Apple may be testing visual voicemail via Siri; HTC invests in VR platform

More wireless news from across the Web:

> Apple is reportedly testing a visual voicemail service that is run through its Siri digital assistant. Business Insider article

> The Small Cell Forum and 4G Americas unveiled an agreement to collaborate on work programs in the field of small cells and 5G communication systems and networks. Release

> HTC disclosed that it spent almost $10 million for a 15 percent stake in WEVR, an open virtual reality platform and community based in Los Angeles. TechCrunch article

> Sony released the Xperia M5 and C5 Ultra Android smartphones, with focus on taking perfect selfies. The Verge article

> Sony is telling visitors to its online web store that the site will cease taking orders and shut down on Aug. 28. PhoneScoop article

> European Union competition authorities will decide by Sept. 4 whether to allow Dutch chipmaker NXP to acquire U.S. rival Freescale in an $11.8 billion deal. Reuters article

> Mark Li, an analyst at Bernstein Research, said a Taiwanese Apple supplier told investors on a conference call that it didn't reach its "break-even volume" of two million Apple Watch units per month in the second quarter. Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)

> Microsoft has reportedly agreed to invest about $100 million in ride-hailing service Uber at a valuation of approximately $50 billion. Bloomberg article

> At least two Franklin County, Pa., municipalities are negotiating with Verizon Wireless representatives to bring small-cell arrays to their downtown areas. Herald-Mail article

> If customers buy an LG G4 at eligible Verizon shops through Aug. 12, they can grab a $100 Visa prepaid card with it. Droid-Life article
 

Wireless Tech News

> While a group of senators is putting pressure on the FCC to assert more oversight on LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) technology developments, T-Mobile US, one of the intended users of the tech, says it continues to advocate for co-existence. Article

> Alcatel-Lucent said the 5GNOW technology group has completed its work on developing new approaches to the physical and medium access layers of wireless networks with the goal of making IoT communications in a 5G world more efficient. Article

European Wireless News

> Altice announced it has completed the sale of its mobile activities in the French Overseas Territories (FOT) of La Reunion and Mayotte to the Hiridjee Group for an undisclosed amount. Article

> EE pledged to end bill shock for subscribers travelling in mainland Europe with the launch of new roaming tariffs it said enables users to enjoy unlimited calls and texts, and a large data allowance for $6.24 per day. Article

Cable News

> With linear TV ratings dropping another 9 percent in the second quarter, major cable networks now appear to be stuffing as many as 10 percent more commercials into every hour of programming to sustain their margins. Article

> Continuing to evolve pay-TV's most technologically advanced -- and expensive -- platform, Comcast has unveiled a new DVR feature for its X1 service that automatically extends recordings of live sports events that go past their scheduled run time. Article

Telecom News

> Verizon and members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) unions said they will continue negotiating a new labor contract covering 39,000 workers after the current one expired on Saturday. Article

> Frontier Communications plans to revamp its FiOS platform and expand the FTTH network in the three markets it will enter once its pending acquisition of wireline assets takes place. Article

And finally… Re-imagining the possessed car "Christine" in the age of car hacking. Article

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