TheTelecomblog’s Top Six Posts for December 2011

by Jeff Wiener on January 5, 2012

1. AT&T Abandons T-Mobile Merger

Anticipated but nonetheless surprising, AT&T officially withdrew its bid to purchase T-Mobile this past month, providing a timely bookend that brings to a close one of the most arduous and drawn out telecom stories of the year. The end of the acquisition bid means that AT&T will agree to cough up $4 billion in cash and spectrum as per its pre-merger agreement with T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom.

The reality is, however, that while the proposed merger deal may be dead, the problems the acquisition was supposed to solve are still very much alive. So where do AT&T, T-Mobile, and Deutsche Telekom go from here?

2. Powerplay Of The Year: Rogers, BCE Buy Maple Leaf Sports For $1.3 Billion!

When it comes to Canada’s wireless industry, three is the magic number and that rule may soon be applicable to TV and online broadcasting segments. In a potentially game changing announcement, Bell and Rogers, two of Canada’s largest telecommunication companies announced Friday they have agreed to buy the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and NBA’s Toronto Raptors in a billion-dollar deal.

Should this iconic announcement be viewed as a win for teachers and consumers? Will Rogers and Bell be able to turn around the misguided fortunes of Toronto sports fans and be able to produce teams that actually win? I’m afraid I have more questions than answers for now.

3. Globalive in Talks to Buy Mobilicity?

Globalive Communications Corp., having reached the two-year mark in Canada’s long-suffering telecommunications sector, is apparently poised to make a big move. The company is purportedly in talks to purchase Mobilicity, a competitor and fellow Toronto-based telecommunications start-up.

Spokespersons for both companies declined to comment, with Mobilicity president Stewart Lyons refusing to remark on what he described as “speculation.” The source declined to be identified because the talks are “private,” noting that a deal could be “months away” but will transpire. The source also stated that Mobilicity is considering an initial public offering.

4. Research in (Slow) Motion: BlackBerry 10 Smartphones Delayed Until Late 2012

Winning is a habit, unfortunately so is losing, and there’s no doubt that RIM’s got into the bad habit of losing regularly – unacceptable quarters, listless sales and trouble transitioning to BBX have all helped RIM’s reputation weaken over the last while. The trouble is that even as the odds seem stacked against RIM, the Waterloo-giant isn’t doing itself any favours by regularly missing key deadlines.

Earlier this month, RIM’s top brass claimed that BlackBerry 10 would be a game changer for them in the mobile market. Just when one would expect the company to go all guns blazing on the BlackBerry 10 roll-out schedule, RIM has announced that it won’t start selling smartphones with its new BlackBerry 10 software platform until the “later part” of 2012.

5. Android Outpaces iPhone: Developers Still Wary

Android is ahead of the iPhone now. It was this bold claim made by Google CEO Eric Schmidt that temporarily silenced a room full of Apple device laden entrepreneurs yesterday. Schmidt’s reasoning for his claim was simple, Android beats the iPhone in all the categories that matter (to Google), “unit volume, Ice Cream Sandwich, the price is lower, (and) there are more vendors.”

While I can’t deny that Android is truly a smartphone success story, with Android-powered phones now out-shipping, out-pricing, and ultimately outselling their iPhone counterpart, for me it’s still far too early to crown a winner in this ongoing smartphone battle.

6. Facebook Gambles with Online Casinos

Perhaps designed as a pre-emptive measure to bolster investor confidence in the days leading up to the company’s inevitable IPO, British tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail is reporting that Facebook is “in negotiations with around 20 gambling experts, consultants, and homes of online gambling.”

So what does this mean for the world’s most popular social network? Money, of course, with a side of user alienation. While there’s bound to be some moral outcry should these online casino rumours prove true, it just goes to show that for Facebook no money making scheme is off the table.

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