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!

BlackJack …
As with many legal settlements, the terms are undisclosed and it’s back to business as usual, but probably with subtle changes. Research In Motion Ltd. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. apparently announced yesterday-how or to whom remains unclear, as both companies’ Web sites reflect no mention of the matter-that they had reached agreement on RIM’s December lawsuit against Samsung over the company’s BlackJack smartphone. According to media reports, the settlement includes “immediate provisions for the protection of RIM’s valuable trademarks,” but those provisions remain largely undisclosed. RIM apparently disclosed that Samsung would withdraw its application for a trademark on the BlackJack smartphone and take “certain reasonable measures to avoid confusion in the marketplace.” The statement also referred to limitations on Cingular Wireless L.L.C.’s “retention of common law rights in the Blackjack trademark.” RIM’s statement apparently spelled Blackjack with a lower case “j,” which might reflect one element of the agreement. One of RIM’s objections to Samsung’s “BlackJack” was that it confused consumers into thinking that Samsung’s device was somehow connected with or approved by RIM, whose BlackBerry devices use an uppercase “B.” … Read more

… And Jack Black
Amp’d Mobile Inc. continued to expand its impressive content portfolio, inking deals with actor Jack Black and “24” producer Howard Gordon to offer original, made-for-mobile programming. The news stands atop a number of similar agreements signed in recent days, which may indicate that made-for-mobile programming is catching steam across the industry. Amp’d said Black and his production partners will develop a series of comedy shorts based on the group’s “Channel 101,” which offers monthly screenings of amateur comedy clips on the Internet. Like the “Channel 101” site, the MVNO’s comedy offering will allow viewers to decide which comedy programs stay in the lineup and which are cancelled. Separately, Gordon will oversee a news series to investigate “mysterious sightings from around the world.” The news program will include analysts from experts at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, government officials and other analysts. Gordon is executive producer of the Fox hits “24” and “The X Files.”
Amp’d also extended its deal with Donick Cary, the writer behind the series “Lil’ Bush: Resident of the United States,” which debuted through Amp’d before being sold to Comedy Central. … Read more

Arguments over the FCC’s definition of ‘broadband’ V1.0
House Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) said the Federal Communications Commission’s gauge for measuring broadband speed and penetration in the United States is outdated. Dingell called for improved spectrum management and other actions to improve the nation’s broadband stature in the world. “To meet our escalating needs, we must examine whether the current measure of broadband speed in this country is adequate,” Dingell wrote in an opinion published online by The Hill, a newspaper that reports on Congress. “In 1996, Congress directed the Federal Communications Commission to encourage the timely deployment to all Americans of capability enabling users ‘to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics and video telecommunications.’ Curiously, the FCC continues to rely on the high-speed definition it set in 1999 as just 200 kilobits per second in only one direction.” Dingell continued: “There is universal agreement that this is insufficient for cutting-edge applications such as streaming video (1 Mbps), medical monitoring (2.5 Mbps) or videoconferencing (6 Mbps). … Read more

Crash of the ringtone market
Content aggregators are fleeing the ringtone dance floor and scrambling to develop different types of content and build new business models. The latest vendor to read the writing on the wall is Moderati Inc., a Santa Monica, Calif.-based ringtone provider. The company this week should announce it has been acquired by Bellrock Media Inc., a two-year-old content company with operations in the United States and Japan. Moderati has gained impressive ground as a ringtone aggregator for U.S. network operators. The company’s carrier partners include all four tier-one service providers, as well as well as youth-focused mobile virtual network operators Amp’d Mobile, Boost Mobile, Helio and Virgin Mobile USA L.L.C. But like its competitors, Moderati has been squeezed by increasingly slim profit margins in the face of onerous carrier revenue-share models. And network operators are beginning to strike deals directly with record labels, cutting ringtone vendors out of the loop completely. … Read more

Just build your own TV networks, carriers. Easy peasy!
Carriers looking to cash in on mobile TV services should pony up and build their own dedicated multimedia network, according to a new report from a consortium of industry players. Then they should somehow convince subscribers to pay $20 a month for the stuff. The new white paper, published by the Mobile DTV Alliance, claims that U.S. operators could join forces and invest as much as $2 billion to build a network dedicated to wireless video broadcasts. The carriers would recoup the cost, the group claims, if 25 percent of the nation’s 200 million subscribers pay an average of $20 monthly to access the service, generating $12 billion in annual revenue. “Even if we assume that 50 percent of that revenue will go directly to content owners, and the entire investment in infrastructure is to be amortized over one year,” wrote author Yoram Solomon, “there is plenty of profit to share.” The group downplayed the economic viability of unicast-delivering on-demand video to a single handset at a time-claiming that the heavy data traffic would limit offerings to short-form, low-resolution clips that could overload carrier networks. Instead, the Mobile DTV Alliance-which includes Intel Corp., Motorola Inc., Nokia Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc.-suggested operators deliver high-quality video on the dedicated network and charge consumers for all-you-can-eat access. And instead of using networks such as Qualcomm Inc.’s MediaFLO or Aloha Partners’ Hiwire, they should consider building their own. But while the alliance’s math may be flawless, analysts and others question the viability of a $20 monthly price point for on-the-go video. … Read more

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

The post #TBT: Crash of the ringtone market, BlackJack and Jack Black … this week in 2007 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.