Verizon staff suspended for snooping on Obama

A handful of Verizon Wireless employees have been suspended for snooping on US president elect Barack Obama’s mobile phone records. Verizon’s president and CEO Lowell McAdam issued a public apology to Obama on Friday, after it emerged that “a number of” Verizon staff had accessed the president elect’s account. McAdam said the account in question […]

Texas bets chips against integrated silicon

US chip shop Texas Instruments is looking to cut its cellular baseband operations, by flogging off its merchant market business, the company revealed this week. TI reported a 26 per cent drop in third quarter income, from $758m last year to $563m this year, while revenues dived 8 per cent year on year to $3.4bn. […]

OHA releases Android code

As the first Android phone hits shelves in the US, Google and the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) have announced the availability of the platform source code. As Android is developed under an open source licence, it can be downloaded and modified by anyone for free. The idea being that such a licence will enable people […]

iPhone subsidies hit AT&T profits

US carrier AT&T said Wednesday that iPhone 3G subsidies had taken a $900m chunk out of its pre-tax third quarter profits. Given that the device is selling like hot cakes – Apple shifted 6.9 million units in the last quarter – AT&T warned that earnings dilution associated with the iPhone 3G is likely to run […]

T-Mo USA beefs up 3G ahead of Android launch

US GSM operator T-Mobile USA is expanding its 3G network ahead of the launch of the much hyped Google phone, the G1. Based on the Open Handset Alliance’s (OHA) Android operating system, the G1 will go on sale at T-Mobile stores on Wednesday, costing $179 with a two year voice and data agreement. This week, […]

Qualcomm chip ban lifted, but not for Qualcomm

US chip shop Qualcomm won a victory in its ongoing battle against rival Broadcom on Wednesday, after the appeals court lifted a ban on Qualcomm chips. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that the International Trade Commission (ITC) lacks the authority to ban products made by downstream users of Qualcomm’s chips […]

US celebrates 25 years of mobile phone calls

The US of A this week celebrated the 25th anniversary of the first commercial cellular call made in the country, a milestone which also cemented Motorola’s place in history. According to US trade association the CTIA, the first commercial cellular call in the US was placed on October 13, 1983 to the grandson of Alexander […]

Sprint finds buyer for iDEN unit?

US operator Sprint Nextel is understood to have received significant interest in its iDEN push to talk operation originally set up by Nextel. Sprint bought up Nextel for around $36bn in 2005, giving it a solid enterprise customer base. But the flagging operator has been haemorrhaging subscribers of late and more recently shifted its evolution […]

FCC revisits D block sell off plan

US communications regulator the FCC is once again considering the auction of the troublesome ‘D block’ of 700MHz spectrum, which will form the foundation for a much needed nationwide public safety network. Because the D Block did not meet its $1.3bn reserve price in the 700MHz spectrum auction held in early 2008, the FCC sought […]

WiMAX and LTE set to battle over US D block

US communications regulator the FCC is to take another crack at auctioning off the so called ‘D block’ of 700MHz spectrum, with FCC chairman Kevin Martin proposing new and more attractive conditions. Earlier this year, the D block was one of eight licences that remained unsold after failing to meet its reserve price of $1.3bn […]

US handset shipments defy economic slowdown

More evidence that mobile phone shipments in the US are defying the economic gloom on Monday, as analysts reported strong sales in the region. According to research from Strategy Analytics, mobile phone shipments in the US grew 5 per cent annually, to reach 42 million units during the second quarter. There was some good news […]

Virgin USA snaps up Helio

Yet another US MVNO stumbles and falls, as US virtual network operator Virgin Mobile USA acquires rival Helio, the joint venture between SK Telecom and EarthLink. Virgin said it is to acquire Helio from parents SK Telecom and EarthLink for a total of $39m, giving it around 170,000 extra subscribers. However, the Korean operator wants […]

Metro wifi resuscitated in Philadelphia

A consortium of local investors have acquired the wifi network covering the US city of Philadelphia, just weeks after the previous owner EarthLink said it would shut the operation down. Last month, the US ISP revealed that negotiations with the City of Philadelphia, in which EarthLink offered to transfer ownership of the entire $17m network […]

FCC mulls free wireless internet proposal

When US regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) convenes on June 12, one of the items on the agenda will be the fate of a swathe of spectrum in the 2155MHz to 2175MHz band. One of the options under consideration is to auction the spectrum off, along with a requirement that some portion of the […]

Metro wifi dies with a whimper in Philly

US internet service provider EarthLink said this week that it would be shutting down its free and paid for metropolitan wifi service in Philadelphia. Customers will have access to the service until June 12, after which date the ISP will pull the plug. EarthLink’s decision to kill off the network doesn’t come as a surprise […]

FCC seeks comment on leftover 700MHz spectrum

US communications regulator the FCC has called for comments on how to proceed with the sale of a swathe of 700MHz spectrum no one wanted in the recent auction. As expected, Verizon Wireless and AT&T were the big winners in the FCC’s 700MHz spectrum auction, which ended in March, spending much of the $19.6bn total. […]

Get it while it’s hot: Sprint’s mobile WiMAX is ready

US operator and WiMAX pin up Sprint has announced that Samsung has met its commercial acceptance criteria for mobile WiMAX. This means Sprint is happy with the overall performance, handoff performance and handoff delay. Korean vendor Samsung is building out mobile WiMAX networks for Sprint in Baltimore and Washington DC. Since finalising a supply agreement […]

Virgin eyes up Helio

The US MVNO market is still rocky and an announcement made late Wednesday suggests consolidation may lie ahead. Virgin Mobile USA confirmed today that the company is in discussions with Korean carrier SK Telecom, which owns US MVNO Helio. Virgin stressed that these discussions “are in early stages, and there are no assurances that any […]

Clearwire loss increases 90 per cent

US WiMAX champion Clearwire almost doubled its net loss during the first quarter, reporting a deficit of $176.4m, compared to a loss of $92.6m in the same period last year. Revenues were up 76 per cent to $51.5m as the company cranked its customer base up to 443,000, 72 per cent higher than the same […]

Sprint flags after losing 1 million subscribers

Embattled US carrier Sprint Nextel said Monday that its first quarterly loss more than doubled to $505m, compared to $211m a year ago, as the company haemorrhaged mobile subscribers. During the quarter, a net total of 1.09 million wireless subscribers walked away from the firm, including 1.07 million post paid subscribers and 543,000 traditional prepaid […]

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