Archive for December, 2009

AT&T, Verizon both gained from 3G ad war

AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) appear to have both benefitted from the recent internecine ad campaign in which the two bickered over whose 3G wireless coverage was superior — though Verizon may have gained more than its rival.

According to a survey released today by YouGov Brand Index, Verizon Wireless’ brand awareness among adults 18 to 34 shot from 37.1% in early November to 62.2% in early December. AT&T’s awareness in the same group rose from 41.2% to 54.5% in that time. Toward the end of November, as the holiday shopping season kicked into full swing, Verizon Wireless had surpassed AT&T in terms of awareness.

That mutual benefit is fortunate for the two companies, since the war brought attention to weaknesses in both of their offerings and underscored the limits of today’s 3G networks. But it also may encourage the two to try to repeat the phenomenon. We haven’t seen the last of Luke Wilson.

Best of 2009: The year’s top scapegoats

The companies and individuals who bore the brunt of criticism in 2009 were:

  •  Most unfair scapegoat: U.S. telcos as anti-net-neutrality invaders or privacy and unfair business practitioners
  •  Google, which is destroying multiple industries so that they can be rebuilt for the digital age.

More after the break… more

US still waiting as first LTE network lands in Sweden

Just a few weeks after Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) finished its 2009 WiMax rollout, competing 4G technology long-term evolution (LTE) landed its first network – in Sweden. TeliaSonera launched in two cities – the first LTE launches ever – today, promising wireless download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second. The wireless operator used equipment from Ericsson and Huawei to roll out the service in Stockholm and Olso, respectively. more

Best of 2009: This year will be most remembered as…

This year will be most remembered as:

  •  The year we all survived – well at least mostly.
  • Everyone opened an app store. Applications continued the insane momentum they started last year, but this year, no one was satisfied with just an app. Every handset maker, carrier, operating system and third-party wanted to own the storefront to shop them.

Keep reading to see the rest of our responses, as well as the best from our readers… more

Study: Backhaul radio spend down in Q3

Operators are supposed to be busting up their piggy banks to upgrade their backhaul networks in anticipation of increased 3G and eventual 4G data traffic, but a new study from Infonetics shows that one of the key backhaul equipment sectors, microwave radios, was down 8% in the third quarter. The global microwave market brought in $1.4 billion, half of which went to Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and NEC, according to Infonetics. more

Video–A little bit of (twisted) LTE humor

For those of you have been following the VoLGA issue, here’s a video that might amuse–or offend–you. The debate over how exactly to extend bread-and-butter voice and SMS services over the all-IP data network is becoming contentious. On one side are the advocates of IP multimedia subsystem (IMS)-based solutions and on the other are those that favor a more generic solution, utilizing operators existing 2G and 3G circuit-switched infrastructure. Even within those camps there are some big disagreements.

Who says engineers don’t have a sense of humor?

What happens when all smartphones start looking the same? (Video)

One thing I noticed in traveling the past couple of weeks is that you can’t necessarily judge a smartphone by its user interface. Looking over someone’s shoulder on an airplane or in a meeting, it’s not always clear exactly which smartphone they’re using, especially if they are deep in a calendar or email app, for example.

Chances are the person is swiping to a new screen or tapping on a virtual keyboard, whether it be an Apple iPhone, one of the many Droid phones or an HTC-enriched Windows mobile phone.

One wonders what will make a customer not caught in the daily sturm and drang of our industry choose one phone over another. The answer, of course, is marketing.

more

Prepaid reaches the high, low ends

Prepaid wireless users are no longer relegated to out-of-date flip phones or the bricks that once symbolized the contract-free market. More and more sophisticated handsets are being introduced by carriers and being embraced by younger text- and Web-oriented wireless customers, according to New Millennium Research (NMRC). more

Sprint prepaid guru taking over 4G business

Matt Carter, the brains behind Boost Mobile’s $50 unlimited plan, is moving from prepaid to Sprint’s WiMax group, where he will take on the newly reinstated title of President of 4G. After Sprint (NYSE:S) acquired prepaid MVNO Virgin Mobile last month, Virgin CEO took Dan Schulman took over all prepaid operations, but Sprint has found a new task for Carter: performing the same black magic that revitalized Boost and launched the ‘unlimited wars’ in the US on Sprint’s newest business division, 4G.

Carter is stepping into shows that were originally filled by Barry West, Sprint’s former chief technology and President of 4G, who left for Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) after the two companies’ merger of WiMax assets last year. After the divestiture, Sprint became the controlling stakeholder in Clearwire and began to offer service over its WiMax service as a MVNO. While Clearwire was still in few markets, Sprint kept the 4G President role vacant, turning over 4G operations to vice president of mobile broadband Todd Rowley. But with Clearwire expanding its footprint to 20+ markets, covering 30 million pops, this winter, Sprint appears to be renewing its efforts in WiMax, bulking up its local and nationwide ad campaigns and reinstating the 4G President’s role.

“Matt Carter has led Boost Mobile prepaid service to unprecedented growth in the last year, and he has the executive and marketing skills to maximize Sprint’s industry leadership in 4G,” Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in a statement.

Cox, Comcast launch Mozy online backup storage

Cable providers Cox and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) are starting to offer online storage services this month with plans to expand them next year. Both are powered by Mozy, the online backup service offered by Decho, a unit of EMC (NYSE: EMC).

Cox Business is launching free online backup this month in two markets — Roanoke and Hampton Roads, Va. — with plans to expand it to all markets next year. Cox, which also launched wireless service in Roanoke and two other markets this week, is offering its small and medium business Internet customers between 2 gigabytes and 10 GB of storage for free, with the storage capacity determined by the customer’s Internet speed. Users can also buy up to 100 GB of storage at prices ranging from $10 to $70 per month, Cox said. more

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