As wireless carriers increasingly embrace equipment installment plans (EIPs), they are working to mitigate the risk of those plans to their balance sheet by turning to a variety of financing alternatives, according to a report from investment bank Jefferies.
As part of an agreement between the CTIA and FCC, the nation's largest U.S. wireless carriers agreed to let customers who have fulfilled their contracts unlock their phones and tablets and move to another carrier.
Despite growing smartphone sales, overall handset sales fell in 2014 due to a decline in feature phone sales and growing acceptance of equipment installment plans (EIP), according to a report from research firm Recon Analytics. Consumers' embrace of the EIP model could have negative consequences for carriers, handset makers and mobile networks, according to the report.
Sprint may still have a lot of work to do to in improving its network reliability, but according to a new RootMetrics report, it is making progress.
Ericsson is working with Qualcomm and several major carriers to trial unlicensed LTE service in the 5 GHz band. The carriers, including Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile US and SK Telecom, are at the vanguard of deploying what is known as License Assisted Access (LAA) or LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U).
According to the latest bi-annual report from network testing firm RootMetrics, Verizon Wireless continued to lead in overall performance with AT&T Mobility not far behind. However, thanks to improvements Sprint made in fixing blocked calls and texting reliability, Sprint leapfrogged back over T-Mobile US for third place overall. In RootMetrics' report for the first half of 2014, T-Mobile overtook Sprint for the No. 3 spot.
T-Mobile US said recent filings by AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless that seek to reverse a December FCC ruling on data roaming are "nothing more than untimely renewed attempts" to tilt roaming regulations that favor AT&T and Verizon. The FCC's ruling late last year provided clarification and guidance over what constitutes a "commercially reasonable" data roaming agreement, and was largely a win for T-Mobile and smaller carriers.
Frontier Communications officially emerged as the suitor for the $10.5 billion in wireline assets that Verizon wants to offload, signifying its ongoing effort to scale its reach in new markets and deepen its presence in others it already serves. But it remains to be seen how Frontier integrates these new assets.
Verizon Wireless' decision to cut pricing on most of its More Everything shared data plans by $10 is an indication that the carrier is going to be more willing to compete directly with Sprint and T-Mobile US and is less concerned with rival AT&T Mobility, according to financial analysts. Additionally, Verizon's promotion to cut the monthly access charge of many customers who use its Edge equipment installment plan could be a way to spur Edge adoption and improve EBITDA, according to one analyst.
The nation's largest wireless carriers offered some insights into how they prepared for Sunday's Super Bowl XLIX game between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, as well as how much traffic they saw on their networks during the game.