In today's spotlight, FierceWireless profiles several up-and-coming executives in the industry. Its 2014 "Rising Stars in Wireless" report includes executives from Verizon, AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, Microsoft, Intel and Qualcomm.
Regulators blocked the AT&T/T-Mobile acquisition and have signaled their distaste for a possible Sprint takeover of T-Mobile. Yet, it appears that Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable has a reasonable chance of being approved. Why is that?
T-Mobile US confirmed to FierceWireless it will change its "Jump" handset upgrade program to remove a limit on how many times customers can upgrade their phone. The plan will also now include tablets. The tweaks are the latest salvo in an ongoing battle among the Tier 1 carriers to keep customers and get them to switch by lowering prices or offering credits.
Sprint is still backing the Tizen Association and just joined as a partner member, contrary to a recent report that the carrier had dropped its support for the fledgling operating system.
Comcast's just-announced $45.2 billion merger with Time Warner Cable could open the door for SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son to push more forcefully for deal between Sprint and T-Mobile US. The Comcast-TWC merger might also benefit Verizon Wireless, which has been reselling services with each of the cable companies.
Verizon Wireless updated its shared data plans, changing the name of the plans from "Share Everything" to "More Everything" and increasing the data allotments for some plans. The carrier is also giving a discount to customers who use its "Edge" handset upgrade program. Both changes are Verizon's latest response to an escalating price war among the Tier 1 carriers, sparked primarily by T-Mobile US.
According to a handful of reports, Verizon Wireless tomorrow plans to introduce its new "More Everything" plans, which will slightly increase the amount of data some subscribers can get per month and also will reduce monthly service prices for subscribers using Verizon's Edge handset upgrade program.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is now publicly pushing for a deal between Sprint and T-Mobile US, arguing that without consolidation no company can close the gap with Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility.
Sprint's subscriber numbers were bolstered by a surge in tablet activations, which Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer attributed to a variety of factors, including Sprint's introduction of installment pricing for tablets last fall and its holiday promotions.
Sprint's wireline revenues were a bit of a mixed bag in the fourth quarter of 2013, rising to $859 million sequentially but down year-over-over year from $949 million in the same period a year ago.