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April 24, 2012
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News for wireless telecommunications professionals

  Top Story 
  • Strong data sales, lower churn boost AT&T
    AT&T exceeded analysts' estimates in the first quarter as a key revenue metric grew 1.7% from a year ago, the carrier reported today. Churn fell to 1.1%, compared with 1.18% a year ago, as AT&T added 726,000 subscribers, boosting its total to 103.9 million. Profits grew 5.2%, outpacing Wall Street predictions, on a 1.8% growth in revenue. Wireless sales grew 5.4% on an 8.7% increase from data services. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (4/24), Bloomberg (4/24), Reuters (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Company News 
  • Apple, Samsung took different routes to top of phone heap
    Apple and Samsung Electronics are expected to confirm their dominance among smartphone-makers when they report earnings this week. The companies have taken sharply divergent paths to the top, notes to this analysis, which compares their strategies. The pair -- the only major manufacturers to gain market share in the fourth quarter -- earned 91% of the industry's profit in that quarter, compared with 61% a year earlier, research firm Strategy Analytics reports. The Wall Street Journal (4/24)
  • Facebook will buy Microsoft patents in $550 million deal
    Microsoft's $1 billion purchase of AOL patents earlier this month has already begun to pay off: Facebook has agreed to pay $550 million to acquire 70% of those AOL patents under a deal in which the social network firm will also gain rights to patents that Microsoft will retain. Facebook will likely end up with a trove of patents related to mobile, Internet and instant-messaging technologies. "This is almost certainly a move against Google," said analyst Rebecca Lieb of the research firm Altimeter Group. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Bits blog (4/23), Reuters (4/23), All Things D (4/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ZTE to push phones, clouds as HTC sees hard road in U.S.
    Two Asian wireless vendors have issued divergent outlooks, with China's ZTE offering a bullish forecast Monday, while Taiwan's HTC today conceded that its U.S. prospects appear "difficult." ZTE Executive Director He Shiyou predicted that smartphone sales could triple from 15 million units in 2011 to as much as 50 million this year as the company phases out much of its telecom equipment efforts. HTC Chief Executive Peter Chou offered a more bearish second-quarter sales and profit outlook but issued an upbeat prognosis based on prospects in Asia and Europe. Bloomberg Businessweek (4/23), The Wall Street Journal (4/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  • Pediatric hospital introduces mobile app
    Children's Hospital Boston has unveiled a free mobile platform called Boston Children's MyWay that helps patients and families make their way around clinical sites and facilities. The application also can be used to schedule appointments and access medical records stored online. (4/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Boston will host first smartphone transit ticket system in U.S.
    Massachusetts transit officials plan to introduce a system this fall that will let Boston-area riders use their smartphones to order their tickets and display them on the trains. The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority has joined with U.K. mobile-ticketing company Masabi on the application, which will be available on Android, iOS and BlackBerry platforms. "The biggest reason we were impressed with Masabi was that they have a unique visual ticket that displays on the phone," said the MBTA's Joshua Robin. GigaOm (4/23), Network World (4/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends & Research 
  • NPD: Freemium games produce best app profits
    The upgradable freemium model is the most effective way for mobile-gaming application developers to make money, according to a report from The NPD Group, which found that 40% of consumers in a study went on to make in-app purchases after downloading free games. Men were much more likely than women to buy the upgrades. CNET (4/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Featured Content 

  Earnings Roundup 
  • Huawei splits up CEO job as profits fall on higher costs
    In an effort to retain his top executives, Huawei Technologies founder Ren Zhengfei has named three top officials to share the CEO role with him in six-month rotations. "This is succession planning with Chinese characteristics," said David Wolf of Wolf Group Asia, a marketing consulting firm. The Chinese telecom gear-maker also said that despite higher revenue, its 2011 profit slipped because of currency and investment costs, but it predicted that it would triple its smartphone unit sales this year to 60 million handsets. Total Telecom Magazine (U.K.)/Dow Jones Newswires (4/23), Bloomberg Businessweek (4/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Public Policy 
  • CTIA objects to proposed Calif. limits on tracking devices
    CTIA-The Wireless Association® has objected to California legislation that would limit authorities' ability to track a wireless user's location, saying the bill would "create greater confusion for wireless providers when responding to legitimate law enforcement requests." The measure would require police to procure a search warrant before tracking phone customers, except in emergencies. CNET/Privacy Inc. blog (4/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  CTIA News 
  • Semiannual survey had scary findings, CTIA's president says
    When CTIA released its semiannual survey this month, one result stood out: Wireless data traffic more than doubled in 2011, growing from 388 billion megabytes in 2010 to 866.7 billion megabytes in 2011. This incredible increase is a testament to the explosive growth of the "Internet of Things" (aka mobile to mobile), and many experts have predicted that 2012 will see increases over 2011 numbers. What's scary about this rapidly increasing data usage is that only a finite amount of spectrum exists, and only a fraction of that spectrum is suitable for wireless broadband. We must work diligently and quickly to meet the Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Plan goal of making 300 MHz available by 2015 and an additional 200 MHz by 2020. Learn why the semiannual survey yet again highlighted the wireless industry's need for more spectrum on the CTIA Blog. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--D.H. Lawrence,
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