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!
WiMAX woes for Sprint
With the launch of WiMAX trial markets just weeks away, Sprint Nextel Corp. says it is re-examining its WiMAX business plans and has abandoned a partnership with Clearwire Corp. intended to promote a faster, cheaper deployment of the technology by splitting the costs between the two companies. Sprint Nextel said the decision to terminate a WiMAX letter of intent with Clearwire signed in July was mutual, as “the two companies could not resolve complexities associated with the [letter of intent]and failed to reach final agreement on the terms of the transaction.” The letter had outlined a grand plan for national deployment of a WiMAX network, with Sprint Nextel footing the bill to cover 70 million potential customers and Clearwire covering 30 million by the end of next year. With the departure of former Sprint Nextel CEO Gary Forsee, Sprint Nextel’s WiMAX plans had been in question; the company’s acting CEO, Paul Saleh, has emphasized simplifying the carrier’s business and making further commitment to customer care in order to try to reverse the wireless carrier’s customer losses. … Read more
Clearwire struggles, too
Wireless broadband service provider Clearwire Corp.’s losses widened substantially during the third quarter, with higher revenues more than offset by a $159 million charge related to the refinancing of some of Clearwire’s debt. The company reported a net loss of nearly $185 million for the quarter, up from a loss of about $14 million in the prior year’s third quarter. Besides the refinancing charge, other contributors to the loss included about $14 million in “realized investment losses due to other-than-temporary impairments in Clearwire’s investment portfolio due primarily to exposure in auction rate securities,” according to the company. Clearwire’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization came in at a loss of $84.1 million, way up from the EBITDA losses of $23.3 million in the third quarter of 2006. The company said that the adjusted EBITDA losses were “driven primarily by Clearwire’s ongoing investment in the construction and deployment of wireless networks in new markets, associated market launch costs and increased total subscriber acquisition costs related to the additional markets.” Clearwire gained 49,000 customers during the quarter-up from 33,000 net additions during the year-ago period-to end with a subscriber base of 348,000 customers. That figure reflects 115% growth-year-over-year, and sequential growth of 16% … Read more
Mobile video phones are gonna be huge
Mobile video phone sales will nearly double by 2010, from $58 billion in 2006 to $125 billion in 2010, according to market research firm Infonetics Research. Mobile video subscribers will also grow from just a few million in 2006 to 58.6 million in 2010, said the company. Driving growth in the market is more powerful and efficient phones and the analog broadcast signal switch-offs, said Infonetics. “Despite some concerns around the business plan and subscriber take rates, major service providers continue to move forward with their mobile video network rollouts … Read more
This is the Android you’re looking for
Like Daryl Hannah in “Blade Runner,” Google Inc. last week showcased an attention-grabbing Android. But while the Internet giant garnered headlines and wowed fanboys with its latest move in wireless, some developers reacted with a big yawn. Google ended weeks of speculation about its mobile plans, unveiling an alliance of industry heavyweights centered on a new, open source mobile software platform. The company joined Qualcomm Inc., Motorola Inc. and other members of the new Open Handset Alliance (OHA) to introduce Android, a Linux-based software stack that consists of an operating system, middleware, a user interface and applications. The 34-member group said it will offer a software development kit (SDK) this week, allowing developers to freely access the source code and tweak it for their own purposes. The idea, according to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, is to give application creators a new foundation upon which they can easily and cheaply build their wares. “If you look at it, the key challenges in mobile have been the user interface. . Mobile developers face high costs and distribution issues,” Schmidt said. “No longer, if you are using Android as your platform, will you have to shoehorn, if you will, your application” onto a mobile phone … Read more
Disney Mobile goes to Japan
After shutting down two mobile virtual network operations in the United States, Walt Disney Co. is hoping the third time is the charm; the company is restarting its “Disney Mobile” offering, this time in Japan.
The company said it will work with Japanese mobile operator Softbank Corp. to sell Disney-branded phones and services in the tough Japanese market, beginning in the spring. The move is notable as several high-profile electronics companies, including Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., have reportedly found difficulty in the crowded Japanese market. In a joint press release, Walt Disney’s Japanese subsidiary and Softbank said that they will “cooperate across multiple layers of the service to leverage each others’ strengths and deliver a differentiated mobile experience.” Disney Mobile will be distributed through Softbank retail stores; distribution was cited as a key factor in Disney Mobile’s failure to take off in the U.S. … Read more
The iPhone hits the U.K., Germany
LONDON-A handful of people queued overnight in the cold and rain outside Apple’s flagship store on London’s Regent Street to be among the first to legally buy an iPhone outside the U.S. when it went on sale at precisely 6:02 p.m. on Friday in the U.K. During the day, the queue grew to hundreds, and sympathetic Apple staff brought out cups of hot tea to keep up the spirits of the mainly male crowd. Round the corner on Oxford Street, there were shorter lines at Carphone Warehouse and O2 stores, the exclusive service provider, where the iPhone also went on sale at 6:02 p.m. (the carefully-timed :02 kickoff doubled as an ad for the phone). Some Carphone Warehouse branches stayed open till 11 p.m. to satisfy customers hungry for the latest gadget and O2 employed more than 1,400 extra staff as sales assistants and at call centers to tackle the anticipated rush of sales. The iPhone launched in its first two foreign markets, the U.K. and Germany, on Nov. 9. Throughout the weekend bloggers in both countries posted pictures online of customers buying iPhones in different cities. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News’ Archives for more stories from the past.
The post #TBT: WiMAX on the rocks, Google launches Android, the iPhone hits Europe … this week in 2007 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.