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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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."
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 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.
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.