The FCC said in a public notice that it could be ready to auction the 1900 MHz PCS H Block of spectrum as soon as January 2014, its first major spectrum auction since 2008. The commission is seeking public comment on its proposed rules for the auction, which could draw interest from Sprint, Dish Network and others.
AT&T Mobility said it will start letting its customers upgrade their smartphones and tablets every 12 months if they agree to add a monthly installment payment to their bill. The plan, called "Next," follows T-Mobile US' announcement last week of its "Jump" upgrade program, which lets subscribers upgrade their wireless devices up to two times per year after an initial six-month enrollment period.
The fate of the regional operator is in question in light of the recent consolidation in the U.S. wireless industry. Research firm iGR estimates that the number of subscribers serviced by regional operators has dwindled from 22.2 million in 2012 to 12.5 million today. And with AT&T Mobility's planned $1.2 billion acquisition of Leap Wireless, that number will likely drop to 8 million or fewer by the end of 2013.
Sprint soon will begin selling devices that can access LTE services across three separate bands: 800 MHz, 1900 MHz and 2.5 GHz. The carrier currently sells LTE devices that can access LTE on its 800 MHz and 1900 MHz spectrum, and starting later this week the carrier will add 2.5 GHz to that lineup.
Shipments of femtocells, also referred to as indoor small cells, are picking up more than previously expected due to planned deployments by AT&T, Sprint, Softbank, Telefonica and Vodafone, according to ABI Research.
Fresh off SoftBank's $21.6 billion acquisition of 78 percent of Sprint, the operator announced new unlimited service plans that promise unlimited voice, texting and data for the life of the phone line.
Verizon Wireless may owe Apple as much as $14 billion in purchase commitments if it doesn't sell the agreed number of iPhones this year. In a Bloomberg report citing Moffett Research, which analyzed SEC filings, Verizon inked a deal with Apple in 2012 in which it was obligated to purchase $23.5 billion worth of iPhones in 2013 alone. That is double the number of iPhones that Verizon sold in 2012.
T-Mobile US finally broke its silence regarding its LTE footprint by announcing that its LTE service is now deployed in 116 markets nationwide, covering 157 million POPs.
Sprint has tapped IBM to help it create the Sprint Velocity Service Bus, a communications architecture that will enable automotive OEMs to deliver customized in-vehicle infotainment, security and convenience features via the cloud.
Atlanta-based Tempo Telecom, a prepaid subsidiary of CLEC Birch Communications, is launching new wireless prepaid plans starting at $9.95 per month. The company operates via Sprint's 3G and LTE networks and offers a handful of devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone for $249.95.