Sprint paid a team of consultants for advice it didn't use; Google may be building a mobile-messaging service

Wireless news from across the web.

> When it comes to content distribution, mobile operators must have strong ambition and alignment with their assets to be successful, says research firm Strategy Analytics. Release

> According to anonymous sources, Google is building a new mobile-messaging service that will use artificial intelligence and chatbot technology. WSJ article (sub. req.)

> Sprint recently paid a small team of consultants, including former Telstra executive Sol Trujillo, at least $25 million for advice that largely was never used. WSJ article (sub. req.)

> Sprint and T-Mobile will likely continue with their aggressive price wars in 2016. Investor's Business Daily article

> Retailers are challenged by the fact that mobile users are spending more time shopping on their smartphones, but they aren't buying. BusinessInsider article

Telecom News

> CenturyLink is going to launch its Prism IPTV service in Vancouver, Wash., bringing the first video challenge to incumbent cable provider Comcast. Article

> Verizon said it is concerned that the FCC's proposed new rules that would require submarine cable operators to report outages to the regulator could place burdensome requirements on submarine cable providers. Article

Online Video News

> Online video creators hunting for stock nature footage to add to their production, rejoice: VideoBlocks is adding royalty-free stock video from Discovery Channel's library of unused footage to its Marketplace section.  Article

Installer News

> While most pay-TV operators are focused on high-volume residential sales, Dish Network has doubled down in recent months on the custom install niche. Article

> Tower operator Crown Castle said that the demand for small cells is behind most of the company's construction costs. In the third quarter, the company reported that it had spent approximately $98 million building new sites, most of which were small cell sites. Article

European Wireless News

Five key trends dominated the European wireless market in 2015: spectrum policy and auctions; VoWi-Fi and VoLTE; the emergence of Altice; the changing stance on M&A at EU level; and the decline of smartphone shipments in Europe. Commentary

> Berg Insight predicts that the global number of cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) subscribers will reach 1 billion in 2022. Article

Cable News

> Altice NV has encountered unexpected regulatory "turbulence" with New York regulators in its bid to close its $17.7 billion purchase of Cablevision. Article

> A lawsuit filed by Cable One against government agencies in Oklahoma is being blamed by local officials for a revenue shortfall of between $180,000 and $360,000 at the state's public schools. Article

And finally … AT&T is taking a different approach this holiday season and is pulling its retail ads for its mobile business on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 and is instead airing an ad encouraging families to put down their phones and spend time together. Article