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Time Trippin’: RIM tussles with NTP; U.S. firms complain about China … 7 years ago this week

Editor’s Note: The RCR Wireless News Time Machine is a way to take advantage of our extensive history in covering the wireless space to fire up the DeLorean and take a trip back in time to re-visit some of the more interesting headlines from this week in history. Enjoy the ride!

AT&T, Cingular trialing unlimited wireline-to-wireless calling option
Cingular Wireless L.L.C. reportedly is testing a rate plan in select markets that allows customers to place unlimited calls to AT&T Inc. wireline customers for a flat monthly fee. AT&T, which recently changed its name from SBC Communications Inc. following SBC’s $16 billion acquisition of AT&T Corp., owns 60 percent of Cingular. … Read More

RIM loses another round with NTP
A Virginian judge rejected Research In Motion Ltd.’s request to enforce a settlement with its adversary NTP Inc., a move that caused the Nasdaq to halt trading on RIM’s stock. The ruling stands as yet another setback for RIM in its legal battle with NTP, and brings the company one step closer to a court-ordered injunction. RIM’s stock was up slightly in trading at $65.25 per share before the Nasdaq halted trading. RIM had asked the court to enforce a $450 million settlement it reached with NTP earlier this year. The companies announced the settlement in March, but it fell apart shortly thereafter. RIM then sent the issue to the court, asking it to enforce the settlement. … Read More

Cingular intros $200 Walkman phone
Cingular Wireless L.L.C. has quietly begun selling Sony Ericsson’s WalkMan phone, offering music lovers an alternative to Motorola Inc.’s Rokr. The carrier introduced the Sony Ericsson W600i, a flip phone that features a WalkMan Media Player with 256 MB of memory and a 1.3-megapixel camera. The quad-band handset is Bluetooth-compatible and sells for $199 after a mail-in rebate. Cingular is the first U.S. operator to sell the handset, which launched in Europe several weeks ago. … Read More

Eyes on Verizon during holiday sales push
What traditionally has been a holiday battle for market share among nationwide operators this year has turned into a struggle to compete against the Verizon Wireless juggernaut. The industry’s second-largest operator has been on a roll this year, adding several million more customers than its competitors. The carrier appears set to run the table during the always-important holiday shopping season. The competition is attempting to put up a fight, but few expect their moves will alter the inevitable. The most likely casualty will be Cingular Wireless L.L.C., which saw its leadership position shrink by 1 million customers during the third quarter, and could see a similar hit during the final three months of the year. … Read More

AT&T MVNO could cut into Cingular’s business base
AT&T Inc., which until last week was SBC Communications Inc., is getting set to stack its wireless deck with plans to launch an AT&T-branded wireless service that will use subsidiary Cingular Wireless L.L.C.’s network. AT&T, which changed its name following SBC’s $16 billion acquisition of AT&T Corp., owns 60 percent of Cingular, which completed a $41 billion acquisition of AT&T Wireless Services Inc. last fall. Still with me? … Read More

Advertisers find new product venue with mobile gaming
The hottest trend in video games has nothing to do with 3-D graphics, big-brand tie-ins or real-time multiplayer. It’s advertising. And it’s coming to mobile gaming. In-game advertising is rapidly attracting the attention of brands looking to get face time with the Holy Grail of demographics: teens and young adults. Console and PC gamers have become accustomed in recent years to seeing banners on the sidelines of video sports titles, for instance, and branded billboards dot the urban landscape of first-person shooters. … Read More

Iraq wireless licenses on hold until June
The Iraqi government’s issuance of mobile-phone licenses appears to have been pushed back from next month to June, a delay attributed to political uncertainties associated with the scheduled Dec. 15 election of a new parliament. The licensing is being watched closely by Motorola Inc., Lucent Technologies Inc. and other wireless vendors here and overseas that supply infrastructure and phones to Iraq’s three wireless operators. The three carriers were awarded short-term permits in December 2003 by the now-defunct U.S.-led Coalition for Provisional Authority. … Read More

With Alamosa, Sprint Nextel picks up largest cargo yet
The Sprint Nextel Corp. affiliate acquisition train continued to roll as the carrier picked up its largest cargo yet-CDMA affiliate Alamosa Holdings Inc. for $4.3 billion. The purchase price includes Sprint Nextel assuming $900 million of Alamosa debt. Under terms of the deal, Sprint Nextel will purchase Alamosa’s common stock at $18.75 per share in an all-cash transaction. The price was a 14-percent premium above Alamosa’s opening stock price of $16.17 per share the day the deal was announced. Alamosa’s stock surged on the news to $18.39 per share before trading was halted. … Read More

China not playing by WTO rules in telecom, U.S. firms complain
While U.S. companies have made inroads into China’s massive telecom market, they say there are still serious obstacles preventing them from competing for business in next-generation technologies and telecom services. U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman, who next month must report to Congress on China’s compliance with World Trade Organization commitments, concedes problems persist four years after the Asian giant was admitted the global trade body. Lately Portman has been trying to send China explicit signals about the Bush administration’s concerns at a time when the White House is trying to salvage the president’s trade agenda. … Read More

Relocation issues dog 3G spectrum plans
The Federal Communications Commission continues to face relocation problems with its third-generation mobile-phone spectrum plan, a situation that could affect the timing of June’s auction and combine with other factors to lower revenues the United States needs to move Pentagon radio systems to new frequencies. Military users are being moved off the 1710-1755 MHz band and non-federal wireless users off the 2110-2155 MHz band to clear the way for 3G, also called advanced wireless services. The complications involve relocating users from those bands to 2 GHz frequencies that are already occupied by various licensees. … Read More

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