To a man with an iHammer, everything looks like an iNail, as the Informer’s great friend Mark Twain once said. And just to prove the old man right, the powers-that-be at Cupertino are suing Samsung, HTC, Mother Theresa, Adam and Eve and growers of mostly green, rather tasty pieces of fruit for infringing on its intellectual property. Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter, who wouldn’t have been able to attend legal proceedings in person as she couldn’t get the time off from kindergarten, settled out of court.
Isis, a mobile payments joint-venture between AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile in the US, has scaled back its initial plans to roll out its own mobile payment network in favour of an m-wallet-style offering.
US carrier AT&T is to launch an online coupon service to rival Groupon and Facebook’s offerings. The discount site, which will run on the telco’s yellowpages.com subsidiary, launches in June with initial services in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas-Fort Worth. To entice users to sign up, AT&T is offering a $10 credit. More cities are expected to follow after the initial launch, as well as national deals, all of which will be available to mobile device users, according to AT&T.
Under rules approved by America’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC), AT&T and Verizon will be required to share their data networks with smaller operators. Network sharing arrangements for voice calls are already mandatory; prior to yesterday’s ruling, network sharing for mobile data was arranged on a voluntary basis.
The pending deal between AT&T and T-Mobile USA is symptomatic of growing market maturity in the US but will be better for the American telco than it will for Deutsche Telekom, according to Ovum analyst Steven Hartley.
Rene Obermann has pulled off one of the most spectacular bluffs in recent history by engineering the sale of Deutsche Telekom’s US subsidiary to AT&T, a move predicted by few, but one that will dramatically alter the structure of the US mobile industry if approved.
Years of speculation regarding T-Mobile USA’s future ended yesterday with the surprise announcement that AT&T is to buy the embattled telco for $39bn. Rumours regarding the possible sale of T-Mobile USA have been circulating for years but almost always worked on the assumption that the telco would unite with a smaller operator, such as Sprint or, more recently, Clearwire.
Californian technology firm Qualcomm has announced that it is to wind down its mobile TV service, Flo TV, and sell the spectrum in which the service operated to US carrier AT&T fro $1.925bn. It has been expected for some time that Flo TV would be shut down because of weak sales. However, Qualcomm had suggested that it might reposition its mobile TV broadcast network as a supplemental offering for US operators for the transmission of mobile data. The sale of the spectrum to AT&T indicates that this alternative was not viable for Qualcomm.
US vendor Qualcomm has given the strongest indication yet that it is set to call time on its Flo TV mobile TV service. The firm has announced that it is to suspend direct to consumer sales of service and devices immediately, and has committed to maintaining service for existing D2C customers only until spring 2011. The firm said that it would offer refunds to users “in the event of a discontinuance of service”, suggesting that this is the probable outcome, and conceded that it was expecting to have to make “some layoffs”.
US carrier AT&T has revealed more of its plans to deploy LTE technology in the US, ahead of a proposed launch in the summer of 2011.
The dominoes are beginning to tumble. The move toward tiered pricing for mobile data services started by AT&T is spreading, with the news that O2 UK is also abandoning flat-rate subscriptions in favor of tiered services, and more are bound to follow. However, in an age and an industry in which the new focus is on what customers want, rather than what their service providers think they want, it seems incongruous for operators to offer services based on their own needs rather than those of their customers.
One of the most senior women in the industry, Kristin Rinne has more than 30 years’ experience in telecoms. Today she is responsible for the IT and Network architecture and planning for AT&T, the second largest cellular network in the US, with almost 90,000 subscribers at the end of Q1 this year. She is also responsible for Product Development for AT&T products and services.
Swedish kit vendor Ericsson is to be a key supplier of LTE infrastructure to US carrier AT&T, with commercial deployments scheduled to take place in 2011.
Was it coincidence that Apple decided to launch its iPad just three days before the full moon? Certainly the name of the device has given rise to what might be described as a flow of unsavoury jokes, but the Informer was struck by something else altogether. Watching footage of Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiling the new device on YouTube this week, the Informer found himself thinking: “The man’s a billionaire. Can he not afford a belt?” Shirt tucked into jeans with no belt is a fashion no-no even the Informer can understand.
AT&T Mobility’s consideration of usage-based pricing for its mobile broadband network lays the groundwork for billing changes that could be induced if regulators force it to comply with any net-neutrality rules.
Canadian vendor Nortel continued its impersonation of the cow in Douglas Adams’ Restaurant at the End of the Universe this week, offering up for consumption various bits and pieces of its anatomy with a pacific smile and a batting of its long eyelashes.
Online retailer Amazon went some way towards validating the Kindle e-book reader’s nascent business model this week, when it announced plans to launch the device in 100 countries outside the US.
US mobile operator AT&T Wireless must be feeling the need to be more open. Not only has it recently enabled MMS on its network, but this week it allowed previously outlawed VoIP apps to run on the iPhone.
Here’s something you don’t see very often – a new handset announcement from Motorola. Chasing the social networking bandwagon a little later than everyone else, the Moto Karma QA1 is a more consumer focused BlackBerry-style device.
Apple will make version 3.0 of its iPhone software available to download later on Wednesday, finally giving iPhone owners access to such cutting edge functionality as MMS and copy and paste.