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#TBT: Sprint to partner with Cox on network; sued for $1B over ETF policy … this week in 2008

Cable television giant Cox said it would partner with Sprint on network plans, while $1B class-action lawsuit targets Sprint’s ETF policy … 8 years 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!

Cable firm Cox to build wireless network by 2009: Teams with Sprint Nextel to expand reach
After several failed attempts to offer a wireless play, Cox Communications announced its most ambitious wireless blueprint to date: The cable company said it plans to build its own network with the $500 million of spectrum it has accumulated, and plans to launch commercial services next year. The company will work with Sprint Nextel Corp. to supplement its wireless ambitions through a roaming agreement and – in a nod to the current trend in wireless – will test LTE technology for possible deployment in an unspecified timeframe. Initially, the operator plans to deploy CDMA technology in its advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum holdings, but will also deploy on its 700 MHz assets at a later, unspecified date, said Cox spokeswoman Jill Ullman. Cox owns 12 megahertz of spectrum licenses covering 76% of its wireline footprint. … Read More

Sprint Nextel sued for $1 billion over early-termination fees
Sprint Nextel Corp. has been hit with a $1 billion federal class-action lawsuit over early-termination fees, the complaint filed by the same lawyers pursuing relief for consumers in a California state court and just days before the No. 3 wireless provider announced a date to implement pro-rated ETFs. “After a full trial on the merits, we proved that Sprint Nextel’s termination fees violated California law,” said Scott Bursor, lead trial lawyer for the plaintiffs in the case before a California state court. “We proved that the fees bear no relation to any cost incurred by the company. And we proved that the fees were established as an arbitrary penalty to prevent dissatisfied customers from leaving. Now we will prove that the fees violate federal law as well.” … Read More

Nokia to cut 600 jobs in marketing, sales and R&D: Handset maker releases new, low-cost phones
Nokia Corp. said today that it would cut as many as 615 jobs in an ongoing corporate reorganization. The bulk, 450 jobs, will be eliminated in the global handset leader’s markets unit to “strengthen the customer interface” and “ensure that resources are well allocated,” according to the company. Streamlining of the company’s Nokia Research Center will claim another 130 jobs. And 35 jobs will be cut in Nokia’s “global process operations,” the company said. The company’s Turku, Finland, office will be closed and about 220 employees will relocate to other sites, Nokia said. … Read More

Lucent, NSN struggle post-merger: Lucent CEO to unveil turnaround plans next month
The top three companies in the wireless infrastructure market all posted revenues in the billions, but only one came out on top in turning a profit for the third quarter.
The world leader in market share, L.M. Ericsson, surprised investors as the company posted $6.5 billion in revenue and an operating income of $763 million for the quarter. “Ericsson did better than I though they would,” said Nadine Manjaro, a senior analyst with ABI Research. “Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks are still struggling from their mergers.” Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent, who rank two and three behind Ericsson, posted revenues of $4.4 billion and $5.2 billion for the quarter. However, restructuring charges hurt the bottom line for both companies. Nokia Siemens recorded a third-quarter operating loss of $1.2 million and Alcatel-Lucent reported a net loss of $51 million. … Read More

Rural providers likely losers after FCC meeting
The nation’s top wireless and high-tech companies appear poised to be big winners Nov. 4, with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin seemingly on track to secure votes that will result in further industry consolidation, create a super-size WiMAX service provider, expand Wi-Fi and reform the universal service fund and intercarrier compensation regimes. When the dust settles, the big losers likely will be small, rural and regional wireless carriers. Those entities have been scrambling to win roaming conditions on major wireless mergers and to salvage hundreds of millions of dollars in government subsidies destined to disappear in five years without a replacement mechanism to foster wireless deployment in less-populated areas of the country. Given the big money involved in the measures and their controversial nature, litigation following the Nov. 4 meeting is a virtual certainty. That will be a matter for the FCC chairman that succeeds Martin, on course to leave the agency when a new administration takes over early next year. … Read More

Moto’s slow turnaround: A difficult maneuver takes time, innovation
Turning around Motorola Inc. will be akin to making a K-turn in a stretch limo on a frontage road. You gotta downsize to a vehicle that’s easier to maneuver. Many passengers will have to get out, while new navigators are needed to ride shotgun. You risk a collision while you complete the ponderous maneuver. (Traffic and potholes are everywhere.) And you’re expecting your new vehicle to morph into two, both certified for the road. That’s a tall order, analysts said last week. The former No. 2 global handset vendor – now languishing perilously close to the bottom of the top-tier, multinational vendor list – has apparently made difficult decisions essential to forward progress. With a roadmap in hand, the presumption is that the company can return to the highway and put the pedal to the metal. … Read More

Handset OS market shares shifting
The “OS wars,” as some would have it, are alive and well – at least in the data on the various contenders’ shifting market share. “Symbian is still by far the most popular operating system for smartphones, with about 50% global market share,” said analyst Bonny Joy at Strategy Analytics. “Its share growth is slowing, however, from a peak of 64% market share in 2006 to 53% in 2008.” In Joy’s view, Symbian went “open source” to combat Android in the no-license-fee game, which should help Symbian maintain its market share. Among other things, license-free OS platforms for smartphones help operators and vendors manage costs and speed up time-to-market, Joy said. … Read More

T-Mobile USA foreign ownership dust-up ‘much ado about little or nothing’: FCC re-examination centers on small wireless carrier owned by T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless
German giant Deutsche Telekom AG’s $30 billion purchase of what is now T-Mobile USA Inc. is not at issue in the Federal Communications Commission’s re-examination of a narrow foreign-ownership issue involving a small wireless carrier jointly owned by the No. 4 cellular operator and Verizon Wireless, according to industry and government sources. The ownership situation came to light following media reports of the issue. … Read More

Sprint Nextel: ‘We may place restrictions’ on Xohm usage: T&C ‘restrictions’ cause concern
The enthusiasm surrounding Sprint Nextel Corp.’s launch of its Xohm-branded mobile WiMAX service took a bit of a hit as a Washington, D.C.-based group noted the service’s terms and conditions contains a clause that would allow Sprint Nextel to limit users’ access to certain content. Media reform group Free Press noted that Xohm’s T&Cs state Sprint Nextel “may use various tools and techniques designed to limit the bandwidth available for certain bandwidth-intensive applications or protocols, such as file sharing.” Xohm’s T&Cs also state: “To protect our network, services, or for other reasons, we may place restrictions on accessing certain data content (such as certain Web sites, applications, etc.), limit throughput or the amount of data you can transfer, or otherwise limit or terminate services.” … Read More

Rural operators, license holders unite to launch UMTS, LTE: Members to focus on rural wireless broadband
More than two dozen mobile operators and spectrum license holders have banded together to form NextGen Mobile L.L.C. The organization hopes to pool efforts to launch GSM-based, next-generation networks covering small and rural markets. The organization said 28 companies have joined what grew out of a “year-long dialog between existing mobile operators and winners of advanced wireless services and 700 MHz licenses in recent FCC auctions. All members of NextGen Mobile operate, or anticipate operating, networks based on the GSM family of technologies, including UMTS and eventually LTE.” … Read More

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