Tag: wireless industryPage 2 of 110

U.S Stock Market in freefall, everybody gets hit

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nasdaq crash

The state of the United States economy is such that there seems to be no sector that can avoid the chain of falling dominoes. Partially in reaction to the U.S. House of Representatives failing to pass the proposed $700 billion dollar bailout bill, the NASDAQ dropped 200 points yesterday, around 9% of its total value.

While RIM continued its downward slide, losing approx. 11% of its total value to close at $61.50/share, it was hardly the only technology company in our sphere to get hit. Apple dropped 17.4%, while Google and Adobe dropped around 11%.

For the employees and families of all those companies involved, we hope something can jumpstart the U.S. economy before things get worse. Check out our current Weekly Contest and let us know if you think RIM will be okay.

(via WSJ)

FCC voting on 700MHz D-Block (BlackBerry Bytes)

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FCC LogoThe FCC is currently voting on what to do about the D-Block, the 700Mhz chunk of the wireless public safety spectrum which had previously been up for auction despite Verizon’s litigious attempts to block it. However, many commercial bidders fear that the auction plan as structured is not commercially viable, while public safety groups and a few members of Congress feel that the spectrum would be more effectively split into regional licenses rather than a national one.

Ars Technica has a wonderful summary of the entire situation, which can be found here.

Do you want to make a call on a plane?

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Snakes on a plane

Airlines Ryanair and Emirates have both recently announced that their passengers will soon be able to make mobile calls during flights. However, a recent poll by Wanderlust Magazine shows that the majority of travelers would rather fly with snakes. Polling over 1000 readers, 76% said they would never use a mobile phone in the air and only 2% said they would use their phone regularly. Dan Linstead, Editor of Wanderlust indicates that the negative response relates to both cost and sanity:

“The message from our readers, who are all seasoned travellers, is loud and clear. Planes are one of the last sacred mobile-free havens and they want it to stay that way – let’s hope the airlines start listening… The interruption is one thing but people also need to realise that mid-air chats won’t come cheap. Emirates say the average call costs more than £2 a minute, so someone’s making quite a bit of money out of it too.”

Now, obviously, I’m sure every reader of BlackBerry Cool would love to send and receive emails during flights. Making calls is another issue, however. Would you want the ability to make a call from you BlackBerry during a flight? Or would you rather make sure your fellow passengers can’t? Post a comment and let us know.

(via CN)

Sprint sells 3,000 towers to TowerCo

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Sprint fire sale

Interesting news for those closely following Sprint’s future today. Cellular-News is reporting that Sprint Nextel has completed the previously announced sale of approximately 3,080 towers to TowerCo for an estimated US$670 million in cash. The two companies have also signed a long-term leasing agreement for TowerCo to provide Sprint Nextel with wireless communications towers to support the company’s CDMA, iDEN and WiMAX networks.

“Leasing rather than owning these network facilities is a more efficient use of resources and allows us to focus more closely on our core business of providing communications services to our customers,” said Bob Azzi, Sprint senior vice president – Network Services. “This deal also gives Sprint additional liquidity and greater flexibility in managing our business.”

From an outsider’s perspective, it’s difficult to say if this is a smart move on Sprint’s part or a desperate cash grab. When the sale was first announced, BBCool reader Chris L. put it into perspective this way:

If they are desperate for the capital, its like reverse mortgaging your house. Not a good idea unless you’re almost dead.

If they aren’t desperate for the capital, then obviously this TowerCo can do it cheaper than they can. To me, that says they aren’t geared for efficiency, good organization, or any other good characteristics. Its not like outsourcing the IT or HR needs of a small company, we’re talking the bread and butter function. If 3M can outsource production of their sticky pads, it would raise serious questions about 3M’s viability.

Of course, on the optimistic side, it could mean they are rolling out LTE or WiMax or something and have it ready to go, and just don’t want to deal with their legacy network themselves anymore. Right? Please?

Thoughts, people? Is this a time for optimism about Sprint Nextel, or a sign that they’re better at selling off their business than running it?

(via CN)

EU to reduce roaming text message cost, can we get that too?

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blackberry text message

Good news today for Europeans and International travelers as the cost of sending text messages abroad is about to get much cheaper. The European Commission has proposed to reduce the price of roaming text messages by 60% as of 1 July 2009. EU citizens travelling in other EU countries should pay no more than €0.11 per SMS compared to the current EU average of €0.29, and roaming customers should also receive an automatic message with data roaming charges for the country they have entered.

“Europe, through its GSM standard, made mobile telephony attractive across the globe. It is now time to demonstrate that there is a truly single telecoms market in which consumers can use their mobile phone in all 27 EU countries without being punished when crossing a border,” said José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. “If we get this done quickly we will see tremendous growth in SMS and data services, and send a message that lower roaming charges can be a win-win situation for all.”

In addition to this, the European Commission is also looking to reduce price caps for roaming phone calls from €0.46 for calls made abroad and €0.22 for calls received abroad to €0.34 for calls made abroad and to €0.10 for calls received abroad by 1 July 2012. It’s great to see a governing body so progressive in not allowing its citizens to be price gouged. Hey, Canada was once a British colony – can we still join the EU?

(via CN)

T-Mobile to soft cap 3G bandwidth at 1GB (Updated!)

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T-Mobile Logo

UPDATE: T-Mobile has decided to remove the 1GB soft cap, obviously due to pressure from readers like you! Way to go, BlackBerry Nation! Read T-Mobile’s full statement after the jump.

Although a 3G BlackBerry has yet to be launched on T-Mobile, this news item relates to a post we did last week about T-Mobile’s increasing 3G coverage as a catalyst for 3G T-Mo ‘Berrys. In addition to all the “Google Phone” news that floated around the Internet yesterday, T-Mobile announced that they will be “soft capping” bandwidth for 3G devices at around 1GB, which means that after breaking the 1GB threshold, T-Mo will throttle back your data transfer speeds.

Now, most carriers have some sort of data cap on their networks, but there are two items of concern here. First of all, a 1GB cap, especially in light of the general industry momentum towards multimedia consumer handhelds, is very low. Also, T-Mobile says that they will throttle data speeds down to 50 kbps or less, which is sub-EDGE speed.

Questions, people: how much data do you use in a month and is 1GB just too low for a 3G device? Also, would you be willing to accept data throttling if it wasn’t faster to send the data via carrier pigeon?

T-Mobile rescinds 1GB 3G soft cap