Last year, Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell announced that AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile had struck an agreement with forty-five states to stop billing for these very same Premium SMS services (or as he put it “scam artists”). Premium SMS services have been around for years and have almost always been a source of fraud. Carriers did not do anything about the fraud for years because they received a cut of the profit, often as high as 40%.
Recently, Motherboard wrote a fantastic piece on Internet Service Providers fighting back against cities who want to wire themselves due to a lack of satisfaction with current broadband... speeds. Included in the piece are stories about Comcast agreeing to wire the Washington DC government in exchange for a monopoly on the DC area (including residential areas that Comcast wouldn’t wire)...
Yet, back in 2012, AT&T blocked Apple’s Facetime over cellular connections unless users signed up for one of their shared data plans. In May of 2013, AT&T blocked Google Hangouts over cellular connections barring a shared data plan. The same goes for Skype.
Last night, the air conditioning went out during Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. T-Mobile CEO John Legere reacted by blaming AT&T. Wait, what? Well, the game was being played at San Antonio’s AT&T Center.
A report issued by Openwave Mobility found that 1 in 3 British consumers who want to watch the upcoming World Cup on a mobile device will not do so due to poor mobile video quality and fears of ‘bill shock’ from their wireless providers. The results of another report issued in May by Censuswide had similar findings with mobile users across England, Spain and Germany.
AT&T has rolled out three new LTE enabled tablets. Available for order now is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1, Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and making its debut in this form factor for the U.S. market, the ASUS PadFone X.
Sprint & T-Mobile have agreed on the broad outlines of a merger valuing T-Mobile at around $32 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Under the deal, Sprint would pay around $40 a share for T-Mobile during the summer time. The deal would be roughly 50% cash and 50% stock. T-Mobile’s largest shareholder, Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG, would retain a stake of 15% to 20% in the new company.
MKM Partners on Tuesday put out a research note suggesting that AT&T has a temporary freeze on many wireline and wireless capex (capital expenditures) projects. This would run counter to previous suggestions that in 2014, AT&T would decrease wireline capex projects while increasing wireless capex projects (and overall stay flat between the two). One of the few projects that seems to have survived this freeze is called Project Stream.
Beginning June 1, Verizon is changing their upgrade program, Edge, so that the number of monthly payments for a device changes from 24 months to 20 months. Verizon is also changing the percentage of a device’s costs that a customer will need to pay off before they can upgrade from 50% to 60%.
Back in October of 2010, the ITU declared that LTE technology wasn’t technically “4G,” and that no major wireless carrier was technically deploying 4G networks. According to the ITU, only technology like LTE-Advanced, capable of speeds over 100 Mbps, could be considered 4G. Carriers ignored the declaration with T-Mobile arguing their HSPA+ build was the “largest 4G network,” and Sprint & Verizon also made “4G” part of marketing for their respective LTE networks (technically, LTE and Mobile WiMax).