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Report: Possible Sprint/T-Mobile Deal Would Spark FCC Auction Rule Redo

April 18, 2014 11:10 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has reportedly proposed limitations for AT&T and Verizon Wireless, who together hold the majority of available low-band spectrum licenses. But the FCC based its rules on “current market structure” and would reconsider if a Sprint-T-Mobile tie-up proceeded, according to a Reuters report.

T-Mobile Calls for More Clarity Leading Up to AWS Auction

April 18, 2014 10:24 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

“Without additional clarity about the impact of government operations in the band, wireless carriers’ bidding strategies will have to be made in a vacuum, potentially depressing auction participation and revenues,” Steve Sharkey, a senior director of government affairs at T-Mobile, said in a statement.

Researcher Finds Flaw in Samsung Fingerprint Check

April 18, 2014 9:54 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Ben Schlabs, who works for Security Research Labs, says the trick is identical to the one hackers used to unlock Apple's iPhone 5s last year. The S5 flaw is potentially more serious because Schlabs says he was also able to trick the electronic payment app PayPal, which uses Samsung's fingerprint authentication.

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FirstNews Briefs: ARRIS, MetroPCS, ZTE, MasterCard, Verizon

April 18, 2014 9:23 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

ARRIS announced it acquired Mississauga, Ontario-based SeaWell Networks for an undisclosed amount. This acquisition comes one year after ARRIS's acquisition of Motorola Mobility's Home division. ARRIS is integrating SeaWell's adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming technologies and talent into its Network & Cloud business.

Facebook Rolls Out Location-sharing Feature

April 17, 2014 3:13 pm | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Called "Nearby Friends," the optional tool will only be available to people who choose to turn it on. The feature uses your smartphone's GPS system to tell your Facebook friends you are nearby — provided they have the feature turned on. Rather than share your exact location, it will only show that you are nearby, say, within half a mile.

SmartWatch, Episode 6: The Next iPhone, Amazon’s 3D Dreams, and Pessimism

April 17, 2014 11:20 am | Videos | Comments

In this edition of SmartWatch, sponsored by SanDisk, we contemplate whether a lack of headline-grabbing smartphones in 2014 will allow Apple to jack up the price of its next iPhone (iPhones?) as much as $100. And before the show is over, Ben will address his pessimism regarding Amazon’s rumored 3D smartphone before coming face to face with his more optimistic self, who thinks the feature sounds kind of neat.

IBM Posts Lower 1Q Earnings Amid Hardware Slump

April 17, 2014 10:51 am | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — IBM's first-quarter earnings fell and revenue came in below Wall Street's expectations amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business, one that was exacerbated by weaker demand in China and emerging markets. The world's largest technology services company has been working to expand into new areas as its hardware business falters, but the latest results show that these efforts have yet to fully pay off.

AT&T Warns FCC It Might Skip 600 MHz Auction Over Spectrum Rules

April 17, 2014 10:14 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The FCC is planning to set aside up to 30 MHz in each market for smaller carriers to bid on once bidding for those markets hits a set threshold. After the threshold it hit, carriers holding at least one-third of the low-band spectrum in that market wouldn’t be allowed to bid. AT&T and Verizon would experience the most impact from this rule though in some markets, smaller regional carriers like U.S. Cellular would be restricted.

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FirstNews Briefs: Omnilink, Verizon, Audi, Fujitsu, Northwestel, Time Warner Cable

April 17, 2014 9:39 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Omnilink, a provider of machine-to-machine (M2M) tracking and monitoring solutions, has been named to the Verizon Partner Program as a Silver member. Omnilink FocalPoint Offender Monitoring is an electronic monitoring solution that gives government agencies the ability to track and monitor the location and status of their entire offender caseload across the U.S. on virtually any device.

Google's 1Q Earnings Disappoint as Ad Prices Slip

April 16, 2014 4:27 pm | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's first-quarter earnings growth faltered as the Internet company dealt with a persistent downturn in advertising prices while spending more money to hire more employees and invest in daring ideas. The results announced Wednesday fell below analyst projections. Google's stock shed nearly 6 percent in extended trading.

IBM Hits Refresh on Its MobileFirst Initiative

April 16, 2014 2:52 pm | by Ben Munson | Articles | Comments

IBM is renewing its MobileFirst initiative with a whole bunch of enhancements to existing services. The IT giant first launched MobileFirst at Mobile World Congress 2013 and has since seen the rapid shift towards mobile enterprise. Rich Esposito, general manager for mobility services at IBM, said that at the outset of enterprise mobility four or five years ago, the focus was on BYOD and MDM.

New Aio Plans Follow Lead of Sprint's 'Framily' Model

April 16, 2014 1:20 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

AT&T's prepaid Aio brand has launched new plans that promise more discounts with each line of service added. Similar to the incentive behind Sprint's "Framily" plans, Aio's new "Group Save" plans offers discounted monthly charges beginning with the second eligible line added.

Volvo Taps AT&T for In-Car Connectivity

April 16, 2014 11:17 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

AT&T has signed a multi-year agreement with Volvo to provide connectivity to Volvo's vehicles. According to a press release, AT&T will power Volvo's 2015 model year connected car solution with Sensus Connect, an embedded infotainment service. 

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FirstNews Briefs: Alcatel-Lucent, Elisa, D-Link, Getac, The Hartford, IBM

April 16, 2014 10:57 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Alcatel-Lucent and Elisa, a provider of mobile and fixed broadband services in Finland, today announced a significant network upgrade that will give Elisa the broadband capacity needed to meet the demands of next-generation services and applications.

Samsung Launching First Tizen Smartphone in 2Q

April 16, 2014 10:31 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

A Samsung executive told Reuters that the company will release a high-end smartphone running the Tizen operating system near the end of the second quarter. Shortly after Samsung will launch a second mid-range Tizen device to drive volume, Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung's product strategy team, told Reuters.

Burger King Launching AT&T Wi-Fi in All U.S. Locations

April 16, 2014 10:28 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Burger King today announced it is putting AT&T’s Wi-Fi Ready Zone access points in all of its U.S. locations. Blessed with the tasty name “Whopper Wi-Fi,” the AT&T hotspots are promising an “easier to use and more robust experience” for Burger King customers.

CTIA Partners with Big Tech on Voluntary Anti-Theft Program

April 16, 2014 10:14 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Called the "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment," the program counts as signatories a high-profile list of carriers and device OEMs, including Apple, Asurion, AT&T, Google, Samsung, Huawei Device USA, Motorola Mobility, Microsoft, Samsung, Nokia, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon. 

Yahoo's 1Q Highlighted by Alibaba, Modest Ad Gains

April 16, 2014 9:37 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Yahoo is prospering from its lucrative investments in Asia while the Internet company's listless advertising sales are picking up, if ever so slightly, under CEO Marissa Mayer. The positive signs in the Yahoo's first-quarter report overshadowed a 20 percent decline in the company's earnings during the opening three months of the year.

Intel Revenue Climbs Amid Shift to Mobile Devices

April 16, 2014 9:35 am | by Barabara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Intel's earnings fell in the first three months of the year amid a continued slump in the worldwide PC market, but revenue grew slightly because of solid demand for tablet processors and its data center services. Intel Corp. is the world's largest maker of microprocessors, which act as the "brains" of computers.

Thieves in Plain Sight: No One is Immune to Data Attacks

April 15, 2014 4:05 pm | by Asif Ramji, President and CEO, Paymetric, Inc. | Articles | Comments

To some executives, the idea of crime against merchants and high-volume data breaches might seem like the latest Hollywood action movie. While it is a reality for retailers because those are the companies we see on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, it seems like fiction for everyone else.

Analyst: Dearth of Hero Phones Could Net $50-$100 “iPhone 6” Price Hike

April 15, 2014 10:59 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Apple might be able to leverage a $50 to $100 price hike for its upcoming “iPhone 6” given the lack of headline-grabbing smartphones hitting the market in 2015. Jeffries analyst Peter Misek said that the current state of smartphone saturation and low differentiation could mean the next iPhone, rumored to be significantly bigger, could be a big enough blockbuster that Apple can force carriers to bow to raised prices.

BlackBerry Takes QNX to Healthcare With NantHealth Investment

April 15, 2014 10:31 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

While financial details of the investment were not provided, BlackBerry said in a statement that the two companies intend to collaborate on the development of HIPAA and other government privacy certified, integrated clinical systems for medical care.  

Google to Use Drones to Improve Wireless Broadband Coverage

April 15, 2014 9:56 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Google Monday announced its acquisition of Titan Aerospace, a high-altitude drone company, which it plans to integrate with its on-going Project Loon initiative, according to the Wall Street Journal. Through Project Loon, Google is deploying large balloons in order to relay wireless signals.

FirstNews Briefs: Lumos Networks, Cisco, Novatel, Ruckus, Brightstar

April 15, 2014 9:52 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Lumos Networks Corp., a fiber-based service provider of data, voice and IP-based telecommunication services in the Mid-Atlantic region, today announced the selection of Cisco Systems, Inc. as its exclusive supplier of mission critical equipment for Project Ark, its new broadband MPLS/IP fiber network designed primarily to handle Fiber to the Cell site (“FTTC”) traffic within the Company’s network.

Review: Siri-like Cortana Fills Windows Phone Gap

April 15, 2014 9:28 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | Articles | Comments

With the new Cortana virtual assistant, Windows catches up with Apple's iOS and Google's Android in a major way. Microsoft takes some of the best parts of Apple's and Google's virtual assistants and adds a few useful tools of its own. The result is Cortana, named after an artificial-intelligence character in Microsoft's "Halo" video games.

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