Now that the second-quarter earnings season is over, what conclusions can we draw about how wireless carriers performed?Thanks to a partnership between Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson and FierceWireless, we're publishing slides Dawson produced on the quarter exclusively for a short time. Special report
Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US dominated network spending during the second quarter and boosted tower companies' sales and cell site activity. However, AT&T and Sprint are poised to increase their spending in the second half of the year and into 2016, according to analysts and tower company executives.
Verizon Wireless' new pricing plans, in addition to doing away with subsidized smartphones and contracts, will likely boost profitability for the carrier, according to financial analysts.
AT&T appears to be poised to join Sprint and T-Mobile in supporting Apple's Wi-Fi calling service. As VentureBeat noted, the fifth beta of Apple's forthcoming iOS 9 operating system offers Wi-Fi calling from AT&T. T-Mobile last year began supporting Apple's Wi-Fi calling service, and Sprint joined T-Mobile in April to support the service via a software update.
Verizon Wireless is shaking up its shared data plan pricing, cutting both prices and access line charges for devices while eliminating some data tiers. The carrier said that its new rate plan structure will be simpler and appeal to the vast majority of its customers.
The FCC's vote to approve final rules for next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum drew a lukewarm response from both wireless carriers and broadcasters. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had said that no stakeholder got everything they wanted in the complex set of rules, and that was reflected in the reactions to the 3-2 vote to approve the rules and set the auction to start on March 29, 2016.
Flat Wireless, a Texas-based carrier that operates as ClearTalk Wireless, filed a formal complaint against Verizon Wireless, alleging that Verizon is violating the FCC's data roaming rules.
As expected, T-Mobile US lost its year-long fight to increase the spectrum reserve from 30 MHz of spectrum in a given market to 40 MHz in next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum. The move is a victory for AT&T and Verizon Wireless and a significant blow to T-Mobile and smaller carriers.
Verizon Wireless has cited Cincinnati as one of its small cell targets, an initiative that could create a new revenue opportunity for local incumbent telco Cincinnati Bell, particularly for wireless backhaul and dark fiber.
The head of the FCC's office of engineering and technology is asking the wireless industry for more information on exactly how LTE operations in unlicensed spectrum will work. Julius Knapp, chief of the FCC's office of engineering and technology, took special aim at Verizon Wireless' LTE-U Forum, which has proposed a standard for the technology called LTE-U that uses Carrier Sense Adaptive Transmission (CSAT) to check for other users in unlicensed spectrum.