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March 21, 2013
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News for wireless telecommunications professionals

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  Company News 
  • Sprint offers MVNOs more freedom to "de-brand" handsets
    Sprint Nextel will allow its MVNO partners more flexibility in customizing their cellphones -- to de-brand the devices from Sprint. The mobile virtual network operators who ride along on Sprint's network will "have greater, and potentially quicker, access to a large selection of completely de-branded marquee Android handsets," Sprint said. The move could allow the MVNOs to add their own software to the devices -- currently the LG Optimus G, LG Mach and Sprint Flash, with more handsets said to come -- or eliminate some of the programs carriers typically add to their branded phones. Engadget (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 U.K. pre-orders nearly 5 times higher than for S III
    Britain's Carphone Warehouse reports that early orders for the Galaxy S4 smartphone -- due to arrive on April 26 -- are 446% higher than the Galaxy S III, itself a huge-selling model. Research firm IHS iSuppli estimates that the new Galaxy will pad Samsung's global cellphone market lead by 6 percentage points, to 11 points. Meanwhile, Samsung said it would "at the earliest possibility" fix a lock-screen-related security hole on Android phones that could enable anyone to bypass security measures to access applications. VentureBeat (3/20), CNET (3/20), All Things D (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Mobile Marketing 
  • Visa chief points to additional fee on PayPal
    Although PayPal is already paying fees to Visa, MasterCard and American Express when consumers charge via PayPal using those cards, Visa CEO Charlie Scharf suggested his company may follow MasterCard in imposing still more fees on these mobile wallet transactions. Google's mobile wallet may be another target for additional fees. The moves may prove another roadblock on the way to mobile payments, writes Dieter Bohn, as the "fees will make it harder for companies like PayPal and Google to make their mobile wallets profitable, ceding precious margins to Visa and MasterCard -- each of whom are offering their own mobile payment products." Reuters (3/20), The Verge (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • HP takes giant step toward 3D displays without glasses
    U.S. researchers have demonstrated 3D displays that could play on smartphones and tablets that project hologram-like images without the need for viewing glasses. Hewlett-Packard Laboratories has deployed a technology known as diffractive optics that allows viewers to virtually surround an object from 200 different angles on conventional LCD screens. Scientists still face a number of hurdles to bring the technology to market. MIT Technology Review online (3/20), Google/Agence France-Presse (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Still waiting in the wings, NFC may be ready to take center stage
    With an expected 300 million NFC handsets in circulation by next year, that part of the problem for the spread of NFC is nearing solution. Remaining, however, is the task of convincing consumers to use the new technology, which offers a wealth of conveniences and capabilities but doesn't appear to solve any immediately pressing need. The Wall Street Journal (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Public Policy 
  • FCC chief applauds spectrum process; McDowell to resign
    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski did not comment directly on whether the agency will prolong the comment period for voluntary spectrum auctions but expressed approval at the ongoing process: "[E]verything that has happened since Congress passed the incentive auction has made me more optimistic about the opportunities of this new idea as we move forward," he said. Also, Commissioner Robert McDowell said he would resign from the FCC in a few weeks. Multichannel News (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Editor's Note 
  • Correction
    A summary in Wednesday's CTIA SmartBrief should have stated that Deutsche Telekom's incoming chief, Timotheus Hoettges, will lead the board of T-Mobile USA after the T-Mobile USA-MetroPCS merger. SmartBrief regrets the error. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm."
--Henrik Ibsen,
Norwegian playwright

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