U.S. Cellular said it will sell some of its major Midwestern markets and spectrum to Sprint Nextel for $480 million as it seeks to streamline its operations. The Tier 2 carrier made the announcement in conjunction with its third-quarter earnings, in which it reported a modest gain in subscribers.
Sprint Nextel doesn't expect to conduct layoffs as part of Softbank's $20.1 billion deal to acquire to 70 percent of the company, according to a regulatory filing. Sprint also expects to drop the "Nextel" part of its corporate name if the deal is approved by regulators.
Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA continued to make progress during the weekend to restore service disrupted by Hurricane Sandy last week, with the carriers reporting major progress in New York and New Jersey especially.
Wireless carriers continued to struggle as of Thursday to fully resolve service outages on their networks as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, yet they and the FCC reported progress in those efforts. Still, some questioned whether the continuing outages exposed problems with the carriers' backup plans for operating in natural disasters where power is knocked out for a significant period of time.
New data from NPD Connected Intelligence shows that Verizon Wireless' iPhone users are the most prolific data downloaders among the nation's top four wireless carriers. The firm found that the iPhone customers of Verizon used an average of 1.58 GB of cellular data per month in September.
AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA officially joined a database intended to fight back against smartphone theft by making stolen phones unusable on their networks.
Cricket provider Leap Wireless is in the midst of its LTE deployment. The carrier is working to catch up to its larger rivals by providing subscribers with the latest LTE phones and high-speed data services. Doug Hutcheson, president and CEO of Leap Wireless, spoke with FierceWireless Executive Editor Mike Dano about Leap's buildout, its spectrum position and its network access payments to Sprint Nextel.
Wireless networks generally held up well during the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy, which battered the East Coast Monday night and Tuesday, but wider service disruptions are possible as backup battery power at cell sites is drained in areas with widespread power outages.
Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA all said they were preparing their networks and their disaster response for the landfall of Hurricane Sandy. The massive storm is barreling up the East Coast and is expected to hit land sometime this evening somewhere between central New Jersey and southern Delaware before meeting up with a nor'easter.
FreedomPop moved beyond the pre-order phase and finally began shipping a sleeve that turns Apple's iPod touch into WiMAX-enabled communications device.