Verizon CEO says unlimited data has to go away eventually


Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said he doesn’t see anyway for unlimited to work in wireless at Citi 2014 Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference. McAdam also said that other carriers offering unlimited still will do crazy things when they’re on the edge of bankruptcy, which indicates they feel T-Mobile and Sprint business models won’t be sustainable in the long term. McAdam did applaud T-Mobile for their un-carrier moves saying how they benefited consumers moving the industry in a positive profitable direction. These statements indicate Verizon will likely never be bringing back unlimited service and is focused on adding AWS spectrum for overly congested areas to preserve a stable, reliable and consistent data connection across the country.
 

T-Mobile Ad leak suggest they’ll pay families to leave other carriers


Recently T-Mobile leaked an ad that corresponds to their tweet back in December about “Uncarrier Phase 4” to pay your carriers early termination fee if you switch to T-Mobile. Shortly after the tweet AT&T officially announced a similar offer to pay T-Mobile termination fees to switch back to AT&T. The T-Mobile ad suggests a similar offer where they’ll pay up to $450 per line when customers switch to their NEXT plan. The ports will be accepted from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint customers looking to transfer up to five total lines. Customers will be able to trade in their existing smartphones for a credit towards a new handset capable of T-Mobile specific bands. Official details on the Uncarrier Phase 4 should be released today at 12:30PM PT.
 

AT&T Sponsored Data, paying for your Mobile Internet experience

According to the Washington Post AT&T has just announced a new product called Sponsored Data. This allows subscribers to use specific websites without that usage counting against their data caps. Instead of the end user paying for the data third party companies will be fronting the bill saving you from paying more for monthly data. This concept isn’t new, but could be violating the concept of Net Neutrality, which is designed to keep all areas of the Internet open and equal. If third party companies are allowed to pay for data mobile users use that puts a distinct disadvantage on smaller retailers because more traffic will be generated to “paid for” sites where customers don’t need to worry about how much data they use.

Sponsorship deals have already been made with United Health Group, Aquto a mobile advertising platform and Kony Solutions, a company that provides mobile application platforms to businesses. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told investors that this would prevent data charges from spiraling out of control. AT&T is able to get around standard Internet guidelines because traffic discrimination only applies to wired ISP’s and not cellular carriers. One thing is for certain with Sponsored Data, if you’re not paying for it on your monthly AT&T bill the costs will likely be passed on to you somehow through their sponsors. The days where caps were used as an excuse to manage consumption seem to be going away in favor of anyone willing to pay big bucks to sponsor consumer data across their mobile devices.
 

T-Mobile promises better national coverage

 

 

Recently T-Mobile is pushing to get some of Verizon’s 700Mhz A-Block spectrum which could cost almost $2.4 billion. This should help add additional coverage for 158 million people in 21 of the top 30 US markets including New York, LA, Atlanta and Dallas. The lower frequency band will make deployment to suburbs and rural areas easier because the 700Mhz band has better penetration requiring fewer towers to cover a wider area. In the deal T-Mobile will also be transferring about $950 million worth of spectrum to Verizon in several markets where they need to deploy AWS LTE for additional bandwidth. The only roadblock to the deal is the FCC and DOJ that will need to give final approval for the deal to go through.

 

AT&T offers T-Mobile customers up to $450 per line to switch

Starting today, AT&T* is offering T-Mobile customers the opportunity to upgrade their mobile lifestyle with value of up to $450 per line when they switch to AT&T and trade in an eligible smartphone.

In addition to a larger and more reliable 4G LTE network, T-Mobile customers who switch to AT&T will benefit from a superior smartphone line-up and award-winning customer service.  With AT&T, customers can take advantage of AT&T’s new Mobile Share Value plans, which offer data and unlimited talk and text starting as low as $45 per month with no annual contract.** AT&T NextSM offers customers the chance to upgrade to a new smartphone every year for $0 down.

Beginning Jan. 3, under the limited-time offer, T-Mobile customers who switch to AT&T can trade-in their current smartphone for a promotion card of up to $250, which can be used toward AT&T products and services.  Trade-in values will vary based on make, model and age of the smartphone, but many of the latest and most popular smartphones will qualify for a value of $250.  T-Mobile customers can receive an additional $200 credit per line when they transfer their wireless service to AT&T and choose an AT&T NextSM plan, buy a device at full retail price or activate a device they currently own.
 

Sprint to combine Boost/Virgin Brands, Nextel comes back


According to DSLReports Sprint is currently in discussion to combine the Boost/Virgin brands. Their game plan is to take the old Nextel name that they killed off last year and target business users using “Nextel” from everything that was Clear. The announcements should coincide with the introduction of “Spark” capable devices, which will include 2 hotspots and 3 tablet devices. Under the new Sprint Spark service they’ll be combining 800Mhz, 1.9Ghz and 2.5Ghz LTE spectrum to provide average download speeds of 50-60Mbps. There is also speculation that unlimited data service will be coming back to hotspot devices, but pricing will be tiered by speed similar to Cable/DSL service models. Both the Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile brand names should be merged together under the new “Sprint Freedom” brand and it’s unclear how they’ll handle Boost/Virgin customers during the migration.
 

Analyst says Verizon should win Network Neutrality case against FCC


Stifel Nicolaus analyst Christopher King believes that Verizon will win against the FCC in court over network neutrality rules. The ruling should set a standard for industry pricing and services and dictate “if” specific providers could pay for an premium lane across the Internet to deliver services faster. Originally the FCC filed to bar Internet service providers from blocking specific Internet content or slowing down websites that don’t pay premium fee’s for faster access. King says "We believe Verizon and other telco and cable providers could gain new latitude to seek new premium (paid prioritization) deals with Internet edge/content companies," in a report earlier this week. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler might be forced to rewrite the agency’s Net Neutrality rules based on the court's decision, which could affect today’s “Open Internet” as we know it where all sites are treated equal.
 


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