In a $10.5 billion deal, Verizon just sold three states’ worth of wireline subscribers to Frontier. Customers in California, Texas, and Florida will soon be Frontier customers, rather than Verizon FIOS users. Via their announcement, Verizon says “at the end of fourth-quarter 2014, these operations served approximately 3.7 million voice connections; approximately 2.2 million high-speed data customers, including approximately 1.6 million FiOS Internet customers; and approximately 1.2 million FiOS Video customers.” Verizon’s reason for selling? To focus on the East Coast.
Every year wireless carriers have to put serious time and effort into beefing up networks in the stadium where the Super Bowl is played. This year was no different with Verizon and other carriers adding more network capability at the University of Phoenix Stadium where the big game was played. Verizon Wireless has offered up some data statistics from the game and its customers inside the stadium used a huge amount of data.
The world of smartphones is becoming increasingly data hungry, and some carriers (we're looking at you, T-Mobile) are doing their best to serve up the tastiest dishes. Verizon, a long-standing wireless carrier staple, isn't such an attractive option any more, assuming you're more concerned about your data-to-price ratio than widespread coverage, and for those users in particular options like Cricket have been dangling increasingly attractive data-rich plans as incentive to switch.
The Nexus 6 has had a funky fate so far. After being released in limited runs, it seems to have caught up for the most part. You can order it from Google Play, but it leaves the Warehouse three days later. AT&T is selling it online, and after sending all their Nexus 6 stock back to the warehouse to fix a software bug, stores are starting to get it back. Now it seems as though Google's big smartphone is ready for big red, and will be coming to Verizon soon.
In a U-turn statement, Verizon Wireless says that it will soon allow users to completely opt-out of its mobile ad-targeting program, allowing them to delete previously unremovable customer codes, which have been unlovingly dubbed "supercookies". This move was in response to the growing criticism of the service provider's shady advertising practices, in particular the storage and tracking of uniquely identifiable user IDs or customer codes. Some privacy advocates, however, fear that this new policy still might not be enough to completely protect consumers.
An FCC auction for wireless spectrum ended this week, and according to the commission, $41.3 billion was raised. That’s a slight dip from the $45 billion we’d heard about when the auction actually closed, but various discounts and incentives helped bidders out. We know what you’re thinking, though. How did your carrier do? Who made successful bids? Luckily, the FCC also let loose all the info regarding who bid what, and whether or not their bids were successful. As you might have guessed, AT&T and Verizon came out on top.
Do you know what a ‘supercookie’ is? It sounds delightful, but in this context, it’s really not. Verizon Wireless has been tracking users for (mostly) marketing purposes, and assigning customers special codes. Being tracked for marketing was opt-out, but those codes were not deletable or opt-out. Some began dubbing those codes ‘supercookies’ because marketers could still access them and pick through your web browsing activity (see? Supercookies can be bad!). Now, Verizon is reversing course, and will allow customers to opt-out of any kind of tracking.
T-Mobile’s data rollover plan is — well, it’s awesome. Quickly, AT&T followed suit with their own limited scheme, but T-Mobile is the champion of data rollover, plain and simple. Verizon is the king of carriers here int he United States, but we shouldn’t look to them to bend to our wants. CFO Fram Shammo recently detailed just how disinterested Verizon was in any kind of data rollover plan. If you read between the lines, Shammo even takes a swipe at T-Mobile in the process.
T-Mobile’s Uncarrier approach is certainly exciting, and it’s given customers plenty of reason to drop that other carrier they may be on and give T-Mobile a shot. Still, quarter after quarter, T-Mobile talks up their growing customer base while reporting financial losses. Long-term, they may be in good shape. Their growth pattern may take years to result in reliable earnings, though. Parent company Deutsche Telekom has T-Mobile up for grabs, and now we know why: the Uncarrier isn’t meant as a standalone entity.
As the FCC prepares to rule on Net Neutrality next month, all parties are drawing their line in the sand. Whether interested parties like it or not, the FCC is going to have to make a ruling on the future of the Internet. Many mobile carriers like Verizon and AT&T are opposed to any kind of reclassification, which would make them move governable. Net Neutrality won’t make many friends for the FCC, but a new line of commentary from a strange source might be the wisest yet.
As new prepaid plans become more and more ambitious, customers are starting to wonder if they should think about what life might be like on the other side of a contract. Prepaid has a hollow ring for many, as they tend to see it as a second-run alternative to a ‘proper’ plan and service. If that’s your thinking, we’ve got a few reasons you should reconsider prepaid for your next smartphone. You never know, reading this article might actually save you some money!