mobile Uncarrier 7.0 Coming Sept. 10

September 2, 2014 10:28 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile sent out invitations for its next Uncarrier announcement, taking place Sept. 10 in San Francisco. As usual, T-Mobile is being cryptic about what Uncarrier 7.0 will be. The invitation only notes that “This time it’s personal.” This will be the first official Uncarrier announcement since late June saw T-Mobile announce a 7-day test drive for its network and the end of data plan charges for streaming music.

Apple Working with Banks, Retailers on NFC-Capable Mobile Wallet

September 2, 2014 9:26 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that when paired with Apple's Touch ID fingerprint reader, users will be able to pay securely for items by simply placing their finger on the home button. While rumors of NFC capability have preceded the launch of the last three iPhone models, Apple has yet to include the functionality in its smarpthones. 

Confirmed: Apple Event Set for September 9

August 28, 2014 1:56 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Re/code's John Paczkowski was first to report that Apple would launch its next iPhone on September 9. Just yesterday, Paczkowski reported that the event may produce a wearable, possibly an 'iWatch.'Most reports now have Apple eventually releasing two versions of its iPhone—one with a 4.7-inch display and one with a 5.5-inch display. The latter is expected later in the year. 

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