’s Top 6 Posts for July 2013

by Jeff Wiener on August 6, 2013

1. Same Garbage, Renamed Pile: Blackberry Cuts Additional Jobs

While Research in Motion officially changed its name to Blackberry at its shareholders meeting this month, it looks like the new moniker hasn’t allowed the Waterloo Company to dodge the same old strife. With the company posting some remarkable losses over the past few months, the sad truth is that it was just a matter of time before the company’s continuing restructuring plans once again hit the employees were it hurts.

To that end, even as company CEO Thorsten Heins virtually begged company investors for their patience and trust earlier this week, it seems employees have little to depend on, as the company has handed out yet another round of pink slips, this time to 250 Canadian employees.

2. Telus CEO Forecasts Wireless Bloodbath if Verizon Treated Like a New Entrant

The telecom sector will “face a bloodbath” if the rules for the forthcoming wireless spectrum auction won’t be changed in the next couple months, Telus CEO told the Financial Post earlier this month.

Darren Entwistle’s hard words come hot on the heel of Verizon’s confirmed interest in the Canadian wireless market. The government is committed to have at least four wireless carriers in each province, to preserve competition, which was the cause in the first place for rejecting the Telus-Mobilicity deal.

3. Small Cells Pose Big Problems

Always searching for viable solutions to the extant spectrum crisis, earlier this year writers here at covered the expansion of small cell technology, effectively network hotspots designed to expand the network footprint and alleviate some of the traffic on the network itself, allowing for carriers to effectively manage more customers.

While at the time the solution struck me as a viable, albeit patchwork, alternative to our growing spectrum pinch, it seems that small cells may not be the wireless salvation we’ve been waiting for, as those small cells pose big security problems. According to Reuters, two researchers from cybersecurity firm iSec Partners have cracked into one of Verizon’s small cells—otherwise known as a femtocell—essentially turning it into a mobile hacking station.

4. T-Mobile’s ‘UnCarrier’ Policy to Serve as Inspiration for AT&T and Verizon

According to T-Mobile’s new marketing strategy, starting July 14, 2013, for $10 a month, JUMP! will enable customers to upgrade to the latest mobile device up to twice a year at the same pricing as that of a new customer.

In other words, wireless subscribers finally can upgrade their phone whenever they want, not only when allowed by a tight contract. Depending on your budget, this can happen even twice a year, after just six months in the JUMP! program. And, what’s more important: existing customers will have the same advantages news customers will have when deciding to upgrade.

Turns out, the new strategy has created a precedent in theU.S.wireless landscape: both AT&T and Verizon have prepared something very similar for their customers.

5. Huawei Poses ‘Unambiguous’ National Security Threat Says Ex-CIA Boss

While the accusations against Huawei and ZTE were, up to this point, largely unsubstantiated—at least publicly—former U.S. CIA and NSA head Michael Hayden has gone on record stating there is solid evidence that Huawei, at least, has been funnelling key information about foreign telecom infrastructure back to Beijing, stating that the company poses an imminent and persistent threat to national security.

But once again the details of this ‘evidence’ are scant, leading me to conclude that until these allegations and security concerns are presented publicly, this entire saga is nothing more than a socialist witch hunt: unsubstantiated and unjustified.

6. FCC Approves both Sprint and Clearwire Acquisitions

In a rare glimpse of bureaucratic efficiency, the Federal Communications Commission brought the ongoing Sprint and Clearwire acquisitions sagas to a surprisingly swift conclusion this month.

According to Reuters, the FCC voted unanimously to approve the deal late last week, a step that many considered nothing but a formality for deal that was ostensibly complete. The FCC vote not only granted approval to Softbank to acquire Sprint, but gave Sprint the green light to acquire the remaining shares in Clearwire as well—still subject to a minority shareholder vote—its rival bidder Dish Network having backed out when Sprint doubled its offer.

{ 3 trackbacks }

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