New Sprint CEO plans to compete on price

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New Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has announced they plan to compete against Verizon and AT&T on pricing and we should soon see aggressive pricing updates from Sprint. Previously under Dan Hesse’s leadership he was reluctant to compete on pricing, but the new CEO see’s it differently. Claure even said when you’ve got a great network you don’t have to compete on pricing, but when you don’t have a great network price is something you have to consider. Their network is behind both Verizon and AT&T so that’s really the only option for them until they can complete their Sprint Spark plan and launch better coverage throughout the country. You can expect to see announcements as early as next week as Sprint changes their pricing structures, which should be interesting to see how both Verizon and AT&T respond.

 

Verizon to launch VoLTE by the end of 2014

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Recently Verizon CFO Fran Shammo told Wall Street investors at a conference on Tuesday that they’ll be offering voice calls over LTE by the end of the year. By moving voice to the 4G LTE networks they can improve efficiency and offer higher quality audio and features like cloud-based video address books. Users will still be able to use the older legacy 3G network as a backup too, if 4G LTE coverage isn’t available at a specific location. Before going live Verizon wants to have their 4G rolled out through the country and currently sits at about 97% market coverage with LTE service. In addition to improved voice quality 4G chips are cheaper too, which could bring down the cost of smartphones when VoLTE is finally released.

 

New Sprint CEO hinting at job cuts

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Sprint recently announced that Marcelo Claure will replace Dan Hesse as the new CEO of Sprint. With the change the new CEO will be holding a company wide meeting on Thursday to discuss his plans to refresh the Sprint brand and improve the company. According to Bloomberg, Claure’s main goal will be to cut costs. This means they’ll start to get more aggressive competing against carriers like T-Mobile who have recently turned the wireless industry upside down with aggressive plans that undercut larger carriers like Verizon and AT&T substantially. Several of the analysts at Bloomberg also believe that Claure will also cut operational costs by letting go some of Sprint’s 36,000 employees.
 

Sprint Names Marcelo Claure new President and CEO of Sprint

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), August 06, 2014 - Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S) today announced that its Board of Directors named Marcelo Claure as the company’s next President and Chief Executive Officer, effective August 11. Claure, 43, joined the Sprint Board of Directors in January and is the Founder and CEO of Brightstar Corp., a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. As President and CEO, Claure’s first priority will be to continue the build out of Sprint’s network by leveraging its strong spectrum holdings as well as ensuring that Sprint always maintains truly competitive offers in the marketplace.

Since founding Brightstar in 1997, Claure has grown the company from a small Miami-based distributor into a global business, with $10.5 billion in gross revenue for the year ended in 2013. Brightstar has become the world’s largest specialized wireless distributor and a leading provider of diversified services to the wireless industry. Claure was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, highlighting exceptional global leaders 40 years of age or younger. Throughout his career, Claure has received several Entrepreneur of the Year and CEO of the year awards.

“Marcelo is a successful entrepreneur who transformed a start-up into a global telecommunications company. He has the management experience, passion and drive to create the strongest network and offer the best products and services in the wireless industry,” said Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son. “While we continue to believe industry consolidation will enhance competitiveness and benefit customers, our focus moving forward will be on making Sprint the most successful carrier.”

“I’ve had the unique opportunity to spend the past few months actively engaging with Sprint’s Board, management team and front-line employees,” said Claure. “I am honored to have the opportunity to now lead the Sprint team as we mobilize to become the wireless carrier of choice in the U.S. In the short-term, we will focus on becoming extremely cost efficient and competing aggressively in the marketplace. While consolidating makes sense in the long-term, for now, we will focus on growing and repositioning Sprint.”

Claure will resign his position at Brightstar effective August 11 and SoftBank announced it would acquire Claure’s remaining interest in the Company. Claure succeeds Dan Hesse, who joined Sprint as President and CEO in December 2007 and led the company through a series of acquisitions, including the merger with SoftBank, and a multi-year overhaul of its nationwide network, including the shutdown of the Nextel network. Hesse received Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and was named by Glassdoor in 2014 as being among the highest-rated CEOs by employees, and twice received Wireless Week’s Leadership Award. In 2014’s American Customer Satisfaction Index, Sprint is the most improved U.S. company in overall customer satisfaction, across all 43 industries, over the last six years.

“I’m proud of the resilience of Sprint’s people during a difficult transformation and I’m optimistic about how they will build on a foundation of innovation to succeed in the future,” Hesse said. “It’s been an honor to have led such dedicated teammates for more than six-and-a-half years. Marcelo has been a great addition to Sprint’s Board and his entrepreneurial background, business savvy, industry experience and strong relationship with Masayoshi Son make Marcelo an excellent choice to lead Sprint going forward.”

“Dan has guided Sprint through a challenging period and has built a solid foundation for future growth. The Board sincerely appreciates his leadership,” said Son.

Claure will be based at Sprint headquarters in Overland Park, KS, and plans to relocate to the Kansas City area.

 

Cradlepoint Secure Threat Management for Branch Office Networks

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CradlePoint, the global leader in 4G LTE wireless networking solutions for distributed enterprises, today announced CradlePoint Secure Threat Management, an Intrusion Prevention Solution (IPS) integrated with its cloud network management solution, Enterprise Cloud Manager. CradlePoint Secure Threat Management leverage's Trend Micro's proven IPS solution.

CradlePoint Enterprise Cloud Manager's integration of Trend Micro's deep packet inspection engine and IPS signature sets, used in conjunction with the CradlePoint AER 2100, provides protection within a centralized and actionable platform. The combination of solutions improves network security, protects data, and increases security visibility with real-time threat alerts. The addition of intrusion prevention allows organizations to achieve a more secure and PCI 3.0 compliant network.

CradlePoint's introduction of IPS allows customers to create a layered security solution that is applicable to their unique business and existing infrastructure," said Kent Woodruff, chief security officer at CradlePoint. "Our introduction of Advanced Threat Management resonates with many of our customers as they look to maintain security and compliance of branch office networks. CradlePoint's use of IPS allows customers to move towards PCI Compliance 3.0 and ensures that they are proactive in network security and compliance management."

Today's branch office is vulnerable as it struggles with the proliferation of mobile devices and WiFi networks, the lack of support for legacy networks as well as limited to no onsite IT support services. CradlePoint found that of 1,300 breaches that attacked a distributed enterprise in 2013, 91% of the incidents originated externally. These incidents took just minutes to compromise and weeks to discover. The introduction of CradlePoint's Threat Management solution is one component that stifles the attacks. IPS is backed with the industry's leading Deep Pack Inspection (DPI) engine. This allows customers to protect against both server-side and client-side vulnerabilities, matching signatures from Trend Micro's continually updated database of known threats, identifying anomaly traffic and introducing malware protection. Trend Micro IPS threat information is automatically updated to the CradlePoint branch router via Enterprise Cloud Manager.

"Trend Micro's One-Pass Deep Pack Inspection Engine supports the industry's most up to date threat analysis database and network application intelligence simultaneously," said Dr. Terence Liu, VP of Trend's Networking Threats Defense Technology Group. "Customers of CradlePoint will be shielded by the next-generation intrusion prevention technology, identifying and blocking threats in real-time, and alerting security managers for quicker action; and with greater network visibility along with management control."

Expansion of the Enterprise Cloud Management Platform opens the door for increased applications that can be both developed and supported based on the customer's unique market and specific needs. CradlePoint's Enterprise Cloud Manager provides a single platform that network administrators can create best-of-breed security solutions under a single management console. This hybrid approach appeals to a broad set of distributed customers as they create a layered approach to security that is scalable, intelligent and provides maximum protection.

Large Cradlepoint deployment? Request a formal quote
 

FCC looks to block joint bidding on 600Mhz Spectrum Bid

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On Friday the FCC released a blog post to talk about the idea of joint bidding on future spectrum auctions. To help give smaller companies like Sprint and T-Mobile the FCC placed a few regulations on this bid. These rules include reserving 30Mhz of spectrum for smaller companies where Verizon or AT&T already hold more than ⅓ of the spectrum under the 1Ghz spectrum. T-Mobile and Sprint originally planned to combine buying power on the upcoming auction to help give them a better shot at securing more of the 600Mhz spectrum, which is very desirable for rural areas where fewer towers are needed to cover a larger area. Roger Sherman, chief of the FCC wireless telecommunications bureau said “If two of the largest companies are able to bid as one combined entity in the auction, their combined resources may have the effect of suppressing meaningful competition”. After this statement they’ve concluded that joint bidding arrangements between nationwide providers shouldn’t be allowed.
 

FCC Letter to Verizon Wireless over throttling unlimited LTE users

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On July 25th, 2014 Verizon Wireless announced they would throttle the top 5% of unlimited data users on their 4G LTE network. The FCC didn’t take to kindly to the statement that if a customer was affected by throttling they could switch to a shared package causing customers to pay more, but does nothing to help with congestion regardless of the plan type. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler just wrote a letter to Verizon Wireless President and CEO Daniel S. Mead to get some answers. Below is a copy of the letter written and the questions Mr. Wheeler would like answered.

“Mr. Daniel S. Mead

Presidentand CEO

Verizon Wireless

One Verizon Way

Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Dear Mr. Mead:

I am deeply troubled by your July 25, 2014 announcement that Verizon Wireless intends to slow down some customers' data speeds on your 4G LTE network starting in October 20 14.1 Your website explained that this was an extension of your "Network Optimization" policy, which, according to your website, applies only to customers with unlimited data plans. Specifically, Verizon Wireless "manage Es] data connection speeds for a small subset of customers - the top 5% of data users on unlimited data plans" in places and at times when the network is experiencing high demand.2 Verizon Wireless describes its "Network Optimization" as "network management."3

"Reasonable network management" concerns the technical management of your network; it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams. It is disturbing to me that Verizon Wireless would base its "network management" on distinctions among its customers' data plans, rather than on network architecture or technology. The Commission has defined a network management practice to be reasonable "if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service."4 Such legitimate network management purposes could include: ensuring network security and integrity, including by addressing traffic that is harmful to the network; addressing traffic that is unwanted by end users (including by premise operators), such as by providing services or capabilities consistent with an end user's choices regarding parental controls or security capabilities; and reducing or mitigating the effects of congestion on the network.5 I know of no past Commission statement that would treat as "reasonable network management" a decision to slow traffic to a user who has paid, after all, for "unlimited" service.

Accordingly, please provide me with responses to the following questions:

  1. What is your rationale for treating customers differently based on the type of data plan to which they subscribe, rather than network architecture or technological factors? In particular, please explain your statement that, "If you're on an unlimited data plan and are concerned that you are in the top 5% of data users, you can switch to a usage-based data plan as customers on usage-based plans are not impacted."6
  2. Why is Verizon Wireless extending speed reductions from its 3G network to its much more efficient 4G LTE network?
  3. How does Verizon Wireless justify this policy consistent with its continuing obligations under the 700 MHz C Block open platform rules, under which Verizon Wireless may not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of end users to download and utilize applications of their choosing on the C Block networks; how can this conduct be justified under the Commission 's 2010 Open Internet rules, including the transparency rule that remains in effect?”
 


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