Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!
T-Mo targets Verizon with tweets
T-Mobile US has never been shy about calling out its competitors. In the latest attempt to gain ground on its bigger rival, T-Mobile US spent $200,000 on a campaign that changed Verizon Wireless’ Twitter hashtag #neversettle to #neversettleforVerizon. The ad attacks Verizon Wireless for trying to move away from unlimited data plans. The carrier giant has recently been campaigning to convince customers that unlimited data plans are bad for them. The T-Mobile US campaign also attacks Verizon Wireless for its two-year contracts, overages, slow LTE network, no Wi-Fi calling, waiting for upgrades, losing unused data and much, much more. Many on Twitter are claiming that the campaign backfired. When you type in the hashtag on Twitter, the majority of comments mock T-Mobile US for featuring its larger competitor in its ad campaign. … Read more
T-Mo draws even with Sprint in LTE coverage
Speaking this week at a media and communications conference, T-Mobile US CTO Neville Ray said the “uncarrier” now can cover 280 million with its LTE network, the same as chief competitor Sprint. Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility are the largest domestic carriers with LTE coverage for 300 million people each. T-Mobile US, formerly lagging behind Sprint in coverage numbers, has apparently closed the gap. Ray made the comments at the MoffettNathanson Media and Communications Summit held this week in New York City. Reportedly, T-Mobile US aims to cover 300 million people with LTE by the end of 2015. Earlier in the month, Sprint was able to keep T-Mobile US at bay thanks largely to strong prepaid, postpaid, tablets and its resale business, according to quarterly financial reports. … Read more
Crown Castle focuses on small cells
Crown Castle said today that it has agreed to sell its 1,800 Australian towers to a consortium of investors led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. The sale price is roughly $1.6 billion, and Crown Castle expects to net about $1.3 billion since it owns 77% of the Australian subsidiary. Crown Castle CEO Ben Moreland said his company will use the sale proceeds to invest in its outdoor small cell network.“We believe we are in the early stages of small cell deployment and are excited by the opportunities that we see ahead of us,” said Moreland. “The sale of CCAL [the Australian subsidiary]allows us to redeploy capital toward our growing small cell networks, which we expect will be accretive to our long-term AFFO and dividend per share growth rates.” Crown Castle has historically used the term small cells to include the nodes on distributed antenna systems. The company is a leader in the deployment of outdoor systems in the U.S., and to date Verizon Wireless has been its primary tenant. … Read more
Verizon, Sprint fined for bill cramming
Verizon Wireless will pay $90 million and Sprint will pay $68 million to settle investigations of bill cramming. The Federal Communications Commission said that both carriers billed customers millions of dollars for unauthorized third-party premium text messaging services. Customers paid amounts ranging from 99 cents to $14 per month for services they did not authorize. The typical charge was $9.99 per month. According to the FCC, Verizon Wireless retained 30% or more of each third-party charge that it billed, while Sprint received approximately 35% of collected revenue for each of its third-party charges. Consumers are getting $120 million from the two settlements. Verizon Wireless’ $90 million settlement will include a minimum of $70 million to fund a consumer redress program, $16 million for state governments participating in the settlement and $4 million as a fine paid to the U.S. Treasury. Sprint’s $68 million settlement will include a minimum of $50 million to fund a consumer redress program, $12 million for state governments participating in the settlement and $6 million as a fine paid to the U.S. Treasury. … Read more
Google’s self-driving car fleet clocks 1.7 million miles, 11 minor accidents
After six years and 1.7 million miles covered, Google’s director of the self-driving car program has learned a number of valuable lessons about human error as it relates to traffic incidents. Chris Urmson detailed what his group has learned in a May 11 blog post on Backchannel. He reported that the fleet of 20-plus Google cars has covered all that ground – about 1 million miles autonomously, the remainder under manual control – and was only involved in 11 minor accidents resulting in light damage and no injuries. “Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident,” Urmson wrote. He gave an overview of the accidents: “We’ve been hit from behind seven times, mainly at traffic lights but also on the freeway. We’ve also been side-swiped a couple of times and hit by a car rolling through a stop sign. And as you might expect, we see more accidents per mile driven on city streets than on freeways; we were hit eight times in many fewer miles of city driving. All the crazy experiences we’ve had on the road have been really valuable for our project.” … Read more
Verizon buys AOL
Verizon Communications is diving deeper into digital content with an agreement to buy AOL for $50/share, or approximately $4.4 billion. The nation’s leading wireless carrier said that AOL will boost its LTE wireless video business, its “over-the-top” video offerings and will create “a growth platform from wireless to IoT for consumers and businesses.” While AOL is not well-known for wireless video, it has invested in a digital advertising platform. The company also owns valuable content brands, including Huffington Post, Engadget, TechCrunch and Makers. For Verizon, this is the latest in a string of acquisitions aimed at beefing up its digital media business. Last year the carrier bought Intel Media for Internet video technology, content delivery network EdgeCast Networks, and live video encoder UpLynk. Wireless carriers know they need to control content and monetization platforms in order to realize the full value of their investments in fiber and LTE networks. Half of the video viewing in the U.S. now takes place on personal computers, according to McKinsey, with 14% on mobile devices and 36% on traditional television sets. Growth in television viewership has been anemic, while mobile video viewing grew 175% in 2013 and 50% in 2014, according to the McKinsey analysts. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.