Tag Archive: Verizon



Chipmaker Intel Corp said on Thursday that it was updating 5G equipment that will allow telecom companies like AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc to run trials based on standards to be released later this year.

A 5G network is expected to offer faster speeds, more capacity and shorter response times while supporting uses ranging from self-driving cars to remote surgeries. Telecom companies and their suppliers consider it to be a multibillion-dollar revenue opportunity.

Intel has five 5G trials with global service providers and 15 more in the pipeline, Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich said on a post-earnings conference call in July.

One such trial, with wireless carrier AT&T, involves a 5G broadband service that could be introduced as soon as late 2018.

Intel’s mobile trial equipment, which looks like a large box, handles the processing needs for a 5G connection. The updated version, slated for the fourth quarter, will support new 5G standards that the Third Generation Partnership Project, a telecom group known as 3GPP, is expected to release in late 2017.

As a result, the new platform will allow Intel’s partners to “really see what works and what doesn’t,” Rob Topol, general manager of 5G business and technology, said in an interview.

Intel participated in 3GPP’s working groups to develop the 5G standards, Topol said. 3GPP also developed current mobile phone standards for 4G LTE.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

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Comcast plans to launch a cellphone service roughly in the middle of next year, although it would be limited to areas of the country where it’s a cable provider.

That could potentially offer real competition to carriers like Verizon and AT&T for a subset of the country. Comcast has just over 28 million customers.

The cable giant plans to create a service that would run on its 15 million Wi-Fi hotspots and use Verizon’s wireless network, which it has a deal to resell.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts confirmed the company’s plans at an investment conference Tuesday in New York.

He suggested that Comcast was looking at the mobile service as an add-on to customer bundles, and combining wireless service with Comcast cable or internet would likely make customers stick with Comcast longer.

The company has long looked at mobile service as another potential way to grow its business. Consumers are increasingly watching video on their phones.

Adding wireless service on to a cable bill could also mean some savings for Comcast customers.

“If Comcast is to make this a compelling offer, especially given their lack of history in wireless, they’re going to have to offer some steep discounts in their bundles,” telecom analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research said in an email.

Comcast spokeswoman Jenn Khoury declined to answer questions about the mobile service’s pricing and whether people who didn’t subscribe to Comcast cable or internet could sign up for it.

Several attempts by big cable companies to offer wireless service have foundered, like the Wi-Fi-only phone launched by New York-area cable company Cablevision in early 2015 (Cablevision is now owned by European telecom Altice). Cox Communications, one of the biggest cable companies, pulled the plug on its short-lived mobile phone service in 2011, saying it didn’t have the heft necessary to compete, including the ability to sell certain popular smartphones.

 
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Samsung will sell unlocked versions of its flagship Galaxy S7 phones in the US so consumers can switch carriers more easily.

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Although two-year service contracts are now rare, consumers are instead stuck with two-year installment plans and cannot take a phone to a rival until it’s paid off.

Unlocked phones have no such restrictions. They are also free of carrier-specific apps for messaging, video and other tasks, though Samsung still adds several beyond the standard version of Android from Google.

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 will sell for $670 (roughly Rs. 45,000), and a model with a curved side screen called Edge will go for $770 (roughly Rs. 52,000). The prices are cheaper than Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, though more expensive than Sprint. You pay the phone’s full price rather than monthly installments.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Verizon Communications Inc on Thursday reported higher-than-expected revenue for the fourth quarter as heavy promotions helped it counter aggressive offers and discounts from rivals and win new users.

Shares of the No. 1 US wireless phone service provider, whose profit edged past analysts’ estimates, rose 2.7 percent to $45.63 in morning trading.

Verizon added a net 1.5 million wireless retail postpaid, or monthly, subscriptions in the quarter, below 2 million a year earlier but above the analysts’ average estimate of 1.42 million, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

The company, known for its high-quality network, withstood stiff competition from rivals in the saturated US wireless market. Smaller rival Sprint Corp offered 50 percent off to encourage users to switch to its network, and T-Mobile US Inc launched a free video streaming plan.

For its part, Verizon rolled out holiday season offers such as a data giveaway on some plans, $100 discounts on certain phones and a $300 credit to trade in some models.

Customer defections, or churn, in Verizon’s postpaid business fell to 0.96 percent from 1.14 percent a year earlier.

Average revenue per account, however, fell 6.6 percent to $148.30, below the analysts’ forecast of $149.61, according to FactSet. Jefferies analyst Mike McCormack said Verizon must curb such declines in this measure this year.

Like its rivals, Verizon has switched from offering customers two-year contracts to monthly installment plans that have lower service fees and can weigh on revenue.

To increase revenue, Verizon is investing in its new “go90” mobile-video service and “Internet of Things,” which connects everything from industrial machines to household devices to the Internet.

Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said in an interview that the company still expected full-year earnings growth, excluding special items, to be on “a flatter plateau” in 2016 than 2015 as a result of those investments and the shift to the installment model.

Revenue from Internet of Things-related offerings rose about 18 percent to $690 million (roughly Rs. 4,679 crores) in 2015.

In the quarter, sales at the company’s FiOS high-speed Internet, TV and phone service rose 6.8 percent to $3.53 billion (roughly Rs. 23,942 crores).

Net income attributable to Verizon was $5.39 billion (roughly Rs. 36,557 crores), or $1.32 per share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $2.23 billion (roughly Rs. 15,125 crores), or 54 cents per share.

Excluding special items such as pension adjustments, Verizon earned 89 cents per share, above the analysts’ average forecast of 88 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Operating revenue rose 3.2 percent to $34.25 billion. Analysts had expected $34.10 billion.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Yahoo Inc. is warming up to the idea of a sale.

The company is reassessing whether to spinoff its main Internet business and is considering an outright sale, people familiar with the matter said.

Yahoo still hasn’t concluded that it has to sell and hasn’t hired a bank to run an official process or contacted potential buyers, said the people, who asked not to identified because a final decision hadn’t been made. Nonetheless, there has been a shift in the internal thinking at Yahoo, in part because the company and its advisers now believe they need a new plan in light of an expected proxy fight by an activist investor, said the people.

An outright sale would avoid a possible spinoff of Yahoo’s main business, a plan put forward by Yahoo’s executives last month. The December 9 announcement was a strategic move by Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer to buy time to shape Yahoo into a more sellable asset, including cutting costs, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

Sarah Meron, spokeswoman for Santa Clara, California-based Yahoo, declined to comment.

By waiting longer, the market may also readjust its view of what Yahoo is worth, two of the people said. After accounting for a $27.7 billion (roughly Rs. 1,85,284 crores) stake in Alibaba Group Holding, $7.96 billion (roughly Rs. 53,244 crores) stake in Yahoo Japan Corp. and $5.88 billion (roughly Rs. 39,331 crores) in cash and equivalents, Yahoo’s market value of $28.5 billion (roughly Rs. 1,90,635 crores) shows that investors consider the main business to be worth zero or less, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

Starboard Value and other stakeholders have been pushing for Yahoo to separate the Alibaba assets from its main business without incurring a hefty tax charge. Last month’s plan to weigh a spinoff of the core business replaced Yahoo’s earlier proposal to return Alibaba shares to shareholders and keep its Web operations intact. By selling the Internet portal, Yahoo would effectively become a holding company for its assets and cash.

Pressure is mounting on Mayer and the board to act sooner. Starboard urged an overhaul of Yahoo’s management this week, saying the Internet pioneer’s recent decision to spin off its core Web businesses will require shareholders to wait another year “while the existing leadership continues to destroy value.”

There are possible buyers. Verizon Communications Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam and Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo, using similar language, both said last month that Verizon would look at a Yahoo deal “if it made sense.” Verizon acquired AOL for $4.4 billion (roughly Rs. 29,431 crores) last year. Yahoo’s mail, finance, sports and video sites attract more than 1 billion users, a prized asset that would add to AOL’s 2 million users. That kind of Web traffic, along with exclusive content, is appealing to Verizon, which needs to lure and retain a new smartphone-addicted generation.

There are no current sale talks, although advisers continue to work closely with Yahoo on its strategy, the people said. Even though Yahoo may plan to ultimately sell its business, the strategy of publicly charting a course for a spinoff would also give Mayer more time to juggle a sale a few months after the recent birth of her children, the people said.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Verizon Communications Inc has started a process to sell its data centre assets, hoping to fetch more than $2.5 billion (roughly Rs. 16,677 crores), people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, as the U.S. telecommunications conglomerate focuses on its core business.

A sale would represent the latest effort by Verizon, the No. 1 US wireless carrier, to streamline its portfolio following a divestment last year of a chunk of its landline business and a portfolio of wireless towers.

It would also mark a reversal of its strategy to expand in hosting and colocation services after it acquired data centre operator Terremark Worldwide Inc in 2011 for $1.4 billion (roughly Rs. 9,339 crores).

The so-called ‘colocation’ portfolio up for sale includes 48 data centres, and generates annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of around $275 million (roughly Rs. 1,834 crores), one of the people said.

Citigroup Inc is advising Verizon on the possible sale of its data centres, the people added.

The sources asked not to be identified because the auction is confidential. Verizon and Citigroup declined to comment.

Verizon initially explored a sale of a larger portion of its enterprise business, including the former MCI assets, but could not reach an agreement with a buyer. It held discussions with wireline provider CenturyLink Inc last year for its enterprise business, Reuters reported in November.

The enterprise telecommunications industry has had to adapt in recent years to corporate customers seeking more sophisticated and cheaper offerings to manage their data. Verizon joins a host of its rivals in telecommunications who are shedding their data centres.

AT&T Inc has been exploring a sale of its data centre assets since last year, while CenturyLink announced in November 2015 that it was exploring strategic alternatives for its data centres. Windstream Holdings Inc also sold its data centre business for $575 million (roughly Rs. 3,835 crores) to TierPoint last year.

Verizon has been facing stiff competition from companies such as T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp, which have been offering deep discounts on cellphone and data plans.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


AT&T will no longer offer discounted phones with two-year contracts starting Jan. 8. Before you rush out to beat the deadline, consider that you might be better off paying full price for the phone.

That’s because phone companies also reduce the monthly bill for voice, text and data services when you buy your own phone or bring a used one. Some may pay a bit more, some a bit less, but the overall bill is roughly the same. What you get in return is more flexibility in which phone you buy and how long you stay with the carrier.

AT&T’s decision comes as no surprise. In the third quarter, only 1 in 5 customers chose a contract plan when they signed up with AT&T or upgraded their phones. T-Mobile broke away from contracts completely nearly three years ago, and Verizon stopped offering contracts to new customers in August. Sprint also has been weighing dropping contracts completely.

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure told The Associated Press in September that discounted, contract phones – including his company’s – amount to “a gimmick, a trick. You tell people I’m going to give you a free phone, but really the customer pays in a more expensive service plan.”

Indeed, phone discounts mask the true costs of phones and phone services.

Here’s an explanation of the changes:

What are my options now?
Most people now buy and pay for phones in monthly installments, though you can also pay the full price upfront. You can also bring a used device, such as one from a friend or family member who has upgraded to a newer model. Sprint and T-Mobile also have leasing options – you pay less each month, but you don’t get to keep or resell the device in the end.

Will i pay more?
Not necessarily so, even though you now have to pay the full price for a phone.

When you got a discounted phone under contract, you were already paying the balance in the form of fees. For instance, the full cost of an iPhone 6s is $650. Although you pay just $200 at the contract rate, the phone company passes along the remaining $450 in higher monthly fees for voice, text and data. Over two years, the $450 comes to $18.75 a month. Put another way, your phone company is subsidizing your phone by $18.75 a month and tacking that on to the phone bill for voice, text and data.

If you forgo the contract, your monthly bill for voice, text and data is typically reduced by $15 or $25 a month. The $25 discount applies for higher data plans – usually ones you share with family members. In such cases, you’re actually better off buying the phone yourself, as you’re getting a $25 bill reduction but giving up only $18.75 in subsidies.

If your discount is only $15, and you’re giving up $18.75 in subsidies, then technically your bill is going up slightly. What you get instead is flexibility.

What do you mean by flexibility?
Because phone companies were subsidizing phones, there was an incentive to get the most expensive model, even if you didn’t need that. These days, there are many mid-range Android phones that do what high-end phones did just a few years ago. If you choose one of those models, you keep the savings. That’s also the case if you get a friend or relative’s old phone. You no longer feel that you’re losing out by not claiming the most expensive phone in a contract renewal.

And if your phone lasts longer than two years, there’s no longer the pressure to upgrade just to claim the phone subsidies. You simply pocket the savings.

More important, you’re no longer tied to two-year contracts.

Does this mean i can switch whenever i like?
Yes and no.

If you buy a phone under an installment plan, you’re still stuck with the phone company until you pay off the phone. That said, rival companies often have promotions to pay off the balance for you. And if you pay the full cost of the phone upfront, you own the phone and can switch whenever you like. Just be aware that certain phones work on limited number of networks, so it’s still not total freedom.

What if rates increase once i pay full price for a phone?
Phone rates can go up at any time, but that historically hasn’t happened because of stiff competition. In fact, phone companies have been offering more data for the same prices, an effective price cut.

And if your phone company does increase the rates, just go to another. Again, rivals typically offer promotions to switch. You can always take your phone number with you as long as you sign up with the new company before cancelling.

Can i still get a subsidized phone?
Sprint still offers contract plans, though they aren’t emphasized and they may disappear any day. Verizon offers contracts only to existing customers who renew. At AT&T, contracts will be offered only under certain business plans.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


If you’re a customer on Verizon’s wireless network, you’ll soon be able to take advantage of certain online services without having it count against your data cap.

The telecom giant is set to begin piloting a feature within a matter of days, the company confirmed Thursday, with a wider rollout to consumers early next year.

Verizon’s trial, which was first reported by Re/code, would make it the third major wireless carrier to experiment with so-called “zero-rating.” AT&T has tinkered with a zero-rating program for a number of years, though few mainstream consumer services have signed on with it. T-Mobile has had more success: Its Music Freedom and Binge On offerings let subscribers stream Spotify and HBO, among others, without risk of hitting their monthly data limits.

Exempting sites and services from data caps is a controversial practice, and legally murky in the United States because it’s unclear whether zero-rating violates the government’s rules on net neutrality. Opponents say that singling out online services for special treatment is unfair – particularly if the services in question are paying for better placement in front of consumers. (T-Mobile has said participation in Binge On is voluntary and doesn’t cost companies any money.)

The Federal Communications Commission has vowed to keep a close eye on companies that engage in zero-rating. Its chairman, Tom Wheeler, has called T-Mobile’s offering “innovative and competitive,” though the agency later clarified that it was still working to understand all the implications.

Despite the legal uncertainties, it’s clear telecom companies view zero-rating as a promising way to make more money in an age where simply running the infrastructure is no longer enough – networks now increasingly must offer special content to survive.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Verizon, the nation’s largest wireless provider, will stop offering phones at discounted prices when customers sign two-year service contracts.
The move was made in the name of simplification, but it could result in some customers paying more.

All wireless carriers have been trying to wean customers off subsidies, in which a $649 (roughly Rs. 40,887) iPhone 6 goes for $200 (roughly Rs. 12,600) with a two-year contract. Instead, carriers have been encouraging people to buy phones outright by paying the full retail price in monthly installments. A few carriers, namely Sprint, also offer leasing options for a lower monthly fee, but the customer doesn’t get to keep and resell the phone without additional payments. Verizon is the second national carrier, after T-Mobile, to end subsidies entirely for new customers.

Existing customers will be able to keep current plans. Verizon says there will be restrictions, but it didn’t elaborate. For instance, it wasn’t immediately clear whether customers keeping the current plan will still qualify for subsidized phones.

Under the new plans, which take effect Aug. 13, prices for voice, text and data services will drop by roughly $20 (roughly Rs. 1,260) per month compared with subsidized plans. But customers will no longer get the subsidies on the phone, valued at about $19 (roughly Rs. 1,197) for an iPhone 6 (Review | Pictures). But there are variations, so some will pay a bit more, others a bit less.

Verizon is also streamlining its data plans to four main options, ranging from “small” at 1 gigabyte to “x-large” at 12 gigabytes, all sharable under family plans. Verizon currently has 15 options ranging from 0.5 gigabyte to 100 gigabytes. Two gigabytes is plenty for most single-line customers, though a few hours of streaming video could eat that up.

Customers will no longer have two-year commitments, but they might be stuck with Verizon for two years anyway as monthly installments for the phone stretch over that time.

Here’s a look at how the changes affect various customers. These monthly prices are for unlimited calling and texts and a set amount of sharable data. The phone costs extra.

Individuals
Those with contracts paid $60 a month for 1 gigabyte of data and $90 (roughly Rs. 5,670) for 3 gigabytes. Subtract the $19 worth of subsidies on the iPhone 6, and the monthly cost was $41 (roughly Rs. 2,580) for 1 gigabyte and $71 (roughly Rs.4,470) for 3 gigabytes.

Those who were already buying their own phones paid $45 (roughly Rs. 2,800) for 1 gigabyte and $75 (roughly Rs. 4,700) for 3 gigabytes.

Under the new plans, customers will pay $50 (roughly Rs. 3,150) for 1 gigabyte (a price increase for both groups) and $65 (roughly Rs. 4,000) for 3 gigabytes (a price cut). The 2 gigabyte plan is being discontinued, so customers will have to choose more or less.

Couples
For two lines, couples paid $130 (roughly Rs. 8,200) a month for 3 gigabytes and $150 (roughly Rs. 9,450) for 6 gigabytes under subsidized plans. Subtract the value of the subsidies ($38 for two iPhones), and you got $92 (roughly Rs. 5,800) for 3 gigabytes and $112 (roughly Rs. 7,000) for 6 gigabytes.

Couples who bought or brought their own phones paid $100 (roughly Rs. 6,300) for either 3 gigabytes or 6 gigabytes, thanks to steeper discounts Verizon had offered to customers who declined subsidies and chose larger data plans.

Under the new plans, that couple will pay $85 (roughly Rs. 5,350) for 3 gigabytes (a price cut) and $100 for 6 gigabytes (a price decrease from subsidized rates, but no change for others).

Family of four
Four lines sharing 10 gigabytes cost $240 a month under subsidized plans, or $165 (roughly Rs. 10,400) after subtracting the $75 value of subsidies on four iPhones. Those who weren’t on subsidized plans paid $140 (roughly Rs. 8,800) a month.

There will no longer be a 10 gigabyte option. A new 12-gigabyte plan will cost $160 (roughly Rs. 10,080). So that’s a price cut for those on subsidized plans and an increase for others (but those customers are also getting more data to share).

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


T-Mobile US Inc on Thursday posted better-than-expected second-quarter profit and revenue and raised its 2015 subscriber forecast for the second time this year, boosting shares about 5 percent.
The No. 4 US wireless by revenue now expects to add 3.4 million to 3.9 million postpaid users, or customers who pay on a monthly basis based on usage, in 2015, up from 3.0 million to 3.5 million.

Quarterly revenue jumped 14 percent to $8.18 billion (roughly Rs. 52,360 crores) as aggressive promotions helped win customers in the second quarter. This beat analysts’ estimate of $7.94 billion (roughly Rs. 50,824 crores).

Once faced with subscriber losses, the company has revamped pricing plans, eliminated service contracts and launched marketing campaigns to turn around its business and lure customers from bigger rivals Verizon Communications Incand AT&T Inc.

It posted net income of $361 million (roughly Rs. 2,310 crores), or 42 cents per share, surpassing analysts’ forecast of 18 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“T-Mobile has progressively addressed one after another the question marks around the sustainability of its growth,” MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett said in a note.

T-Mobile, which expects to report a profit in the third and fourth quarters, looks poised to pull ahead of Sprint Corp as the No. 3 US wireless provider based on subscriber numbers, Moffett said.

The company, which reported key user metrics earlier this month, added a net 2.1 million customers in the second quarter, up from 1.5 million a year earlier.

“We’re several quarters in a row with more postpaid customers than a combination of AT&T, Verizon and Sprint’s postpaid customer gains,” Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert said in an interview.

T-Mobile, which calls itself the “Un-carrier,” said the rate at which users switch to other networks, also known as postpaid churn, fell to 1.3 percent from 1.5 percent a year earlier.

As the US wireless market becomes saturated, companies are looking for new revenue streams. Verizon is gearing up to launch a streaming video service for mobile devices and AT&T, which closed its $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV, is working on mobile video products.

About venturing into video, Sievert said the question is whether viewers want wireless providers to curate content for them.

“We’re watching with interest what some of the others are doing,” Sievert said. “If our customers want us in this game and if we can add value to it, better believe we’ll be in it.”

Shares rose $1.88 to $38.92 in late trading.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)