The theme of my 2013 "predictions" piece was that this is going to be a year of "disruption" across many elements of the value chain. I'd like to delve a little deeper into a discussion of business models and pricing, where I think we will see both disruption to prevailing structures, and experimentation around new forms of monetization. I see this happening in many sectors of the mobile space: operator pricing, video over mobile, "content everywhere," and applications.
What sprawling multinationals including Vodafone, Telefónica (including O2), Orange and T-Mobile need most is to bulk up in selected nations where they already have market leadership and exit where market shares are relatively small. It is far better to be No. 1 or 2 in a few places than No. 3 or worse in many places.
The recent rumours that AT&T is mulling a European acquisition are based on the idea that the company can escape growth constraints within its home market and build fresh revenues elsewhere. But is Europe the right place to look?
Two weeks after Dish Network outbid Sprint with an offer to acquire Clearwire, the satellite TV provider asked the FCC to halt its review of Softbank's proposal to acquire a 70 percent stake in Sprint Nextel.
Dish Network asked the FCC to pause its review of Softbank's proposed $20.1 billion acquisition of 70 percent of Sprint Nextel so that Dish can resolve issues related to its bid for Clearwire, which Sprint still hopes to acquire for $2.2 billion.
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.
Ting, the Sprint Nextel prepaid MVNO, said it will pay up to $100,000 to customers who incur an early termination fee by switching to Ting.
AT&T is hunting for merger and acquisition opportunities in the European wireless market, according to a Wall Street Journal report, betting it can roll out LTE technology there faster and make more money from new pricing schemes. The report, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said AT&T executives are debating the wisdom of such a move, but that the United Kingdom, Germany or the Netherlands might be potential markets to explore for a deal.
Sprint Nextel announced that its LTE network rollout will soon extend to 28 additional cities within its existing nationwide 3G footprint
Sprint Nextel's major announcement last week during the Consumer Electronics Show was that it will launch its first Microsoft Windows Phone 8 smartphones by the summer from HTC and Samsung. Left off that list was Windows Phone's biggest supporter, Nokia--and that seems to be the way it will stay for a while.