Verizon Communications lead a $9.4 million investment round in Flint Mobile, a mobile payments service that uses software to process transactions instead of hardware, giving the company a boost from a major carrier.
Trumpeting its new offering as providing a significant value over rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility, Sprint announced it will offer 1 GB of shared data for $20. The carrier previously offered 600 MB of shared data at that price.
Wireless carriers have always battled with each other to encourage customers to switch to a new carrier. But that fight is now starting to heat up in select markets across the country because of a confluence of network shutdowns, technology transitions and smaller carriers exiting the business. Although these market-by-market battles don't get much national attention, they're still worth watching--after all, millions of subscribers scattered across dozens of markets are up for grabs.
Verizon Wireless added more postpaid subscribers in the third quarter than financial analysts had expected, and the growth was again largely driven by tablet activations, not phones. Just as it did in the second quarter, in the third quarter Verizon relied heavily on tablet activations for the vast majority of its subscriber additions.
Verizon Wireless is expected to post substantial progress in the third quarter with 1.3 million postpaid net customer additions, according to analysts at Credit Suisse. AT&T Mobility, for its part, will report the addition of 800,000 postpaid net customers, the analysts predicted.
AT&T Mobility, Sprint, T-Mobile US and UK operator EE support a new SIM card for Apple's iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 that lets customers switch between carriers. Although Verizon Wireless will provide wireless service for Apple's new tablet, it is not listed as a supporter of the new Apple SIM card.
Sprint's "iPhone for Life" leasing program for new iPhones should boost the carrier's EBITDA and is actually more financially beneficial to the company in some respects than more conventional equipment installment programs, according to financial analysts. Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless' recently confirmed changes to its own Edge handset upgrade program should help it close the gap financially and competitively with AT&T Mobility, according to analysts from Jefferies.
Verizon Wireless is tweaking its Edge handset financing program to increase the amount customers must pay off on the cost of their device before they can upgrade to a new device. The carrier is also making changes to its single-line plans, a company spokesman confirmed.
Verizon Wireless is still in love with "Droid." The carrier sent out invitations for a media event Oct. 28, where it is expected to launch a new Droid-branded Android smartphone from Motorola Mobility, rumored to be called the Droid Turbo.
Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US have been spending capital on wireless network enhancements at a fairly steady clip, while AT&T Mobility and Sprint have hit some snags in their capex spending, though the outlook for next year looks better, according to a report from financial analysts.