Tag - Qwest
Telecom giant CenturyLink has purchased Qwest, the two companies announced on Thursday. The tax-free, stock-for-stock deal is worth nearly $10.5 billion, but burdens CenturyLink with Qwest's $11.8 billion in debt. The new company will have 17 million lines and about 6.2 million Internet, video and wireless subscribers.
Qwest announced it plans to no longer provide wireless services by October 31st, according to statements by the company (subscription required). Qwest will begin notifying its customers soon, telling them they have 60 days to find a new provider, but will not charge early termination fees for those still in mid-contract. The provider had piggybacked onto Verizon's network to provide its wireless voice services, and announced in July that more than 75 percent of its wireless business was on Verizon Wireless network by the end of the second quarter.
Confirming earlier reports, Qwest has introduced 40Mbps Internet service, nominally doubling the company's peak download speeds using VDSL2. Plans are designed around residences and small businesses, and come in two tiers. For the first 12 months, and only in tandem with a phone package, customers can pay $100 a month for an option with 5Mbps uploads. A $110 tier boosts uploads to as high as 20Mbps.
Internet provider Qwest is planning to fight off faster cable and fiber optic access with an ultra high-speed option of its own, an insider says. A source within Qwest tells BBR the company is rolling out a VDSL2 infrastructure that resembles fiber-to-the-node and would more than double existing speeds. Downstream bandwidth would be twice as fast at 40Mbps, but upload speed would jump from 896Kbps to 20Mbps on the best possible plan.
Internet provider Qwest on Thursday announced it has started offering subscribers to its high-speed Internet service no-charge access to about 17,000 Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the US. What is being touted as the country's largest Wi-Fi network, the hotspots are powered by AT&T, and Qwest subscribers can check for all the locations and log-in info at a dedicated Qwest website.
The mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) market in the US may be on the verge of collapse with Helio about to scale back or shut down entirely, according to a rumor circulated by Engadget. The provider is allegedly telling store managers that it will shut down at least some of its retail shops in possible preparation for a takeover by Virgin Mobile. No information has yet appeared to suggest that Helio is withdrawing support for the service itself.
Qwest chief Ed Mueller has confirmed that his company is in talks with AT&T to port its cellular service to the larger carrier's network. The executive validates earlier reports and raises the possibility that his company would be willing to switch its handsets from Sprint's CDMA network to AT&T's GSM-based service. The talks join already-confirmed negotiations with Verizon and will see a decision made "soon," Mueller says.
Currently limited to offering only rebranded Sprint service, Qwest today said it was mulling the possibility of a new wireless deal that would increase the company's stake in the buusiness for cellphones and wireless data. While short on details, company chief Ed Mueller explained that there was a "hole" in the company's strategy that needed to be filled but also said that Internet and video services also needed a boost.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE