In 2014, carriers will tinker with some new network technologies. They’ll start broadcasting video, shrinking the size of their cells and moving voice calls onto LTE. They’ll even start connecting cars to the 4G network. Read more »
After a year of testing small cells in every way imaginable, AT&T is ready to begin its large-scale rollout of the technology. The tiny base stations will boost bandwidth in the high-demand places with surgical precision. Read more »
Payments processor Braintree is seeing a huge year-over-year jump in mobile payments this holiday season. According to CEO Bill Ready we’re witnessing the pent-up demand from consumers to use their phones as shopping tools. Read more »
QAM has shaped the waveforms in our communications networks for 40 years, but MagnaCom has developed an alternative modulation scheme that it claims will revolutionize speed, capacity and power efficiency on wireless and wireline networks. Read more »
AT&T said today it is selling its wireline operations in Connecticut to Frontier Communications for $2 billion, effectively exiting the state as a local telephone and broadband provider. AT&T has hinted in the past it might sell its “unimproved” DSL lines, following in Verizon’s footsteps, but it looks like it wants to shed parts of its improved copper network as well. It’s U-Verse fiber-to-the-node service is available in parts of Connecticut. AT&T Connecticut is actually the former Southern New England Telephone, and it stands aloof from AT&T’s traditional territory in the southern and western U.S. AT&T said it would use the proceeds from the sale to fund its IP transformation strategy, Project VIP.
Though it’s sitting on its own trove of mobile broadband spectrum, Dish is looking for partners to provide fixed wireless LTE access to its customers homes. Sprint and nTelos are both working with Dish in trials. Read more »
SingTel is using Ericsson technology to give its HSPA networks a little self-awareness. Instead of mechanically passing subscribers from cell to cell, the network is now reconfiguring itself on the fly to meet demand. Read more »
The new Ruckus and Layer42 built network extends from the Castro to the Embarcadero. It’s still short of San Francisco’s planned muni-Wi-Fi network from a decade ago, but it covers the city’s primary thoroughfare. Read more »
M87 has developed software that allows smartphones to hop across each other’s radios to get the best connection to the network. M87 founders gave Gigaom an exclusive look at how the technology works. Read more »
Sprint now has 300 cities and towns in its LTE footprint, but it still has some big holes to fill, like San Francisco. Read more »
Rumors about Sprint acquiring T-Mobile have surfaced again. On paper the combination might look good, but the two use incompatible mobile networks and any merger would face tough regulatory scrutiny. Read more »
Qualcomm is promoting its new CEO from within, handing the reins to 20-year executive Steve Mollenkopf, who has headed up Qualcomm’s core semiconductor group and most recently served as COO. Read more »
The spinning whirligigs on top of this Ford Fusion Hybrid aren’t a new kind of roof rack. They’re Lidar mounts, painting a 360-degree 3D picture of the car’s surroundings in real time. Read more »
Consumer identity theft protection LifeLock is already securing the cards in your wallet. Now it wants to provide a digital version of the wallet itself. On Thursday, LifeLock said it has acquired Lemon for $42.6 million in cash. The Maveron- and Howard Shultz-backed startup began as a receipt-tracking service but expanded into the mobile wallet by adding Apple Passbook-like features. Lemon raised $8 million in a Series A round in 2012 and its app has been downloaded 3.6 million times. LifeLock will continue to offer the wallet under its own name, layering its security features on top.
100 million isn’t quite the milestone it once was, but Kik’s recent growth spurt is elevating the messaging startup above the crowded mid-tier of OTT app providers. Read more »
Zubie has separated itself from the growing pack of vehicle-data tracking companies with a big opening round of funding. Read more »
Fon is hoping to generate buzz for its community Wi-Fi service from the hip residents of Brooklyn. It’s targeting the borough’s downtown for a dense hotspot and residential deployment. Read more »
Evenly, a maker of a bill-splitting app, is Square’s second acqui-hire in as many weeks. Evenly is shutting down its app and taking up residence on Square’s seller initiatives development team. Read more »
Though there are millions of truck drivers with smartphones, most of them live in a pen, paper and fax machine world when it comes to managing their driving records. KeepTruckin aims to change that. Read more »
The Orange Chef has raised $1.2 million in seed funding led by Google Ventures and Spark Labs. The company makes a kitchen scale that communicates with your iPad and a wealth of web nutritional data. Read more »
JetBlue may have waited to bring its inflight Wi-Fi service online, but it wanted to get it right. Today FlyFi goes live, promising customers real broadband connectivity in their plane seats. Read more »
Sprint’s new faster Spark network may be out of reach to most Americans, but it is starting to get more support from handset makers. Sprint said it would start selling a Spark-enabled version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 in the next few weeks, which can tap into the faster network speeds of its new tri-band LTE network. Unless you live in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa or Miami you won’t see those improved speeds, and Sprint is taking it’s time rolling the upgrade out to the rest of the country. The S 4 joins the HTC One Max, Galaxy Mega and S 4 mini on the Spark roster. They’ll be joined by the LG G2 next year.
The Australian government has turned on a self-contained GSM network on Macquarie Island and plans to extend it to research stations on the Antarctic mainland. The new network runs off Range Networks’ open-source cellular systems. Read more »
Viber is now selling international long distance. The latest version of its iPhone and Android apps will connect calls to outside landline and mobile phone numbers. Read more »
Qualcomm is following Apple and Intel down the 64-bit rabbit hole, announcing today a new version of its Snapdragon processor supporting the new advanced computing architecture. Don’t expect these new chips in high-end devices, though. Read more »
After making news with several high-profile hires from Netflix’s ranks, mobile payments startup Clinkle appears to have concluded it’s a bit talent heavy. According to Fortune, Clinkle is laying off 16 employees (about 25 percent of its workforce) from its business operations group. Though Clinkle hasn’t even revealed the details of its new mobile wallet and payments app, it’s attracted a lot of attention, securing a $25 million seed round from Silicon Valley luminaries and hiring veterans like former Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy to its executive roster.
Prepaid mobile operators Straight Talk and Net10 will start selling the iPhone 5s and 5c at Walmart stores starting Dec. 13. Customers will have to pay sticker price for the devices ($549 to $649 for the 16 GB versions, though financing options are available), but they can tap into the two companies’ cheap no-contract smartphone data plans. Straight Talk’s start at $45 while Net10′s start at $50 and include 2.5 GB of data each month along with unlimited calls and texts. Both companies are mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) run by TracFone, which has seen a big spurt in growth recently thanks in part to these new smartphone-friendly plans.
Square current Reader, launched nearly two years ago, was a huge hit among Square’s merchant customers. But a few things have always bugged Square about Reader’s design. Now it’s fixed them. Read more »
There’s no American family name more associated with the automobile than Ford. In a wide-ranging interview, Bill Ford — Henry’s great-grandson and executive chairman of Ford Motor Company — says car companies need to be more like tech companies. Read more »
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 »