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Home Archived Articles #TBT: iPhone price wars; FCC: free wireless broadband! … 7 year ago this week

#TBT: iPhone price wars; FCC: free wireless broadband! … 7 year ago this week

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#TBT: iPhone price wars; FCC: free wireless broadband! … 7 year ago this week

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!

Price wars beginning?: iPhone now drives subsidy strategies
Last year, of course, the iPhone launch drove hand-wringing over the need to revamp user interfaces, accompanied by a move to large-display touchscreens. A wave of devices sporting large-display touchscreens followed, with varying results on the user interface. That influence continues to play out with similar launches still slated for the back half of 2008 and beyond. This year, however, with incremental changes to the iPhone, the subject du jour has refocused on carrier subsidies and consumer-facing prices. AT&T Mobility’s decision to price 3G iPhones at $200 and $300 – a decision costing in the neighborhood of $1.2 billion that the carrier acknowledged would dampen its earnings-per-share by 10 cents to 12 cents for two years – has already led competitors Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp. to cut prices on handsets they deem competitive. … Read More

FCC details plans for free nationwide wireless broadband: T-Mobile USA worries over interference
The Federal Communications Commission is seeking feedback on new options to auction a nationwide wireless broadband license with requirements to provide free Internet service, content filtering and open access to third-party devices and applications. While the agency’s move is not apt to assuage fierce critics of the initiative, it could give federal regulators greater legal cover if opponents decide to take the FCC to court after a final decision is made. The FCC proposed combining the 2155-2175 MHz band with the 2175-2180 MHz band to create a 25 megahertz block of spectrum that would support a single nationwide license. The spectrum is commonly referred to as advanced wireless services-3. … Read More

Only strongest MVNOs will survive
A couple years ago, starting your very own mobile virtual network operations company was a sizzling hot idea and everybody was trying to cash in. But now, two years and a slue of MVNO closings later, the idea has fizzled. With the shut downs of Amp’d Mobile, Mobile ESPN, Disney Mobile and others, it seems no matter how hard they try or what demographic they target, most MVNOs cannot find the glue to make themselves stick. So let’s start with the problems the companies have had. Eddie Hold, analyst at Current Analysis, said a big problem laid in most MVNOs demographic selections. “They all think youth is a great target, but they forgot that it’s a market that the major carriers go after as well,” Hold said. … Read More

IPhone virtual teardown: Apple margin beats 50%
Based on preliminary analysis of the 3G iPhone, Apple’s new handset may be its most profitable product, garnering better than 50% margins, according to analysts. Though the grand shift from hardware profits to service-and-application profits has yet to materialize for the mobile industry’s biggest players such as Apple Inc. and Nokia Corp., in Apple’s case, apparently, that’s okay. ISuppli Corp.’s “virtual teardown” – the teardown firm has not dissected an actual 3G iPhone – pegs the new model’s bill of materials, or BoM, at $173. With carrier subsidies paid to Apple of about $300, the firm estimated, that means Apple is receiving about the same dollars – nearly $500 – as it did for the first-generation product. Yet, with component prices having fallen about 23% since last year, the implication is a greater profit margin for Apple. … Read More

Feds: Drivers don’t have to hang up phones
Federal regulators agree that distracted drivers are dangerous. But the government won’t require phones built into cars and trucks to shut down automatically when the vehicles are moving. Longtime safety advocate Clarence Ditlow proposed such a rule last year. It would have required a lockout mechanism to shut off any vehicle-integrated telephone or other communication device when a motorist shifted the transmission into drive or reverse. The prohibition would have covered General Motors’ OnStar telematics system and Ford Motor Co.’s Sync onboard communication and entertainment device. … Read More

Nokia to acquire Symbian in $411M deal: Firm looks to counter Linux, Microsoft, others
Nokia Corp. will acquire total ownership of Symbian Ltd., buying out current partners in a deal valued at about $411 million, the company said today. Nokia said it would combine its own S60 platform with the Symbian platform and provide the results – a single smartphone operating system – without charge to the former owners and other parties joining a new Symbian Foundation, also announced today. According to Nokia, the Symbian OS currently runs on two-thirds of all smartphones worldwide. The acquisition is seen by analysts as a competitive move to better control development of a single smartphone OS, speed that OS’s time to market and maintain its dominant position among smartphone OSs, thereby meeting the competitive threat from open-source Linux efforts, Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp., among others. … Read More

Virgin Mobile USA: Unlimited at $80 per month
Mobile virtual network operator Virgin Mobile USA Inc. unveiled its new “Totally Unlimited” calling plan, which stands as a shot against the company’s larger rivals by undercutting their prices by $20. Virgin’s new plan, available July 1, will provide customers with unlimited minutes across days, nights and weekends for $80 a month, and will be available on a month-by-month basis. The offering also includes roaming and long-distance services. However, totally unlimited doesn’t include everything. Subscribers must pay an additional $10 each month for unlimited messaging. … Read More

Telecom heavyweights argue for RFP process for D-Block spectrum: Comments flood into FCC
Comments on what the FCC should do with the 700 MHz D Block ran the gamut, with some urging the agency to tighten its rules on a public-private sharing of the spectrum while others recommended the D Block be auctioned without any conditions whatsoever. The debate continues months after the FCC failed to find a winning bidder for the 10 megahertz that was up for grabs during the agency’s 700 MHz spectrum auction. Although the event raised close to $20 billion in winning bids, the D Block only scored one bid (from Qualcomm Inc.) and did not exceed its required $1.3 billion reserve price. Now, the FCC is reconsidering what to do with the spectrum, including whether it should retain rules that would require the D Block winner to share the spectrum with public-safety agencies. Some, such as MetroPCS Communications Inc., argued in filings to the FCC that the public-private partnership element be removed from the spectrum. … Read More

Sprint Nextel wins FCC reprieve on 800 MHz rebanding
The Federal Communications Commission extended by a month the looming June 26 deadline for Sprint Nextel Corp. to vacate 800 MHz interleaved channels involved in a rebanding initiative to eliminate interference to public-safety communications. The new 800 MHz deadline governing interleaved channels is July 26. “This will provide the commission with more time to consider the issues raised by the Sprint petition on this matter,” the FCC stated. A federal appeals court on May 2 affirmed the FCC’s June 26 deadline for Sprint Nextel to move off the 800 MHz interleaved channels. … Read More

Muni Wi-Fi player MetroFi warns users of shutdowns
Municipal Wi-Fi vendor MetroFi Inc. appears to be pulling out of the game. According to the company’s Web site, it is shutting down all but two of the ad-supported wireless networks it operates in a handful of cities in Oregon, California and Illinois. Launched in 2002, MetroFi began building Wi-Fi networks near its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. By 2005 the company counted networks in Cupertino and Sunnyvale, Calif., and had launched a plan to build Wi-Fi networks for cities that were free to users and supported by advertising. Now, however, it seems the company’s plans have come to a halt. … Read More

Check out RCR Wireless News’ Archives for more stories from the past.

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