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February 22, 2013
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News for wireless telecommunications professionals

  Top Story 
  • Alcatel taps Michel Combes as CEO
    Alcatel-Lucent reached out to a veteran telecom executive, Michel Combes, who spearheaded a $3 billion cost-cutting initiative as Vodafone's chief of finance, to run the struggling equipment maker, the company announced today. Combes, who will join Alcatel on April 1, will replace Ben Verwaayen, who resigned this month as sales continued to fall in a fiercely competitive market. Combes, who also served as France Telecom's head of finance, won high marks from analysts, who nonetheless said he faces an exceptional challenge in turning around Alcatel. Reuters (2/22), Bloomberg Businessweek (2/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Company News 
  • Samsung takes aim at BlackBerry's biggest clients
    Samsung Electronics has mounted an aggressive campaign aimed at persuading corporate and government IT executives to defect from BlackBerry. The South Korean electronics maker has wooed away dozens of rival employees, hired executives from mobile-security outfits and invested in smaller firms to beef up its technology. Samsung "can hit the market aggressively and take some share from [BlackBerry]," said analyst Jeff Johnston of Detwiler Fenton, a wealth-management firm. The Wall Street Journal (2/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Vodafone's Colao does not rule out future Verizon deal
    Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao responded to a signal issued last month from partner Verizon Communications by saying his company would keep an open mind on changing the nature of their corporate relationship. Verizon chief Lowell McAdam had said his company, which owns 55% of Verizon Wireless, would "love" to finally buy out Vodafone's stake and could afford to do so. Colao offered his thoughts on the partnership and other matters in this interview with The Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Nokia sets aggressive effort to retain low-end market
    Nokia next week will introduce a series of low-cost cellphones in an effort to stave off Chinese phone-makers ZTE and Huawei Technologies, according to a published report. The Finnish company will also reportedly unveil a less-expensive version of its Windows Phone 8-powered Lumia smartphone. Nokia is not commenting on the report. Reuters (2/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Mobile Apps 
  • IBM partners with AT&T as part of mobile initiative
    AT&T and IBM announced an alliance designed to leverage the power of the carrier's cloud offerings to advance Big Blue's push into the mobile space. The partnership is intended to make it easier to create mobile applications that help IBM customers. "Our customers are leaving billions of dollars on the table," said Michael Riegel, the head of IBM's mobile strategy. "They are not getting the productivity gains they could. They need to rethink their customer relations to allow people to access them at any time." eWeek (2/21), The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Bits blog (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Qualcomm invades radio chip market with global LTE effort
    Qualcomm on Thursday unveiled a radio chip aimed at greatly reducing fragmentation among makers of Long-Term Evolution phones. In reaching out to a new market with its RF360, Qualcomm is trying to enable a global phone that can support LTE radio transmissions in a greater range of frequencies so that handsets do not need to be so region-specific. Qualcomm said the chip can support up to 40 frequency bands, enough to handle the global range. One analyst termed the development a "bombshell" for Qualcomm's rivals, but phone-makers will have to equip their devices with new RF technology before LTE phones can become truly universal. The Wall Street Journal/Digits blog (2/21), GigaOm (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sprint joins Dept. of Energy's campaign to curb energy use
    Sprint Nextel will work with the U.S. Department of Energy on the agency's Better Buildings Challenge energy-saving initiative, the DOE announced on Thursday. That means Sprint has promised to shrink its energy use by 20% in four years. The agency has already cited Sprint for its ecological commitment at its office park in Overland Park, Kan., where the carrier derives 5% of its energy consumption from renewable sources. American City Business Journals/Kansas City, Mo. (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Public Policy 
  • FCC issues signal-booster rules, gives carriers more control
    Federal regulators on Wednesday sought to minimize the potential for interference from cellphone signal boosters by issuing new signal-booster-focused rules and requiring consumers to obtain permission from wireless carriers before use, an idea supported by CTIA-The Wireless Association®. Wilson Electronics, a signal-booster developer, contends the devices in question will meet interference requirements before they hit the market. Ars Technica (2/21), eWeek (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  CTIA News 
  • App economy created 519,000 jobs
    CTIA and the Application Developers Alliance released the "The Geography of the App Economy" report that found the app economy created 519,000 jobs in the U.S. Washington, California, Massachusetts, Oregon and Georgia are the top five app "intensity" states. The app economic impact for these states was more than $13.6 billion each year. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--W. Somerset Maugham,
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