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!
T-Mo and MetroPCS, happily ever after
Now that T-Mobile USA has completed its merger with MetroPCS, birthing the newly named T-Mobile US, where does the operator go from here? Sure, both brands are set to continue on in their current iterations, at least for the time being, but at some point decisions will have to be made. Does T-Mobile US continue to position itself as the underdog to the bigger players in Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility and Sprint Nextel? Or, does it shift its focus downward, taking on the value players in the space like Leap Wireless, Tracfone and various mobile virtual network operators. More pressing, if Dish Network’s current attempts to acquire Sprint Nextel or Clearwire – or both – fails, does the newly more independent T-Mobile US become the next target for Charlie Ergen’s wireless ambitions? Operationally pre-merger, T-Mobile USA managed to add 579,000 customers to its network during the first quarter of the year, which was more than triple its customer growth for the first quarter of 2012, and left the carrier with just under 34 million customers at the end of the latest quarter. … Read more
Shiny, new T-Mobile US reports first quarter as a public company
T-Mobile US (TMUS) released its first earnings report today as a public company. The company was formed by the combination of T-Mobile USA (which was 100% owned by Deutsche Telekom) and MetroPCS. That merger was finalized after the first quarter ended, so today’s Q1 earnings report includes results for T-Mobile USA only. For the first time in four years, the company reported branded customer growth, with 3,000 branded net customer additions. Its prepaid business grew for the 7th straight quarter, with 202,000 branded customer additions. At the end of March, T-Mobile USA had 34 million total customers, up 579,000 from December. Capital expenditures were $1.1 billion as the company continued to build out its LTE network, which it says now covers 7 major U.S. metropolitan areas. T-Mobile says it modernized approximately 16,000 sites with HSPA+ on 1900 MHz spectrum during Q1, and that its HSPA+ network now covers 170 million people. … Read more
Samsung’s early forays into 5G
Samsung says it has found a way to transmit data in the millimeter-wave frequencies, offering the promise of speeds several hundred times faster than those of current “4G” networks. The company says it has known for years that “5G” communication will require more frequencies, but that until now the millimeter-wave frequencies seemed out of reach because signals degrade before they reach their destination. Samsung’s innovation is an adaptive array transceiver that it says extends the distance that wireless signals can travel at higher frequencies. The Korean company says its transceiver technology transmits data for up to 2 kilometers, at a frequency of 28 GHz NS at a speed of up to 1.056 gigabits per second. Two kilometers is of course not far enough for actual communication in most parts of the world, and Samsung knows its solution is not ready for prime time yet. The company is targeting a launch date of 2020. It expects today’s announcement to motivate other companies to step up their own “5G” research, and says it is hoping that international cooperation will expedite commercialization. … Read more
Softbank, Dish duel over Sprint
Softbank continued its push to convince Sprint Nextel shareholders that its proposed $20.1 billion acquisition of a 70% stake in the carrier is superior than a competing offer from Dish Network, with the latest salvo involving a sponsored report undercutting the proposed value of the Dish bid. The sponsored report, prepared by Franklin Court Partners managing director Scott Chandler, claims that Dish Network’s $25.5 billion offer to acquire a 68% stake in Sprint Nextel provides unreasonable assumptions in proclaiming its true value. Most of the findings target Dish Network’s cost savings based on operational synergies, which has been core to Softbank’s claim that it is a better suitor for Sprint Nextel as it already operates in the mobile telecommunications industry. The report notes that Dish’s “projected cost synergies are predominately non-network based and are far higher than non-network synergies projected by acquirers in other large wireless transactions.” Chandler also found that the claimed synergies will be harder to achieve as Dish and Sprint Nextel would bring together two companies currently operating in different industry segments. … Read more
Smartphones prop up mobile phone market
Surging smartphone sales kept the mobile phone market growing during the first quarter, but just barely. Worldwide mobile phone sales were up just .7% from the first quarter of last year, according to the latest research from Gartner. Smartphones now account for just under half of all mobile phone sales worldwide, and will soon account for the bulk of phone sales if current trends continue. Gartner says 426 million mobile phones were sold during the first quarter, and that 210 million of those were smartphones. Smartphone sales were up 43% from the year-ago quarter. Samsung is the leading vendor, selling an estimated 100 million mobile phones, 65 million of which were smartphones. Apple sold 38.3 million iPhones in Q1, earning the No. 2 smartphone vendor position, and the No. 3 mobile phone vendor spot behind Nokia. Nokia, until recently the world’s leading mobile phone vendor, sold 63.2 million phones in Q1, 5.6 million of which were Lumia smartphones. … Read more
Wheeler heads to the FCC
President Obama followed through on expectations today in nominating wireless industry veteran and former lobbyist Tom Wheeler as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Wheeler would be replacing current FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who announced today that he will be leaving by the middle of the month. Genachowski announced in late March plans to step down as chairman having served in that capacity since 2009. The move followed a similar announcement from Commissioner Robert McDowell, who was originally appointed to the FCC in 2006 by then President George W. Bush. Many have noted that it’s not unusual for both a democrat and republican member of the FCC to be replaced on the commission at the beginning of a new presidential term. In the interim, Obama has designated current FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn to serve as acting chairman while Wheeler’s nomination goes through the confirmation process. That process is expected to take several months, in which time the FCC is expected to rule on Softbank’s pending acquisition of Sprint Nextel as well as AT&T’s pending acquisition of 700 MHz spectrum assets from Verizon Wireless. More importantly, the FCC will be tasked with executing the highly contentious incentive auction of spectrum assets in the 600 MHz band that is set to have proceeds funneled to help build out a nationwide public-safety network through the FirstNet initiative. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.