The biggest news from Apple's announcement of its new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus phones yesterday was not the phones themselves, which largely conformed to the leaked specifications that had been circulating for weeks, but rather Apple's decision to launch its own equipment installment plan to let customers pay for the devices directly from Apple. The new program should worry carriers because it makes them much less relevant to consumers, enhances Apple's relationship with customers at their expense and could be a step toward Apple cutting out carriers entirely.
LAS VEGAS--The debate over what is the best low-power wireless communications protocol technology to power millions and eventually billions of Internet of Things devices heated up here this week. LTE chipset Altair Semiconductor argued that LTE Category 1 chipsets can achieve many of the benefits of the more advanced Category 0 chips without the need for device makers to add in new silicon. Meanwhile, even though competitor Sequans Communications was here at CTIA's Super Mobility conference touting Cat 0, the company conceded that network software upgrades could bring the benefits of Cat 0 without the need for new chips.
Unite Private Networks (UPN) may be gaining momentum in the wholesale wireless backhaul market with the recent installation of its 100th cell tower with dark fiber, but the service provider's move to offer turnkey small cell services illustrates that there's value in providing more than just a large pipe.
Apple is likely going to unveil its newest iPhones tomorrow, expected to be called the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, and every major U.S. carrier will likely announce plans to carry the phones. However, for the first time since the iPhone was introduced in 2007, U.S. operators will be favoring equipment installment plans and leasing over two-year contracts, potentially creating a conundrum for both Apple and the carriers.
Verizon Wireless launched a trial version of its over-the-top mobile video service, called "Go90," aiming to lure millennials with short-form video and flex its digital advertising muscles.
Verizon's AOL subsidiary is buying mobile advertising company and rival Millennial Media, giving it another leg up in the mobile ad market ahead of Verizon's imminent launch of its over-the-top mobile video service. The service, rumored to called "Go90," is expected to be free of charge initially to wireless customers of all carriers and advertising-based, and Verizon is betting that AOL's programmatic ad technology will help it deliver more targeted and relevant ads to customers by accessing their location and interests.
T-Mobile US may be plowing ahead with its 700 MHz A Block deployment to enhance its LTE coverage, but it remains the carrier with the least low-band spectrum below 1 GHz, according to networking testing and mapping firm Mosaik Solutions. And although LTE coverage has expanded rapidly across the United States in the last few years, Mosaik notes that more than 30 percent of the U.S. land area has no LTE service available, a significant portion of that being in Alaska.
U.S. wireless carriers will eventually shift to smartphone leasing and away from equipment installment plans, according to analysts at Macquarie Capital. Further, they think the operators could get a boost in leasing by partnering with Apple, which would stand to benefit from a move to leasing.
Verizon Wireless plans to launch its over-the-top mobile video service, rumored to be called "Go90," in the coming days, and will initially offer free shows aimed at young viewers, according to a Bloomberg report.
If you haven't noticed there's some new and perhaps familiar faces appearing on FierceInstaller. In collaboration with my colleagues Dan Frankel, editor of FierceCable, and Phil Goldstein, editor of FierceWireless, I am now leading up this publication along with my ongoing daily coverage of the wireline industry segment at FierceTelecom.