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!
Clearwire tries to move to TD-LTE
Clearwire reported second quarter financial results highlighted by drastic cost-cutting measures as the carrier continues to de-emphasize its current WiMAX operations in favor of its planned roll out of TD-LTE services expected next year. These moves seemed to enthuse investors as Clearwire’s stock (CLWR) was trading up nearly 8% early Friday. Highlighting its current situation, Clearwire reported a loss of 41,000 net customers during the quarter, including 34,000 from its wholesale operations that are dominated by Sprint Nextel, which announced earlier this year plans to stop selling WiMAX-equipped devices. By comparison, Clearwire posted 1.5 million net customer additions during the second quarter of 2011, with virtually all of that growth coming from Sprint Nextel’s then strong embrace of all-things WiMAX. The move away from its WiMAX service was evident in customer churn results, which spiked from 1.3% to 3.6% across its wholesale operations, and from 3.9% to 4.4% for its direct customers. Clearwire attributed the increase in its retail operations to its growing reliance on no-contract services. Despite stagnating growth, Clearwire ended the first half of the year with nearly 11 million customers on its WiMAX network, compared with just over 7.6 million customers last year. … Read more
Clearwire aims for TD-LTE roaming with China Mobile
Clearwire continued closing ties with the world’s largest wireless operator around the TD-LTE standard, announcing today the signing of an agreement with China Mobile to provide for international TD-LTE roaming between China and the United States. The agreement, officially entitled a “non-binding memorandum of understanding,” calls for the two operators to “collaborate on business and technical aspects of their respective operations to define and institute the process necessary to support international roaming and to ensure the operators’ systems and devices are able to support roaming.” The companies added that they hope the agreement serves as a “blueprint” for future roaming agreements between members of its Global TD-LTE Initiative. The agreement builds on a previous announcement earlier this year when the two companies agreed on common test specifications and joint interoperability testing for TD-LTE across global band configurations, including the 2.3 GHz to 2.7 GHz bands. Clearwire scored support for its TD-LTE plans earlier this year when Qualcomm said it would produce a chipset supporting the carrier’s Band 41 radio frequency in the 2.5 GHz band. … Read more
Telefonica, Ruckus partner on small cells in London
Small cell technology continues to make inroads into carrier deployments as Ruckus Wireless announced today that Telefonica’s O2 operations in the United Kingdom has begun deploying its products for coverage across parts of London. Ruckus noted that the deployment uses its SmartCell 8800 products to provide free Wi-Fi to customers in parts of central London. The product includes a dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi antenna, small cell 3G/LTE radios and uses 5 GHz spectrum for wireless backhaul. The backhaul link meshes traffic over the 5 GHz band between nodes and relies on self-organization network technologies to provide line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight capabilities. Financial terms of the agreement were not mentioned. Recent reports have highlighted increased emphasis being placed on small cell technologies by wireless operators as a way to enhance network capacity in high-traffic venues. These solutions include distributed antenna systems, microcells, picocells, femtocells and Wi-Fi offload. Analysts and carriers have noted that one of the biggest challenges remaining to implementing these solutions is the ability to integrate the small cells and traffic they carry into an operators overall network scheme. … Read more
Apple plans iPhone 5 launch, ponders Apple TV
September 12 will be the launch date for the iPhone 5, according to Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, with a retail rollout later in September. iPhone loyalists have been waiting eagerly for the next iteration of Apple’s iconic device, which is widely expected to include LTE connectivity. Sales of the popular smartphone came in below analysts’ expectations last quarter, as many potential customers delayed purchases in anticipation of the new model. Other Apple (AAPL) products expected this year include a smaller iPad and a new Apple TV. The current Apple TV is a $99 box that streams content to users’ TV sets, but analysts expect the company to launch its own TV set sometime this year. Today, Apple quietly added Hulu Plus to Apple TV, meaning that those who own the set-top box now see an icon for the online pay-TV service on their home screens. They can’t watch the Olympics on Hulu Plus, but they can stream hundreds of shows from broadcast and cable networks. Apple TV already offers Netflix, Youtube, live business news, and professional baseball, basketball and hockey. Users can pay for Netflix and Hulu Plus using iTunes. Hulu is a partnership formed by Disney, Comcast and News Corp. Reports that Apple is working on its own iTV set have circulated ever since the publication of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, which said that Jobs wanted to create an Apple TV. … Read more
Industry starts move to shared data plans
That did not take long. Just weeks after Verizon Wireless rolled out its controversial shared data plans, rival and fast follower AT&T Mobility said it will have similar offerings beginning in late August. The plans will include a bucket of data that is to be shared across multiple devices, along with unlimited voice and messaging. AT&T Mobility has also picked up on the same guise used by Verizon Wireless, noting the plans will make it easier for consumers to manage their wireless services. However, unlike Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility noted that the new offerings will be merely an option for new customers, and not a requirement. The carrier also noted that current customers can select the new plans without extending their contract and that the new plans will not alter the carrier’s device upgrade policy. This last point was the main bone of contention surrounding Verizon Wireless’ move as the carrier will only allow current customers to maintain their current unlimited data package if they decline to take a device subsidy. … Read more
iOS vs. Androids for ads
The latest “State of Mobile Advertising” report from Opera Software found that business and finance generate more revenue per impression than any other publishing category. The report also shows that Apple’s iOS leads the smartphone operating system pack with an average effective cost per thousand impressions of $2.85, though it is closely followed by Google’s Android OS at $2.10. The rest of the mobile phone field is significantly behind.The report suggests operating systmes with better usability and those with features that allow more interaction between advertisements and the device’s functionality have better monetization potential than less capable and less user-friendly software. … Read more
The future is SDN
MIAMI – Software-defined networking (SDN) has been around for a while, but its future was as a hot topic during this week’s NetEvents Americas Press & Summit, held in Miami. “This time is different because the problem is very real,” noted Casey Quillin, an analyst at Dell’Oro Group. Dan Pitt, executive director at the Open Networking Foundation, said that the SDN revolution empowers people and helps service providers meet the challenges of soaring mobile usage and new application growth. It also helps respond to massive virtualized data centers and handle the demands of big data, he added. According to a Dell’Oro Group report, total SDN spending is expected to grow more than seventeen-fold to $2.5 billion by 2016. It has already expanded from $80 million in 2010 to $140 million last year. According to Quillin, SDN is the natural evolution in the construction and control of data centers to support tomorrow’s scalable data centers. SDN moves control out of each physical Ethernet switch. “This has to happen because data centers are becoming massive. When apps on servers were static, it was just about possible to reconfigure manually, but moving today’s virtual machinery effectively and at scale demands automation with part of the control plane moving out of the switch,” he said. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.
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