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Verizon, Comcast Welcome FCC Inquiry Into Slow Streaming Speeds

June 13, 2014 3:22 pm | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

In a rare show of unanimity, Netflix and Comcast both said they welcomed the FCC's inquiry in the interests of greater transparency. Verizon reaffirmed its support for the status quo and pointed out that "Internet traffic exchange has always been handled through commercial agreements."

Report: Sprint, T-Mobile Set $2B Breakup Fee, T-Mobile Name for Combined Co.

June 13, 2014 11:03 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

CNBC is reporting that Sprint and T-Mobile have agreed to a $2 billion breakup fee should their potential merger not go through. The Wall Street Journal had previously reported the breakup fee attached to the merger would be $1 billion. The two companies have also reportedly agreed on T-Mobile as the name for the combined company, lending credibility to reports that T-Mobile CEO John Legere is in line to lead after the merger.

Cell Towers Go Stealth with More Sophisticated Camoflauge

June 13, 2014 9:49 am | by Barbara Rodriguez, Associated Press | Articles | Comments

So-called stealth cellphone towers have been around for more than two decades and appear to be growing in popularity. They have been concealed in a wide variety of ways, including in a stop sign in New Orleans, a pine tree in Kinnelon, New Jersey, and a water tower in San Dimas, California.

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FirstNews Briefs: C Spire, Verizon, Wienermobile, Huawei

June 11, 2014 10:34 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

C Spire announced plans today to acquire MegaGate Broadband, a regional provider of IP voice, data, and business telecommunications solutions. Headquartered in Hattiesburg, MegaGate serves most Mississippi business markets as a competitive local exchange telecommunications provider and as an Internet service provider.

Report: U.S. Carriers Spent $109 Per Citizen in CapEx in 2013

June 9, 2014 11:21 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Roger Entner, founder of Recon Analytics, said in a report that AT&T's efforts to improve the quality of its network resulted in record spending among the four U.S. carriers. Enter notes that in 2013, AT&T spent roughly $11.5 billion on network improvements, while Verizon Wireless spent another $9.75 billion improving its network. 

Report: Combined Sprint, T-Mobile Would Still Need To Improve Margins

June 5, 2014 2:43 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Those who are willing to entertain the idea of a deal often ask whether it’s realistic to expect the two smaller carriers to compete in any meaningful way on their own. According to research released today from Strategy Analytics, a combined Sprint and T-Mobile would prove an entirely different entity than the one that would have come into being had regulators approved AT&T's transaction.

VZW Completes Purchase of Golden State Cellular

June 2, 2014 11:14 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

In a statement, Verizon said it now owns 100 percent of the Golden State Cellular. The purchase expands Verizon's brand and network footprint in East Central California, a market area that includes much of Yosemite National Park, as well as Amador, Alpine, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa counties.

FirstNews Briefs: Verizon, Sprint, Seagate, Avago, Globys, Boost Mobile

May 29, 2014 10:41 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Boost Mobile and celebrity ‘coaches’ Ice-T and Luis Guzman kick off Boost Mobile’s “Spokesbattle” today, an interactive reality TV-style campaign that puts two people against each other and lets consumers vote to determine who will be the next Boost Mobile Spokesperson.

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T-Mobile Announcing Un-carrier 5.0 June 18, Not Playing it “Safe and Sound”

May 29, 2014 9:37 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile has sent out the invitations for its Un-carrier 5.0 announcement June 18. The event in Los Angeles comes with few details; just a tagline reading “We don’t play it safe and sound.” Considering T-Mobile’s recent VoLTE launch in Seattle and using “sound” as a clue, the upcoming announcement may have something to do with the HD Voice-enabling technology.

T-Mobile Launches LTE-Advanced VoLTE in Seattle

May 22, 2014 1:07 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile today launched Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) service in Seattle, deployed using an LTE-Advanced function called Enhanced Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (eSRVCC). T-Mobile subscribers in Seattle using an LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Light will be able to use the service right away via an over-the-air update.

AT&T CFO Talks Video, Regulatory Advantages of Choosing DirecTV Over Dish

May 21, 2014 10:10 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

When asked why AT&T went after DirecTV and not Dish Network, AT&T CFO John Stephens said DirecTV had better distribution, content, network, etc. But he also said Dish raised a lot more regulatory red flags. “Dish has been very loud about their intentions to get into broadband,” Stephens said. AT&T feared that potential services overlap and Dish’s plans to use its spectrum for wireless would raise more regulatory concerns.

Verizon Promises VoLTE This Year Supported by “Tangible Volume of Handsets”

May 20, 2014 5:02 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Verizon Wireless today is reminding its customers it hasn’t forgotten to launch VoLTE, promising the service will rollout nationwide later this year. The carrier is promising a “robust line-up” of VoLTE devices will be available at launch as well as an over-the-air update to make select devices already in service compatible with VoLTE.

U.S. Cellular Takes on AT&T, Verizon with $140 10GB Shared Plan

May 20, 2014 11:13 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

U.S. Cellular today is pushing out a discount for its Shared Connect plans that comes out to $140 monthly for four lines with unlimited talk and text plus 10GB to share. The carrier’s new pricing trumps similar offers from AT&T and Verizon that charge $160.

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Verizon CEO Squashes Talk of Dish Network Bid

May 20, 2014 9:08 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In the wake of AT&T’s $48.5 billion bid for DirecTV, talk immediately sprung up about the possibility of a Verizon Wireless and Dish Network merger. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, speaking at an investor conference, shut that down. McAdam said there have not been any discussions with Dish about a possible tie up but he admitted that Dish has some interesting assets.

Verizon Launches XLTE, Says 35 Percent of Active Devices Are Compatible

May 19, 2014 12:16 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Verizon today officially announced XLTE, the name it’s given to the LTE network deployed over the carrier’s AWS spectrum. XLTE Ready devices, that automatically access the AWS network, include the newest DROID devices, Samsung Galaxy S4, S5 and Note 3, and the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. Verizon said that now more than 35 percent of active devices on its network are XLTE Ready.

FirstNews Briefs: Verizon, Sprint, Multi-Tech, Aeris, Boost, Virgin, Samsung

May 19, 2014 10:16 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Starting today, new FiOS TV or FiOS Internet customers (including existing customers who add new service to their existing account) will receive a free LG G Pad 8.3 LTE, or receive up to $200 off any other tablet available from Verizon Wireless when obtaining a new, two-year agreement. The carrier also announced it has expanded its XLTE AWS network to Houston, Beaumont/Port Arthur, Bryan/College Station and other locations in Texas.

Carriers, Others Respond to FCC’s Spectrum Screen, Incentive Auction Rules

May 16, 2014 10:56 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Following a busy day at the FCC that saw the Commission drafting rules for upcoming spectrum auctions and revising its spectrum screen, carriers weighed in with varying degrees of praise or scorn for the new policies. The FCC’s move to set aside a reserve of 30 MHz in the 600 MHz Incentive Auctions for bidders holding less than one-third of available low-band spectrum licenses per area drew a lukewarm response from T-Mobile.

FCC Sets Rules for Incentive Auctions

May 15, 2014 2:47 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The FCC said its band plan will limit variations in the amount of spectrum turned over from broadcasters in different geographic areas in hopes of preventing the “least common denominator market’ from limiting the quantity of spectrum we can offer generally across the nation.”

FCC Advances Open Internet Proposal Amid Protests

May 15, 2014 1:47 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Thursday's proceedings were disrupted when a woman began a vocal tirade during FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's remarks on the matter. The woman was escorted away by police. The protests were an indication of just how passionate the public is about keeing the Internet in the United States free from constraints. 

Report: Rosenworcel Intimates T-Mo, Sprint Deal Possibly Warranted

May 15, 2014 10:14 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Democrat FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel reportedly expressed worry in a private meetings that the number three and four U.S. carriers might not be able to remain viable if they stay independent, according to report from the Wall Street Journal. 

AT&T Launches VoLTE in Select Markets

May 15, 2014 9:19 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

HD Voice will initially be available on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, which according to AT&T will be "coming soon." Additional devices are slated for market in the near future. AT&T says bringing the feature to the S4 Mini was the result of a collaboration with Samsung. 

Senate Dems Back Spectrum Aggregation Limits

May 14, 2014 5:06 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The senators wrote that they support reserving a portion of available licenses for carriers with limited nationwide low-band holdings "in order to promote competition, increase auction revenues, and protect against highly concentrated spectrum holdings." 

Report: Verizon Launching AWS LTE Network May 19

May 14, 2014 11:11 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In its quest to boost LTE capacity, Verizon will reportedly on May 19 launch its AWS LTE network, branded XLTE. Droid Life cited unnamed sources confirming the reveal date and that the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8 would be able to grab hold of the network straight away. Verizon customers in AWS markets should see up to twice the LTE capacity and faster peak speeds, according to the report.

Isis Mobile Wallet Adding 20K Accounts Daily

May 14, 2014 10:19 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Isis today boasted it’s adding more than 20,000 new “wallets” daily and claimed it has doubled its growth rate over the last month. The NFC-supported mobile payment joint venture between AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile said its platform is now supported across 68 different devices on the three carriers and that the Isis Wallet now comes preloaded on 14 different devices.

AT&T, Verizon Come Out Against Title II Classification for ISPs

May 13, 2014 2:02 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

A collection of 28 CEOs of major communications companies are asking the FCC not to proceed with an attempt to reclassify broadband Internet access as a Title II public service. Among the signatories of the letter were AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam.

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