Verizon today announced that customers of both its wireless and wireline services can receive $20 off their total monthly bill by combining accounts. In order to get the discount, customers must subscribe to Verizon Wireless and Verizon's FiOS triple-play bundle, which includes FiOS home internet, television, and home phone service. Customers will receive $10 off their wireless bill and $10 off their FiOS bill for a period of two years, providing a maximum discount of $480. The promotion is available starting today and it runs through April 19.
AT&T has improved its LTE network in Chicago and several other markets by using an LTE-Advanced technique called Carrier Aggregation. GigaOm confirmed the soft launch with AT&T SVP of Network Technologies Kris Rinne. With Carrier Aggregation, AT&T has combined the channels of its existing spectrum to double the capacity. AT&T is running LTE in both the 700MHz and AWS bands in Chicago. By aggregating the channels together, AT&T can deliver theoretical peak download speeds of 110Mbps to devices with the proper radio support. At the moment, AT&T is selling only one device with Carrier Aggregation, the Unite mobile hotspot. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is expected to be the first smartphone to support Carrier Aggregation in the U.S. AT&T did not name the other two markets that have access to Carrier Aggregation, but said that more markets on are on the way. Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless are all in various stages of deploying Carrier Aggregation in their own LTE networks.
Isis today announced another promotion with the goal of coaxing smartphone owners into using its tap-and-go mobile payment service. The promotion will give American Express card holders who've registered their card with Isis a statement credit when they use Isis to pay for a ride in a medallioned New York City yellow cab. Isis will credit users back for 50% of the fare up to a maximum of $100. Isis is a joint venture backed by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. About two dozen different Android devices are compatible with the system, which requires a secure SIM card, NFC, a credit card from a participating financial firm, and the Isis mobile application. The iPhone requires a separate case, which costs $70, to use Isis. It is free to sign up for Isis.
RadioShack reported its fourth quarter earnings today, and revealed that it plans to close twice as many stores as initially forecast. The company said slow foot traffic, heavy promotions, and weak smartphone sales during the holiday season led to a quarterly loss of $191.4 million. The company had warned it would close about 500 stores to cut costs, but has now doubled that number to 1,100. The closures will leave RadioShack with about 4,000 stores still open in the U.S. RadioShack is in the process of updating both its image and its sales strategy with a focus on electronic entertainment devices. It sells devices from AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless.
Verizon Wireless today revamped its prepaid plans for both feature phones and smartphones. The new Allset plans for feature phones cost $35 per month for 500 voice minutes, unlimited messaging, and 500MB of data. Feature phones can jump to unlimited voice and text, and 500MB of data for $45 per month. Allset smartphone plans cost $45 per month and include unlimited voice, texting, and 500MB of data. Verizon is also offering what it calls "Bridge Data." Allset plan customers can add more data to their plan at any time. For example, customers can add 500MB (30-day expiration) to their Allset plan for $5 per month; 1GB (90-day expiration) for $10 per month; or 3GB (90-day expiration) for $20 per month. Unused data will carry over to the next month. For a limited time, Verizon is offering to double the monthly data allotment, as well as include 1,000 monthly minutes for calling to Canada and Mexico, for all Allset customers who sign up with autopay. Allset smartphone customers will be able to use their devices as a mobile hotspot. Verizon's new Allset plans are available beginning today.
AT&T this week admitted that its planned late 2013 launch of VoLTE has been delayed. "We're in the final stages of optimization," said Kris Rinne, AT&T's SVP of network technologies in an interview with Fierce Wireless. But added, "It's not quite ready." VoLTE passes voice calls over LTE networks as data rather than through the traditional circuit-switched method used by most cell phones. Verizon Wireless has also delayed plans to launch VoLTE. It initially hoped to launch the service by late 2013, but in December pushed the launch back to mid 2014.
Verizon Communications today became the sole owner of Verizon Wireless. Verizon Wireless was launched as a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group. Verizon owned 55% and Vodafone owned 45%. Verizon proposed last year to purchase the portion of Verizon Wireless that it didn't own from Vodafone for $130 billion. The deal was given FCC approval in December and shareholder approval in January. The deal officially closed this morning. Verizon Communications now has full control over Verizon Wireless, and Vodafone, which is based in the U.K., has been reduced in value by about half.
After being handed a defeat in court last month, the Federal Communications Commission will take another stab at implementing rules to keep the internet open. Tom Wheeler, FCC chairman, said in a statement Wednesday the agency will forgo further legal action against Verizon, which won its challenge to the rules, and will use Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act to create new rules that are clearer, more well defined, and backed by law. From a high-level point of view, Wheeler wants internet service providers to be open about their network management tactics, wants to prevent them from discriminating against certain types of traffic, and wants to prevent them from entirely blocking services. Wheeler hopes that by changing the argument behind the Open Internet Rules, the FCC will be able to establish them officially and in a manner that can be enforced. "The FCC must stand strongly behind its responsibility to oversee the public interest standard and ensure that the internet remains open and fair," said Wheeler. "The internet is and must remain the greatest engine of free expression, innovation, economic growth, and opportunity the world has ever known. We must preserve and promote the internet."
Transit Wireless today announced that it has begun Phase Two of its project to bring cellular and Wi-Fi wireless service to New York City's subway stations. The first step of Phase Two is to light up service at 11 more midtown Manhattan stations, including those at Grand Central Terminal, 34th St. Herald Square, and Bryant Park. The bulk of Phase Two, however, targets 29 stations in Queens. Transit Wireless is building a hub in Queens to help manage the infrastructure from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. The Queens build out begins in March and should be complete by June. Transit Wireless has not said if or when it will offer subway station service in the boroughs of the Bronx or Brooklyn.
T-Mobile today said that beginning February 23 customers of its Jump early upgrade program will be able to upgrade more often than twice per year. "Whenever you're ready to upgrade, trade in your device and T-Mobile will pay your remaining device payments up to 50% of the device cost," said T-Mobile in a statement provided to Fierce Wireless. "There is no more waiting period or limit to the number of times you can upgrade per year." T-Mobile is requiring that customers pay off half the cost of their phone before upgrading, though. Many phones carry a full retail price of $600 or more. T-Mobile's Jump plans carry a $10 premium over regular plan pricing. The more frequent upgrades mirror those offered under Verizon's Edge plans.
Verizon Wireless today unfurled new rate plans in response to recent offerings from AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The "More Everything Plan" increases the data in some pricing tiers and drops the cost for some Verizon Edge plans. For example, all Edge customers choosing data plans up to 8GB will see their prices drop by $10 per month. Customers who have data buckets of 10GB and higher will see their prices drop by $20 per month. Verizon's Edge plans allow customers to pay for their device over time. Further, Verizon is bumping the $40 500MB plan to 1GB, the $50 1GB plan to 2GB, and the $60 2GB plan to 3GB. These changes will be applied automatically. The more devices that are added to a single account, the more customers can save. The More Everything plans are available starting today.
This hero smartphone for Verizon Wireless is packed with imaging chops and Nokia's best software. Here are Phone Scoop's first impressions.
Nokia today announced the Lumia Icon, a flagship Windows Phone for Verizon Wireless. The stand-out feature is the Icon's 20-megapixel PureView sensor with optical image stabilization and Zeiss optics. According to Nokia, the Icon lets users zoom in up to 3x while shooting video and still maintain 1080p HD resolution. The camera is accompanied by dual LED flashes and Nokia's deep range of dedicated imaging applications. The Icon also includes a 2-megapixel user-facing sensor for selfies and video chats. Other characteristics include a 5-inch 1080p HD ClearBlack display that can be used with gloves; support for Verizon's LTE 4G network and HSPA+ networks in Europe and Asia; NFC and wireless charging; and a 2,420mAh battery. The Icon is powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. The processor is paired with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage. The phone runs the latest version of Windows Phone and ships with the Nokia Black system update installed. The Nokia Lumia Icon will be available online and in Verizon stores beginning February 20. Verizon is asking $199.99 with a new two-year contract. The device will be available for preorder from Microsoft stores beginning today. Those who purchase the Lumia Icon from Microsoft before March 16 will receive a free charging accessory.
Sprint is rethinking its intent to make a bid for T-Mobile after the idea was met with skepticism from government officials. Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son and CEO Dan Hesse met with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission in recent weeks. Both agencies indicated a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile would face tough resistance from antitrust regulators. Though Son and Hesse knew the idea would be meet some pushback, they were surprised by the level of skepticism for the deal, according to sources cited by The Wall Street Journal. Sprint and T-Mobile contend that the only way for them to effectively combat AT&T and Verizon Wireless is to join forces. U.S. officials have, however, made it abundantly clear they prefer to have four national carriers and not three. The Journal says Sprint may yet make a play for T-Mobile, but will likely spend weeks or longer to weigh its options.
The Federal Communications Commission cited a property owner for interfering with Verizon Wireless's network in downtown Los Angeles. The fluorescent lights used by Ernst & Young Plaza, a 41-story office tower owned by Brookfield Office Properties, are generating enough high-frequency radio emissions to cause problems for Verizon's 700MHz-based LTE network in the area. Verizon first noticed the problem in April 2013 and asked both the FCC and Brookfield to resolve the issue. Brookfield said it was investigating the problem, but has not said if or how it intends to fix it. Verizon complained to the FCC in December that the problem was not solved. In response, the FCC verified the problem still exists and cited the building owner. The FCC wants a formal response from Brookfield, with detailed explanations of how it will fix the problem, within 60 days. The light fixtures in question are made by GE, which admitted in 2012 that a small number of the ballasts do in fact unintentionally interfere with wireless networks. Fluorescent light fixtures are classified as industrial, scientific, and medical equipment, and are regulated by the FCC.
HTC today indicated via one of its Twitter accounts that Verizon Wireless has approved the Android 4.4 and Sense 5.5 system update. HTC said the over-the-air update should be available to One owners shortly.
Verizon Wireless today announced the availability of the Incipio Cashwrap case for owners of the iPhone. The Cashwrap case includes an NFC radio and compatibility with the Isis mobile payment service. iPhone owners interested in using Isis will need to have a special SIM card, the case, the Isis application, and a credit card from a participating financial institution. The case is available for the iPhone 4/4S and 5/5s. It costs $70 and can be purchased directly from Verizon Wireless. The Cashwrap case was recently made available to AT&T iPhone owners, as well, but has yet to arrive for T-Mobile customers.
Isis is offering Wells Fargo cardholders up to $300 to join Isis and use Isis to make mobile payments. Wells Fargo customers who sign up for Isis will receive a $20 account credit the first time they use Isis to make a payment. Further, between now and April 30, Wells Fargo will offer 20% cash back in statement credits on all Isis purchases, up to $100 per calendar month over the next three months. Isis is a joint venture supported by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. The mobile payment system is available to about 50 smartphones and uses NFC and a mobile app for tap-and-go payments at participating retailers. Isis launched on Android devices in November, but only recently became available to the iPhone through an NFC-equipped case.
The Federal Communications Commission today indicated that it wants more industry players to participate in on-going efforts to enable text-to-911 services. The four largest carriers have already committed to offering such services by May 15 of this year, but the FCC believes this is not enough. It is requesting that the country's smaller, regional carriers get involved in order to fill in the gaps where AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon don't offer service. Further, the FCC wants companies that provide over-the-top (OTT) messaging services, such as WhatsApp or Skype, to enable text-to-911 within their applications. To wit, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would force OTT services to enable text-to-911 by the end of the year. The FCC is accepting comments on the idea and will make a final determination later this year. One of the core components is the ability to send a bounce-back message to senders in areas where 911 can't receive text messages. The FCC feels this is an essential service and keeps in step with how consumers prefer to communicate.
HTC today said it will miss its self-imposed deadline of updating the One within 90 days from the time Google released Android 4.4 KitKat. It originally committed to giving the One the latest version of Android by the end of January. According to HTC, KitKat is now undergoing carrier testing with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Though it will fall short of the 90-day cutoff, HTC expects the update will take only another week or two to complete for each carrier. HTC asked customers for patience as it finalizes the system update. More information should be available soon.
Transit Wireless today announced the addition of Verizon Wireless to its underground cellular network in the New York City subway system. Verizon's 3G voice and LTE 4G services are available at 35 different subway stations in Manhattan, from 23rd St. to 96th St, including Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center, and Columbus Circle. With Verizon on board, Transit Wireless, the company behind the underground network, announced that it is starting phase two of its project, which will bring cellular access to subway stations throughout Queens. AT&T and T-Mobile are already available via Transit Wireless. Sprint is expected to become available from Transit this year.
The shareholders of both Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group have approved the sale of Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications. Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone. Vodafone owns about 45% of Verizon Wireless. Verizon Communications proposed last year to take full ownership of the joint venture in a deal valued at $130 billion. The companies' shareholders agreed to the terms of the sale and the issuance of new stock to make the financial transaction work. The Federal Communications Commission has already approved the sale, but it still needs the approval of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. The companies expect the deal to close on or about February 21.
AT&T and Incipio today announced the availability of the Cashwrap, a case for the iPhone that includes a secure NFC chip and can be used to make mobile payments via Isis. The case is compatible with the iPhone 4/4S and 5/5s. It must be used with the Isis application, which can be downloaded for free from the iTunes App Store. Customers register a credit card with the app/service and can then use their iPhone for tap-and-go payments at participating retailers. The case is available from AT&T's web site beginning today, and should reach most AT&T stores January 31. The case comes in black, pink, or white and costs $69. Isis is a joint venture backed by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. It launched in November and already works with a handful of Android smartphones that have NFC embedded inside. The Cashwrap case from Incipio is necessary for the iPhone because it does not have NFC.
The Federal Communications Commission will today begin accepting bids for H Block spectrum. Auction 96 will be used to sell 176 licenses for the H Block spectrum, which falls in the 1915-1920MHz and 1995-2000MHz bands. The FCC held a mock auction to test the bidding process on January 17. Most of the major wireless network operators declined to participate in the auction, though Dish Networks and nearly two dozen other, smaller firms plan to make bids. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless are expected to participate more aggressively in an auction on deck for mid-2015, which will cover spectrum in the 600MHz band. The FCC has not said how long it expects Auction 96 to take, though it hopes to raise about $1.6 billion from the winners.
Verizon Wireless today unveiled the World Messaging Unlimited promotion, which promises to help reduce the cost of sending messages and making calls to numbers outside the U.S. The plan provides unlimited messaging from the U.S. to most other countries for $5 per month. The World Messaging Unlimited promotion also drops the per-minute rate for voice calls made to landlines or wireless numbers. Such calls made to Canada and Mexico cost just 1 cent per minute, while calls to most Caribbean and Central American countries cost 5 cents per minute. Verizon Wireless didn't say how long the World Messaging Unlimited promotion will be available.
Verizon Wireless recently added a new choice to its Share Everything plans. The company quietly made a 250MB option available that costs only $20 per month. For smartphone users, the Share Everything plans require a $40 per month line charge, and then a separate data charge. The $40 buys unlimited voice minutes and messaging. The 250MB plan is meant to appeal to those who hardly use mobile data, but still want the benefits of a smartphone when needed. The next option up offers 500MB for $40 per month, and so on up to 6GB for $80.
Verizon Communications, the parent company of Verizon Wireless, today announced that it has agreed to purchase Intel's cloud TV platform, called OnCue. In addition to gaining rights to the technology, Verizon will also offer jobs to about 350 Intel employees based in California. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it will require regulatory approval. The sale is expected to close during the first quarter of the year. Verizon believes the purchase will help it prepare next-generation video services faster. "We will have the opportunity to enhance, expand, accelerate and integrate our delivery of video products and services to better serve audiences on a wide array of devices," said Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam. Though the deal will initially help Verizon's FiOS-based television service, it will eventually also be integrated with Verizon's 4G LTE network.
Verizon Wireless recently modified the terms of its Edge plan that should make it more attractive to potential customers. Under the old terms, Edge customers could upgrade to a new device after an initial enrollment period of six months. Under the new terms, Edge customers only have to wait 30 days before making their first device upgrade. Customers will need to pay for 50% of their current phone before upgrading to a new device, however. In order to join Verizon Edge, customers need to be in a month-to-month status with Verizon, have good payment history, and be eligible for an upgrade. Further, they have to pass a new credit check. The 30-day upgrade policy is being called a "promotion" by Verizon Wireless, though no end date has been set.
An appeals court today ruled that the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules are invalid. The FCC pushed through rules several years ago that force broadband companies to treat all internet traffic equally. It means companies such as Verizon Communications, the appellant in this case, cannot favor some traffic over others. The U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., said the FCC doesn't have the authority to issue such mandates. The order reads, in part, "Even though the Commission has general authority to regulate in this arena, it may not impose requirements that contravene express statutory mandates. Given that the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from nonetheless regulating them as such. Because the Commission has failed to establish that the anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules do not impose per se common carrier obligations, we vacate those portions of the Open Internet Order." The ruling could have a large effect on how broadband companies, both wired and wireless, run the internet.
Verizon has agreed to sell T-Mobile $3 billion worth of its 700 MHz radio spectrum licenses. The licenses were purchased from the FCC in 2008 but have sat unused since then. They cover the "A" block of the lower 700 MHz band, used by phones with LTE band 12. The licenses cover 21 of the top 30 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Detroit. T-Mobile already has A-block licenses for Boston. The transaction will give T-Mobile 700 MHz A-block spectrum covering a total of 158 million people. T-Mobile hopes to launch 700 MHz service and phones by the end of 2014. Verizon will retain its upper 700 MHz C-block spectrum and continue offering LTE service in that band. T-Mobile will pay Verizon $2.365 billion in cash for the new spectrum, plus the trade of certain AWS (1700 MHz) and PCS (1900 MHz) spectrum licenses worth approximately $950 million.
Verizon Wireless today announced that the Motorola Moto G will be available for sale via its prepaid wireless service beginning January 9. The device will cost $99 and does not require customers to sign a new contract. It is compatible with Verizon's prepaid plans, which start at $60 per month for unlimited voice minutes, messages, and 2GB of data. The Moto G does not support Verizon's LTE 4G network, and is also available directly from Motorola for $179.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar has written a letter to the CEOs of the country's five largest wireless network operators requesting that they do more to help curb cell phone theft. Klobuchar points out that nearly one-third of all robberies involves a cell phone, and stolen mobile devices take a $30 billion toll on consumers each year. Lawmakers in California and New York recently attempted to convince the carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless) to add kill switches to their devices. The tool would allow consumers whose devices are lost or stolen to permanently deactivate their phone. Lawmakers believe that this will help curb the illegal resale of cell phones and eventually reduce robberies. Samsung developed such a kill switch, but carriers shot the idea down over fears of lost insurance revenue. "Your five companies [serve] more than 90 percent of the nation's wireless subscribers," wrote Klobuchar. "With that market share comes an obligation to do all you can to utilize technologies available to protect consumers. While I understand your companies are continuing to work with law enforcement on the stolen cell phone database, it is clear that consumers want and deserve a comprehensive strategy to prevent mobile device thefts." Klobuchar asked the carriers to send her information about any offers made by handset makers to add kill switches, and why they didn't adopt them; information on whether or not the carriers have considered devices with features similar to Apple's activation lock; and details on how each company will include kill switches on future products at no cost to consumers. Klobuchar gave the carriers until January 9 to respond.
Verizon Wireless has made Android 4.3 Jelly Bean available to its variant of the Samsung Galaxy Note II. In addition to the system update, the new operating system brings with it support for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The update makes a wide number of improvements to the performance of the Note II, including battery life for Exchange users, Google Maps, Wi-Fi, and voicemail notifications. Apps can now be moved to the SD card. The PenUp and Multi-window functions have been updated to the same version that runs on the Note 3, the Sound and Shot feature works better, and Bluetooth Low Energy has been enhanced. The update is being pushed out over the air in phases.
Verizon Wireless today indicated via one of its Twitter accounts that the Android 4.4 KitKat system update is being pushed to the Motorola Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, and Droid Mini. The update will be distributed in phases, so it may take a few days to reach all users.
Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile have filed paperwork with the Federal Communications Commission seeking permission to swap select AWS-1 and PCS spectrum around the country. The terms of the proposal will see the two exchange spectrum, but not wireless network assets or customers. The spectrum covers 518 counties and 133 Cellular Market Areas. The two companies will exchange PCS spectrum in 153 counties across 47 CMAs and will exchange AWS-1 spectrum in 285 counties across 59 CMAs. In some of the markets, the exchange is even, and others it is not. According to the FCC, Verizon's holdings will increase to between 67MHz and 149MHz and T-Mobile's will increase to between 30MHz and 100MHz in the various markets. The FCC has accepted the initial application and is now taking comments on the proposal. A dollar figure was not placed on the spectrum swap.
Verizon Wireless today completed its planned acquisition of select assets from U.S. Cellular. Specifically, Verizon is snagging some of U.S. Cellular's spectrum, networking gear, and customers in the St. Louis, Mo., metropolitan area. The spectrum licenses cover approximately 110,000 POPs in an area greater than 1,700 square miles. U.S. Cellular customers in the affected region will receive a welcome letter from Verizon in the coming weeks. Verizon will continue to operate the assets as U.S. Cellular until Verizon completes its LTE build-out in the region, which is expected by mid-2014. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Sprint is in the early stages of deciding whether or not to purchase smaller rival T-Mobile, according to The Wall Street Journal. Citing sources familiar with Sprint's plans, the Journal says Sprint is examining the possible regulatory roadblocks it might encounter were it to make such a bid. The idea is being pushed forward by Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank, which owns more than 80% of Sprint. SoftBank's Son has been vocal about expanding in the U.S. market. A combined Sprint/T-Mobile entity would still have fewer subscribers than larger rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless, and it would further consolidate the industry. Federal regulators shot down AT&T's attempt to purchase T-Mobile two years ago. T-Mobile has since purchased MetroPCS. The Journal notes that T-Mobile doesn't want to waste any time treading water waiting for another deal to pass government muster. The government may not want just three large companies serving the country. Sprint's plans are not final and may be scrapped.
Isis today announced that holders of Wells Fargo Visa cards will soon be able to use their cards with Isis' mobile payment service. Wells Fargo joins American Express and Chase as supporters of the Isis program, which is the mobile payment venture backed by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Consumers with Isis-compatible devices can make contactless payments at 1.3 million retail locations around the country, including those operated by 24 of the top 100 merchants. The system uses a pin code for payments, and Isis says that customer banking data is safe. The service can be disabled if the device is lost or stolen. Isis also requires a special, secure SIM card that must be purchased from AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon Wireless.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson indicated that AT&T would accept the idea of placing limitations on how much 600MHz spectrum a single carrier can acquire in the upcoming incentive auction, but only if such limits are applied evenly. The Federal Communications Commission has delayed the auction until the middle of 2015. In a letter published last week, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler implied that Sprint and T-Mobile might have a priority over larger carriers AT&T and Verizon in the auction, because AT&T and Verizon already have control over significant low-band spectrum holdings with their 700MHz licenses. Sprint and T-Mobile have been vocal about their desire for the 600MHz spectrum, as it propagates better than high-band spectrum and neither company has 700MHz spectrum. Stephenson argued that placing limits on participants could drive down the amount of revenue generated by the spectrum. The 600MHz spectrum is being used by television broadcasters. They are being asked to sell their licenses to mobile network operators in order to improve the availability of mobile broadband.
Verizon Wireless today indicated that it plans to launch VoLTE service next year. As recently as October 8, Verizon said that VoLTE handsets and service would launch this year. The news regarding the delay was buried in a press release about the third anniversary of Verizon's LTE network launch. Specifically, Verizon said, "Next year, customers will be able to experience VoLTE, a 4G LTE technology that can enable a host of advanced services, including HD Voice and video chat." Verizon didn't provide an explanation for the apparent change of schedule.