Archive for December, 2009

Ontela merges photo-transfer service with Photobucket

Ontela, which provides a photo-transferring service to wireless operators, announced today it is merging with online photo site Photobucket.com. The newly combined company will adopt the Photobucket name, as well as the company’s 22 million US-based users and will continue to market the Ontela software through carriers. more

Best of 2009: Most game-changing products

When these products came on the market, everything changed:

More after the break…. more

Small cableco claims fastest US wireless data: up to 15 Mb/s

BendBroadband, a family-owned cable and broadband provider serving Bend, Ore., is claiming to have launched the nation’s fastest wireless data service, with speeds averaging between 6 and 8 megabits per second and reaching 15 Mb/s “under optimal conditions.”

The company is delivering those speeds with an HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access Plus) wireless broadband network that is upgradable to Long Term Evolution (LTE).

The company is supplying users with WiFi-enabled modems for home networks along with a USB device to access its network “virtually anywhere in Central Oregon.” It plans to launch a “feature-rich” residential telephony service next year. more

UBS: Qwest could be bought by smaller RLEC

Qwest Communications (NYSE: Q) “could become a target of rural wireline consolidation,” according to UBS analyst John Hodulik. “Despite its much larger size, we believe Qwest could become a takeover candidate” for CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) or even Windstream (NASDAQ:WIN), he said in a research note this week. Piper Jaffray analyst Chris Larsen made a similar observation earlier this month.

A deal like that is easier to imagine after CenturyTel’s purchase of much-larger Embarq this year. And it would probably have to wait until CenturyLink or Windstream had integrated their newly acquired assets – perhaps the middle of next year, Hodulik said. Both CenturyLink and Windstream have indicated they’re not done yet with M&A.

But Hodulik’s prediction is 180 degrees from those made by other analysts this spring, when Qwest was reportedly exploring selling off its long-haul network. Funds from such a sale could have allowed the carrier to roll up other rural carriers, analysts said at the time. But a sale never took place.

Best of 2009: The year’s most unexpected events

In 2009, even a crystal ball would have a hard time predicting:

More after the break, including the best from our readers: more

Nuance signs up Samsung for mobile care, XT9

Nuance Communications (NASDAQ: NUAN) today inked a deal with Samsung Electronics to embed its on-device self-service software, Nuance Mobile Care, in select mobile phones. The relationship builds on one announced earlier this week to bring Nuance’s XT9 predicative text service to Samsung’s mobile phones. more

Best of 2009: The top buzzwords

Whether you think they’re buzz-worthy or not, we’ll be happy if we never hear these industry favorites again:

More after the break… more

Allied Wireless hiring at new Little Rock HQ

Allied Wireless, a subsidiary of Massachusetts-based Atlantic Tele-Network (NASDAQ:ATNI), is building a new headquarters in Little Rock, Ark., the company announced today along with plans to hire 200 to 250 workers at the new location.

Allied was created to operate wireless assets acquired by Atlantic that had been divested as part of Verizon Wireless’s acquisition of Alltel. Atlantic had previously hinted that it might choose Little Rock to set up its new base of operations, in part because hundreds of layoffs following Verizon’s acquisition have left a ready pool of available talent there.

In September, 13-year Alltel veteran Frank O’Mara was named to lead the acquired business, which includes 800,000 subscribers in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio and Idaho.

Best of 2009: ‘Deals’ that came back to haunt their deal-makers

You can bet these companies have their fair share of regrets:

More after the break… more

Swype adds Nokia, Samsung to investor list

Start-up Swype has made no secret that its goal is to take-over text input for all mobile phones, and it appears to be one step closer. The company, whose technology relies on quick tracing motions on touchscreen phones, today announced it has secured $5.6 million in series B funding, including from world’s largest handset maker Nokia (NYSE:NOK). more

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