Sprint to push Sprint Business brand with new multimillion-dollar ad campaign; Samsung outs Galaxy Alpha with metal design

Quick news from around the Web.

> HTC is investing in software solutions that will be made available to other Android smartphone makers. Article

> Sprint announced a new, multi-million dollar marketing campaign around its new Sprint Business push in an effort to sign up business customers. Release

> Samsung's new Galaxy Alpha Android smartphone could hint at a new, metal-based design for the company's phones. Article

> Alcatel-Lucent said it will deploy a 4G LTE overlay network in the Midwestern U.S. states of Oklahoma and Kansas for Pioneer Cellular, an affiliate of Pioneer Telephone Cooperative. Release

> Apple stores will reportedly start offering device financing from wireless carriers starting on Aug. 20. Article

> Cisco's customers are reportedly pushing it to add software-defined networking capabilities to its products. Article

> Samsung is reportedly preparing a virtual reality headset for its forthcoming Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. Article

> WeChat now counts roughly 438 million monthly active users. Article

> The inventors behind Apple's Siri are now building a new artificial intelligence called Viv. Article

> Mobile security company Lookout said it raised $150 million in new funding. Article

> Sprint's Boost Mobile added the $80 LG Realm to its phone lineup. Article

> Amazon announced its new Local Register, a credit card reader that will compete against similar products from Square and PayPal. Article

> AT&T said customers buying the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.can get a $200 discount on an iPad with a two-year service contract if they opt to pay full price for new iPhones through an installment plan. Article

Online Video News

> Chief financial officers at major media and entertainment companies like Disney, Liberty Media, Microsoft and Time Warner are downplaying economic uncertainty and are setting themselves into the starting blocks for new growth. The focus this time: digital, an Ernst & Young report says. Article

> Netflix finally got one up on HBO in subscriber revenue last quarter, edging past with $1.146 billion versus HBO's $1.141 billion, but that may not be a one-time thing: Netflix is much better positioned for success, both in the U.S. and worldwide. Article

Telecom News

> BT Wholesale and Avaya have decided to jointly sell cloud services to midmarket and enterprise customers.  As part of a five-year deal, BT Wholesale will deliver Avaya UC and contact center applications as a cloud service to customers. Article

> Frontier Communications said it will not raise rates in Connecticut for three years. Article

Cable News

> Sports fans have an ally in FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who is taking on the powerful National Football League for them. Article

> A lack of end-to-end infrastructure is standing in the way of 4K/Ultra HD, despite the fact that content creators, service providers and TV OEMs "are wagering billions that … (it) will be the panacea needed to lift TV sales and provide the next substantive qualitative differentiator in devices and services," a new report from The Diffusion Group posits. Article

European Wireless News

> Telecom Italia CEO Marco Patuano is reportedly due to meet Vivendi chairman Vincent Bollore this week in order to discuss an offer by the Italian company for the French group's Brazilian broadband unit, Global Village Telecom (GVT). Article

> Vodafone UK stepped up marketing for its latest 'Red' contract tariff that includes data sharing for families, amid criticism from some analysts that its LTE prices are still too high for the competitive UK market in spite of efforts to bundle in free content. Article

And finally… Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is the new owner of the L.A. Clippers. Article

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