Sony has built a handsome, if somewhat smudge-prone, smartphone in the Xperia Z1S. If the Z1S is the kind of smartphone Sony can make now, it should be interesting to see what the company comes up with now that it’s putting even more focus on mobile.
Verizon Wireless today introduced new More Everything plans that raise the data caps on its shared plans and offer incentives for opting into the carrier’s Edge early upgrade program. As expected, Verizon seems to be responding to recent pricing moves from AT&T. More Everything plans are similar to AT&T’s recently announced shared data and early upgrade service discounts.
Son said that without consolidation, it’s “literally just a dream” for Sprint to become the number one carrier in the U.S. He also criticized the large gap between the top two U.S. carriers, AT&T and Verizon, and numbers three and four, Sprint and T-Mobile, respectively. Son said those current market positions are not good for competition.
Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son and CEO Dan Hesse are having second thoughts about their company’s plans to buy T-Mobile. In the wake of the passionate, public opposition the potential merger received from regulatory officials, Sprint is heading back to the drawing board, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“While we disagree with the court's decision, it addresses advertising and store designs that we are no longer implementing. Accordingly, this decision has no effect on our advertising plans,” said Alejandra Arango, director of media relations at Aio Wireless.
Verizon spokeswoman Debi Lewis confirmed for Wireless Week that the carrier has long offered reduced rates for long-standing customers. She said there are a lot of caveats to qualify for the reduced rates and as such the plans are not advertised.
Democratic State Senator Mark Leno has proposed a bill that would require all smartphones and tablets sold in California to feature a kill switch, a user-activated theft deterrent. The bill would by Jan. 1, 2015 require manufacturers to include the function on all devices or face fines of up to $2,500 for each device sold without a kill switch, according to the New York Times.
Although its overall score of 793 is slightly down from the 795 J.D. Power awarded it in August 2013, AT&T still came in first among its contract carrier competition. Verizon Wireless didn’t trail by much with an overall score of 788. T-Mobile managed to increase its overall score by 18 points over the previous study, giving it a 778 and moving it ahead of Sprint.
AT&T confirmed Tuesday that it has ended its incentive program that offered T-Mobile users up to $450 per line to switch carriers. AT&T said when it launched the program that it was a limited-time offer but did not specify how long it would last.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday met with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and said he would keep an open mind about the potential merger, according to Reuters. But in general Wheeler’s thoughts on the matter were in line with Justice Department officials who’ve already signaled doubts.
After AT&T's new Mobile Share plans went live Saturday, I am absolutely certain its customer care departments have heard of T-Mobile. I say this in reference to the Aug. 8, 2013 blog I wrote about a call I made to AT&T customer service.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son will meet Monday with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to discuss a possible merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. Son, who also serves as Chairman at Sprint, will reportedly push for U.S. wireless industry consolidation and argue that a combined Sprint and T-Mobile stands a better chance against Verizon and AT&T. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse is also expected to attend the meeting.
AT&T's new plans start at $130 per month for two lines with 10 GB of data and unlimited talk and text. With the new plans, the carrier has dropped the monthly device charge to $15, regardless of the type of device. With other plans, smartphones incurred a $40 monthly charge, while basic messaging and feature phones were $20 per month.
In remarks made Thursday to the New York Bar Association, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, Bill Baer, said that since the blocking of the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile "competition in the wireless sector has flourished and consumers have benefitted."
The Justice Department being skeptical of a potential anti-trust-bending merger is not exactly news. It’s in theirs and the FCC’s job description to be skeptical of things like that. It would have really been news if the DOJ had indicated something like “Sure, go for it! Mergers are cool.”
U.S. Justice Department officials told Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son that any potential Sprint/T-Mobile merger would be met with “skepticism.” The Wall Street Journal spoke with individuals briefed on the conversation who said the meeting reinforced Son’s seriousness in making the merger happen.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere said a merger of his company with the Softbank-held Sprint could put more pressure on what he called the "duopoly" of AT&T and Verizon. Legere told Bloomberg that T-Mobile would eventually need more spectrum and other resources to compete with larger rivals and that merging with Sprint...
T-Mobile Wednesday announced a new side project with the launch of a personal finance and mobile payments service. The company calls the new project Mobile Money by T-Mobile. The service includes a combination of smartphone money management applications designed for use with a re-loadable T-Mobile Visa Prepaid Card.
Smaller regional carriers like nTelos and C Spire are in the running to snatch up some of the H Block licenses, but large competitors like Sprint and T-Mobile have sworn off participating in the auction. Dish could very well walk away with the most licenses. A win for Dish would put more spectrum in the hands of a business without an apparent idea of what to do with it. So what’s the endgame for Dish?
As of Jan. 18, AT&T customers at least six months into their two-year contracts can switch to the Next program for no additional charge. At the same time, customers switching over can opt for one of AT&T’s mobile share plans. In addition, for customers newly signing on for two-year contracts as of Jan. 19, AT&T has shortened the device upgrade cycle from 24 months to 20 months.
SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom (DT) have moved to direct talks on a deal for the German carrier’s 67-percent stake in T-Mobile. Bloomberg cited people familiar with the matter as saying the two companies are ironing out obstacles to the deal and said the process could take months. At issue is how much SoftBank will pay for DT’s share and how SoftBank-owned Sprint and T-Mobile would be integrated.
T-Mobile sees the FCC hitting its funding goal for FirstNet before the big 600 MHz Broadcast Incentive auctions even take place. Adding up estimated proceeds from the FCC’s upcoming H Block, AWS-3 and 1695 Band auctions, T-Mobile predicts the Commission will see proceeds of $8.9 to $16.4 billion.
Rumors surrounding a possible Sprint bid for T-Mobile are ramping up again. But a recent blow to net neutrality might end up giving regulators another reason to say no to the potential merger. “If [the FCC] can't regulate an open Internet, then the more significantly-sized operators they can keep in existence the better to ensure that competitive pressure will keep large operators from abusing their power,” analyst Rich Karpinski said.
With shares of T-Mobile having risen over 25 percent in a little over a month, the fourth largest carrier is becoming less of bargain lately. That said, Sprint has apparently received proposals from multiple banks willing to finance a bid for T-Mobile, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
T-Mobile appears to be succeeding at holding onto its postpaid subscribers. Just 15.4 percent of T-Mobile postpaid respondents surveyed in a recent Cowen and Company report said they were looking to switch carriers. That's a huge drop from the 42.9 percent T-Mobile respondents who said they were looking to switch in the third quarter.