AT&T and Sprint to wait until end of DOJ case
Sprint and AT&T's dispute over the former company's proposed buyout of T-Mobile will be put on the backburner while the Department of Justice finishes up its investigation of the deal. The companies revealed in separate filings in a US District Court in Washington that they don't want to interfere with the government trial, which is scheduled for February 13. Both Sprint and Cellular South requested a trial date is set immediately after all the evidence is presented in the government case so their arguments can be heard before the transaction is completed.
ATT motions to dismiss Cellular South, Sprint
AT&T on Friday motioned to dismiss the lawsuits of both Sprint and Cellular South attempting to block its merger with T-Mobile. The carrier giant cited lack of standing, or that it wasn't a valid plaintiff, for claimed bias. As a carrier, it couldn't claim to "wrap itself in the cloak" of the public's interest since it had a clear competitive incentive to block the deal, AT&T said.
Supported in US by AT&T, Verizon & Cellular South
Twitter has upgraded the direct messaging capabilities for its texting service. Now, in addition to tweets, users whose service providers support MMS can attach and share videos. To send, all a user need do is enter the text of a tweet as normal, attach a photo to the message, and send it to the relevant Twitter code.
Cellular South says ATT, T-Mobile anti-competitive
Opposition to AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile galvanized Monday after Cellular South sued AT&T to stop the deal. The dispute contends that the merger would "substantially lessen competition" and put too much power in the hands of the top two US carriers, AT&T and Verizon. In a statement, it shared Sprint's view that the deal would hurt access to the best devices, hike prices, and hurt roaming deals.
Samsung Admire official for MetroPCS
MetroPCS and Cellular South have confirmed their first Android 2.3 phones. Samsung's Admire tackles the entry level with a 3.5-inch, 320x480 touchscreen and a 3.2-megapixel rear camera. Although budget, it's one of Samsungs most straightforward phones and uses the stock Google interface instead of its own TouchWiz.
FCC asks Verizon and other carriers on ATT T-Mo
The FCC on Monday sent out a request (PDF) to carriers asking them for information to help its investigation into the AT&T and T-Mobile deal. Verizon, Sprint, and regional carriers like Cellular South and US Cellular were all asked to provide responses to the deal and supporting evidence. Each got the same nine questions relating to coverage, cell site ownership, expansion, relationships with AT&T, their future spectrum plans, billing, and competitive reports.
Verizon sues FCC to stop roaming rule
Verizon on Tuesday sued the FCC to try and stop its new data roaming requirement. The carrier repeated arguments like those it has used to try and block net neutrality and argued that the FCC didn't have the authority to regulate roaming deals. It avoided a mistake it made in the neutrality case and waited until the rule was in the official register to launch its case.
ATT paying 6b break-up fee if T-Mobile deal halted
Two contacts said Thursday that AT&T's buyout of T-Mobile could be expensive even if blocked by the US government. Terms in the deal reportedly require AT&T pay T-Mobile a $6 billion breakup fee if it can't be completed. Reuters understood that, while $3 billion in cash was already public, there would still be a deal for $2 billion in spectrum and a $1 billion roaming deal.
Senate hearing catches ATT out on iPhone deal
The US Senate hearing on Wednesday tripped up AT&T in its attempts to defend its proposed buyout of T-Mobile. When asked by Senator Al Franken if AT&T chief Randall Stephenson thought the iPhone exclusive could have gone to a regional carrier over AT&T, the CEO admitted that it was "not as likely" that Apple would have gone for a smaller carrier over a large national provider like his own. He unusually insisted that the iPhone wasn't responsible for significant growth even though he had repeatedly used it as an example of how data prices had lowered due to the iPhone existing.
Sprint singles out device deals
Sprint chief Dan Hesse during his statements at the Senate hearing on the AT&T T-Mobile merger singled out device deals as a major reason to block the merger. Referring to Verizon and a post-merger AT&T as the "twin Bells," he warned that their overwhelming clout would "discourage" putting smartphones on tablets on smaller carriers. Hardware makers would want to reach the maximum audience and almost invariably skip Sprint.
First device to ship with new app portal
Celluar South has announced that it is set to ship HTC's Merge handset preloaded with Amazon's Appstore app. Although the device is already confirmed for a separate launch through Alltel, the Cellular South offering notably represents the first Android device to be paired with Amazon's app portal as a preloaded addition to the basic features.
Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi at Cellular South with MiFi
Cellular South took a different approach to the Motorola Xoom on Thursday by launching it through a unique bundle. Rather than opt for the $800 3G version, it will follow Verizon's cue with the original iPad and optionally bundle the Wi-Fi Xoom with a free MiFi 2200. The deal lets users get online with as many as five devices, none of which have to be the Android 3.0 tablet.
China Telecom talking to Apple, Qualcomm on iPhone
A Deutsche Bank analyst fueled further talk of a CDMA iPhone with word of a possible China Telecom deal in a research note reported today. "Intensive" supplier checks purportedly showed that the second-largest Chinese carrier was talking not only to Apple but to the CDMA chipset supplier, Qualcomm, to guarantee a deal, according to the South China Morning Post's copy of the note. It wasn't said how close a deal might be or whether there would be any changes to the rumored American design.
Mesmerize and Showcase headed to new carriers
US Cellular and Cellular South are the latest carriers to announce Galaxy S-series handsets in their respective smartphone offerings. US Cellular is set to get the Mesmerize variant, while Cellular South customers will be able to purchase the Showcase model.
Motorola Milestone arrives at Cellular South
Cellular South on Wednesday announced it has added the Motorola Milestone to its smartphone lineup. Like its cousin the Droid, it has both a hardware QWERTY keyboard and a 3.7-inch, 854x480 touchscreen. The handset ships with Android 2.1.
Cellular South to get HTC Desire smartphone
Wireless provider Cellular South on Wednesday confirmed itself as the first to carry the flagship HTC Desire smartphone in the US. The second Android phone at the carrier after the Hero, it will kick off the introduction of other, unnamed Android-based smartphones from the carrier in 2010.
Kyocera returns to smartphones with Android
Kyocera held the unexpected in store today with word that it's launching its first Android phone. The Zio M6000 is not only its first phone using the Google OS but its first smartphone in several years, and promises to catch the company up in features. It centers on a 3.5-inch, 800x480 touchscreen with trackball and should run at least Android 2.0.
HTC Hero models get most Legend features
Alongside new phones, HTC today also said it would upgrade the Hero and its Verizon sibling, the Droid Eris, to Android 2.1. It should bring all the core features of Google's OS, including the HTML5 web browser, and should also upgrade HTC's own Sense UI. Among other changes, this should bring a consolidated social network feed known as Friend Stream that pools Facebook, Flickr and Twitter updates together.
Cellular South says CTIA favors incumbents
US regional carrier Cellular South today quit the phone industry's CTIA group over claims of unfair bias in its treatment. In the departure, the provider's strategic relations VP Eric Graham accused the organization of almost always siding with its largest members, AT&T and Verizon, on issues like exclusive access to phones, data roaming costs and how to assign wireless spectrum.
Qualcomm's Lauer would mark sea change
Verizon may soon undergo a significant transformation if speculative reports carry weight. Qualcomm Chief Operating Officer Len Lauer left his phone chipset maker late last week to become CEO at "another company" which it declined to name and has led to speculation that he will replace Verizon chief Ivan Seidenberg. Lauer had a background in phone carriers before taking on a role at Qualcomm and has been a key supplier of parts for the phones Verizon uses.
HTC's current iPhone rival tested
HTC's Hero is the company's first signal that it's serious about taking the lead in Android smartphones; it's the first to try and improve in a significant way on Google's platform -- including multi-touch and in-browser Flash -- as well as the first to reach multiple North American carriers. Much is riding on its success, especially as it's one of the most important phones for Sprint, Telus and Verizon (through the Droid Eris) all at once. Our HTC Hero review hopes to gauge whether the phone has the strength to carry that burden and give the iPhone serious pause.
Droid Eris may undercut Sprint's Hero
The Droid Eris could cost almost half as much as the Hero at Sprint when it goes on sale, a source says today. The "very trustworthy" insider tells gdgt that the HTC Android phone should cost $99 (likely $100) on a Verizon contract when it ships November 6th. The price compares roughly to the Hero at Cellular South but is much lower than Sprint's $180 asking cost for the same phone.
HTC Hero coming to AT&T with Flash support?
A Tuesday PhoneArena report maintains wireless provider AT&T will begin offering the HTC Hero early in 2010. This information reportedly comes from a tipster's friend who is developing firmware for the device. It remains to be seen whether the AT&T version will be styled differently from the reference GSM version.
Cell South lowers Hero price and adds plan
Cellular South began taking pre-orders for the HTC Hero along with a pair of moves to draw attention to its launch. The phone itself will cost just over half of Sprint's price at $100 versus the larger carrier's $180. Both Android device versions have the same features, including HTC's Sense UI, a 5-megapixel camera, 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi.
HTC Hero launches at Cellular South
Google's Android platform reached its first smaller US carrier on Monday night with adding the HTC Hero to its lineup. The smartphone is very close close to the Sprint version with the same "chinless" design, CDMA/EVDO support and Sense UI but will make Sprxmobile's Layar augmented reality point-of-interest app a highlighted download. In hardware, the 5-megapixel camera, GPS, Wi-Fi and 3.5mm headphone jack carry over.
Android at Cellular South
Wireless provider Cellular South on Tuesday announced it will offer an as-yet unnamed Android handset in its lineup sometime this year. The carrier is short on details but justifies the move by arguing that the open-source operating system is seen to be growing by industry experts. Cellular South plans special treatment for the device and expects to give customers help online and in shops.
Verizon Limits Exclusivity
Verizon on Friday told US federal officials that it would voluntarily limit the duration of its exclusivity deals for phones to six months, albeit with limits. The terms will let any carrier with 500,000 or fewer subscribers pick up a phone regardless of the manufacturer. The carrier argues that it can't drop exclusivity altogether as this gives it a competitive edge and spurs on the phone manufacturers themselves.
Cellular South netbook
Wireless provider Cellular South on Wednesday announced it will soon sell its own subsidized 3G-capable netbook, the 10.1-inch Dell Inspiron Mini 10. Its version, like that for AT&T, holds an internal 3G modem that supplies long-range data access wherever the carrier has coverage. As a CDMA carrier, though, Cellular South will use EVDO instead of HSPA.
Cellular South gets 8230
Wireless provider Cellular South on Friday is the latest to offer the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 smartphone to its lineup of handsets. The provider will offer the handset in pink and black, which has the same specs as other Flip 8230s, including a 2-megapixel camera, 240x320 pixel LCD internal display in addition to an external display, and a SureType QWERTY keyboard.