Verizon, Alltel Deal Will Close Friday
By Wireless Week Staff
The merger makes Verizon the largest U.S. wireless carrier, passing AT&T by a few million subscribers. Verizon and AT&T are pulling away from Sprint Nextel, which continues to lose subscribers in recent quarters.
Verizon announced its plan to buy Alltel in June, followed by approval from the Department of Justice in October, the FCC in November and the FTC in December. Officials aimed for closure by the end of 2008 but missed that target.
Alltel attempted to buy Sprint, but wasn’t able to fund the deal because of last year’s credit crisis, the Arkansas News said.
With regulatory details behind them, Verizon/Alltel can move forward with integrating networks, eliminating redundancies, merging customer service units and developing new service plans.
Other challenges for Verizon in 2009 include ongoing development for its LTE plan, finding ways to increase data revenue without radically altering its text fee structure and expanding its services to allow third-party network devices.
Separately, Verizon today said its customers sent 1.6 billion text messages on New Year’s Eve last week and 1.7 billion on Christmas.
Sprint, iPCS Move Toward Trial
By Evan Koblentz
Sprint Nextel cannot offer service in iPCS territory, a Cook County, Ill., judge ruled last week, affirming an earlier decision.
Whether the ruling applies to Sprint’s partners, such as Clearwire, is scheduled for courtroom debate beginning March 30, the Arlington Heights, Ill.-based Daily Herald reported. iPCS unsuccessfully tried to prevent the merger from being completed.
Attorneys for iPCS also asked for a summary judgment, which was declined. Instead, the case is headed to trial unless a settlement is reached, a Sprint representative said.
Macworld, CES on Tap
By Wireless Week Staff
A variety of new software for the Apple iPhone will debut this week at the Macworld conference in San Francisco from yesterday until Thursday and the Consumer Electronics Show in Last Vegas from Thursday to Sunday.
Among the early announcements are an upgrade to Quickoffice’s MobileFiles Pro and a remote data service from Soonr.
MobileFiles Pro allows users to edit Microsoft Office applications on the iPhone and iPod Touch. The new version supports Excel files, Wi-Fi connections to Mac and PC desktops, plus access to Apple MobileMe accounts. It costs $9.99.
Soonr’s eponymous service gives iPhone users access to their desktop files. Instead of working as a standard remote access technology, it moves desktop files onto a Soonr server, thereby doubling as a data backup application.
Users can preview documents as thumbnails and can be manipulated using iPhone conventions such as panning, rotating, scrolling and zooming.
The software is free, although a white-label version will be available to service providers, officials said. Soonr is also noteworthy because it receives funding from Cisco Systems.
In the United States, whether programs like Quickoffice and Soonr files will act as solidly on first-generation iPhones is another story. To clear spectrum for 3G networks, AT&T may be moving parts of its 2G network from 850 MHz onto the weaker signals of 1900 MHz systems, according to various industry blogs this week.
Turin, Force10 Announce Merger
By Evan Koblentz
Turin Networks, a specialist in wireless backhaul and carrier-class Ethernet, said it will merge with Force10 Networks.
The combined company will keep the Force10 name and will be led by Turin CEO and President Henry Wasik. Current Force10 CEO and President James Hanley will become president of field operations.
“The inherent synergies of Force10 Networks and Turin Networks create opportunities to leverage existing joint distribution, integration and technology alliance partners that will strengthen the new company’s presence in both the enterprise data center and service provider markets,” Hanley said in a statement today.
Force10 will be privately owned, so financial terms of the merger are not being disclosed, officials said. Closure is expected in March and the company will begin with more than 1,300 customers.
Turin a year ago acquired Carrier Access for $92.7 million.
NewsBriefs for Jan. 5, 2008
Companies in the News: Telespree Communications, Transaction Network Services, Smith Micro Software, Clearwire, BIO-key International, QuickPlay Media, Bell Mobility
• Telespree Communications selected Transaction Network Services for SS7 signaling services and hosting solutions. Telespree provides services for over-the-air account enrollment, device activation and ongoing account management. Telespree will use TNS’ suite of SS7 signaling, hosting and ANSI-41 messaging services.
• Smith Micro Software said it’s been selected by Clearwire to deliver connection management software for mobile WiMAX customers. Smith Micro said it customized its connection manager software specifically for Clearwire mobile WiMAX requirements.
• BIO-key International announced a contract award from the Collin College Police Department in Texas to deploy MobileCop, BIO-key’s wireless query and messaging solution for law enforcement.
• QuickPlay Media announced it is powering live and on-demand services for Bell Mobility on its most popular video-enabled devices, including the new BlackBerry Storm smartphone. The new audio and video entertainment offering is accessible via Bell’s integrated media player and marks the first time QuickPlay has powered a large-scale live mobile TV service.
Filed Under: Infrastructure