News

Net neutrality rules won't force carriers to get FCC permission for new plans, officials say

Under the FCC's newly approved net neutrality rules, wireless carriers and other ISPs will not have to go the agency and ask permission every time they want to introduce a new offering or mobile broadband plan, such as a new zero-rating plan, according to FCC officials.

FCC approves net neutrality rules for wireless, putting future zero-rating plans on notice

WASHINGTON--The FCC voted, 3-2, to codify new net neutrality regulations for wireless and wireline networks that would bar blocking and throttling of content and ban carriers and ISPs from striking deals with content companies to zip their content faster to consumers. In doing so, the FCC is reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, instead of a lightly-regulated information service, a move that carriers and ISPs have said will stifle innovation.

Legere's T-Mobile contract extended to 2017, salary raised to $1.5M

In a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, T-Mobile US said it inked a new employment agreement with CEO John Legere that extends the original term of Legere's employment from Sept. 22, 2015, to Sept. 22, 2017, and increases Legere's annual base salary to $1.5 million.

As iOS gobbles 89% of smartphone profits, Google looks to enterprise market with Android for Work

Google is working to make its Android operating system more salient for business users with its new Android for Work program. Initially unveiled last year at its annual I/O developer conference, Google this week took the wraps off the program, promising Android enterprise users more security and flexibility.

Report: Google to launch Android Pay API at I/O to spur mobile payments adoption

Google is going to unveil a new API called Android Pay at its I/O developer conference in late May, according to an Ars Technica  report, and the platform will enable payments in brick-and-mortar stores and in-app payments for third-party applications.

NTelos reports improved traction in Western markets, aims to cover 50% of customers with LTE by year-end

NTelos Wireless reported improved customer and financial momentum in its Western markets, news that underscored the company's relatively positive outlook for 2015. NTelos also said it will continue building out its LTE network in an effort to remain competitive with its larger network rivals.

Sprint to expand and improve LTE network, may add up to 20,000 cell sites

Sprint plans to significantly expand its LTE network by adding potentially up to 20,000 cell sites and repurposing existing sites, according a source. These plans are much more extensive than those reported by Sprint blog S4GRU, which said Sprint is planning to add 9,000 cell sites to its network.

Ho's Perspective: Sprint, T-Mobile will keep sparking pricing moves in 2015

The two main disruptors in 2015 will be Sprint and T-Mobile, as they are specifically targeting AT&T and Verizon's postpaid bases. There may be shifts throughout the year and of course volatility is expected when the next iPhone version is introduced. For 2015 carrier competition remains healthy. 

Cablevision's Dolan says Freewheel and other Wi-Fi services will disrupt cellular industry

Just weeks after launching its low-cost Freewheel Wi-Fi calling and data service, Cablevision CEO James Dolan told investors during the company's fourth quarter earnings call that he believes Freewheel will disrupt the cellular industry and his company is going to put more emphasis on its Wi-Fi initiatives.

AT&T executive among the most promising executives in wireline telecom

FierceTelecom has highlighted seven executives who are propelling network transitions, launching new service initiatives, and developing network buildout strategies to respond to emerging consumer and business demands Special report

U.S. Cellular grows postpaid customer base in 2014, first time since 2009

U.S. Cellular capped 2014 with a strong performance in the fourth quarter. The company managed to grow its postpaid customer base in 2014, the first time it has been able to do so since 2009.

FCC should create a 40 MHz reserve for 600 MHz auction, public interest groups urge

A coalition of public interest groups urged the FCC to adopt a spectrum reserve of at least 40 MHz for the 600 MHz incentive auction, one of several rule changes they are suggesting aimed at helping smaller carriers acquire spectrum. In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and his fellow commissioners, the groups said that the AWS-3 auction strengthened the position of AT&T and Verizon Wireless and that, now, smaller carriers need a leg up to compete. The groups also want the FCC to move quickly to free up the 3.5 GHz band for mobile broadband.

IDC: Android, iOS crushing Windows Phone, BlackBerry in smartphone market

Google's Android and Apple's iOS continued to thoroughly dominate the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter, according to research firm IDC, with Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus driving Apple to gain share at Android's expense. Meanwhile, Microsoft's Windows Phone platform continues to be an also-ran in the market, though the company as vowed to introduce a range of new phones this year running its new Windows 10 software.

5G, net neutrality will be in the spotlight at MWC 2015

The Mobile World Congress trade show will be held March 2-5 in Barcelona, Spain. The event is the world's biggest gathering of executives in the mobile industry. Of course, Fierce will cover the event from all angles. And to prepare for the show, check out this special report on all the hot topics executives are expecting to learn about at the show.

Net neutrality: Apply it to wireless, but let carriers have flexibility in their business models

I think wireless carriers need more oversight than they have had--they deserve it after years of failing to provide data usage alerts and being unclear on throttling policies, among other harms to consumers. And wireless customers need protections than they have been afforded in the past. But I don't think the FCC should be playing traffic cop (no pun intended) with carriers' business models.

Vision Mobile survey of developers harps on how e-commerce dwarfs app store revenue

Despite all of the attention paid to mobile apps and app storefronts, a global survey of developers from Vision Mobile found that "e-Commerce will account for 2.5 times as much revenue as all the other sources put together at $300 billion." FierceDeveloper spoke with Mark Wilcox, senior business analyst at Vision Mobile about what developers can do to incorporate e-commerce into their apps, the drive for subscription revenue and more. Hot Seat

Comcast hints at Wi-Fi-based mobile service following Cablevision's Freewheel entrance

Comcast is hinting that it might join rival Cablevision in offering some kind of Wi-Fi-based mobile service or product, but has not committed to any specific plans and is wary of cannibalizing its existing Wi-Fi business.

Ericsson: Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, Instagram and Snapchat make up 61% of U.S. mobile app traffic

Facebook and its Instagram photo service, Google's YouTube, Netflix and Snapchat make up 61 percent of U.S. mobile application data traffic, according to a new report from network vendor Ericsson. The phenomenon is similar in other developed markets, the report found.

5G and the coming 'tectonic' shift in wireless

If you want to get the latest on 5G from the biggest experts in the field, then join me at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, for "The Path to 5G: Defining the Next-generation of Wireless Networks" luncheon panel that will be held on Tuesday, March 3, from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m. at the Fira Congress Hotel, which is just a five-minute walk from the main Fira Gran Via MWC venue.

Artemis leases Dish's H Block spectrum to build a live, commercial pCell network in San Fran

Artemis Networks, a wireless startup that aims to reshape the wireless landscape through its pCell technology (and a 2014 Fierce 15 winner), is leasing spectrum from Dish Network in San Francisco to demonstrate its technology in a commercial service. Although Artemis aims to be more of a technology solutions provider, the company is partnering with Dish on a limited basis to get its technology off the ground.