News

With deployments from San Jose to NYC, the smart city opportunity is becoming real

The wireless industry is clearly investing in the smart city concept. Both Verizon and AT&T have teams dedicated to breaking open dialogue -- and sales -- between wireless players and city officials, with the goal of installing new technologies in metro areas that proponents say will make city life safer and more efficient. And analysts generally agree on the major opportunity presented by smart cities.

Ballmer: Microsoft must 'chart a direction in mobile devices'

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer takes current CEO Satya Nadella to task over the company's lack of direction in mobile in an interview with Business Insider.

Walmart Family Mobile adds plan with 10 GB of LTE data, offers 'Data Saver' that mimics Binge On

Walmart Family Mobile, which offers service on T-Mobile US' network, introduced a plan that includes unlimited talk, text and data for $49.88 a month. The first 10 GB of monthly data are delivered on the LTE network; after that customers' speeds are slowed.

Google reinstates ad blocker for Samsung's browser

Google restored an ad blocker for Samsung's mobile browser to Google Play nearly as quickly as it had dropped the plugin in the first place.

Opera postpones earnings call, fueling speculation of an acquisition

Opera Software postponed the results of its quarterly earnings, TechCrunch reported, leading to speculation that the developer is the target of an acquisition.

Barclays: Verizon and Yahoo 'not an inconceivable combination'

A Verizon acquisition of Yahoo's core Internet business would align with the carrier's broader strategy of leveraging its networks to develop new revenue streams through digital media, analysts at Barclays said.

AT&T asks FCC to enforce expired roaming rates with iWireless

AT&T asked the FCC to force a regional carrier in Iowa to provide roaming services at the same rates of a contract between the two companies that expired in December.

Pacific Crest: 'We do not believe an overall price war is occurring'

Aggressive carrier promotions extended beyond the holidays into January, according to a research note from Pacific Crest Securities. And Sprint and T-Mobile appear to be maintaining that promotional momentum into February.

Report: Google developing VR headset

Google is developing a "Nexus-style" version of its Cardboard virtual reality product, according to The Financial Times, that will feature improved sensors and lenses.

T-Mobile spends $14.8M for 2 ads during Super Bowl, scores 100M social impressions, iSpot finds

T-Mobile was the top wireless advertiser during the Super Bowl, according to iSpot.tv, leveraging celebrities Drake and Steve Harvey to generate an estimated 100 million social impressions.

BlackBerry confirms 200 layoffs in Canada and Florida

BlackBerry confirmed that it laid off 200 employees in its headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, and also in Florida. The company said in a statement provided to media outlets including the New York Times that "we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce. This means finding new ways to enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities, while driving toward sustainable profitability across all parts of our business."

Verizon CEO confirms interest in acquiring Yahoo's assets

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam confirmed the carrier is interested in acquiring at least some of Yahoo's Internet assets, signaling his eagerness to move further into digital media.

Verizon follows T-Mobile's Binge On with zero-rated streaming video through Go90

Verizon waded further into sponsored content, issuing an update to its Go90 app this week that enables Verizon's postpaid users to stream content through the app on the carrier's LTE network without incurring additional data charges. Other Go90 activity such as browsing, downloading, clipping and sharing content will continue to incur data charges.

Cheaper wholesale prices drive a thriving MVNO market

The MVNO market has grown at an impressive clip over the last several years as customers seek alternatives to tier-one carriers and as costs of operating a virtual network have declined. Citing Strategy Analytics data, Bloomberg reports that U.S. MVNOs have roughly doubled their subscriber numbers since 2009, while the four major network operators have seen subscriptions grow by only 28 percent.

T-Mobile urges FCC to 'tread lightly' regarding net neutrality

T-Mobile continued to defend its Binge On program and urged the FCC to "tread lightly" while attempting to address net neutrality concerns in mobile, according to a report from The Hill.

Charter unlikely to participate in incentive auction of 600 MHz spectrum

Charter Communications is the latest cable company to take a lukewarm view of the FCC's upcoming 600 MHz spectrum auction, saying it's unlikely to participate. Like some other wireline service providers, Charter had been seen as a potential dark horse to leverage the spectrum sale to elbow its way into the mobile market.

Report: Apple to accept damaged iPhones for upgrades, installing screen protectors in stores

Apple is preparing to launch a trade-in program for damaged iPhones and will soon offer to install screen protectors on the handsets in its retail stores, according to a report from 9to5Mac.

Former Virgin Mobile execs launch MVNO Mast Mobile, offering business users 2 numbers on 1 phone

Mast Mobile launched today with an MVNO service that enables customers to use two numbers -- one for work and another for personal use -- on a single phone. The New York-based company uses Sprint's network and allows customers to port an existing number and get a new one, or launch service with two new numbers. It markets its service as an affordable and convenient alternative for users who either carry two phones or use a call-forwarding service to differentiate between work and play.

Verizon, Consolidated top wireline broadband network rankings

Latency, throughput and availability are major concerns in wireless, of course, partly because quality can vary greatly based on geography, weather, and other factors. But those are also big concerns in the world of fixed-line broadband, where performance can vary greatly depending on the service provider and technologies being used.

Google boots Samsung-backed ad blocker from Google Play

Google removed Samsung's ad blocker from its Play Store just days after the plug-in made its Android debut, The Verge reported. Adblock Fast, a plugin developed by Rocketship Apps that worked within Samsung's mobile browser, was reportedly found to violate Play Store guidelines that forbid offerings that interferes with or disrupts "devices, servers, networks" or third-party apps or services.