Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

Infra spending spree in China, India and the U.S.
The crush of mobile device usage is indeed a worldwide phenomenon with global handset adoption on track to surpass the six billion subscriber mark bolstered by continued growth in developing countries and more established countries seeing penetration levels blowing past 100%. To support this tremendous growth, research firm In-Stat predicts the number of macro base stations will surge to more than six million by 2014. A solid portion of that growth is expected to come from China, India and the United States, countries with large populations, staggering geography coverage requirements and customers with a voracious appetite for mobile services. “The amount of infrastructure spending in China, India, and the US is mind-boggling,” said Chris Kissel, industry analyst at In-Stat, in a new report. “Over one-third of new base stations deployed from 2011 to 2014 will be in China, India or the United States, resulting in a substantial shift in the structure of the industry. Clearly, capex spending will move industry leadership from Western Europe to wireless’s new ‘Big 3,’ comprised of China, India and the United States.” … Read more

Mobile music is in, ringtones are out
Mobile music subscriptions are projected to more than triple by 2015, according to a new report from Juniper Research Ltd. At least 178 million mobile customers are expected to pay a monthly subscription for access to music catalogs worldwide, more than triple the number of users paying for such services today. Mobile music is projected to be a $5.5 billion industry by 2015.
China and India are expected to see a lot of activity in this space as mobile subscriber penetration grows rapidly in both countries. Access to 3G networks will help drive more content consumption as well. “While streaming is the buzz word in developed markets, we should not forget that it is in markets where a combination of a large population, rising mobile subscriber penetration, and developing economies that represent a golden opportunity for mobile music services.” … Read more

Google Buzz’s missteps on privacy lead to 20 years of audits
Although Google Inc. may be frying bigger fish right now, the Federal Trade Commission has just announced they have reached a settlement with Google over the search giant’s bungled launch of Buzz last year. The agreement stipulates that Google must submit to independent privacy audits for the next 20 years in order to make sure they do not violate privacy policies again. Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC commented: “When companies make privacy pledges, they need to honor them. This is a tough settlement that ensures that Google will honor its commitments to consumers and build strong privacy protections into all of its operations.” The original complaint accuses Google of surreptitiously using GMail as a trojan horse of sorts to launch Buzz, their first major social endeavour, and that options to opt-out and customise privacy settings in Buzz were not easy enough to find and alter. In a blog post responding to the FTC ruling, Google’s Director of Pirvacy was suitably contrite, saying: “We don’t always get everything right. The launch of Google Buzz fell short of our usual standards for transparency and user control – letting our users and Google down. […] Today, we’ve reached an agreement with the FTC to address their concerns.” … Read more

Google adds in-app billing
Google Inc. has finally launched an in-app billing mechanism for developers to use in apps they sell on Android Market. The new feature lets developers publisher apps with in-app billing and give users the ability to make purchases within those apps. “In-app billing gives you more ways to monetize your apps with try-and-buy, virtual goods, upgrades, and other billing models,” Eric Chu, a member of Google’s Android Developer Ecosystem team, wrote in a blog post announcing the launch. Google has released documentation and a sample app to help developers get started with in-app billing and test their implementation. “Also, it’s absolutely essential that you review the security guidelines to make sure your billing implementation is secure,” Chu added. … Read more

A match made in heaven: T-Mobile US and … AT&T
I was sitting at my desk on Sunday, Mar. 20, working on my upcoming Wireless Innovators dinner when I saw the “breaking news” that AT&T Inc. announced it was acquiring T-Mobile USA Inc. “Oh my God,” I thought while I began to read the press release, but as I read the story and began to get press inquiries, I determined that this was a “marriage made in heaven.” Here’s why. First, there had been rumors that T-Mobile USA might merge with Sprint Nextel Corp. That didn’t make much sense to me since their underlying technologies are so different (T-Mobile USA uses GSM, while Sprint Nextel uses CDMA). I thought at that time it would make more sense for AT&T to acquire T-Mobile USA than Sprint Nextel. Sure enough, that’s what happened. So, from a technology integration standpoint, AT&T Mobility will find it rather straight forward to integrate the two companies. One really big benefit from the combination is that the 34 million T-Mobile USA customers will almost assuredly be offered Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad far sooner than they would have if the acquisition didn’t happen. This would be one of the first things that should happen once the combination receives final approval. It’s possible that Apple and AT&T Mobility could even work out a program to accelerate the approval of the iPhone and iPad for T-Mobile USA customers before full integration is completed. … Read more

But Sprint Nextel objects!
Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) appears set to take a hard-line stance on AT&T Inc.’s (T) proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc. (DTEGY), which would put pressure on the industry’s third largest wireless provider. In a statement released today, Sprint Nextel noted the $39 billion deal would “reverse nearly three decades of actions by the U.S. government and the courts that modernized and opened U.S. communications markets to competition. The wireless industry has sparked unprecedented levels of competition, innovation, job creation and investment for the American economy, all of which could be undone by this transaction.” The statement followed similar remarks by Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse at last week’s CTIA event in Orlando, Fla., where while flanked on stage by Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead and AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega, Hesse stated his opposition to the proposed deal. Sprint Nextel continued that with AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless “by far” the largest wireless providers, approving AT&T’s acquisition of the industry’s No. 4 operator in T-Mobile USA would create a carrier nearly three times the size of Sprint Nextel. (A figure that has only recently began to improve following several disastrous years for Sprint Nextel following Sprint Corp.’s $35 billion acquisition of Nextel Communications Inc. in 2004.) Sprint Nextel noted that a post-AT&T Mobility/T-Mobile USA landscape would show considerable consolidation amongst two wireless carriers “as well as the availability and price of key inputs, such as backhaul and access needed by other wireless companies to compete.” … Read more

Qualcomm Inc.’s mobile TV service has gone dark and with it a new round of questions have cropped up about the future of mobile TV as a whole. Will there ever be a year that defines mobile TV? What will it take to finally deliver mass adoption? Americans love their TV, without a doubt, but that has yet to translate to our mobile devices at least in the traditional sense. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of mobile applications that deliver video and TV programming at a good rate, but widespread mobile TV services still face an uphill battle. Still, groups like Mobile Content Venture, the Open Mobile Video Coalition and others are trying to revive broadcaster and TV network interests in the mobile channel. As these groups proceed, it would be worth their while to reflect on what went wrong with Qualcomm’s big bet on mobile TV.
Over a period of 45 months, FLO TV only managed to rack up 1 million customers, surely far short of what the company intended when it invested $683 million for spectrum that reaches a potential 300 million people between 2003 and 2008. The company poured perhaps an even greater amount of cash into building out the network, lining up content deals with TV networks and operations. In the end, Qualcomm still pulled away with a decent return on all that investment when it agreed to sell the spectrum to AT&T Mobility for $1.92 billion. … Read more

Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.

The post #TBT: ‘Mind-boggling’ infrastructure spending; Google Buzz-kill; RIP, FLO TV … this week in 2011 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.


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