As has been the case for much of 2015, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US led the way in terms of capital expenditures for wireless network gear in the third quarter, with AT&T Mobility and Sprint appearing to be hanging back in terms of major capex spending. However, Sprint is just beginning its network densification efforts and some tower companies do expect AT&T to begin ramping up spending next year.
AT&T Mobility continues to lead all of its competitors in TV advertising spending in October, according to a new report from TV advertising measurement firm iSpot.tv. AT&T also led the market in TV ad spending in September and August, according to iSpot.tv, while T-Mobile US was the leader in July.
Verizon Wireless struck a deal with the National Basketball Association to have exclusive NBA digital content appears in its Go90 over-the-top mobile video application, as part of a broad, multiyear content marketing agreement between the carrier and the sports league.
With Sprint choosing to sit out the 600 MHz incentive auction, it has been widely assumed that T-Mobile and other competitive carriers will be able to bid for the "set aside" airwaves-- up to 30 MHz in a given market-- without having to worry about AT&T and Verizon Wireless. However, that likely won't be the case, and in many rural markets AT&T and Verizon will be able to fully bid on reserve spectrum and put pressure on smaller carriers during the auction, and potentially after it as well.
Apple's entrance into direct-co-consumer smartphone leasing is being embraced by T-Mobile US and is a tactic pioneered by Sprint. However, AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless remain wary of leasing, preferring instead to get customers on equipment installment plans, in which subscribers can keep their devices after fully paying for them in installments.
Verizon Wireless plans to cut management positions as it consolidates its regional offices to speed up decision-making and get employees closer to customers. However, it's unclear how many layoffs will come as a result of the changes.
Verizon Wireless is pushing ahead with plans to deploy Cloud-RAN network architecture and also will keep deploying small cells and distributed antenna systems (DAS) to handle growing capacity requirements in urban markets.
For Verizon Wireless and Lenovo's Motorola Mobility unit, Droid still does. The carrier teamed up with Motorola to keep the companies' years-long partnership going and unveiled two new Droid-branded smartphones, including one with a screen that is being marketed as "shatterproof."
Verizon is facing yet another call to come to an agreement with the Communications Workers of America from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
T-Mobile US CEO John Legere made good on his promise to send a message to T-Mobile's competitors to stop charging overage fees for mobile data usage and sent a skywriter airplane to deliver a message to "Abolish overages" above Verizon Wireless' headquarters.