Fueling the fire surrounding the likelihood of toll-free data coming to the U.S. market soon, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo told investors at a Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications conference today that content providers are starting to see the value in paying the wireless operator for the data consumed by their subscribers when they view their content via a mobile device.
Verizon Wireless launched new prepaid pricing that significantly increases the amount of data its prepaid smartphone customers can consume per month with their plans, as competition in the prepaid market, especially among Tier 1 players, continues to heat up.
Nearly one-third of U.S smartphone sales in the first quarter were on prepaid carriers, the highest on record, according to a report from the NPD Group. The statistic is another indication of prepaid's growing momentum in the smartphone market.
According to a detailed report from New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin on wireless carriers in the first quarter, fewer people are buying smartphones. This means that wireless carriers as a group will no longer benefit from millions of people upgrading from a feature phone to a smartphone--those who want smartphones already have them, and those who don't most likely won't buy one anytime soon.
A new Sprint Nextel MVNO, Zact, is taking aim at the Tier 1 carriers--including T-Mobile US' new "uncarrier" strategy--by giving customers granular control over their plans, including the ability to change them on the fly.
AT&T Mobility launched a new prepaid brand, Aio Wireless, promising a simplified, no-contract experience and opening up a new front in the prepaid battle with Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile US.
AT&T Mobility is planning to launch new prepaid services under the "All In One" brand June 15, according to people familiar with the matter. The carrier will likely offer a $35 per month service for feature phones and a $50 per month service for smartphones.
T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS officially closed their merger transaction and are now one publicly traded company. T-Mobile started trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "TMUS."
Sprint Nextel is shifting its focus to the future and its CDMA and LTE networks as it nears the shutdown of its Nextel iDEN network, scheduled for the middle of the year. As it has in the past several quarters, the company reported relatively strong metrics for its "Sprint platform" (CDMA and LTE) while losing subscribers from its legacy Nextel (iDEN) network.
Cricket provider Leap Wireless launched a new family plan offer to entice customers to sign up for its smartphone plans. The flat-rate carrier also tweaked its pricing plans for Apple's iPhone, lowering the entry-level plan by $5 per month.