Verizon and Sprint have taken the lead on domestic LTE roaming - it's time for AT&T and T-Mobile to catch up
Verizon and Sprint are taking great strides to enable LTE roaming. Verizon counts 21 partners in its LTE in Rural America program and Sprint counts 12 carriers in its Rural Roaming Preferred Program. I wish T-Mobile and AT&T would more aggressively follow their path.
It's no secret that the Internet of Things has generated a significant amount of buzz in the wireless industry. Indeed, the Internet of Things is now at the peak of its own hype cycle, according to research firm Gartner. (For comparison, the M2M market has already peaked and is on its way toward a "plateau of productivity" while virtual personal assistants are on the firm's pre-peak "innovation trigger" slope.) But its top position on Gartner's hype cycle graph does nothing to limit the potential importance of the Internet of Things.
The definition of 5G may still be unclear but the pace of 5G innovation is clearly accelerating. In nearly every conversation I have with wireless industry leaders, the discussion veers to 5G: What is 5G? How will 5G change our lives? And how quickly will it be deployed?
T-Mobile's John Legere brought the "uncarrier" rockstar mentality to T-Mobile and its employees. Can Marcelo Claure do the same for Sprint?
Over the past month or so Microsoft, Qualcomm, Apple and others have had to deal with pushback from Chinese regulators or Chinese state-run media. To me, it's clear that the cost of doing business in China is going up--but the cost of missing out on a growing smartphone market as large as China is even higher.
Verizon Wireless is quietly building a major business around tablets, one that could help the carrier maintain its leading position as rivals undercut its prices and overcome its LTE coverage advantage. Verizon's tablet strategy has become significantly clearer during the past several months, and it's definitely an important strategy.
The job cuts Microsoft made to its Nokia devices business were not surprising, and they reflect Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's drive to change Microsoft into a software and services company that enhances productivity for enterprises and consumers through its platforms. Devices will still be a part of Microsoft, but they will be used for a specific purpose: to showcase the best Microsoft experience, primarily in high-end gadgets.
U.S. carriers' embrace of streaming music services could help them maintain their subscriber bases amid intensifying competition on price, but it's not going to likely win them many awards for creativity--or push them to offer new kinds of services.
LTE Advanced is the next phase in the network technology roadmap and many operators are embarking on the LTE-A migration path more quickly than expected thanks to the escalating growth in mobile data. As of July 1, the trade group 4G Americas had tallied 13 operators that had deployed LTE-A in 11 countries worldwide. In the U.S. there is just one operator so far: AT&T Mobility.