Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

Android vs. iOS vs. RIM
There are two wars — each filled with countless battles — taking place in the world of smart phones: market shares for operating systems and devices. A new report from NPD shows that Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Android OS continues to eat away at the market shares of Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iOS and especially Research In Motion Ltd.’s (RIMM) BlackBerry OS. A rather astounding 44% of all smart phones purchased in the last quarter were running Android, marking an 11% quarter-over-quarter increase. Apple’s iOS actually rose one percentage point to 23% while RIM fell from 28% to 22% between the second and third quarters. “Much of Android’s quarterly share growth came at the expense of RIM, rather than Apple,” said Ross Rubin, executive director at NPD. “The HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid X, and other new high-end Android devices have been gaining momentum at carriers that traditionally have been strong RIM distributors, and the recent introduction of the BlackBerry Torch has done little to stem the tide.” … Read more

Carlyle Group buys Syniverse
Fresh off its announced purchase of CommScope Inc., the Carlyle Group announced plans to buy Syniverse Technologies in a $2.6 billion deal, and take that company private as well. The offer of $31 per share is a 35% premium over Syniverse’s stock share average for the last month leading up to the announcement. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011. “Syniverse is leading the way in the mobile space with our roaming, messaging and network solutions,” said Tony Holcombe, president and CEO, Syniverse. “The Carlyle Group recognizes the potential of both Syniverse and mobile communications, and it is committed to supporting our ability to better serve our customers, grow our business around the world, and provide long-term opportunities for our employees. As a private company we believe Syniverse will have the ability to better focus on the long term strategic direction of our customers and our industry.” … Read more

WiMAX in the Big Apple
Clearwire Corp. (CLWR) made good on its previous announcement to launch its WiMAX network in New York City today, as well as markets in Connecticut, New Jersey and Florida. The carrier said its network covers 11 million people in the New York City area; nearly 1.5 million people in New Haven and Hartford, Conn.; 250,000 people in Trenton, N.J.; and nearly 2 million people in the Tampa, Fla., area. As part of the New York City launch, Clearwire added that it also covers more than 630,000 people in parts of Northern New Jersey. Clearwire had begun seeding device sales in New York back in September. Analysts have noted that the New York launch will be watched closely as the city’s dense urban environment will be a test for the carrier’s 2.5 GHz spectrum that could be challenged to provide sufficient in-building coverage. … Read more

The days of tiered data buckets
T-Mobile USA Inc. is set to jump on the increasingly popular tiered data plan bandwagon saying it will launch an entry-level bucket of data megabytes in time for the holiday shopping season. The carrier said it will begin offering two data options for customers starting at 200 MB per month for $10 on postpaid plans and $15 per month on those going without a contract. The carrier will also continue to offer its unlimited data package for smart phones for $30 per month. The plans follow recent tiered packages launched by AT&T Mobility and plans by Verizon Wireless to announce a similar offering in the coming weeks. The AT&T Mobility plan offers 200 MB of data for $15 per month or a 2 gigabyte package for $25. Verizon Wireless has said it will offer 150 MB for $15 per month and continue offering its “unlimited” package for $30 per month. Sprint Nextel Corp. remains the last holdout among the domestic industry’s four largest operators to have so far not announced tiered data plans for its smart phone devices. … Read more

Zuckerberg: ‘iPad is not mobile’
Speaking at a mobile event in Facebook’s Palo Alto Headquarters today, Zuckerberg fielded a question from an unfortunate Mashable Apple fanboy about when the social networking firm would come out with an iPad app, only to be told “The iPad is not mobile…next question.” “Oooooooohhh” came the response from the audience, to which Zuckerberg repeated “it’s not mobile. It’s a computer.” “I think Apple would disagree with you,” retorted Mashable fanboy inquisitor un-extraordinaire. “Oh, sorry,” came Zuckerberg’s snarky reply, causing the audience to giggle. Obviously feeling the need to rescue the situation from becoming ugly, the somewhat more diplomatic VP of mobile at Facebook, Erick Tseng, took the mic and explained that while Facebook could be used perfectly normally from the iPad, the bigger concern for Facebook was dealing with the tablet genre altogether. “It’s about a new class of devices, something with a 10-inch display and a tablet form factor. So there’s a bigger question at hand: how do we tap into this new category?,” he asked, somewhat rhetorically. … Read more

Qualcomm posts strong growth, plans to shutter FLO TV
Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) reported $865 million in net income on $2.95 billion in revenues during its quarter ending Sept. 26. In the year-over-year column, revenues are up 10% and net income is up 8%. Overall, 111 million CDMA-based units were shipped during the quarter, which is up 22% from the year-ago period and 8% from the previous quarter. The full year ended with 399 million CDMA-based units, marking a 26% year-over-year increase. The San Diego powerhouse ended the quarter with $18.4 billion in cash. During the earnings call, Chairman and CEO Paul Jacobs said the company achieved “record earnings per share and record MSM (mobile station modem) shipments volumes” during the quarter. “Our Snapdragon chipset set the benchmark,” he continued, adding that “we continue to grow share in WCDMA chipsets.” He also mentioned the company’s Mirasol display technology, calling it “disruptive,” and said it will be used in a limited volume of mid-sized tablet devices in the first half of 2011. Jacobs didn’t talk much about FLO TV, but reiterated the company’s decision to cut its losses and change direction. He also acknowledged the company’s plan to shutter the direct-to-consumer service, but wouldn’t hint at any plans beyond that for the service. … Read more

The 4G marketing rush begins!
Taking a cue from its competitors, T-Mobile USA Inc. (DTEGY) is throwing caution (and some would say reason) to the wind in tagging its evolution beyond its 3G network with the 4G label. The carrier said it plans to use the 4G tag to promote its rapidly expanding HSPA+ network that the carrier said provides network speeds comparable with what its competitors are claiming for their “4G” networks. Those comparable networks would be Sprint Nextel Corp.’s (S) WiMAX network, which the carrier markets under the “4G” brand name, as well as Verizon Wireless’ (VZ) impending launch of LTE-based services that it also is not afraid to tag with the “4G” label.
T-Mobile USA previously referred to its HSPA+ service as providing “4G-like” speeds. All of these claims come despite the fact none of the current versions of these technologies meet the International Telecommunications Union’s official labels for defining 4G technology. “4G is about performance and today T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network is delivering 4G speeds that match and often beat WiMAX and are comparable to what early LTE will deliver,” explained T-Mobile USA’s CTO Neville Ray in a statement. To further bolster the “legitimacy” of the network, the carrier will begin claiming in national television and digital advertisements that it has “America’s Largest 4G Network.” … Read more

ZTE’s 3G on Mt. Everest
ZTE Corp. has deployed eight base stations at Mt. Everest National Park to provide 3G coverage for voice and broadband services at the base camp, which sits 16,994 feet above sea level. ZTE built a micro base station with low-power consumption for the unique installation to withstand the extreme conditions at such high altitude. Solar panels were included in the design to provide power to the one-piece tower that did not require foundation construction. The service at Mt. Everest base camp is being provided by Ncell, a Nepal-based subsidiary of TeliaSonera. “With the launch of the 3G station, visitors to the south side of Mt. Everest can share what they see, what they feel and what they think during their trip to Mt. Everest with their friends and relatives at any time,” Ncell CTO Aigars Benders said via video at the launch. … Read more

Top 10 tower companies of 2010
A continuing trend in the tower industry is that the largest players continue to grow by consolidating their smaller counterparts and through international expansion. This list originally ran in the PCIA Wireless Infrastructure 2010 Show Guide. Crown Castle International Corp. (CCI) remains the top tower company in the United States, followed close by American Tower Corp. (AMT) The next tier of tower companies – from AT&T Towers to TowerCo – all count thousands of towers. The list quickly drops again to companies that all own fewer than 500 towers. Although other major carriers maintain site inventories that would include them in this list, they were not included on the list because they are not actively pursuing co-location opportunities so were not considered active “tower companies” per se. … Read more

64% of Americans had broadband access
While 64% of Americans have broadband access, and the majority of Americans who don’t have it say they don’t want it, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to closing the gap in the digital divide, according to the federal government, which said it just completed the most comprehensive survey on the issue. “Americans who lack broadband Internet access are cut off from many educational and employment opportunities,” said Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling. “The learning from today’s report is that there is no simple ‘one size fits all’ solution to closing the digital divide. A combination of approaches makes sense, including targeted outreach programs to rural and minority populations emphasizing the benefits of broadband. NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program is helping to address this challenge, but we are hopeful today’s report will be useful to the larger community working to close the gap.” The survey was conducted across 54,000 households by the U.S. Census Bureau and data compiled by the Department of Commerce’s Economics and Statistics Administration and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. While it was no surprise that higher incomes and education are closely associated with broadband access, those two areas were not sole factors, the survey found. … Read more

Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.

The post #TBT: Android vs. iOS vs RIM; WiMAX in the Big Apple; top 10 tower cos of ’10 … this week in 2010 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.