Competition

How the LTE iPhone 5 will make mobile data cheaper

Apple’s wholesale support for LTE across its devices means that 4G network deployment can really get rolling. As these new networks go online, carriers will be forced to start lowering the price of mobile data. It won’t happen immediately, but it will happen.

To small carriers the iPhone is about prestige, not activations

Midwestern regional carrier Cellcom won’t reveal how many iPhones it sold last quarter, but according to CEO Pat Riordan the specific numbers are irrelevant. The iPhone is luring new customers into its stores, it’s keeping old customers loyal, and it completes Cellcom’s smartphone portfolio.

Free Mobile corners 5.4% of France’s mobile market in 6 months

Adding 1 million customers in the second quarter, French ISP Iliad’s upstart wireless operator is still up-ending France’s mobile market. Though its momentum has slowed since its stellar 2.6 million-activation launch quarter, the company is still growing rapidly at the expense of France’s incumbents.

Eight months after AT&T-Mo, regulators retract their fangs

When the FCC and DOJ crushed AT&T’s $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile, the competition gods rejoiced. But today regulators are content to let pass a Verizon-cable spectrum deal that would have huge implications for residential broadband competition. So much for the golden age of telecom regulation.

And here it is! Comcast’s 305 Mbps tier

For $300, people in the Northeast, presumably in areas where Comcast competes with Verizon’s fiber to-the-home offering, can soon get 305 Mbps service from Comcast. The fastest tier is expensive, but its the doubling off other Comcast speed tiers at no cost that will hurt Verizon.

AT&T smartphone rampage continues with help from Apple

Though AT&T’s smartphone penetration is well over 60 percent, it keeps activating new smart devices at a rapid clip. AT&T remained the carrier of choice for iPhone customers. It added 3.7 million iPhones in the second quarter, 22 percent of which came from competitors.

Explaining AT&T and Verizons’ complex shared-data plans

Confused by how AT&T’s new shared-data planswork? Well, we’ve put together a primer to show you how they work and compare them to Verizon’s similar pricing structure. Ultimately, shared data might not be for you, but hopefully this guide will help clear up the confusion.

How AT&T learned from Verizon’s shared-data mistakes

When Verizon announced its new shared-data plans, it should have enjoyed a big advantage over its archrival AT&T. Consumers had been demanding the right to pool data, and Verizon was the first carrier to deliver. Instead, Verizon fumbled, and AT&T has picked up the ball.

AT&T’s new sharing plans optional, undercut Verizon on price

AT&T revealed the shared data plans it’s been hinting at for so long. The new pricing structure looks very similar to the shared tiers Verizon announced last month with two key differences: AT&T’s plans are optional for new and existing customers, and they’re slightly cheaper.

Memo to T-Mobile’s future CEO: Don’t change a thing

Philipp Humm is out at T-Mobile, and we don’t know why. Whatever the reason, the move is sudden, and T-Mobile finds itself looking for a new chief executive. We have some unsolicited advice for whomever that replacement will be: Don’t mess with Humm’s work.

Bouygues launches free Wi-Fi to challenge Free Mobile

France’s Bouygues Telecom is working with virtual hotspot network Devicescape to give its smartphone customers seamless access to 8 million open Wi-Fi access points globally, replicating – at least fractionally – one of the key differentiators Iliad’s Free Mobile has on the competition: a 4 million-node offload network.

Can France’s Free keep its wireless revolution going?

The first official casualty reports emerged this week in Free Mobile’s price war against Frances’ mobile powers that be. Orange reported a 615,000 subscriber loss. But while people are flocking to Free in droves there are signs of trouble ahead for the upstart operator.

How Apple will become a mobile carrier

Wireless industry veteran Whitey Bluestein writes that it isn’t a question of if Apple will offer its own mobile service. It’s merely a question of when. Apple has all of the infrastructure and ambition. And most importantly it has leverage over the operators.

Carriers, unions, policy groups agree: Stop Verizon’s cable deal

Verizon’s biggest critics have banded together to try and block its purchase of 4G airwaves from the cable providers – or at least delay it. Sprint, DirecTV, FairPoint and multiple consumer and industry policy groups have joined the CWA’s petition to halt regulatory proceedings over the deal.

Verizon charging 4G prices but selling a lot of 3G phones

Verizon plans milk as much revenue off of its 3G and LTE networks as possible, becoming the “premium” mobile data operator, but its plan could backfire. Despite the increase in 4G sales, Verizon is still primarily a 3G operator, and 3G doesn’t justify its steep prices.

Verizon cutting wireline, DirecTV ties as it shacks up with cable

Verizon’s blockbuster deal with the major cable operators has made casualties of its future residential broadband expansion plans and its partnership with DirecTV. Verizon is wasting little time in embracing its rivals Comcast and Time Warner and overturning the competitive dynamics of the residential broadband industry.

Net neutrality and the value of the Internet

Verizon filed its second suit against the network neutrality laws today, sparking more debate over who can determine how content traverses the Internet. Meanwhile, a paper suggests that the Internet delivers up to $5,686 in economic value, and says that value is at risk.

What AT&T-Mo tells us about transparency

Sometimes knowing you are observed is enough to make you behave well. And the recent hoopla over AT&T releasing unredacted merger filings and an FCC request for more data, raise the question of how much transparency the FCC should sacrifice to protect competitive information.

The digital divide and the end of Internet freedom

Technology used by ISPs as well as regulatory decisions have shaped the Internet. The New America Foundation sees danger in the current evolution of the Internet as the web becomes segregated by what people are allowed to access and the cost of that access.

The new web will need a new network

Allied Fiber may be able to do something the FCC can’t: help make American broadband just a bit more competitive. In a few weeks it will begin construction on its new type of optical network. It’s six months late, but better late than never.

Facebook Smear Campaign Takes Google War to Defcon 2

Large companies hiring PR firms to plant negative stories about their competitors isn’t a new phenomenon, but Facebook’s attempt to do this about Google and privacy isn’t just ironic, it’s a sign of how scared the social network really is about competition from the web giant.

Content Offerings Only Reach a Few Million TVs

The recent flurry of announcements regarding devices that can be used to play movies and other video-based content, delivered via the Internet, on the TV, has many in the industry believing that the tide is finally turning. The numbers, however, tell a somewhat different story.

Angling for BIG competitors? Aim Low. Be Quaint.

Our colleage and Earth2Tech editor, Katie Fehrenbacher, published a nice interview last week with, Steve Fambro, founder of 5-year-old electric car maker…

Apple Spaces Needs Competition

Leopard (OS X.5) was one of those big releases that while I was excited about it on principle, there weren’t many of…