Sprint Nextel's prepaid brand Virgin Mobile and regional wireless carrier C Spire Wireless have been quietly testing handset financing programs, the carriers confirmed. Both operators are using the startup BillFloat to support their pilot programs, which are ongoing but expected to end within the next few weeks. The disclosures come a month after FierceWireless reported that Leap Wireless' Cricket and MetroPCS both recently launched handset financing options.
Verizon Wireless is expected to lead U.S. wireless carriers in terms of net subscriber additions in the fourth quarter, according to analysts' estimates. However, all operators, including Verizon, will likely see their margins come under pressure as a result of higher subsidy costs for smartphones.
MetroPCS will discontinue a number of LTE pricing options, and modify some existing plans, in an effort to simplify its service pricing. Specifically, the carrier tomorrow will cancel its $30 and $55 LTE pricing options, and will instead offer LTE services at the $40, $50 and $60 per month price points.
LAS VEGAS--Microsoft thinks it's very important to bring its Windows Phone 8 platform to tier 1 U.S. carriers, a strategy that helped Google's Android platform gain significant market share, according to a Windows Phone executive.
AT&T Mobility reported it sold a record 10 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, another indication that Tier 1 postpaid carriers enjoyed strong sales and subscriber activations during the period--likely at the expense of prepaid carriers.
MetroPCS reported that it lost around 93,000 subscribers during the fourth quarter, bringing its total subscriber loses for 2012 to around 460,000. The prepaid carrier's fourth-quarter declines were far greater than analysts had expected, and the news sent MetroPCS' shares down around 2 percent to $9.50 per share.
Sprint Nextel will launch its own branded prepaid service later this month, according to the blog Android Police. The move would add another layer to Sprint's multi-pronged prepaid strategy.
Chipmaker ST-Ericsson is battling the contention that phones offering voice over LTE have battery life issues, saying such issues are restricted to first-generation LTE chipsets and devices running simultaneous voice and LTE (SVLTE) service during VoLTE calls.
Dish Network CEO Joseph Clayton said the company is still looking for a partner to help it build a wireless broadband service using its LTE Advanced spectrum.
Dish Network CEO Joseph Clayton said the company is still looking for a wireless carrier to partner with to build out its planned LTE Advanced network, but he seemed to rule out Sprint Nextel as a partner.