This week finally provided answers to ongoing questions about the future of Vodafone's 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless and Nokia's devices unit. Some industry leaders are worried about the impact these deals will have on Europe's efforts to regain its lost leadership in mobile innovation.
BRUSSELS--Europe has been falling behind in mobile innovation, as illustrated by its low LTE penetration compared to the US, and recent events such as Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's devices business and Vodafone's sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless will not help the region reverse this situation, according to Telecom Italia CEO Franco Bernabe.
Sprint and AT&T Mobility both appear to be preparing their networks for a launch of RCS-based messaging services, which the GSMA and some European carriers are promoting through the "joyn" brand. However, it remains unclear exactly how Sprint and AT&T will launch their respective services, and whether they too will offer them under the "joyn" brand.
Verizon Wireless has partnered with the Matanuska Telephone Association (MTA) as part of Verizon's LTE in Rural America (LRA) program in order to more broadly deploy LTE in Alaska. The newly constructed MTA network, covering 1,552 square miles, can connect to Verizon's LTE core network.
Since moving to central New York in 2010, I've looked forward to attending the two-week-long fair at the end of each summer. Along with offering great food and rides for the kids, it attracts several of the telecom companies we cover.
Verizon Communications' $130 purchase of Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless and Microsoft's decision to pay around $7.2 billion for Nokia's handset business were done for both strategic reasons and financial ones. And, as The Verge notes, the financial ones had a lot to do with fears about rising interest rates.
Verizon Communications paid billions more than it had initially wanted to secure partner Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless, according to a Wall Street Journal article, but the company felt it could not pass up the opportunity to get full control of its wireless operations.
Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam said Verizon Wireless will not expand into the Canadian wireless market following Verizon's proposed $130 billion acquisition of Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless. He said Verizon will now focus on a "One Verizon" strategy of more fully integrating its wireless and wireline assets in areas such as machine-to-machine and cloud computing.
The difference between a pessimist and a realist is that a pessimist looks at every situation and sees the worst; a realist looks at every situation and knows that the worst will happen, and then predicts a timeline for when it will occur. Thus, to my realistic eyes, when Verizon acquired Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless, it marked the beginning of the end for FiOS as a competitive wireline tool.
After years of trying, Verizon Communications finally came to an agreement with Vodafone about resolving their joint-venture. Both will now focus on integrating their wireless and wireline assets. By going separate ways both companies try reach the same destination.