Tag Archives | Sprint

Why Wireless Carriers Both Promote and Dread 4G

Here at the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says that with the planned summer launch of HTC’s 3D EVO and 4G EVO tablet, Sprint will have 22 4G devices, more than any of its rivals. Verizon says it will bring its 4G LTE network to 147 markets by year’s end, while AT&T is simultaneously building out its HSPA network while preparing to launch its LTE network later this year.

No question, 4G is the next mobile battleground for what shapes up to be a smaller field of national carriers. But at a day of sessions on the subject (sponsored by Fierce Wireless, which among other things publishes a first-rate daily newsletter on the wireless industry), the dominant theme seemed to be that the carriers may not be ready to deal with the enormous bandwidth demands their fast devices and networks will inevitably produce.

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OnLive Snubbed in Sprint’s HTC Evo View Reveal

If HTC’s Evo View 4G tablet can play modern PC games from OnLive, Sprint isn’t saying so.

OnLive was supposed to be a big feature in the HTC Flyer, the 7-inch Android tablet that Sprint is calling the Evo View 4G. The cloud gaming service gets top billing on HTC’s Flyer website, and promises to let users play PC games like Homefront and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood on their tablets.

But Sprint’s announcement of the Evo View 4G doesn’t mention OnLive, even as it promises other built-in entertainment apps such as Blockbuster On Demand and NASCAR Sprint Cup.

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Verizon Wireless Doesn’t Want Sprint

So is Verizon going to react to AT&T’s T-Mobile bid by snapping up Sprint? Apparently not.


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Sprint Just Couldn’t Afford T-Mobile

Bloomberg’s Serena Saitto and Jeffrey McCracken give the lowdown on the AT&T and T-Mobile deal: Sprint was a player — along with 3 (!) other parties other than AT&T — but just couldn’t afford what Deutsche Telekom wanted. Apparently, the breakup fee is what sealed the deal.


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Google and Sprint Buddy Up on Nexus S, Google Voice

The Googlephone. It’s a concept that sometimes sounds an exciting taste of the future, and sometimes sounds like it’s already fizzled. And today, it’s back to being exciting: Google has announced that there will be a Sprint 4G version of its fine Nexus S phone–and that it will give consumers all the goodness of Google voice without making them switch their phone numbers. That’ll make it the first true native Google Voice phone.

The news would be noteworthy whenever it came down, but the timing is fascinating. It came down hours after AT&T agreed to acquire T-Mobile–there latter being the carrier that partnered with Google for the Nexus One and original Nexus S, and the only national carrier other than Sprint that counts as a scrappy underdog. Sprint needs good news; Google needs a wireless partner that isn’t T-Mobile and that doesn’t insist on acting like an 800-pound gorilla. Short of Google buying a phone carrier, there are all kinds of interesting things it could do with Sprint if the two companies agreed to let Google take the sort of dominant role that Apple took with the iPhone but which otherwise just doesn’t happen.

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A Brief History of the Rise and Fall of Telephone Competition in the US, 1982-2011

So much for quiet Sundays. AT&T announced today that it’s agreed to acquire T-Mobile US from Deutsche Telekom, a merger which, if completed, will make it by far the country’s biggest wireless phone company. It’ll also leave us with three national carriers: AT&T, archrival Verizon Wireless, and the much smaller Sprint.

I’m not an expert on the dynamics of the telecommunications industry, but Om Malik’s thoughts–that this is bad news for everybody except AT&T and T-Mobile shareholders–do a good job of summarizing the pessimistic view I’m instinctively inclined to tak. In the US, T-Mobile was a scrappy underdog that did shocking things like reduce monthly bills once a customer had completed a contract for a subsidized phone. It’s tough to imagine that T-Mobile’s personality will rub off on AT&T rather than the other way around.

Of course, AT&T does its best to make the case that this is good news: If the merger goes through, it will have more wireless spectrum to work with, and says it will bring LTE to former T-Mobile customers. And the company argues both that (A) there’s still plenty of competition, between national and regional wireless companies, and (B) past mergers have been good for consumers. Which is, I guess, the argument you’d expect from a company named AT&T.

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SprinT-Mobile?

Bloomberg’s Serena Saitto, Jacqueline Simmons, and Jeffrey (no relation) McCracken are reporting that Sprint and T-Mobile are in merger talks.


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One Phone, Two Screens (and Two Batteries)

At a New York event today, Sprint unveiled the Kyocera Echo, an Android smartphone (3G, not 4G) with two screens that can do their thing separately or as one big display. Sounds a tad gimmicky–and if you’re worried about the battery life, you may find the fact that it comes with a spare battery either encouraging or discouraging.


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HTC's 3 Android 4G Phones for Sprint, AT&T and Verizon

 

HTC Shift 4G

HTC chose CES as the launchpad for three new Android 2.2-enabled smartphones for 4G networks. One of these phones, the EVO Shift 4G, is a slider that will complement HTC’s original EVO and Samung’s Epic 4G on Sprint’s WiMax network. Rounding out the trio are the Inspire 4G for AT&T and the ThunderBolt, one of 10 new phones and other devices from various vendors now announced for release for Verizon’s 4G network.

 

At 5.8 ounces, the new Shift is a bit lighter in weight than the original EVO 4G, HTC’s existing Sprint phone. The Shift also adds a slideout keyboard, said HTC officials, speaking with me at the show here in Las Vegas.

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Sprint Plans a Bevy of 4G Devices, But Where’s the Galaxy Tab 4G?

While boldly talking up intentions for more phones, PCs, and sundry other 4G devices in New York City this week, Sprint also issued a press release announcing that its edition of Samsung’s Android-based Galaxy Tab tablet will be available nationwide on November 14 for $400, with a choice of two 3G wireless plans.

“We will have a lot more 4G devices,” Sprint VP of Business Marketing Tom Roberts told me on Monday at a customer and press launch event for Sprint’s 4G services, now set to start November 1 in the New York City metro area.

With WiMax rollouts also slated for San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston some time in the near future, Sprint and its partner Clearwire will have penetrated more than half of the major US metro markets by the end of this year, said Roberts.

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