Archive by Kevin Fitchard

Clearwire, partners flip switch in seven WiMax markets

In their biggest launch day yet, Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) and its virtual network partners Sprint (NYSE:S) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) rolled out commercial WiMax service in seven new markets today, including in the long-awaited Chicago, where Motorola (NYSE:MOT) has been building a massive metropolitan network for more than two years. more

Meet the 3GPP’s newest member: the CDMA Development Group

If you needed any final proof the cellular technology wars are over, the CDMA Development Group provided it this week. It has officially joined the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, the central standards body for the GSM community, as a market representation partner. Its job is to help with the transition of CDMA operators to long-term evolution networks. more

Palm Pre isn’t the iPhone-answer Sprint hoped

The Palm (NASDAQ:PALM) Pre may be winning accolades in the press, but it isn’t winning Sprint (NYSE:S) the subscriber contracts it needs to turn around its declining customer base. Palm sold 823,000 of the touch-screen smartphones in the quarter ending in August, after nearly three full months of Pre sales. Those numbers are nothing to scoff at, and — assuming Sprint sold the majority of those devices — those sales are likely reflected in its Q3 results: Sprint reversed the downward spiral in its quarterly gross customer adds for the first time in more than two years.

Sprint’s pace, however, is nothing compared to that of the AT&T (NYSE:T), which has been enjoying million-plus-iPhone-activation quarters for the last two years and ended Q3 with its best Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)-driven quarter yet: 3.2 million iPhone activations. What’s worse, analysts are projecting that Pre sales are petering off, and Sprint will soon lose it’s exclusivity on the device. Most significantly, though, Sprint seems to be losing a postpaid customer for every smartphone customer its signs up. Churn is still well over 2%, leading to loss of 500,000 net total subscribers and 800,000 postpaid subscribers. CEO Dan Hesse summed it up at Sprint’s Q3 earnings call: “We’re beginning to turn the corner in gross adds, but we must reduce churn further.”

Survey: Last walled garden will wither by 2012

The walled garden’s days are numbered. According to a new Deloitte survey of wireless industry executives, the closed business models for delivering mobile content and applications will fade away in the next three years and be replaced by open mobile content business models. In fact, most of those executives feel the future of their service provider businesses depends on completing that transition. more

Smartphones beginning to dominate AT&T WiFi network

AT&T (NYSE:T) today reported a record 24.5 million connections on its nationwide WiFi hotspot network in the third quarter, but what was most surprising about the figures was the the type of device being used to make those connections. In Q3, 60% of all WiFi connections were made by smartphones and other integrated mobile devices, making it the first quarter in which laptops didn’t dominate the network. more

Clearwire packing November with big WiMax launches

Providing a bit more clarity on its WiMax roll out schedule for the rest of the year, Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) indicated this week that it planned to bring the majority of its remaing 2009 deployments online in November, turning up three big Texas markets, three cities in North Carolina and the mammoth Chicago market. Clearwire also said it would officially launch service in Philadelphia in the next few week, opening retail stores to compliment the online sales already ongoing on its Website. more

LTE labs in US multiplying

If you’re a foreign infrastructure vendor looking to gain ground in the highly competitive 4G market, the thing to do is open up up a long-term evolution (LTE)–preferably somewhere on the outskirts of Dallas. ZTE is the latest equipment supplier to do just that, joining Nokia Siemens Networks (NYSE:NOK, NYSE:SI), Huawei and Fujitsu in building new 4G R&D facilities or expanding their current labs in the technoburb of Richardson, Texas. more

Nokia still backing venture with Siemens

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was upfront today about the reasons for the increasingly poor performance Nokia Siemens Networks. While the economy, competition and even the fluctuation in currency were factors, “It is clear that NSN has lost market share,” Kallasvuo said after announcing Nokia’s Q3 earnings.

NSN reported revenue declines of 21% year-over-year in the 3rd quarter, and 28% drop in profits, which forced its parents to take write downs. Nokia wrote off 908 million Euros (US $1.35 billion), increasing its 3rd quarter loss to Euro 1.11 billion (US $1.66 billion). Siemens (NYSE:SI) hasn’t reported its 3rd quarter numbers yet, but according to the Dow Jones Newswires, its write down could be as high as $1.6 billion Euros (US $2.4 billion).

Despite NSN’s poor performance and declining market share, Kallasvuo said both Nokia and Siemens still have faith in the venture. “Let me be clear,” he said. “We continue to support NSN’s efforts to improve its performance. Both shareholders have continued to make the necessary capital available to NSN, so that NSN can meet the product and services needs of the leading operators around the world.”

Last summer, NSN CEO Simon Beresford-Wylie announced his retirement, turning the reins over to NSN head of services Rajeev Suri, who in a recent interview said he plans to push NSN more in the direction of professional and managed services and software while still maintaining a strong infrastructure portfolio. For Q3, services accounted for 47% of NSN’s total revenues.

DOJ clears AT&T purchase of Centennial

Nearly a year after announcing the deal, AT&T (NYSE:T) has received US Justice Department clearance to purchase Centennial Communications (NASDAQ:CYCL) in exchange for divesting eight markets in Louisiana and Mississippi, five of which Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD) has already agreed to buy. The FCC still has to sign off on the $944 million deal, but AT&T said it expects to close the transaction this quarter, adding about 1 million subscribers to its rolls in the Midwest, Southeast, US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. more

Cisco buys a 4G core strategy

If you can’t beat them, buy them. Rather than compete with the spry Starent Networks (NASDAQ:STAR) in the mobile packet core space, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) has decided to acquire them, announcing today Starent has accepted a $3 billion offer to purchase its outstanding shares. more


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