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!
T-Mo, Tappy and the case against Huawei
A jury has awarded T-Mobile US $4.8 million in a lawsuit against Huawei Devices that accused the Huawei subsidiary of stealing information about a device testing robot which T-Mobile US had developed in order to improve handset quality. The trade secrets conflict over the robot ultimately led to T-Mobile US dismantling its device supplier relationship with Huawei. The suit was filed by T-Mobile US in 2014 in U.S. District Court in Washington state. T-Mobile US said it had developed a device testing robot that was “easily adaptable to test any handset at minimal cost and with little training or labor needed”. “Tappy”, as the robot was nicknamed, “[performed]touches on the phone the same way a human being would – only much more frequently in a shorter period of time – and [recorded]the results. Simple in concept, but difficult in execution, the robot has reduced the costs of testing and increased the quality of the diagnostic results. Since implementing testing using the robot, phone returns for T-Mobile have declined significantly and testing time has decreased dramatically,” T-Mobile US said in its original filing. According to the complaint, T-Mobile US had put multiple non-disclosure agreements and security procedures in place so that information about the testing robot at the company’s labs in Bellevue, Wash., was protected. T-Mobile US said that it banned one Huawei employee from the lab after he took unauthorized pictures of the robot, and that a second Huawei employee took Tappy’s robotic finger in order to make measurements and pass details about it on to colleagues in China. T-Mobile US said that Huawei’s actions cost T-Mobile tens of millions of dollars because it scuttled the supplier agreement, and hat Huawei was going to reap hundreds of millions of dollars in benefit from having a testing robot comparable to Tappy. … Read more
T-Mo/Sprint merger in the rumor mill
The rumor mill is working hard. The question is, will Sprint and T-Mobile U.S. finally get together and merge? No one knows. Not even Sprint and T-Mobile. First, they have to decide yes or no. If yes, then the U.S. government has to approve the deal. So, what are the chances of this merger actually taking place? Chances are better today than a few short years ago. Why? The wireless marketplace is different from a few years ago when Sprint and T-Mobile last tried to get together. Today, the wireless space is growing and changing. Plus, today there is a different leadership and attitude in Washington D.C. This does not mean a merger is a certainty. However, things are different today and that means anything is possible. Let’s take a look at what’s different this time around.First, the wireless industry has continued to grow and to change. It is a different place than just a few years ago in many ways. Example: today the wireless industry is splitting into two different spaces. … Read more
Apple puts millimeter wave to the test
Wireless operators, network infrastructure vendors and cable companies are all testing various forms of as-yet unstandardized 5G technologies. And, now, technology giant Apple, based on a recent filing with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, is getting into the mix. Based on the application, Apple will conduct its testing in high-band frequencies ranging from 27.5 GHz to 28.35 GHz and 38.6 GHz to 40 GHz. The experimental link will span about 10 miles between facilities in Cupertino and Milpitas, California. A lot of these 5G-related testing applications list familiar vendor names like Nokia and Ericsson. What stands out in the Apple application is that the company is working with equipment manufactured by Rohde & Schwarz, a major test and measurement firm, and companies Analog Devices and A.H. Systems. … Read more
Telstra goes solar
Australian telecommunications company Telstra is protecting itself from rising energy prices by committing to a long-term corporate power purchase agreement with renewable energy producer RES Group and supporting the construction of a new, 70-megawatt solar farm.Telstra is funding the new solar farm to the tune of AU$100 million (about US$74 million). Telstra is one of the largest energy users in Australia and the solar energy project will help provide it with “long term energy security to mitigate the risk of energy price volatility,” according to RES Group. The Australian power market has been volatile and seen significant price spikes since the carbon tax in that country was lifted in 2014, with prices reportedly doubling according to recent analysis. “Energy is no different to say currency or interest rates, and whether it’s Telstra or other corporates, it’s not unreasonable to think corporates should be taking more responsibility and control over managing that risk,” Ben Burge, Telstra’s executive director of energy, told The Australian. “There is an opportunity here available to corporates, for them to take control rather than simply calling on others to fix the problem.” … Read more
Red Bull gives you wings; AT&T gives Red Bull connectivity
Red Bull has extended its partnership with AT&T and will connect up to 1 million coolers to the AT&T network. Each time a customer opens and closes the door of a connected cooler, an embedded monitor will collect the data, which will be sent at regular intervals to the cloud via an AT&T SIM card. The coolers will use Bluetooth for on-premise connections, and will connect to AT&T’s 3G and/or LTE network in the U.S., and to 2G cellular networks in some other parts of the world. Coolers will update retail stores on their temperature status so that workers do not have to manually check the coolers. Workers will also get an alert when a cooler needs to be restocked. The connected cooler solution, developed at the AT&T Foundry, leverages the carrier’s Flow and M2X IoT platforms to process data in the cloud. AT&T said it developed the solution in close collaboration with Red Bull. … Read more
Sprint’s Claure heads to Softbank board
Sprint President and CEO Marcelo Claure has been nominated to join the board of directors of Sprint’s parent company, SoftBank. SoftBank is nominating five new directors in what seems to be a shift toward a more international focus for the company. The nominated directors include the heads of Japanese company SoftBank’s strategic overseas units, including Claure and Simon Segars, CEO of ARM Holdings. A third nominee is Rajeev Misra, CEO of Softbank Investment Advisers, who is heading up the investment efforts of SoftBank’s enormous Vision Fund — which reported its first close of funding, to the tune of $93 billion, earlier this week. That figure makes the Vision Fund the largest private equity fund in the world, according to Business Insider. In addition, SoftBank nominated Mark Schwartz, senior director at Goldman Sachs; and Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan, managing director of board member of the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as external directors of the SoftBank board. … Read more
Net neutrality repeal in play
ORLANDO–As the Republican majority on the U.S. Federal Communications Commission looks to dismantle net neutrality regulations shepherded through by former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler under the administration of former President Barack Obama, Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, the lone Democrat on the regulatory body, continued to make the case for preserving open internet rules during the Wireless Infrastructure Show. Clyburn, in a plenary session during the Wireless Infrastructure Association’s annual event, described a recent trip Los Angeles’s Skid Row neighborhood, a portion of downtown LA that’s home to one of the largest static populations of homeless people. “I took a visit a couple of weeks ago to Skid Row in Los Angeles,” she said. “There’s some very bright people there, but life has not been so kind. One person said to me if they did not have the internet, if they did not have an email address, they would have no address at all. I bring that up to show how important connectivity is. I believe we all benefit when there’s an open platform. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I hope it will be one where those underlying principles of free…open internet will remain. I’m hoping cooler heads will prevail and we get to a place where the American people will continue to benefit from all the opportunities of an open platform, a free platform, an inclusive platform.” Earlier this month the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals declined to review its decision upholding open internet rules, citing the fact that the FCC has announced plans to repeal the rules. Led by Chairman Ajit Pai, who was elevated to the leadership role by President Donald Trump, the FCC is in the midst of preparing a notice of proposed rulemaking that will explain how it wants to eliminate net neutrality laws. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.