Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!
AT&T lays out 3G roll-out plans
AT&T Mobility said it will step up its 3G buildout, expanding its high-speed mobile service to more than 80 additional cities this year.The nation’s No. 1 mobile carrier said it will launch more than 1,500 new cell sites as it increases its 3G footprint to serve nearly 350 U.S. markets by the end of the year. AT&T Mobility also said it plans to complete its High Speed Uplink Packet Access-enabled network (HSUPA) this summer, calling the deployment “the next step in the evolution” toward HSPA+ and Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies. “The capabilities of 3G standards will continue to expand over the next several years, enabling us to stay well ahead of our customers’ broadband needs,” said CEO Ralph de la Vega. “And looking even further into the future, our existing technologies provide the ideal platform for a smooth transition to next-generation platforms.” … Read more
Dissecting Super Bowl Super Bowl XLII mobile commercials
Alexis de Tocqueville might have saved himself a lot of travel if he could have watched a few Super Bowl broadcasts. It’s no secret that Super Bowl commercials act as a sort of barometer for what Americans are all about. The expectations surrounding the Big Game are as much about ads for fast food, sexy gadgets, light beer and battleship-sized SUVs as they is about nickel defenses and shotgun formations. So with my laptop at the ready, an ice chest at my feet and my Stadium Pal in place, I settled in on the couch Sunday afternoon to find out where mobile data fits into the vast shopping mall of U.S. consumerism. The answer? On the periphery, apparently. Because on Super Sunday, mobile had a lower profile than an “Iron Chef America” judge. Nearly every tier-one carrier spent a few dollars early in the broadcast. The half-hour pre-game broadcast (which, of course, followed the four-hour pre-game show) featured some messages directly from the carriers. Verizon Wireless plugged its video, music and mapping offerings with a clip for the Voyager. Sprint Nextel Corp. hawked its BlackBerry Pearl. AT&T Mobility followed with its stuffed-monkey commercial, which focuses on a traveling businessman sending cameraphone pics of his kid’s toy. And T-Mobile USA Inc. bought time for the latest installment of its amusing campaign featuring ballers Charles Barkley and Dwayne Wade, who shill for the carrier’s MyFaves offering. … Read more
700 megahertz auction: $18 billion and counting
t’s still seemingly early in the game, but bidding in the Federal Communications Commission’s 700 MHz auction is materializing into a good news-bad news auction of epic proportions. In less than two dozen rounds, bidding shattered the $13.8 billion mark of the advanced wireless services auction in 2006. The auction stood at more than $18 billion following 26 rounds of bidding at the end of last week. It took 161 rounds to reach that level for the rights to 90 megahertz of spectrum in the 1.7/2.1 GHz bands, half of which is being cleared of federal government users. The 700 MHz auction – comprising 62 megahertz of propagation-friendly spectrum to be returned by broadcasters next year – has already exceeded the projected high of $15 billion. It likely won’t be long before the 700 MHz auction rings up $20 billion in bids. Because so much valuable spectrum is unlikely to go on the auction block anytime soon, it is unlikely the record revenue proceeds from the 700 MHz will ever be topped. … Read more
Nokia, Sony Ericsson duke it out over mobile content
Nokia Corp. and Sony Ericsson are gearing up for what looks to be an epic battle on the mobile content playground. But the complicated world of mobile content is more like one of those bar-fight scenes in the movies where it’s tough to tell who’s fighting whom. Sony Ericsson last week bulked up its content portfolio, securing deals with 10 music labels and adding 5 million tracks for its PlayNow service. The joint venture between Sony Corp. and L.M. Ericsson unveiled agreements with Sony BMG, Warner Music Group, EMI, The Orchard and six others; Sony Ericsson also added 250 games through existing deals with EA Games, Gameloft and other publishers. PlayNow came to market four years ago as a storefront for ringtones and has expanded to offer games and full-track downloads to users in 32 countries. Sony Ericsson said it hopes to offer the expanded PlayNow “arena” in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland in May with other markets to follow. While PlayNow was very early to the content game, Sony Ericsson’s newfound ambition for the service mirrors Nokia’s plans for Ovi, an umbrella brand of mobile content and services. Ovi will offer games and tunes to wireless users, but unlike PlayNow – so far, at least – will also feature mapping applications and social networking offerings. … Read more
Desperately seeking an ‘iPhone killer’
The landscape of the wireless industry is in flux as you read this story, with product launches, pre-announcements and hype flying by like so much confetti on the wind. Or is that confetti actually the cellular industry after being fed through a shredder? The traditional cellular industry itself is morphing, too – if not in actual tatters – as newcomers from Apple Inc. to Amazon.com to Garmin Ltd. market devices that take their traditional strengths – multimedia, books and personal navigation, respectively – and add cellular connectivity to offer voice and data, plus myriad other functions. Handsets and personal computers are being merged in the ultra-mobile PC space that promises some bizarre hybrids. And the 700 MHz auction and the great WiMAX question – will it or won’t it fly in the United States? – blow like winds of change across the now-hazy horizon. The top-tier handset vendors of yore – say, a year ago – remain in relatively static global rankings, with the exception of Motorola Inc., which still needs to find the ripcord to stop its freefall. … Read more
Carriers fight e911 location requirements
The Federal Communications Commission is coming under increasing pressure from the wireless industry to put on hold new enhanced 911 location accuracy guidelines, with court appeals virtually guaranteed. On the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FCC clarified that wireless service providers must meet E-911 location accuracy requirements at the public-safety answering point service-area level as opposed to state-wide averaging. There are about 6,000 PSAPs in the United States. The agency directed cellular operators to meet interim benchmarks – the first, Sept. 11 of this year for each economic area served – as well as annual benchmarks over the next five years to ensure full compliance by 2011. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International and the National Emergency Number Association lobbied for the PSAP-level E-911 location accuracy rule. Democratic Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps as well as Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell, voiced strong concerns about the FCC ruling in last year’s vote. The cellphone industry said the regulatory process to arrive at the decision was flawed and the result was unrealistic insofar as technological achievability in the timeframe set by the FCC. Now, the wireless industry is in action mode. T-Mobile USA Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp. and the Rural Cellular Association last week petitioned the FCC to promptly stay the effectiveness of PSAP-level accuracy rule, pending judicial review. … Read more
Google, Yahoo duel over mobile search
Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. each announced impressive wins in the mobile search space at Mobile World Congress 2008. Nokia Corp. said it will begin to include Google’s technology with its own mobile search application “in select markets,” integrating the search on the Nokia N96 and N78 – which were announced this week at the MWC – as well as the 6220 and 6210 Navigator. The deal builds on an existing relationship that has integrated Google’s search engine with Nokia Internet tablets. While the collaboration initially is limited in scope – including a fraction of the three dozen-plus devices that feature Nokia Search – the Finnish firm said it plans to make Google search available to customers in more than 100 countries and in 40 languages. … Read more
Android lands at MWC
BARCELONA, Spain — The Android has landed, so to speak. A number of chip companies showed off demonstrations of Google Inc.’s Android cellphone software today at the Mobile World Congress trade show here. Google and the Open Handset Alliance released Android’s software development kit (SDK), which included both software and a user interface, late last year. Texas Instruments was among a number of chip companies boasting prototype devices running the software platform. Qualcomm Inc., ARM and others also had Android demonstrations on hand, according to media reports. The efforts largely appeared to be geared toward enticing handset vendors with snappy chips rather than flaunting the advancements of the software itself. Nonetheless, the demonstrations gave industry watchers their first taste of Google’s hotly anticipated efforts in the handset business. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.
The post #TBT: AT&T’s 3G build-out; industry seeks ‘iPhone killer’; Google, Yahoo duel over mobile search… this week in 2008 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.