Given the enormous complexity of the planned incentive auction, the FCC would have been crazy to try to pull it off in 2014. Chairman Tom Wheeler gave himself a year’s more wiggle room to get it right. Read more »
On the third anniversary of its LTE launch, Verizon is delivering a new 4G network. Over the last few months, it’s been quietly deploying the fastest, highest capacity LTE network in the country. Read more »
Disney shut down its virtual mobile operator more than five years ago, but now it’s taking another swipe at a branded mobile service, partnering with little-known MVNO Zact. Read more »
AT&T introduced new Mobile Share Value plans and changes to its Next plans that could save many customers money. Read more »
The new 2014 Civic will get an in-dash facelift with the new HondaLink connected infotainment system. The system brings in new apps, navigation services from Nokia and a boatload of integration with the iPhone. Read more »
The acqui-hire brings two Google infrastructure and image editing veterans to Square’s NYC team. Viewfinder, however, will stop development of its consumer-facing iPhone app. Read more »
Alcatel-Lucent’s new site-certification program has identified 600,000 locations on billboards, cable lines, and street furniture in the U.S. and Europe as small-cell ready. Read more »
Though Huawei has already said it cares not a whit for the U.S. telecom equipment market, its CEO made its stance official this weekend. Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei told French journalists on Sunday that Huawei was exiting the U.S. networking market, though it appears it will continue to sell mobile phones. Huawei’s supposed ties to the Chinese government have come under increasing scrutiny from the U.S. lawmakers, which have pressured companies like Sprint to ban its equipment from their networks. The U.S. may be the largest telecom market in the world, but Huawei has been doing just fine selling to carriers in almost every other region. Meanwhile U.S. operators have found their already limited vendor options shrink even more.
We at Gigaom believe we’re on the cusp of an era in which all of the things in your life become connected, for better or worse. Here’s a summary of our guide to this on-the-go lifestyle. Read more »
In June of 2012 there were only 27 million LTE connections in the world, but by the end of December that number will be at 176 million, according to GSMA Intelligence. Read more »
WhatsApp and a handful of other over-the-top communications apps — including BBM — are cementing their dominance in social messaging across the world. People still love Facebook Messenger, just not as much as they used to. Read more »
Harman’s Aha streaming radio service will soon carry location-based ads, which, thanks to Placecast’s geofencing technology, know when you’re driving near an advertiser’s store. Read more »
Automatic Labs’ Link will get exposed to a much broader potential customer base thanks to a retail distribution deal with Amazon. The appliance establishes a connection between your car’s engine and your smartphone. Read more »
GeoPoll is using the lowly SMS to engage with and collect survey data from people in developing countries around the world. It’s one of the many means SMS is being used as a stand-in for the internet. Read more »
Thanks to T-Mobile’s network, MetroPCS is now in 45 markets, tripling the size of its footprint in just six months. As it grows its new GSM business its CDMA customer base is starting to shrink. Read more »
You can use your mobile phone or tablet once the airplane door closes, but you still can’t get Wi-Fi connectivity until you’re airborne. Southwest is now lifting that restriction. Read more »
We already dump a lot of mobile data traffic onto our home and office Wi-Fi networks, but in the next few years we’ll be tapping Wi-Fi in a lot more places thanks to new carrier networks. Read more »
Springpad is still tiny compared to Evernote but it’s growing. The company is hoping its new pre-formatted notebooks optimized for specific tasks will give it an additional boost over the holidays. Read more »
Ford revealed today that it has hit a critical milestone in the connected car world: the automaker has produced 10 million Sync-equipped vehicles since launching the technology just six years ago. Calling every Sync vehicle connected is a bit of stretch, since in its most basic form it’s essentially a voice command and control system. But Ford has been adding features to Sync over the years, allowing it to integrate with apps on those smartphones. Sync is also becoming standard across most of Ford’s vehicle lines. Since January of 2012, Sync has arrived in 6 million cars.
Mobile retail app developer Shopkick is selling iBeacon devices to businesses that will let them track and interact with customers as they move throughout their stores. Macy’s is its first trial partner. Read more »
New tweaks to Qualcomm’s silicon designs have produced not only a mobile processor capable of supporting Ultra HD, but also a baseband chip that can tap into the world’s fastest networks. Read more »
A political fight is brewing between local politicians and the mobile carriers about whether every phone should include a kill switch. The wrong people are having the argument. Read more »
Verizon Wireless unveiled its new destination store concept on Tuesday in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, showing off a massive floorspace more akin to an Apple store than a carrier’s usually cramped retail accommodations. What’s most striking about the new format is how phones take a backseat to a variety of internet of things gadgets and peripherals on display. Verizon EVP and COO Marni Walden said the new stores are meant to highlight all the objects and apps its network can connect both directly and indirectly. Verizon will be opening up several more of them starting in Chicago (perhaps not coincidentally where AT&T’s first showcase store is located).
T-Mobile has been ferreting a lot of cash under the mattress in preparation for the day it can pounce on new mobile broadband airwaves. It raised $1.8 billion through a stock sale last week, and on Monday it filed the paperwork for a bond sale, which could add an additional $2 billion to its coffers. According to the Wall Street Journal, T-Mobile is considering using the new funds for a spectrum buy from another company. There’s not much loose 4G spectrum in the market these days, but the most likely targets are the 700 MHz licenses Verizon Wireless agreed to shed when it bought up the cable companies airwaves.
FreedomPop is broadening the scope of its all-IP voice and messaging beta program, allowing customers to activate Sprint Android phones on its network. As with its other services, customers can sign up for a free plan. Read more »
Though eBay is buying Braintree to make PayPal more relevant in mobile, PayPal is showing it has plenty of game in the new smartphone-driven economy. The deal makes PayPal an Uber payment option on two continents. Read more »
Tablets prices have gone down, but adding cellular to your slate will still cost you a big premium. Thanks to some savvy radio choices, though, Verizon has kept the Ellipsis’s price low without sacrificing connectivity. Read more »
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says his pressure tactics on the mobile industry over phone unlocking was not an isolated incident. He’d rather set policy through industry consent, but he says he’s not afraid to regulate. Read more »
TapTap-creator Woodenshark is one of several startups aiming to turn the connected wristband from a mere recorder of activity into a device that can communicate and control other apps through gesture and touch. Read more »
Despite the mobile industry’s focus on mobile data, voice has long been the primary revenue driver for carriers. That’s set to change this quarter. Read more »
Google is removing the velvet ropes from its white spaces database in the U.S. Any device maker can now search their locales for unused TV frequencies and stake a claim on those airwaves. Read more »
Coin isn’t trying to replace the physical wallet with a digital one. Instead it’s trying to reduce all of the credit, debit, gift and loyalty cards that clutter up our wallets to a single piece of plastic. Read more »
Three laps around around the world will mean the balloons need to stay aloft for 100 days. According to Google materials engineers, that’s a much more difficult task than you might think. Read more »
Square is leveling the playing field for merchants who take their credit cards over the phone rather than swipe them with Reader. Instead of waiting a month to get paid, they’ll only wait 1-2 days. Read more »
Sprint’s no longer interested in bidding on a block of airwaves that would double the capacity of its LTE network. Instead its looking for greener pastures in which to build its future 4G bandwidth. Read more »
After testing the connected collar tag on my two dogs, I’m convinced Whistle has created something special. Whistle provides useful and engrossing data on a dog’s daily activity, and it’s only going to get better. Read more »
Seattle is asking its police department if it could use a new municipal Wi-Fi network to track its citizens. The short answer is yes, but the information it could collect is information we’re freely sharing. Read more »
Smartphones will expand rapidly into the developing world, according to Ericsson, not only because devices will become cheaper. Cheaper data plan options and the economic benefits of mobile internet connectivity will help drive their proliferation. Read more »
Boingo’s acquisition of military base ISP Endeka appears to paying dividends. Boingo revealed this week that it has won contracts with the U.S. Marines Corps, Army and Air Force to install IPTV and broadband access networks on their posts and bases in the U.S. and some overseas installations, using a combination of fiber and point-to-point wireless technology. Soldiers and officers who subscribe to the on-base services will also get free access to Boingo’s global Wi-Fi hotspot network.
Though not exactly subtle, Phone Halo’s new Glasses TrackR could be a godsend for people constantly leaving their glasses in cabs, cafes and airplanes. Using Bluetooth it alerts you when you depart without your eyewear. Read more »