Nest updates Learning Thermostat to be more accurate, efficient
Nest has started to roll out an update for its Learning Thermostat that promises to make the heat management device more useful. Arriving to all generations of the thermostat over the next few weeks, the update will in theory help heat the home closer to the temperature set by the user, as well as improving the efficiency of multi-stage heating systems, along with changes to the Time-to-Temperature, Early-On, and Heat Pump Balance functions to make them more precise.
Verizon receives FCC waiver allowing Wi-Fi calling
Verizon has become the latest carrier to be provided an FCC waiver, allowing it to offer subscribers Wi-Fi calling. Following after AT&T, Verizon received its waiver after petitioning the FCC, asking for permission to use Real-Time-Text (RTT) as an alternative to the required Teletypewriter (TTY) system used to allow people with hearing impediments to make calls, a technology apparently ill-suited for IP-based telephony.
AT&T FCC request prompts similar action from Verizon
Verizon has made a request to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow it to waive certain requirements for the carrier's own Wi-Fi calling service. Following after AT&T's own request to the FCC earlier this month, Verizon has asked for permission to bend the rules regarding Teletypewriter (TTY) support, to allow it to use an alternative system while still providing Wi-Fi calls to its subscribers.
Report claims Comcast told Verizon it intends to resell wireless service
Comcast subscribers may find their service will extend away from their home network, with a report claiming the cable company is looking to move into providing cellular services to its users. It is alleged Comcast has advised Verizon it will be reselling part of the carrier's wireless service to its customers under a 2012 spectrum deal, with the supposed new service potentially being offered to Comcast customers by this time next year.
Verizon subscribers get more prepaid data plan options for tablets
Verizon is giving customers who use their LTE-equipped tablets and other devices sparingly more options for connecting to the wireless network, with a collection of five new prepaid data plans. At the same time, it has been revealed the carrier is going to be increasing the cost of its grandfathered unlimited data plans, with customers expected to pay an extra $20 per month on their subscription starting from November 15.
Carrier offers annual iPhone upgrade plan following T-Mobile, Sprint launches
Verizon is giving its customers a way to upgrade to the latest iPhone every year, following other recent iPhone 6s-related announcements by T-Mobile and Sprint. The carrier has revealed a plan using its existing Device Payment scheme that would let its subscribers turn in their iPhone and upgrade to the latest model, so long as they have paid off at least 50 percent of the cost of the original device before the upgrade.
Sprint adds 33 more countries to Open World roaming service
Sprint has expanded its Open World roaming scheme to cover 33 more countries. First introduced in August, the scheme now offers free texting, discounted calls from $0.20 per minute, and high-speed data for $30 per gigabyte in more than 50 countries. The new list of countries included in Open World include France, Barbados, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Gibraltar, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Tonga, with customers able to add it to their service for free via the Sprint website or their local store.
Carriers aim to launch 250 Best Buy stores-within-stores by end of this year
Verizon and AT&T are going to make things easier for new subscribers to sign up for their services, by having their own store-within-a-store at a number of Best Buy retail locations. Both carriers are aiming to open the miniature "experience stores" in 250 locations across the United States by the end of this year, with some Best Buy stores hosting both carriers at the same time, with Verizon planning to open up 100 of the stores later this month.
Verizon rebrands Netgear LTE hotspot, supports up to 15 devices on Wi-Fi
Verizon has introduced a new mobile device, shortly after bringing out a new tier of service for its subscribers. The Netgear AirCard 791S Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot is being made available under the name Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, while the updated service plans the carrier launched early last month is increasing from a choice of four to five, with the addition of a new top-tier plan offering more data at a higher monthly cost.
Overseas developments to be adapted for US frequencies, bandwidth requirements
Verizon, the first company to introduce "4G" LTE wireless network technology about six years ago, has unveiled preliminary details of a test program of 5G wireless networks in the US. By working closely with key partners, Verizon aims to launch field technology trials next year.
Deal awaiting state regulatory board approvals to proceed
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved Frontier Communications' acquisition of Verizon's wireline, broadband and video operations, including the FiOS network, in California, Florida and Texas. The company is currently also seeking approval from the California Public Utilities Commission and the Public Utilities Commission of Texas, and has received Hart-Scott-Rodino federal antitrust clearance.
New program allows customers to check if unlocked phones will work on Verizon
Verizon is making it easier for potential subscribers to join its network with their own hardware, by starting a program to activate specific unlocked mobile devices compatible with its network. Starting from this week, the carrier will now allow unlocked iPhones and other devices to be activated on its network, with a dedicated webpage allowing for customers to check that their device is eligible for activation.
New protocol can boost network speed up to 10Gbps soon
Verizon has successfully completed a test of a new technology on its fiber-to-the-premises network, that in the future could provide businesses and consumers with upload and download Internet speeds of up to 10Gbps, and the potential to increase this speed even further. Verizon will issue a request for proposals later this year for the purchase of hardware and software required to build out the network for the enhanced speeds demonstrated by the recent testing.
New simplified Verizon sharing plans offer just four data allowance tiers
Verizon Wireless is overhauling its price plans, in a bid to be clearer to customers. Starting from August 13, the carrier is changing how it charges for its wireless service, separating out the data and charging per connected line, and requiring customers of the new price plans to also acquire a device in a separate payment plan, a scheme that bears some resemblance to competitor T-Mobile's plans.
Verizon offers FiOS customers access to HBO Now
Verizon has started to sell HBO's standalone streaming service, HBO Now, to its FiOS broadband customers. Following the lapsing of Apple's exclusivity period, Verizon is providing a 30-day free trial of the $15 service, which provides access to currently-broadcast programming as well as HBO's on-demand archive. Verizon Wireless customers won't be missing out for long, as HBO will apparently be included in Verizon's in-development Go90 Internet TV service.
Healthcare, pension cuts at heart of the labor debate
Verizon wireline workers, including telephone, cable, and FiOS service workers, have voted to strike along the east coast of the US, should the union see the need during the ongoing contract negotiation. Over 86 percent of the 39,000-strong workforce agreed to the strike, which could come as soon as August 1, the day the existing contract expires.
Customer retention percentages, growth eclipse T-Mobile's
Reporting second-quarter 2015 results today, Verizon announced double-digit percentage growth in year-over-year quarterly earnings. More importantly, the company posted 1.1 million net retail postpaid connections added with customer "churn," or turnover, of 0.90 percent -- the lowest in three years. Additionally, the wireless division of the company now has 109.5 million total retail connections, with 103.7 million total retail postpaid connections.
Compact 720p ZTE Spro 2 projector can provide Internet access to ten devices
ZTE has started shipping a combined projector and hotspot in the United States. The ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector follows on from last year's Sprint LivePro, also produced by ZTE, with the device being able to project a 720p-resolution image to a screen as large as 120 inches diagonally at 200 lumens, complete with autofocus and auto keystone correction.
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.