Deal puts advocates for Net Neutrality, Open Internet under Verizon control
As predicted by Verizon when it announced the deal, Verizon Communications and AOL today announced the successful completion of Verizon's tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of AOL for $50 per share in cash. As a result, AOL shares will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and AOL is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon. The sale includes AOL properties like Engadget, The Huffington Post, and Tech Crunch -- all staunch defenders of Net Neutrality and the US Federal Communication Commission's Open Internet regulation.
Auditors found over 40,000 FiOS requests in NYC still unfulfilled
Verizon is failing to build out its fiber network in New York City quickly enough, an audit by the city's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) has found. According to the audit, the carrier has not kept to a franchise agreement with the city from 2008 that required Verizon to extend its FiOS network to all households in the five boroughs by the end of June last year.
AT&T Open Internet lawsuit against FCC citing first and fifth amendments
AT&T and several trade organizations in the telecom and cable industry have publicly posted statements of issues they intend to raise as part of their lawsuits against the FCC's ruling mandating net neutrality. While the statements aren't in-depth rundowns of the arguments the organizations that oppose the ruling intend to make, they do seem rather familiar to anyone who remembers the successful Verizon lawsuit of 2012 that acted as a catalyst for the Title II reclassification for ISPs in the first place. These issues indicate AT&T and others believe the FCC's ruling on net neutrality violates the First and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, as well as the Communications Act of 1934 (as amended).
LG Lancet runs Windows Phone 8.1, includes HD Voice Calling compatibility
Verizon has unveiled LG's latest smartphone, the first running Windows Phone in a long time. An exclusive for Verizon Wireless, the budget-ranged LG Lancet is LG's first Windows Phone 8.1 device, and will have the honor of being the first Windows Phone smartphone on Verizon to be compatible with HD Voice Calling, thanks to its inclusion of Advanced Calling 1.0.
Unauthorized third-party charges cost Verizon, Sprint dearly
Sprint and Verizon have agreed to pay a fine from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for adding unwanted third-party charges to phone bills, a practice also known as "Cramming." The two carriers have agreed to pay $158 million to settle the charges, with Verizon paying the higher amount of $90 million, while Sprint will be charged $68 million.
AOL purchase provides Verizon with major online advertising, publishing business
Verizon has signed a deal to acquire AOL, the telecoms company has revealed. The purchase will see Verizon paying out $50 per share of AOL stock, a transaction estimated to be worth $4.4 billion, which the company claims will help its LTE wireless video and "over-the-top video strategy," along with helping it support Verizon's Internet of Things (IoT) platforms.
Verizon subscribers offered free 14-day trial of T-Mobile service with loaned smartphone
Following the success of the iPhone 5s Test Drive promotion from last year, T-Mobile will be offering something similar to potential customers currently subscribed to Verizon. The "Never Settle" campaign will provide Verizon customers the ability to try out the carrier's network and service, by borrowing a smartphone from T-Mobile for two weeks at no charge.
As expected, ISPs banding together under common trade group
The battle in the US court system to scuttle the new Open Internet regulation as approved by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has begun. Filed yesterday in Washington DC, trade group US Telecom has petitioned the courts on behalf of AT&T, Verizon, and a few others to block the Title II and net neutrality imposition, calling it "arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion."
Lack of emergency services in California costs Verizon dearly
Verizon is agreeing to pay a fine of $3.4 million to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over an outage of emergency 911 services in multiple states last year. While the entire outage affected over 11 million people and at least 83 emergency call centers in seven states last April, the FCC centered its investigation over a lack of communication by the carrier during the outage in California.
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile to pre-install Google Wallet on new smartphones
Google is preparing to compete more intensely against Apple Pay, by acquiring mobile payments technology from Softcard. At the same time, Google has struck a deal with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless to have Google Wallet pre-installed on sold devices, the same group of carriers who backed the Softcard payments system in the first place.
Verizon installing 400 small cells to improve San Francisco LTE coverage
Verizon subscribers in San Francisco will be seeing improvements in 4G service in some areas before the end of the year, thanks to a new project to install small cells. Typically used in high-demand locations and previously used in New York and Chicago, GigaOM reports that 400 LTE-equipped transmitters will be added to utility and light poles in the SOMA, Financial District, Market Street, and North Beach neighborhoods as part of the project, with the miniature masts said to cover a radius of 250 to 500 feet each, smaller than macro cells usually used.
Verizon wireline operations in Florida, Texas, California being sold for $10B
Verizon is raising a large amount of cash, by selling some of its wireline operations to another company for $10.54 billion. It is not the only transaction Verizon is performing, as it is leasing the rights to some of its wireless towers to a third party, bringing in another $5 billion, with the company also announcing an accelerated share-repurchase program worth $5 billion.
More Everything alterations start tomorrow, Edge discount changing
The price war between the major carriers continues, with Verizon making some data changes to its plans. While it isn't going to follow AT&T and T-Mobile in providing rollover data, it will be providing more data to More Everything plans on the lower tiers, effectively cutting costs by $10 per month, as well as introducing a number of new higher data tiers.
Suit seemingly compares Cablevision's public Wi-Fi with private routers
Cablevision Systems Corporation has filed a lawsuit in federal court for the Eastern District of New York against Verizon Communications, seeking an end to what it calls "its false, misleading and deceptive advertising claims about Wi-Fi service" related to Verizon's new 802.11ac Wi-Fi router, which has yet to see wide rollout. Cablevision's premise is that few customers would actually be in a position to achieve speeds faster than Cablevision's offerings, and it would cost them much more.
Dish Network spends $13.3B on spectrum licenses, Verizon $10.4B
The latest spectrum auction conducted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has raised $44.9 billion. Of the bidders looking to acquire what has been termed AWS-3 spectrum, the FCC revealed AT&T spent more than any other carrier or organization, using $18.2 billion to acquire almost half the total number of licenses up for grabs in the auction.
Failure to investigate issues with rural landlines costs Verizon dearly
Verizon has agreed to settle an investigation with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over complaints that it itself had failed to investigate issues with rural calls. After admitting its failure, Verizon has agreed to pay a fine of $2 million, as well as implementing a "compliance plan" which involves spending an extra $3 million on sorting out rural call completion issues.
CFO claims rollover data is not coming to Verizon price plans
Verizon will not be joining competitors AT&T and T-Mobile in providing a rollover data plan to its customers, its chief financial officer Fran Shammo has advised. The denial comes at the same time the carrier introduces updates to its prepaid plans, with a focus on providing more data and more options to add more data if required.
Loss driven by pension, benefits adjustments; revenue climbs
Verizon has released its fourth quarter and annual financial report. Total operating revenues in the fourth quarter were $33.2 billion, a 6.8 percent increase compared with the fourth quarter of 2013. Full-year 2014 operating revenues were $127.1 billion, up 5.4 percent (or $6.5 billion) compared with full-year 2013. Howeveer, even given the revenue growth, the company posted a $2.1 billion loss for the quarter, cutting its annual profit to $12 billion.
Verizon ships XLTE-ready Ellipsis Jetpack Wi-Fi hotspot
The Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspot has gone on sale in the United States. The XLTE-ready device is able to provide connectivity to Verizon's 4G LTE network for up to eight devices over Wi-Fi, with the 2.9-ounce unit also sporting a 0.9-inch OLED display to show signal strength, data usage, and remaining battery life. The Ellipsis Jetpack is priced at $150, or $1 on a two-year contract, and can be added to an existing More Everything plan for $20 per month.
Upgrade from 4Mbps definition in 2011 keeps 1Mbps upstream minimum
Over the objections of carriers and cable companies, the FCC on Friday voted to change the definition of the term "broadband" to require a minimum speed of 10 megabits (one megabit equals one-eighth of a megabyte) per second (Mbps) download speed -- an upgrade from the previous definition of 4Mbps -- while keeping the old definition's requirement of at least 1Mbps upload. Although the US is far behind many other countries in typical broadband speed (and US customers pay more for the slower speed that typical prices in many other places), AT&T and Verizon, along with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, argued that 4Mbps was sufficient for consumers.
US' leading carriers seeing increased competition from T-Mobile, Sprint
In the telecom industry, "churn" is the rate at which subscribers jump from one service to another, and it appears to be increasing with 4G cellphone subscribers during the present quarter. So much so that both AT&T and Verizon have indicated to investors that their margins may be "impacted" in Q4 by the loss of subscribers, and the promotional efforts it will take to lure them back from rivals such as T-Mobile and Sprint.
Testing taking place in areas of Manhattan, Cleveland
Verizon has started the process of expanding the bandwidth of its LTE networks, at the expense of 3G, according to a report. The carrier is apparently testing out spectrum in the 1980-1990MHz range typically used by its CDMA and 3G EV-DO networks for LTE purposes, with parts of Cleveland and Manhattan allegedly being the main locations for Verizon's 4G experimentation.
Promotion from Sprint aims to pull AT&T, Verizon subscribers away with low-cost plans
Sprint is stepping up its efforts to pull customers away from other carriers after its double data promotion ended, by offering to halve their bills instead. The aggressive promotion offers to provide customers on AT&T and Verizon a subscription at half the cost of its competitors, while still providing unlimited voice minutes, unlimited texts, and an equivalent amount of data to their old plan.
Wheeler believes lawsuits inevitable, regardless of result of discussion
US Federal Communications Commission head Tom Wheeler said that there is a specific reason why the regulatory group is taking its time with the net neutrality discussion. Speaking at a meeting on Friday, the chairman said that caution was prudent, and that the agency needs to "make sure that we understand what is going on here." Referring to Verizon, AT&T, and the other major Internet providers, he added that "the big dogs are going to sue regardless of what comes out."
Both providers have come under heavy fire for possible Wiretap Act violations
Under enormous pressure after reports showed that some wireless providers were installing "super cookies" on user's devices designed to track their online movements, AT&T has ceased the practice. The carrier released a brief statement earlier this week about how the tracking mechanism was a limited-time test, and has "been phased off" the company's wireless network. Competitor Verizon continues the practice, however, and is showing no signs of stopping.
Customers now need to pay up to $70 more to leave Verizon contracts
Verizon has changed its customer agreement, making it more expensive to leave a mobile contract early. The early termination fee (ETF) associated with ending a contract before the two-year period is up has been adjusted, forcing new customers to pay between $60 and $70 more than existing customers would be charged to leave at the same point in the term.
Verizon general counsel wants 18-year-old pro-ISP law to dictate policy
The ISP that started the entire net neutrality debate with a court win, Verizon, is threatening legal action should the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implement Title II oversight of the telecommunications industry. Following claims that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is considering a hybrid approach to net neutrality and ISP regulation, Verizon is threatening counter-suits, claiming that doing so "fairly guarantees litigation" by multiple ISPs.
Engineers working on routing HD voice calls over LTE between different carriers
Verizon and AT&T are working together to allow Voice over LTE (VoLTE) calls to function normally between mobile phone users on different carriers. Current systems allow for the high definition calls to take place between users on the same carrier, switching to current technologies when calling another phone network, but the two major carriers aim to put an end to the loss of call quality in the future.
Curved face Android Wear smartwatch gets $5 price plan on T-Mobile
Samsung's Gear S will be going on sale in the United States at the start of next month, with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon all carrying the Android Wear smartwatch. The carriers are also varying the way they host the standalone smartwatch on their network, with T-Mobile introducing a new plan specifically for wearable devices.
'Limited time promotion' sees Verizon, Netflix coexisting
Surprisingly given the public animosity between the two companies, Verizon has begun offering a year of video streaming service Netflix to some of its new customers. Customers who sign up for FiOS Internet and television bundles in the immediate vicinity of New York City are being offered the deal. Packages including a year of Netflix start at $80 a month and include a free year of Netflix.
Latest Droid iteration has flagship specifications, claimed 48-hour battery
Verizon is bringing another Droid smartphone to its network, with the introduction of the endurance-focused Droid Turbo. The Motorola-produced smartphone boasts a high battery life, with its 3,900mAh battery claimed to last for up to 48 hours of average usage from a single charge, a feature boosted by the Motorola Turbo Charger's ability to provide up to eight hours of power to the phone after just 15 minutes of charging.
Legere explains how each carrier approaches the use of the iPad SIM card
In light of the news that AT&T is locking down the Apple SIM card if used in its network, T-Mobile CEO comment on the complex relationship between carriers and the SIM. Legere issued a "tweetstorm" explaining how each of the four major carriers in the United States approaches the technology differently.
Continued growth in wireless boosting dropping wired profits
Cellular carrier Verizon today reported double-digit, year-over-year percentage growth in reported and adjusted earnings per share for the 10th time in the past 11 quarters. Verizon reported $0.89 in earnings per share in third-quarter 2014, compared with $0.78 per share in third-quarter 2013. Total revenues for the company were $21.8 billion in third-quarter 2014, up seven percent year over year.
New device payment plan to cost more if phone replaced in a year, starts October 16
Verizon's Edge program that allows customers to finance a new device, spreading the cost over the course of 20 months, is receiving some changes soon. Under the terms of the Edge program, users will now have to pay a greater portion of a phone's cost before upgrading, while the payment period is extended. The new terms are said to start on October 16.
Exclusive version of Xperia Z3 heading to Verizon alongside Sony SmartWatch 3
Two more Sony devices will be added to Verizon's mobile device roster later this month, the carrier has revealed. A repackaged version of the Xperia Z3 will be going on sale, a smartphone called the Xperia Z3v, while the company's Android Wear device, the SmartWatch 3, will also be heading to the carrier's stores in due course.
Device accidentally sent by Verizon, seller claims
A seller on eBay is auctioning what is claimed to be a functioning, 64GB iPhone 6 prototype. The person says that they were accidentally sent the device when renewing their contract with Verizon. The unit is running test software, rather than iOS 8, and lacks FCC markings or even a model number. Another point of interest is the Lightning port, which is surrounded by a red lip not present on finished iPhones.
Users will be refunded for remaining time on October 10
Redbox and Verizon's collaborative effort for online video streaming, Redbox Instant, is shutting down. October 7 marks the service's last day, with refunds issued to current customers on October 10. Any kiosk credits owed may be used before 11:59PM local time on October 7. Unaffected by the change is the actual Redbox service, which will continue as before.
Carrier drops policy on LTE data speed limits on day it was set to be implemented
Verizon had a change of heart on its implementation of "network optimization" that would result in slower 4G LTE speeds for account holders with unlimited data. Initially, the carrier announced a change in policy that was said only to impact the "top five percent" of unlimited plan users, as the company would manage their data speeds in order to optimize speeds in the area for others.
Verizon matches AT&T data promotion, Sprint increases data cap more
AT&T's recent promotional offer to double the data caps on its Mobile Share Value plans seems to have struck a nerve with other carriers. Both Verizon and Sprint have announced their own data-doubling promotions just a few days after AT&T -- and while Verizon appears to match AT&T's allowances and prices, Sprint has opted to go further, by redoubling the caps.
Stand-alone LG smartwatch rumor resurfaces in FCC listings
A rumored smartwatch from LG with a built-in SIM card is heading to Verizon, an FCC listing has revealed. A device described as a "Smartwatch + CDMA" is shown in filed documents, strongly suggesting the smartwatch will have the capability to connect to a carrier directly without requiring the use of a nearby smartphone's data connection, similar to competitor Samsung's Gear S.
Verizon release comes three days after AT&T pre-orders started shipping
Verizon Wireless customers waiting to buy the second generation of Motorola's Moto X smartphone don't need to wait very long, as the wireless company says the phone is coming tomorrow. Those wanting to customize their version of the Moto X will be happy to hear that Verizon is selling phones customized through Moto Maker in both 16GB and 32GB capacities.
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon to carry 3G-enabled Gear S
Samsung has confirmed it will be releasing the Gear S smartwatch in the United States. Launched last month, the standalone smartwatch with a curved two-inch 360x480 Super AMOLED display will be heading to AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon sometime this fall, though the manufacturer has yet to confirm exactly when it will be available.
CDMA phones unable to mix voice and data, but had higher voice quality
Beginning today, Verizon customers across the US who buy the new iPhone 6 models or one of a pair of other smartphones that support Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) will finally be able to do something AT&T has bragged about for years: simultaneously talk on the phone and use data for applications. The process will only work on a handful of phones that support VoLTE, but Verizon iPhone 6 buyers are reporting that it is on by default or easily activated in their new purchases.
United Kingdom gains Note 4 one week earlier than United States
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is being made available for pre-order in the United States tomorrow, with shipments expected to start on October 17th, though AT&T plans to ship the smartphone earlier on October 14th. In the United Kingdom, pre-orders also begin tomorrow, though the stylus-equipped phablet will be on sale from October 10th.
Verizon in discussions with content provider for online TV service
Verizon will be introducing an Internet TV service sometime in early 2015, CEO Lowell McAdam has revealed. The service, which will provide a pay-TV service over the Internet, could potentially be more flexible to its subscribers than existing cable offerings, with the CEO hinting that customers may be able to pick and choose the channels they receive.
Includes Apple, major carriers
[Updated with in-store pickup news] In the US, online preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will begin at 12:01AM Pacific time Friday morning. While Apple has yet to announce an exact hour, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon all have, and traditionally Apple has opened up preorders at the same time. Other vendors, like T-Mobile, are referencing a broad September 12 window.
Company failed to inform users of opt-out option for six years
Verizon has agreed to a $7.4 million dollar fine, payable to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a result of not informing customers that they could "opt out" of Verizon marketing efforts tailored with gleaned user information. The fine, the largest of its kind, is assessed in parallel with the requirement that the company tell customers in every mailed bill that they can prevent the company from using data for advertising and marketing purposes.
Verizon, T-Mobile upgrade support only being piloted at retail
Apple's US online store is now offering iPhone shoppers the chance to purchase a device via an AT&T Next upgrade plan, instead of just choosing a two-year contract or going unlocked. Previously, people on a Next plan had to upgrade through AT&T itself. Apple's site provides a chart illustrating the differences between the 12- and 18-month Next plans and going with a regular contract.
5s, 16GB 5c still in plentiful numbers
Verizon is deliberately letting its remaining 32GB iPhone 5c inventory run dry, a source tells AppleInsider. The carrier has allegedly "retired" the model, as it prepares for Apple to launch new iPhones next month. The Verizon online store is in fact already out of the 32GB 5c in all colors except for blue. Every 16GB model is still in stock, as are all editions of the iPhone 5s.
Verizon VoLTE service includes switching between HD Voice, video calling
Verizon Wireless is gearing up to roll out its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service over its cellular network. Its planned service will be going live over the next few weeks, with the higher-quality HD Voice calling accompanied by a simplified video calling service built directly into the phone dialer, allowing users to seamlessly switch between voice-only and video calls.