Archive for April, 2009

Alltel ex-execs form investment, consultancy group

Former executives of Alltel, acquired by Verizon Wireless in January, have formed a telecom consultancy and investment firm based in Alltel’s former home of Little Rock, Ark.
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Will AT&T have the iPhone forever?

According to the latest reports from the Wall Street Journal, AT&T’s multi-year iPhone exclusivity deal is set to expire at the end of 2010 and CEO Randall Stephenson is negotiating with Apple to extend AT&T’s arrangement for another year. AT&T isn’t commenting on the story, but the report is generating headlines galore, speculating on whether AT&T can keep it’s favored-nation status with the world’s hottest smartphone maker. Those stories, though, overlook the obvious. more

Sweden becoming LTE hotbed

Sweden, it turns out, is the place to be for long-term evolution deployments. Two more operators, Telenor Sweden and Tele2, have announced plans to launch commercial LTE networks in 2010 as a joint venture. This follows on the heels of the TeliaSonera’s January announcementthat it will launch two Scandinavian networks–in Oslo and Stockholm–by year end. more

$50 is the new $100 – does it matter?

Following Virgin Mobile’s announcement last week that it would drop its $80 unlimited plan down to $50 per month, all the major prepaid carriers now offer plans at this price point. Boost Mobile was the first to make its move at the beginning of the year, and at the time, Neil Lindsay, Boost’s vice president of marketing, maintained that it wasn’t looking to start a price war – but with increasing pressure on the wireless industry, that appears to be exactly what happened. more

Windstream ‘poisoned’ out of Embarq M&A, WSJ says

Did “poison puts” keep Windstream from being a serious bidder for Embarq last year?
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ABI: Recession could spur interest in netbooks

While few consumer products benefit from a down economy, the emerging netbook could be the exception. The netbook is not just a new device category with room to grow, but also a rather cheap one, which could spur sales during a global recession. According to ABI Research that low price point could make them a viable alternative to pricier full-featured laptops, especially as cheaper operating systems emerge to drive netbook prices down. more

Grande buyer raising funds

Grande Communications, the Texas triple-play provider that has been openly for sale for more than a year, is expecting an acquisition offer soon if its would-be buyer can secure the financing.
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3GPP passes femto standard

The 3rd Generation Partnership Project today published the initial standard for UMTS femtocells, choosing a simplified architecture and highly-utilized protocols that easily integrate with both wireline and wireless operators’ networks. With the standard finalized, the Femto Forum believes it now has the ammunition it needs to convince operators to deploy femtocells in huge volumes. more

Is telecom seeing signs of hope?

I arrived in Las Vegas yesterday to discover, to my pleasant shock, a long line of cabs waiting at the airport for customers. In my 20-plus years of visiting Vegas on business, I’ve arrived at all hours of the day and night and always started my visit by standing in a long cab line.

So this is the world turned upside down by the economic downturn.

But at the MetaSwitch Forum 2009, which brought me to Vegas in the first place, there’s a very different sense, one that is much more hopeful. While admitting that it’s tough to predict 2009 revenues and profits, MetaSwitch executives say they are already seeing something of an uptick. more

MetroPCS replicates the home phone over wireless

With more people cutting the cord, a critical social element of the family home phone is being lost. Individual family members have individual mobile numbers. There is no family line to speak of, so gone are the long conversations with grandma where Mom, Dad and the kids all participate on separate extensions. MetroPCS, however, has recreated the family phone home on wireless.

Along with releasing impressive Q1 subscriber numbers, MetroPCS announced GroupLineSM, a simultaneous ring service paired with conference calling that allows a caller to reach all members of a family plan through a single ‘home’ number. When a call to the group is made, all of its members’ phones ring simultaneously, and those that pick up are dumped into a conference where they can talk no matter where they happen to be. more

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