December 12, 2011
Verizon Wireless has been a key supporter of Google's Android software for smartphones and other devices, but the relationship between the two companies got complicated last week. Google disclosed that, at Verizon's request, it had withdrawn an innovative feature from a hotly anticipated phone being made for Verizon's network. The feature is a wireless payment system called Google Wallet, which just so happens to compete with a service that Verizon and two other mobile network operators are developing.
December 2, 2011 |
A joint venture including the nation's two largest cable companies took the biggest step yet to pull the industry out of its once ambitious plans to build a wireless network and compete with mobile carriers for cellphone customers. The venture, which consists mainly of Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc., said Friday that it agreed to sell all of its licenses for broadband airwaves to Verizon Wireless for $3.6 billion. The deal, which must be approved by federal regulators, will better position Verizon to compete with rival AT&T, which is trying to salvage its $39-billion bid to buy T-Mobile USA. The Justice Department has filed an antitrust suit to block the AT&T deal.
November 3, 2011
MUSIC Chris Brown has gone from a charming, fleet-footed newcomer to scorned domestic abuser and now seems to have returned to pop-rap's forefront with several cocky, sonically demanding singles like "Look at Me Now" and "Deuces. " Here he brings T-Pain and Tyga along for a headlining tour. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 8808 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine. 7 p.m. Sat. $10-$144.75. livenation.com.
October 17, 2011 |
The agreement reached between the wireless industry and federal regulators to rein in cellphone bill shock sounds good for customers, but it has a potential drawback: It's voluntary. Consumer advocates who support the self-regulation plan nevertheless worry that the new standards to avoid sudden and unexpected spikes in cellphone bills may end up being largely ignored, as companies in many industries have done with plans for voluntary guidelines. Attempts at self-regulation to protect online privacy, for instance, have fallen woefully short, said Mark Cooper, director of research for the Consumer Federation of America.
October 17, 2011 |
The days of shockingly high and unexpected charges on cellphone bills could be coming to an end. AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless and other major cellphone providers have agreed with U.S. regulators to begin sending alerts to customers who are approaching monthly voice, text or data limits. The aim is to help them avoid hefty additional charges that cause what consumer advocates call bill shock. Under the voluntary industry guidelines, developed under the threat of new government regulations, companies also would send alerts when customers exceed their plans' limits and are subject to overage charges.
September 1, 2011 |
The Justice Department is seeking to block AT&T Inc.'s $39-billion plan to buy T-Mobile USA Inc., claiming that combining the two wireless giants could stymie competition and innovation. The agency filed a civil antitrust lawsuit Wednesday morning in federal court in Washington that would prevent AT&T, which has the second most subscribers in the country, from acquiring fourth-largest T-Mobile. The deal, according to the Justice Department, would displace Verizon Wireless as the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., leading to higher prices, lower-quality services, a smaller pool of choices and fewer pioneering technologies for millions of Americans.
September 1, 2011
Top wireless phone providers and number of employees. AT&T: 258,870 Verizon Wireless: 83,000 T-Mobile: 42,000 Sprint Nextel: 40,000 MetroPCS: 3,600 Leap: 4,360 U.S. Cellular: 9,000 Source: Companies
August 25, 2011
MUSIC Chart-topping rapper Lil Wayne is a complex dude. He's a perfectionist in the studio, sometimes laboring over and delaying albums for months or years, yet he also turns out a seemingly endless supply of off-the-cuff mix tapes. In any case, his long-awaited album "Tha Carter IV" is finally set to drop next week, making this concert especially timely. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 8808 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine. 7:30 p.m. Fri. $38.75-$201.75. (949) 855-8095. http://www.livenation.com.
August 21, 2011 |
Ben Chinn likes to text as much as the next guy — he just doesn't like to pay for it. Chinn, 37, sends most of his text messages free of charge with Google Voice and a smartphone application. He also pays $5 a month for up to 200 messages on his AT&T mobile phone plan. "With everything with the mobile carriers, I feel I'm getting nickeled and dimed," said Chinn, of San Francisco. "I resent paying so much for text messaging, and I feel that it's not a reasonable price to pay for something that costs the carriers next to nothing.