EU worried top carriers keeping prices high
Possible slips may have revealed the first stages of a possible European Commission investigation into the continent's top five carriers. The FT heard from sources that Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile), France Telecom (Orange), Telecom Italia, Telefonica (O2), and Vodafone were under scrutiny for a series of "E5" meetings on the state of the industry. Concerns existed that they had used the discussion to possibly collude on prices and policies, hurting competition.
Euro providers want Apple, more to pay for traffic
European cellular carriers have reiterated calls for content providers like Facebook and device makers like Apple to shoulder the costs of traffic on their networks. The CEO of Orange's parent company France Telecom, Stephane Richard, recapped his view at the LeWeb conference today that it was unfair carriers had to pay for investments to handle the load for the iPhone or a website but wasn't collecting any extra revenue from the traffic. Heavy data use was "good news" but has prompted questions about business models, including the decision to cap bandwidth, Richard said with Bloomberg in attendance.
Telefonica could get presence in Italy via bid
Italian newspaper la Repubblica stirred talk of a shift in the phone world on Friday with a claim that Telefonica would soon place a bid for Telecom Italia (TIM). Drawing on an online source from earlier, the daily claims Telefonica would use a holding company's share swap to take control. It would pay a 25 to 30 percent premium to provide an incentive for the deal.
HSPA+ in Italy, Germany
Ericsson on Wednesday announced it will partner with wireless provider Telecom Italia to bring wireless data speeds as fast as 28Mbps when downloading and 5.8Mbps when uploading thanks to HSPA+ technology. Milan will be the first Italian city to offer the fast speeds in June, with a nationwide rollout due for the second half of the year. At the same time, Telefónica O2 Germany has said it will launch its HSPA+ network for cellphones and computers in the second half of the year in Munich.
Verizon commits to LiMo
The LiMo Foundation on Monday announced six new wireless providers have committed to release LiMo Platform based handsets in 2009. The Linux OS-based phones will become available from Verizon Wireless, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, SK Telecom, Telefonica and Vodafone sometime in 2009. The open-source Linux operating system in the devices will be based on the latest version of the LiMo Platform.
Few Italian iPhone fans?
Italian interest in the iPhone 3G may be unusually low, early reports suggest. Although some 29 Telecom Italia stores are expected to begin selling the 3G within hours, at midnight local time on July 10th, a key TIM store in downtown Milan is said to have no lineups to speak of. Similarly, two Roman stores, including one on Via del Corso, are also said to be missing any lines. This contrasts with countries like the US, Japan and New Zealand, where long queues began forming days in advance.
Italian home activations
Italian iPhone customers will supposedly enjoy the leisure of activating their iPhone from the comforts of their own home, while a third company – 3 Italy – announced it would also sell the iPhone, come September. Macity writes that both Telecom Italia and Vodafone will not be able to activate the iPhone 3G at the store, and will instead take both the device and SIM card home to perform the activation through iTunes, similar to how the first iPhone was sold.
TIM iPhone 3G contracts
Having already announced its pre-paid plans, Telecom Italia has published the official subscription options for the iPhone 3G. The cheapest subscription, Starter, costs €30 per month and provides 1GB of data, but still requires customers to pay per minute or text message. The 250 plan (€50) upgrades to 250 minutes and 100 texts, while the 600 plan (€80) offers 600 minutes and 200 texts.
TIM iPhone plans leaked?
Telecom Italia's planned iPhone contracts have been leaked, an Italian site claims. A new memo, allegedly circulated amongst sales managers at TIM, suggests that there will be four two-year contract options beginning with the Starter, which costs €29 per month but does not have any voice or SMS messages included, and instead charges 15 cents per minute or text. More conventional plans begin with the TIM 250, which incorporates 250 minutes and 100 texts at a price of €49.
TIM reveals iPhone costs
Telecom Italia has announced some preliminary details on its two-year subscription prices for the iPhone 3G, reports say. While it has yet not disclosed the monthly cost of each plan, the iPhone itself should cost approximately €199 with an entry-level subscription; in a scheme similar to that of O2 in the UK, subscribers to high-end plans will receive the phone for free. Controversially, TIM will only say that each plan guarantees "at least" 1GB of data each month, despite the prevalence of unlimited transfers in other countries.
TIM iPhone 3G pre-pay
Telecom Italia has announced some of its first pricing options for the iPhone 3G. As opposed to most carriers, TIM subscribers will have the choice of pre-paid plans alongside contracts; the former have been announced to be €499 for an 8GB iPhone, or €569 for a 16GB model. These prices are effectively identical to Vodafone's pre-paid options, and both companies will launch on July 11th.
Carrier iPhone Dates Soon
Cellular carriers will set their individual iPhone launch dates "immediately" after Apple's expected 3G iPhone announcement on Monday, says Reuters' Italian division. A claimed source from Telecom Italia (TIM) says the provider will make a more detailed announcement of its iPhone plans no later than Monday night or Tuesday morning local time, with the go-ahead hinging largely on Apple's official announcement. Pricing and most other details are still unavailable.
iPhone Canada June Leak
The Canadian iPhone is set to be launched in June and will potentially have the least expensive data plan of any carrier announced to date, Electronista has heard. Sources from inside Rogers claim that the device should be available the same month as an expected US release of an updated, 3G-capable model rather than as part of any possible staggered launch. Pricing is still unavailable, though currency values are likely to place the cost of the phone itself closer to the eventual US figure.
Swiss national carrier Swisscom today revealed that it too will carry the iPhone, making it the fifth new European country after the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, and Portugal confirmed to be offering the device. The provider echoes previous announcements for other providers and doesn't provide specifics as to the devices or plans. The iPhone will be available "later this year," the company says.
TIM exec on 3G iPhone
The first iPhones available to Italians will indeed be 3G models, an executive for carrier Telecom Italia is said to have confirmed. Although the company announced that it would carry the iPhone last week, at the time it would only say that it had "signed an agreement with Apple to bring the iPhone in Italy within the year." Executive VP Luigi Licciardi revealed the existence of the 3G phone between sessions at the International Electronics Forum in Dubai.
Jobs' travels less
In the past, Morgan Stanley analyst Kathryn Huberty asserted that Steve Jobs' plane travel filings with the SEC are indicative of Apple product releases, since Jobs tends to travel more when signing deals with new companies. Silicon Alley Insider notes that while this is usually the case, March quarter filings show that Jobs' travel reimbursement is only $30,000 – contrasted against $550,000 in the December quarter – despite Apple sealing major international deals with cell carriers Vodafone, America Movil, and Telecom Italia.
Italian iPhone carriers
Italy will be one of the first countries in the world to support the iPhone on multiple carriers, an announcement reveals. Local carrier Telecom Italia, also known as TIM, has declared that it will also sell the device alongside Vodafone, which today uncovered its plans to sell the device in 10 countries around the world. Responding to further inquiries, TIM will only elaborate that it has "signed an agreement with Apple to bring the iPhone in Italy within the year."