YOU ARE AT:Archived Articles#TBT: Verizon on Stranger Tides; BlackBerry goes Bold; Amazon tablet rumors ......

#TBT: Verizon on Stranger Tides; BlackBerry goes Bold; Amazon tablet rumors … this week in 2011

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!

Verizon plumbs Stranger Tides …

Verizon Wireless has a new exclusive for its Android-device toting customers. Coinciding with the upcoming theatrical debut of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” the carrier is now offering The Pirate Discovery App, the official mobile app for the film. The app has exclusive content from the Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ release, including character stills, bios and movie artwork. Following the film’s release in theaters, the app will pull up local show times and allow users to send posts to their Facebook and Twitter accounts. On May 7 beginning at approximately 8:45 p.m. PST, the app will stream live from film’s the world premiere in Anaheim, Calif. Additionally, from May 17 to June 14, Verizon Wireless customers will have access to Disney’s mobile game for Android devices, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Master of the Seas,” where users can create virtual pirates, customize ships, embark on quests and engaged in simulated battles. … Read more

… while RFID concerns itself with plumbing

A French company is using RFID technology to avoid accidentally cutting water mains and doing routine maintenance on water pipes. RYB said it worked with the French Technology Laboratory of Research CEA-Leti to develop the technology solution. “By nature, plastic pipes are inert and difficult to detect once they are installed. Only topographical mapping situate them. But urban environment evolves, making difficult to get a fast, accurate and comprehensive vision of the subsoil,” the company said in a press release. “Localization techniques are complex and difficult to perform in the field. Thus, each year thousands of water pipes are accidentally cut, with an important impact on the networks.” The companies said they developed a new generation of RFID technology that can detect up to 1.5 meters underground and provide accuracy within a few centimeters. The technology also works in a harsh environment, including being submerged under water; offers instant feedback; and stores information about the pipe, including manufacturing date and serial number. … Read more

Using network data to keep customers

Wireless operators need to start leveraging the data they have on customers to give end users a meaningful experience, and thus drive the lifetime value of the customer instead of focusing on short-term promotions, said Glenn Pingul, VP of Products & Mobile Strategies at Globys, which provides contextual marketing, billing and analytics to telecom operators worldwide.
As penetration levels get near or past 100%, Pingul said operators have to end their dependency on gross additions because there aren’t going to be that many more. Instead, operators need to find out the best ways to treat their $30 average revenue per user customers and their $100 ARPU customers. Providing flexibility to end users is “The days of trying to outpace churn with new gross adds is over.” Operators need to stimulate data usage and sell their customers the right data plans. For example, providing billing estimates to customers is an easy to way to connect with customers and help them to manage their experience so they appreciate the operator instead of feeling betrayed by an operator after an unexpected high monthly bill. … Read more

BlackBerry goes Bold

Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM) used BlackBerry World 2011 to unveil two powerful new BlackBerry Bold smartphones on Monday, sporting a touchscreen and a 1.2 GHz processor. RIM hopes the move will bring its phones up to date with its competitors’ smartphone offerings and keep the Bold line relevant in the eyes of business users who have been flocking to iPhones and Android devices over the past few years. The new Bold comes in two flavors, the 9900 (GSM) and 9930 (CDMA) and both are a far cry from the old Blackberry 857 released back in 2002. … Read more

Amazon tablet rumors

It’s been fairly obvious for a while that Amazon is planning to release a fully-fledged tablet. Having already got their hardware feet well and truly wet with the Kindle, the online retail giant has been slowly putting the building blocks in place for their own tablet ecosystem built atop Android. Now rumours are beginning to circle that they have tapped giant OEM Quanta to build the device, to be released later this year. A few weeks ago we saw the launch of the Amazon Appstore, an iTunes-style curated app outlet for Android, and shortly afterwards the surprise launch of Amazon Cloud Player, a music locker much like the Google Music service being built for Android. With their Kindle eBooks platforms already very much established, Amazon has already covered many of the bases required to be competitive in the tablet market – and more than that, are already ahead of the competition on some. Kindle is the de facto standard in eBook publishing and distribution, with competitors such as Apple’s iBooks, Google Books and Barnes & Noble’s Nook barely a blip on the radar. Amazon’s music service is one of the largest players outside the Apple ecosystem, so much so that Google installed their app on early Android devices to address the lack of an iTunes-style music store. Let’s not forget Amazon have a not-insignificant video streaming business too, which would doubtlessly appear on any own-brand tablet offering. … Read more

Clearwire spurns wireless backhaul from FiberTower

Wireless backhaul provider FiberTower Corp. (FTWR) said it received its second early termination notice from Clearwire Corp. (CLWR) to discontinue service effective April 30, 2011. The termination represents approximately $434,000 in monthly service revenue, though FiberTower noted that the early termination fee for the discontinued service would be approximately $1.9 million payable immediately. FiberTower noted that despite the termination, Clearwire is maintaining services accounting for approximately $80,000 in monthly revenues, or about 16% of the total service revenue that had been billed to Clearwire on a monthly basis. FiberTower added that it had previously adjusted its 2011 operating and capital plans in anticipation of the event and that it believes “it has sufficient liquidity to support its business through 2011 and remains focused on prudent management of its cash balance and capital outlays, and continues to explore alternatives to position the company to participate on a larger scale in the growth of wireless backhaul.” … Read more

Apple takes a bigger bite of the smartphone market

Apple Inc. (AAPL) made slight gains in market share last quarter, however more remarkably, it’s earning $1 out of every $2 in operating profits raked in by the eight largest device makers in the industry. While the iPhone maker increased its global mobile handset market share to 4.9% from 3.9% in the previous quarter, it also netted gains in the smartphone market where it grabbed 18.6%, up from 16.2% in the previous quarter, according to new research by Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley.
Apple’s overall share of operating profit jumped from 43% in Q4 to 50% in Q1. By contrast, Research In Motion Ltd.’s (RIM) share of operating profit stayed flat at 16%, Walkley notes. “While most of this share came from Nokia, we anticipate Apple will continue to gain share from Nokia and RIM during their smartphone OS transitions,” he wrote to clients, according to numerous reports. Apple began with just 4% of industry operating profits in 2007, climbing to 14% in 2008, 31% in 2009 and 41% in 2010. … Read more

Nokia offers gaming for the Birds

Birds of a feather stick together, and so it should come as no surprise that Finnish phone maker Nokia has recruited compatriots Rovio – makers of the infamous Angry Birds – to help it out when it comes to enabling near-field communications (NFC) for Symbian devices. Nokia has had a tough time in terms of software, so as the mobile world abounds with chatter on the potential for near-field communications capability, it’s no wonder the firm has called in the Mighty Eagle itself to help it catch up with its competitors.Rovio is currently working on an NFC-enabled version of its hit game, called Angry Birds Magic, adding 20 new levels of addiction for fans. Apparently only five of these new levels will be open from the beginning, and in order to unlock the rest, users will have to find other players with NFC capable phones, tap the devices together and acquire the rest. … Read more

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


Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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