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!

Holiday 2006 device preview
DALLAS—The holiday retail season kicked into high gear as T-Mobile USA Inc., Virgin Mobile and others introduced a bevy of new handsets. First up was Bang & Olufsen, best known for high-end consumer electronics, which launched a mobile handset developed with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. dubbed the “Serene.” The phone offers “extreme convenience” and “unconventional” operations; it is a black, folding square with the screen on the bottom panel and a circle of dialing options on the upper panel. The company does not yet offer specifications on the phone (except to note it offers voice-activated dialing), or information on air interface technologies, features or price. (Of course, if you have to ask, you probably cannot afford it.) Separately, Nokia Corp. and T-Mobile USA Inc. announced the 6133 handset, a quad-band phone with integrated music player, 1.3 megapixel camera and the carrier’s myFaves service offering unlimited domestic calling to five frequently used numbers. … Read more

Amp’d gets the Razr
LOS ANGELES-Just in time for holiday sales, Amp’d Mobile Inc. has added a Motorola Inc. Razr to its handset lineup and designed a $100 promotional package that includes a headset, universal adapters and a memory card when customers sign a two-year postpaid contract. Amp’d customers will be able to pre-order the Razr at Circuit City and Best Buy locations and through the mobile virtual network operator’s Web site. The pearl-gray “Amp’d Edition” Razr and the accessory package also are available for pay-as-you-go and hybrid plan customers for $200 after a $100 mail-in rebate. “Amp’d Mobile’s unique and extensive content offerings are a perfect match to the eye-catching design and advanced features of the MotoRazr,” said Bruce Brda, Motorola’s corporate vice president and general manager of mobile devices for North America. … Read more

Helio weighs down Earthlink
ATLANTA—Helio L.L.C.’s operating costs pushed parent company EarthLink Inc. into an overall loss of $3.2 million for the third quarter, the company reported. EarthLink shares plunged nearly 10 percent on the announcement as Wall Street reacted to the news. Mobile virtual network operator Helio is a joint venture between EarthLink and Korea-based SK Telecom. According to EarthLink, Helio “significantly increased its operating activities” during the third quarter with a national television and print advertising campaign and an increase in its distribution to over 2,500 retail outlets. EarthLink recorded an equity loss of $26.2 million related to Helio in the third quarter, compared with $4.6 million in the second quarter. … Read more

White-labeling porn for mobile
BRIGHTON, England—European adult mobile content company Cherrysauce and wireless technology developer MIA are partnering to launch a platform for network operators looking to hawk steamy wireless offerings. The companies hope to offer a one-stop shop by coupling Cherrysauce’s adult images, videos, chat services and Java-bases games with MIA’s content management system. The offering is being marketed as a white-label solution, allowing carriers or third parties to offer branded adult content portals or mobile storefronts. … Adult mobile content is gaining substantial traction in Europe and some Asian markets as the uptake of 3G handsets and networks increases. The U.S. market for such offerings remains largely untapped, though, as carriers have generally kept racy content at arm’s length. … Read more

But adult content is seen as too hot to handle
Mobile porn is slowly finding an audience among U.S. mobile users. And network operators are trying to figure out how to cash in. Adult wireless content is gaining substantial traction around the world as content providers find a market for everything from titillating mobile games to hardcore videos. Wireless adult video is expected to outpace text messaging by 2009, generating nearly $2.7 billion annually, according to recent figures from Juniper Research. Content providers have found the U.S. market tough to penetrate, though, as carriers have worked hard to distance themselves from racy offerings. Not only are operators unwilling to grant deck placement to anything more suggestive than a Maxim photo shoot, they don’t allow third parties to bill through their monthly statements for the naughty stuff. Vendors looking to hawk mobile porn must use consumers’ credit cards, which is a substantial hurdle in the world of m-commerce. But there’s little doubt that a significant market exists for wireless porn. … Read more

Ron Livingston was the face of Sprint
OVERLAND PARK, Kan.—Actor Ron Livingston, who plays a hostage negotiator on the new television series “Standoff,” will promote Sprint Nextel Corp. service in a series of TV commercials that are part of the carrier’s new “Power Up” campaign. However, Livingston won’t exactly be the Catherine Zeta-Jones of Sprint Nextel, since the company said it doesn’t want a big-name celeb distracting attention from its brand. Livingston has starred in movies such as cult favorite “Office Space,” “Swingers” and more recently in “Little Black Book” opposite actress Brittany Murphy. He also appeared on television in “Sex and the City,” playing a writer who dated Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie and broke up with her via a Post-It note. According to Sprint Nextel, Livingston will be featured as a “straightforward, relatable guy who finds unconventional ways to talk about Sprint’s wireless service.” … Read more

Touting GSM for public safety
WASHINGTON-GSM proponents including 3G Americas and Cingular Wireless L.L.C. joined the 700 MHz public-safety craze with a technology demonstration aimed at convincing police, firefighters and others to use the GSM family of technology for their wireless communication needs. “The development of mobile broadband wireless standards will provide exciting opportunities for public safety. Public-safety agencies, and the people they protect, will benefit from the GSM-technology family, with its open standards and cost-effective, off-the-shelf equipment that will support emergency and homeland-security applications,” said 3G Americas President Chris Pearson. In its technology demonstration, 3G Americas was careful to not endorse any public-private partnerships or to outright say it wanted in on the action. “The concepts here are more looking at the commercial applications that can be used by public safety as opposed to any infrastructure sharing and network sharing,” Kristin Rinne, chairman of the 3G Americas Board of Governors and chief technology officer at Cingular, told RCR Wireless News. … Read more

AT&T takes on muni Wi-Fi
RIVERSIDE, Calif.—AT&T Inc. announced plans to build an 80-square mile citywide Wi-Fi network in Riverside, Calif., by early next year. The company said the network is intended for both public and municipal use and stands as the company’s largest Wi-Fi deployment to date. Riverside’s 300,000 residents will be able to choose from a variety of connectivity options, including free, advertising-supported access that will deliver speeds between 200 and 500 kilobits per second, or a fee-based, 1-megabit-per-second connection, AT&T said. The company said it will deploy Wi-Fi equipment on city light poles and fixtures, and that it will maintain the network and handle all customer service operations. Interestingly, AT&T also divulged that its Wi-Fi connections in Riverside will feed into the area’s AT&T backbone network infrastructure. … Read more

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

The post #TBT: AT&T and muni Wi-Fi; Amp’d gets the Razr; adventures in navigating adult content … this week in 2006 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.