Wednesday, March 23, 2011

RIM was "Blindsided" by Apple I-Phone

I know I've had a LOT of posts about wireless lately but to be fair, there has been a great deal of news.

That brings me to this interesting story from V2M(vision2mobile). They site a report from Thompson Routers that says "Research In Motion was “blindsided" by the launch of the original iPhone, possibly the beginning of a downward spiral that completely eroded its huge market share advantage in less than four years."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Verizon Says it doesn't want Sprint

The ink is barely dry on the AT&T/T-Mobile acquisition, and people are already abuzz about a possible purchase of Sprint by Verizon Wireless. But don't go purchasing Sprint stock just yet; Reuters is reporting that VZ's CEO, Daniel Mead, says he has "no interest" in a deal with Sprint.

"The CEO said the company did not want to be distracted from its goal of being the most profitable U.S. wireless operator... 'We're not interested in Sprint. We don't need them,' said Mead, speaking to Reuters ahead of the CTIA Wireless Conference."

When asked his thoughts about the AT&T/T-Mobile deal, he said that he would not oppose AT&T's plans to buy Deutsche Telekom's (DTEGn.DE) T-Mobile USA for $39 billion.

Reuters: Verizon Wireless CEO says no interest in Sprint deal

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

AT&T to Cap Data for Customers

AT&T (NYSE:T) has announced it will cap data usage for its U-verse customers to 250 Gbs per month, starting in May. That may seem like a lot (it is), but it is a cap.

Even though fewer than 2% will be affected (according to the carrier), customers still won't like it. Some possible issues:

  • 1) Slippery slope - 250 Gbs today, may be 200 tomorrow, and 150 the next.
  • 2) Precedent - as AT&T goes, so goes Cox, Comcast, Time Warner, etc.

According to Jim O'Neill at FierceIPTV,

"Operators have been reluctant to roll out caps, or even tiered data plans, worried that to do so would further accelerate churn among subscribers. There are few things consumers like to hear better than "unlimited" when it comes to Internet usage, and when you take that away, even when it doesn't have an immediate impact, you can be sure more than a few of them will take a little more interest in their bills".

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

RUMOR MILL: T-Mobile & Sprint in Merger Talks

So here's the latest: According to Bloomberg, there is a rumor that Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and Deutsche Telekom have been in talks to merge T-Mobile USA with Sprint. The deal would give T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom a major stake in the new company.

This is not a new rumor, but it leaves lots of questions/reasons that make me doubt it:

1) Sprint has been rumored to be sold, or merged, for YEARS. Ever since the company fought off the MCI buyout (we're talking 2000 here) the stock price has been artificially buoyed by one rumor after another.

2) Sprint has no cash. any merger they participate in will have to use its assets as their part of the deal. Those that remember the Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) deal will recall that's Sprint's end was their spectrum licences. A buyout by Sprint is likely out of the question.

3) Incompatible technologies - Sprint is a CDMA carrier, using WiMAX as its 4G strategy. T-Mo is a GSM carrier usingUMTS and HSPA+ as it's 4G delivery mechanism. Not to mention Sprint's Nextel network - iDEN, that was never merged into the greater Sprint network. Running three separate networks will be prohibitively expensive and confusing for customers.

To be fair, here's how it could happen:

1) Both companies are doing poorly, compared to their rivals AT&T and Verizon. A merger could give them a fighting chance in the US (particularly with help from the German parent).

2) Although their technologies are dissimilar, both WiMAX and GSM networks have migration paths to LTE, a 4G technology currently being used by Verizon. With the right network planning, these networks might be using the same tech someday.

Meh, I'm still going with "no"