USA

FTC TracFone settlement sets data throttling precedent

Prepaid mobile provider TracFone has agreed to settle a charge of deceiving millions of customers by paying the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) $40 million, which will go to refunds to its throttled customers. The settlement likely sets a precedent on data service throttling.

AT&T 2014 results show strain but top analyst expectations

AT&T has posted its 2014 full year results, showing financial strain as it made a loss of nearly $4 billion in the last quarter alone. However, the operator still managed to exceed analyst expectations, albeit narrowly as it earned 55 cents per share (excluding exceptional items), a penny more than expected.

AT&T set to continue Mexico expansion with Nextel acquisition

AT&T has announced it has entered into an agreement with NII Holdings to acquire its subsidiary Nextel Mexico for approximately $1.88 billion (less outstanding net debt). The move, which will increase AT&T’s Mexican subscriber base by three million if approved, comes shortly after the US telco completed its Iusacell buy.

Cablevision to offer wifi only mobile service

New York-based cable service provider Cablevision Systems will start offering a wifi only mobile service starting next month, according to an interview by the Wall Street Journal. The report said the offering, dubbed Freewheel, will utilise the 1.1 million wifi hotspots it has deployed across the state.

Google set to launch Sprint and T-Mobile MVNO – reports

Google is reportedly planning to start an MVNO business, which according to unnamed sources quoted by the Information would operate on T-Mobile US (TMUS) or Sprint’s network. The report claimed the project, apparently codenamed Nova and headed by Google Executive Nick Fox, is set to launch this year.

AT&T begins forming US/Mexico single North American service area

US operator AT&T has announced unlimited calls at no additional cost to all Mexican numbers as part of its international World Connect Value offering. This follows AT&T’s finalised $2.5 billion acquisition of Mexican Iusacell last week, and could be the first sign of the US telco’s previously stated plan to create a single North American service area covering the US and Mexico.

TCL confirms acquisition, will create a new Palm

China-based TCL Communication, the holding company of affordable mobile device vendor Alcatel OneTouch, has confirmed recent reports it has snapped up the Palm brand from HP. TCL said it is to create a new US-based company, Palm Inc., which will take ownership of the brand and development of mobile devices.

VoLTE deployments set to double next year

The introduction of VoLTE is accelerating with 21% of operators currently investing in deployments, and according to the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) the figure is set to double next year. So far a total of 10, of which seven this year, commercial VoLTE-enabled HD voice services have been launched, and the GSA is expecting eight more by the end of 2014.

T-Mo USA backs wifi to plug coverage gaps

T-Mobile USA is embracing wifi as a network offload technology by making all smartphones it sells capable of HD voice over wifi (VoWifi) calling. In order to plug coverage gaps in homes and businesses the company is also making a wifi hotspot loaded with proprietary technology available to its subscribers.

$250m sub-sea cable to connect USA to Southeast Asia

Seven carriers this week agreed to co-deploy a submarine cable directly connecting Southeast Asia and the US in a project worth $250m. To be completed by the end of 2016, the cable system will provide an additional 20Tbps capacity, connecting Indonesia and the Philippines to the US with 100G technology.

Sprint calls off chase for T-Mobile; Hesse on way out

US carrier Sprint is understood to have called off its courtship of T-Mobile USA and is preparing to go it alone. Only two months ago the widely expected deal was thought to be nearing completion, with those in the know putting the price tag for T-Mobile at around $31bn, creating an operator with the same scale as market leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

Dish cries foul over US mergers

US satellite operator Dish Network has submitted an official filing with regulator the FCC, expressing concerns over two of the biggest proposed mergers on the table in the US market at present. Dish wants the pending Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and AT&T and DirecTV deals to go under the microscope.

FTC broadsides T-Mobile over “bogus charges”

US watchdog the Federal Trade Commission slammed T-Mobile USA on Tuesday, alleging that the carrier made “hundreds of millions of dollars” from bogus premium SMS charges never authorised by subscribers.

Level 3 spends $5.7bn on US network

Networking specialist Level 3 Communications has agreed to make an acquisition move on US-focused enterprise networking firm tw telecom for $5.7bn. The deal values tw at approximately $7.3bn, including the assumption of approximately $1.6bn of net debt.

Sprint deal with T-Mobile USA nearing completion

A widely expected deal that will see US operator Sprint acquire its competitor T-Mobile USA is nearing completion, according to a number of reports citing inside sources. News agency Bloomberg said that an agreement on the price, capital structure and termination fee is close and that the deal would value T-Mobile at $40/share, or roughly $31bn.

T-Mobile USA reports subscriber growth as Sprint takeover rumours gather momentum

US operator T-Mobile has claimed to have taken “virtually all of the industry phone growth” in 1Q14 winning market share from its competitors in the process, reporting total net subscriber additions of 2.4 million. However, the operator recorded a $154m loss in the quarter, compared to a $106m profit in the first quarter of 2013.

AT&T reports revenue and profit growth after transformation

US operator AT&T has reported a 3.6 per cent growth in consolidated revenues in 1Q14, claiming it is the strongest revenue growth the firm has seen in more than two years. The firm also increased its quarterly operating income year on year.

Comcast-Time Warner merger faces opposition

The potential merger between US cable firms Comcast and Time Warner Cable has been criticised by both video on demand service provider Netflix and the Writer’s Guild of America, East (WGAE).

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