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FirstNews Briefs: AT&T, AirPatrol, VMware, ViaSat, LG, Boost

August 13, 2014 10:44 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Starting today in company-owned retail stores, AT&T is offering a new promotion  for iPhone 5s and 5c buyers who choose AT&T Next to get $200 off a new iPad purchased on a 2-year wireless agreement. The customer must sign a two-year wireless agreement for the iPad and use AT&T Next to purchase the iPhone.

Samsung Outs 4.7-inch Metal-Frame Galaxy Alpha

August 13, 2014 10:16 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Samsung today took the wraps off the Galaxy Alpha, a 4.7-inch smartphone that eschews the OEM’s propensity toward plastic in favor of a metal-framed design. The Alpha’s 6.7 millimeter-thick body and 115 gram heft bring it in well under the size and weight of Samsung’s current flagship, the Galaxy S5. Of course the Alpha’s display is smaller than the S5’s 5.1-inch screen.

Amazon Goes After Mobile Payments with 'Local Register'

August 13, 2014 9:36 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Called Amazon Local Register, the payment solution consists of a secure card reader and mobile app that will allow local businesses to accept credit and debit cards from a smartphone or tablet and keep track of their business. Amazon Local Registers sees the online retailers directly competing with payment providers like PayPal, Square and others. 

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Cook: Apple Employee Diversity Unsatisfactory

August 13, 2014 9:03 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

A breakdown released Tuesday by Apple Inc. showed 54 percent of the company's technology jobs in the U.S. are filled by whites and another 23 percent by Asians. Men make up 80 percent of Apple's technology workforce throughout the world. The iPhone and iPad maker didn't provide racial statistics for its global workforce of 98,000 employees.

T-Mobile “Simply Prepaid” Putting Four Brands “Under One Roof”

August 12, 2014 5:50 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile could soon be bringing its prepaid brands together under one offering called “Simply Prepaid.” In a description of a T-Mobile booth on the CTIA Super Mobility Week website, Simply Prepaid is described as “a new concept that brings together four amazing brands under one roof.” It says further that Simply Prepaid customers will be able to choose from T-Mobile, GoSmart Mobile, Univision Mobile, or Ultra Mobile for their service.

A Closer Look: Multitasking on Mobile Devices

August 12, 2014 10:59 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | Articles | Comments

That's starting to change with Android devices, though. Windows tablets do let you run multiple apps side by side, but Windows phones do not. The iPhone and iPad don't, either. In this installment of A Closer Look, I assess some of the Android devices that offer limited multitasking. These approaches aren't as smooth as what I'm used to on Mac and Windows personal computers, but they are a start.

Report: Claure Focusing on Cost Efficiency at Sprint

August 12, 2014 10:30 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

As was reported earlier this month when Claure's appointment was announced, Sprint is backing off a proposed acquistion of T-Mobile. In the memo, Claure said that consolidation makes sense in the long-term but noted that Sprint will have to focus on growing and repositioning Sprint. 

Verizon Bets on Video, VoLTE and Tablets for Growth

August 12, 2014 10:09 am | News | Comments

In a talk at the annual Oppenheimer Investor Conference that was broadcast online, Shammo said Verizon is looking to new technologies like LTE Multicast and Voice over LTE as potential growth areas. He also said tablets pose an opportunity.

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FirstNews Briefs: Alcatel-Lucent, Pioneer Cellular, T-Mobile, Sony

August 12, 2014 9:47 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Alcatel-Lucent is to deploy a complete 4G LTE overlay network in the Midwestern U.S. states of Oklahoma and Kansas to enable Pioneer Cellular, an affiliate of Pioneer Telephone Cooperative, to offer ultra-broadband mobile access to its customers.

Sprint Intros Samsung Galaxy Tab as First Spark-Enabled Slate

August 11, 2014 11:15 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Starting Aug. 15, the Tab will be available for zero down and $12.50 a month. Sprint for a limited time is offering a $10 credit for 24 months to customers who buy the new tablet and sign up for a tablet data plan of $10 a month or more. The $10 plan comes with only 100MB. Other tablet data plans offer 1GB for $15, 3GB for $35, 6GB for $50, 12GB for $80, and 30GB for $110.

T-Mobile Buying 700 MHz A Block Spectrum from Actel

August 11, 2014 10:27 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile is acquiring 700 MHz licenses from Actel, a subsidiary of CenturyLink. The 12 MHz licenses (698-704 MHz and 728-734 MHz) cover markets in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana and New Mexico. As TmoNews points out, the licenses cover about 6.1 million POPs.

Microsoft Attacks Feature Phone Market with Nokia 130

August 11, 2014 8:51 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Microsoft today launched a new line of ultra-affordable feature phones under its recently acquired Nokia Lumia brand. The Nokia 130 sells for just 19 euros ($25 USD) and features a built-in video player, music player with up to 46 hours continuous playback on a single charge, flashlight, FM radio and USB charging.

Judge Rejects Settlement over Tech Hiring Practices

August 11, 2014 8:33 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

The settlement would have been paid by Apple, Google Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. The lawsuit alleges they and three other companies — Intuit Inc., Pixar Animation and Lucasfilm — secretly agreed not to recruit each other's workers at various junctures from 2005 through 2009.

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FirstNews Briefs: IBM, NetMotion, DataXoom, Virtual Piggy

August 8, 2014 10:35 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

IBM unveiled a neurosynaptic computer chip to achieve an scale of one million programmable neurons, 256 million programmable synapses and 46 billion synaptic operations per second per watt. At 5.4 billion transistors, this production-scale chip is currently one of the largest CMOS chips ever built, yet, while running at biological real time, it consumes 70mW.

Google Focusing on Encrypted Messaging

August 8, 2014 9:38 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Google beefed up security of its search engine and popular Gmail service after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. government has been vacuuming up personal data. The surveillance programs exploited gaping holes in unencrypted websites.

T-Mobile: We’ll Overtake Sprint in Total Customers by Year’s End

August 7, 2014 10:33 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In a press release touting his company’s new dominance in the prepaid space, T-Mobile CEO John Legere voiced the fairly safe assumption that T-Mobile would surpass Sprint in total customers by the end of 2014. “As a matter of fact, I’m going on record—I predict we’ll overtake Sprint in total customers by the end of this year. Not someday. Not next year. This year,” Legere said in a statement.

Microsoft Offers Nokia Workers Free Handset to Leave Jobs

August 7, 2014 10:26 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Microsoft is preparing to cut approximately 4,700 jobs at its Nokia handset factory in Beijing, leaving only 300 workers. The plan was met with protests by Nokia workers there. The news comes as Microsoft has already announced that it plans to slash 18,000 jobs over the next year, many of which will come from the recently acquired Nokia handset business. 

Will Scrapped Sprint-T-Mobile Deal Mean Lower Prices?

August 7, 2014 9:26 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Lower cellphone bills seem like a good thing for consumers. But T-Mobile and Sprint are already losing money and AT&T's profits are down. (Verizon, as the market leader, is doing fine.) This matters because U.S. wireless carriers invest more in their networks than European companies, and higher profits in the U.S. are a big part of the reason.

Timex, AT&T Partner on Smartwatch That Doesn’t Need a Phone

August 6, 2014 11:17 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Timex today announced the Ironman One GPS+, a smartwatch that connects directly to AT&T’s HSPA network without any help from a phone. Priced at $400, the One GPS+ comes with one free year of AT&T connectivity for customers in the U.S. and Canada. An AT&T spokesman said the carrier is not yet announcing pricing for service after the free year is up.

Analysts: Sprint, Claure Need to Move Now to Reaffirm Value Leadership

August 6, 2014 11:00 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Incoming CEO Marcelo Claure will still have his hands full as he looks to reassure investors that Sprint has a plan beyond buying T-Mobile. Already shares of Sprint were down 15 percent Wednesday morning on reports that SoftBank was killing the deal for T-Mobile.

Sprint CEO Hesse Out, T-Mobile Merger Off

August 6, 2014 10:16 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint this morning confirmed reports that CEO Dan Hesse is leaving the company. Brightstar CEO Marcelo Claure will take over as President and CEO at Sprint, effective Aug. 11. “In the short-term, we will focus on becoming extremely cost efficient and competing aggressively in the marketplace. While consolidating makes sense in the long-term, for now, we will focus on growing and repositioning Sprint,” Claure said in a statement.

Samsung, Apple Easing Off Legal Fight

August 6, 2014 9:48 am | by Youkyung Lee, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

"Samsung and Apple have agreed to drop all litigation between the two companies outside the United States," the South Korean company said in a statement. "This agreement does not involve any licensing arrangements, and the companies are continuing to pursue the existing cases in U.S. courts."

Report: T-Mobile Rejects Iliad’s Buyout Offer

August 5, 2014 4:13 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile is rejecting Iliad’s surprise bid to buy out the carrier, according to the Wall Street Journal. But Reuters is reporting that Iliad is already reaching out to other investors in an attempt to sweeten the deal. The carrier has reportedly talked with Dish Network, Cox Communications and Charter Communications.

Report: Apple Launching New iPhones Sept. 9

August 5, 2014 3:41 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Apple will hold an iPhone event on Sept. 9, according to Re/code. The date, falling on a traditional Tuesday for iPhone announcements, comes from John Paczkowski. Last year, his colleague Ina Fried—back when both worked at All Things D—correctly reported the iPhone 5S and 5C would be announced on Sept. 10. The current iPhone models were then released on Sept. 20.

Report: BlackBerry CEO Tells Employees Job Cuts Are Done

August 5, 2014 10:58 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

BlackBerry has completed a three-year restructuring process that saw the company reduce its workforce by nearly 60 percent. Reuters obtained an internal memo sent by CEO John Chen who said that the job cuts are done and that the company would soon begin hiring new employees for product development, sales and customer service.

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