News

AT&T: Next upgrade plans powered half of all smartphone sales in Q3

In an SEC filing AT&T said said it expects total AT&T Next adoption rates to be around 50 percent in third quarter and to have more 400,000 postpaid smartphone gross additions from customers who brought their own phones.

Microsoft scores 50 new device partners after making Windows free for smaller devices

Microsoft has attracted 50 new hardware partners that are making Windows-based smartphones and tablets, a senior executive said. The influx in partners comes after the company decided in April that it would make Windows free for devices with screens smaller than nine inches.

Bringing together app designers and app developers on one team

As apps and mobile games get more sophisticated, tools are emerging that are intended to address gaps in some developers' skill sets and foster better collaboration among those who come more from a designer or development background. Special report

BlackBerry plans more smartphones with unconventional designs

BlackBerry plans to release more devices that are differentiated in their design, along the lines of its new Passport phone, which sports a square 4.5-inch screen and a physical Qwerty keyboard.

Verizon pushes back on notion that it's falling behind AT&T in connected car market

Verizon Communications argues that it's no slouch in the connected-car market even though rival AT&T has twice as many deals as it does with automakers. Verizon notes that it provides services beyond simple connectivity. Meanwhile, other carriers, including Sprint, continue to plow ahead with their connected-car efforts.

AT&T, Sprint, Ericsson, Cisco, Nokia and more join forces for open-source NFV effort

A broad array of wireless carriers and network vendors have joined together to create an open-source group to accelerate deployments of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) under the auspices of the Linux Foundation. The group, called the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV), aims to deliver a carrier-grade, integrated, open-source reference platform in an effort to create new NFV products and services.

Google's Project Ara will let users swap out modules as needed

Google's Project Ara, which is focusing on creating modular-designed smartphones, will come with specialized software that lets users swap out nearly all hardware modules, according to Paul Eremenko, the head of Project Ara within Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group.

Apple to start selling iPhone 6, 6 Plus in China after addressing security concerns

Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will go on sale in China on Oct. 17, giving the company a chance to regain market share in the world's largest smartphone market. Apple received approval from Chinese regulators to sell the phones only after it addressed privacy concerns that the regulators brought up in testing the phones.

Ho's Perspective: Sprint needs to step up its 2.5 GHz LTE deployment

Rather than network improvement, Sprint needs network acceleration. Just as he was aggressive in pricing and promotions, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has the opportunity to step on the gas to expand the 2014 2.5 GHz target and accelerate the 2015 rollout with at least 250 million POPs covered before the end of next year.

Ericsson, Cisco see Wi-Fi Multicast as a complement to LTE Multicast

Whereas LTE Multicast, based on the evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) standard, is in the early stages of being rolled out, Wi-Fi Multicast has been around for years in office WLAN environments. Its use has since been broadened to include public Wi-Fi entertainment platforms. Special report.

FCC to explore wireless operations above 24 GHz, presaging '5G' networks

The FCC is going to start exploring whether and how wireless services can be used in extremely high-band spectrum frequencies above 24 GHz, potentially presaging work carriers will engage in to develop "5G" networks.

Neustar's lobbying for key number-portability contract gets boost from Michael Chertoff

Neustar's lobbying effort to stop a key federal number-portability contract from slipping away to Ericsson's Telcordia unit took another turn via a report sent to the FCC from Michael Chertoff, a former secretary of homeland security. The report, from Chertoff's security consulting firm, the Chertoff Group, concluded that the bidding terms for the contract related to national security were "insufficient in both scope and specificity when compared with widely accepted national and international standards."

T-Mobile looks to scoop up more 700 MHz spectrum from Triad

T-Mobile US' hunt to score more 700 MHz A Block spectrum continues, with the carrier disclosing that it wants to acquire licenses in that band in four areas across the country, including areas around Reno, Nev., and Anchorage, Alaska.

AT&T to double data for high-usage shared data plans through Oct. 31

AT&T Mobility launched a promotion that will give new and existing customers double the data allotment on shared data plans when they sign up for a data bucket of 15 GB or more.

Intel invests $1.5B in Chinese chipmakers to boost sales of chips to Chinese smartphone makers

Intel announced it would spend up to $1.5 billion to purchase a 20 percent stake in Tsinghua Unigroup in China in a move the company said will help it sell chips to Chinese smartphone makers. According to the Wall Street Journal, Tsinghua Unigroup is a state-run company that owns China's second- and third-largest chip designers, Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics.

BlackBerry notches 200K Passport orders, but continues to struggle financially

BlackBerry said it has received 200,000 orders for its new Passport smartphone, the first major smartphone release from the company since 2013. BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the new phone, announced earlier this week, sold out in six hours on BlackBerry's website and in 10 hours on Amazon's site. He said the company has now sold enough Passport smartphones to make the device profitable, according to Bloomberg.

Phone retailer GSM Nation launches US Mobile MVNO to target $25/month market

GSM Nation, which launched in 2010 to sell unlocked GSM phones in the United States and elsewhere, is now moving into the MVNO game. The company recently launched its US Mobile offering in a beta testing mode, and it plans to commercially launch the MVNO sometime in the next six to eight weeks.

AT&T-DirecTV merger moves to FCC for final approvals

DirecTV shareholders approved the satellite TV provider's proposed merger with AT&T, an action that removes one of the final hurdles to the blockbuster telecom transaction.

Startup Business Texter aims to give SMB market new tools for text-based marketing

A new startup called Business Texter is aiming to shake up the text-message-based marketing world with an artificial intelligence platform and automation program to lower costs for businesses that want to use texting to reach their customers. The company is also actively talking with carriers and MVNOs to get them to use its services.

Analysts: Verizon likely to lead in Q3 subscriber additions while Sprint struggles to regain momentum

Verizon Wireless is likely going to lead the pack in terms of postpaid net subscriber additions in the third quarter, according to a research note from financial analysts at Jefferies. However, the analysts expect AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile US to also perform well, though they expect Sprint will continue to struggle to gain traction with its new plans and promotions.