Sprint unveiled its spectrum-infused LTE Plus service in NYC and other markets, while Verizon wireline workers begin strike … 1 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!
Sprint LTE Plus network takes on New York City, 190 other markets
Sprint said its spectrum-infused “LTE Plus” service has expanded to 191 markets, including new availability in New York City. The network, which has gone under various names before being dubbed LTE Plus last November, aggregates Sprint’s spectrum holdings in the 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz bands to bolster coverage and capacity. Sprint claims the spectrum cocktail contributes to peak network speeds in excess of 100 megabits per second, better reliability due to the use of the three spectrum bands and hardware enhancements in the form of smart antenna technology designed to extend the cell signal for the coverage challenged 2.5 GHz band. Customers must have a device compatible with the various bands in order to see the full network benefits, but that selection has steadily grown including Apple’s latest iPhone products and Samsung’s latest Galaxy smartphones. … Read more
Verizon strike starts; workers plan rallies
After 10 months of negotiations for a new employment contract, some 36,000 Verizon unionized workers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions walked off the job at 6 a.m. this morning making good on strike threats. The employees involved work on both the wireless and wireline sides of the business and are repped by the Communication Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. … Read more
Following Mavenir purchase, Mitel buys Polycom for $1.96 billion
Mitel announced April 15 it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to purchase video and voice conferencing firm Polycom for $1.96 billion in a cash and stock deal. In April 2015, Mitel acquired Mavenir Systems, which provides converged IP communications systems for enterprises, service providers and mobile operators. … Read more
Building on fiber presence, Google eyeing citywide Wi-Fi in KC
Google Fiber brought is 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-home network live in Kansas City, Mo., in its first step toward delivering high-quality, affordable fiber-based service in select metros around the country. Now, Google has received permission to deploy an experimental Wi-Fi network in the city. There aren’t many details available, but the Kansas City Star reports that City Council members voted 11-2 last week to give the technology giant access to city light poles for antenna placement. … Read more
Sprint and affiliate Shentel talk spectrum, network plans
In the ongoing machinations of a pending merger between Sprint affiliates Ntelos and Shentel, a new FCC filing sheds some light on the spectrum and network plans the three carriers are considering. The deal will combine a pair of Sprint network affiliates that has led to a new agreement between Shenandoah and Sprint. … Read more
Verizon CEO to Senator Sanders: Feel ‘the Bern of reality’
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), in his ongoing bid for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, has made calling out what he sees as corporate greed a centerpiece of his campaign. Sanders has even put together a list of “top 10 corporate tax avoiders,” which includes Verizon. Sanders sympathizes with unionized Verizon workers who began a strike on Wednesday following 10 months of contract negotiations; he popped up at a picket line in Buffalo, N.Y., and spoke to workers who have also pointed to Verizon’s greed in dealing with employees. … Read more
Sprint stock makes run on Claure Twitter post
Sprint’s stock price made a late-day push Thursday following a Twitter post from CEO Marcelo Claure seeming to indicate the carrier may surprise analysts with its upcoming quarterly results. Claure tweeted “Hmm ??” to a story that sourced Wells Fargo Securities in predicting T-Mobile US was set to score all of the industry’s postpaid smartphone growth for the first three months of the year. That Wells Fargo Securities report predicted T-Mobile US would add 960,000 postpaid net additions for Q1, including 768,000 net “handset” additions. In contrast, the report expects AT&T Mobility to post approximately 250,000 postpaid net additions dominated by tablets; Verizon Wireless to post approximately 120,000 net postpaid “phone” losses for the quarter; and Sprint to lose approximately 75,000 net postpaid phone connections. Postpaid smartphone connections are considered the most lucrative in terms of average revenue per user. Other firms expect Sprint to come in around even in terms of postpaid phone connection growth for the quarter. … Read more
FirstNet does not expect any further RFP deadline extensions
The First Responder Network Authority said it remains on track in announcing partners by the end of the year to build out its planned public safety mobile broadband network, despite a recent move to extend the deadline for request for proposal submissions. Speaking at this week’s Competitive Carriers Association Mobile Carriers Show in Nashville, Tennessee, FirstNet President TJ Kennedy speaking during a keynote address said he did not expect to grant any further extensions than the one announced earlier this month allowing for submissions up to May 31. The latest move followed previous extensions from the original April 29 and later May 13 deadline. … Read more
Sprint CEO apologizes for video spot throwing shade at T-Mo
Sprint created a bit of controversy this week when the company posted a video online, recorded during one of CEO Marcelo Claure’s “listening tour” stops, in which a woman refers to chief Sprint competitor T-Mobile U.S. as “ghetto.” In the video, which Sprint has since taken offline, Claure prompts the woman: “I’m gonna tell you a carrier name and I want you to basically tell me what comes to your mind. When I say T-Mobile to you, just a couple of words.” … Read more
Verizon to drop $300 million on Boston fiber build
In a somewhat surprising move, Verizon announced this week it would invest $300 million to deploy a fiber-based network in Boston, Massachusetts, meant to set the stage for future smart city initiatives as well as 5G mobile services. Why’s that surprising in a period when existing service providers like Verizon and AT&T, alongside startup network operators like Google Fiber, are bringing fiber networks to metropolitan areas around the country? Well, it’s surprising because the announcement comes as 36,000 wireless and wireline employees in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic went on strike based on, among other issues, the allegation that Verizon is shifting emphasis from wired network services over to more lucrative mobile. … Read more
Check out RCR Wireless News’ Archives for more stories from the past.