T-Mobile to pay Verizon customers $100 if they win network contest; Apple hires VR researcher

More wireless news from across the Web:

> T-Mobile's new "#BallBusterChallenge" promises to pay Verizon customers $100 if their phones can outperform T-Mobile's phones. Post

> Sprint said its 2.5 GHz network update is 32 percent completed in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Post

> Apple hired a top researcher in virtual reality. PCWorld article

> Microchip Technology plans to buy rival chipmaker Atmel for around $3.6 billion. NYT article

Telecom News

> BT has confirmed that it is testing Adtran's 500G fiber-to-the-distribution-point (FTTdp) platform as part of its G.fast trial taking place in over 2,000 premises in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, UK. Article

> Verizon told the New York Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions in a hearing this week that it invested over $1.8 billion in the state's wireline and wireless networks in 2014, refuting criticism that it has not lived up to its buildout commitments. Article

European Wireless News

> TeliaSonera and Ericsson said customers of the Sweden-based operator in Stockholm in Sweden and Tallinn in Estonia will experience 5G services as early as 2018, as the two companies unveiled a new strategic partnership to drive the development of 5G. Article

> Deezer, a France-based music streaming service that competes with the likes of Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal, secured a further €100 million ($92 million) in funding to support its further growth. Article

Cable News

> Time Warner Cable has unveiled the specifics on the new IP-only service it's testing in the New York market. Article

> In an effort to try to gain more leverage with program syndicators, vendors -- and perhaps pay-TV operators for retrans down the road -- broadcasters Cox Media Group and Meredith have formed a buying cooperative. Article

And finally… Apple's Tim Cook held a meeting with Pope Francis. Article