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!
Moto just loves those four-letter names
ATLANTA-Following the success of its wildly popular Razr, Motorola Inc. is expanding its range of sleek, four-letter phones with the retail release of its Pebl through T-Mobile USA Inc. and its Slvr through Cingular Wireless L.L.C. Motorola’s Slvr-a candybar-style version of the Razr-is now selling though Cingular for $200 with a two-year contract. The device features Bluetooth, an integrated camera and-perhaps most notably-Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes software. The software allows users to install up to 100 digital songs into the phone’s memory. Cingular released Motorola’s first iTunes-capable phone, the Rokr, last year. The phone too has a limit of 100 songs-a requirement from Apple to ensure the device wouldn’t cannibalize sales of Apple’s own line of iPod digital music players. … Read more
Alltel, AT&T fined over call records
WASHINGTON-The Federal Communications Commission proposed fining AT&T Inc. and Alltel Corp. each $100,000 for not having certifications on file showing that they are protecting their customers’ call records. The FCC was forced to ask the five largest wireless and wireline companies for their certifications after the House Commerce Committee requested the filings. In a separate action, the commission asked all telecommunications carriers to file their certifications with the agency by Feb. 6. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said the agency has received all of the certifications it asked for-expect those from AT&T and Alltel. AT&T filed SBC’s certification but was unable to locate the certification for AT&T, said Michael Balmoris, an AT&T spokesman. SBC Communications Inc. recently acquired AT&T Corp. and took on the AT&T name. Alltel did not respond to a request for comment. … Read more
Customer growth hits the big time
The U.S. wireless industry is on track to chronicle its best-ever quarterly customer growth, with more than 5.4 million net adds already reported by four of the largest carriers. In a record-smashing quarter, Verizon Wireless clocked 2 million net customer additions to pull past Cingular Wireless L.L.C.’s blockbuster results of 1.8 million net adds. T-Mobile USA Inc. gave its own best-ever showing by bringing in 1.4 million net wireless customers. Churn was down, data revenues were up and carriers’ wireline parents benefited from the bounty. But the silver lining did have its cloud. Average revenue per user shrank slightly for both Verizon Wireless and Cingular; T-Mobile USA and Alltel Corp.-which reported results in mid-January-both registered an increasing percentage of prepaid customers; and much of Cingular’s growth came from customers added through resellers. … Read more
But investors keep some skepticism
The worldwide mobile-phone market roared to another record finish in the fourth quarter as unit shipments reached a staggering 245 million, according to research and consulting firm IDC. For the full year, the handset industry shipped a total of 825.5 million phones. “2005 was the year of the emerging market,” said Neil Mawston, an analyst with research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics. “Booming demand in the Southern Hemisphere, in regions such as India and Africa, drove global mobile-phone sales 19-percent higher year-over-year. Emerging markets accounted for one-half of total worldwide sales in 2005.” Despite the market’s vigorous growth, the world’s top handset makers each exposed various weaknesses and concerns to investors. Even the world’s largest mobile-phone maker Nokia Corp., which sold a record 83.7 million mobile phones in the fourth quarter, failed to wow Wall Street. … Read more
The handset times, they are a-changin’
The evolution of the wireless industry has had a profound effect on the players involved. Within all levels of the market, companies have had to scramble to adapt to changing demands and conditions. And the rollercoaster isn’t likely to slow down-for anyone. From carriers to handset makers to infrastructure providers, everyone has had to respond to the market’s advancements. Mobile virtual network operators are proliferating, carriers have consolidated, third-generation networks have finally surfaced, wireless has largely overtaken wireline-and the changes show no sign of slowing. The reverberations of such progress stretch far and wide; every section of the wireless industry has had to react. Even the simplest, most straightforward segments of the industry have been forced to respond. Within the retail sector, the basic act of selling a mobile phone has slowly but unmistakably changed over the course of the past decade, such that retailers today have little in common with those of the previous century. … Read more
Share web pages via SMS
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.-Google Inc. launched a personalized tool bar that allows PC users to share Web pages via text messages. The tool bar-installed in a desktop computer-includes a “send to” option that can be used to send an excerpt or entire page through e-mails, blogs or text messages. The offering is free except for carrier messaging charges. The move is the latest effort by the Internet giant to expand its services from the desktop to wireless. … Read more
Anticipating Apple’s iPhone
Steve Jobs may have just taken one step closer to wireless. The head of Apple Computer Inc. landed a spot on the board of The Walt Disney Co. last week under the terms of Disney’s $7.4 billion buyout of computer animation studio Pixar. While the deal undeniably centered on Pixar’s expertise in making blockbuster animated films, some believe it may also pave the way for Apple to enter the mobile-phone business in a big way. “Now everyone can focus on what is most important,” said Jobs, the founder and chief executive officer of Pixar, “creating innovative stories, characters and films that delight millions of people around the world.” Animated films are surely not the only thing on Jobs’ mind, however. Apple first waded into the wireless waters last year with Motorola Inc.’s Rokr, an iTunes-capable phone using Cingular Wireless L.L.C’s network. The long-awaited handset failed to live up to substantial pre-release hype, though, and Motorola has said its next Rokr will support its own iRadio service-not Apple’s digital music offering. But analysts have speculated for more than a year that the computer- and iPod-maker may be developing its own phone. … Read more
German users frown on mobile TV
BOSTON-German wireless users are unimpressed with mobile TV, according to a report from Strategy Analytics. Poor network performance, a lack of compelling content and inadequate devices are resulting in disappointing user experiences, the research firm said after examining two services. While users said T-Mobile’s Handy TV performed better than Vodafone’s Live Mobile TV, neither service resonated with viewers. “Users were virtually unanimously opposed to paying for current generation mobile TV offerings due to frustrations with perceived network quality and performance,” said Strategy Analytics analyst Paul Brown. “Out of more than 50 test users, more than half experienced network-related problems over three consecutive nights of testing.” The study also found the two services suffer from a lack of compelling content, highlighting a key challenge for mobile TV providers. … Read more
Opera’s ‘WAP killer’
Opera Software unveiled what it called a “WAP killer” last week, going global with its Web browser for Java-enabled mobile phones. Opera Mini uses a proxy server to format traditional Internet content for small screens-thereby bypassing the need for WAP technology and allowing users to access nearly any Web site. The application can be downloaded free from Opera’s Web site to a PC or handset; the company charges $3 for a download triggered by a text message to a short code. The global launch follows trials in several European countries late last year that netted more than 1 million users, the Norway-based developer said. “We’ve never believed in WAP,” explained Opera spokesman Eskil Sivertsen. “I think it will take some time, probably, before people start realizing that WAP is basically just a walled garden with limited content you can give your subscribers, when they could have the full Internet at their fingertips.” … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.
The post #TBT: Razr heirs, the Slvr and Pebl; industry hits record growth; anticipating the iPhone … this week in 2006 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.