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!

Sprint abandons a T-Mo merger; Hesse headed out
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse is reportedly set to leave the nation’s No. 3 carrier as soon as tomorrow, in a move that coincides with a plan to abandon its attempt to acquire smaller rival T-Mobile US. Bloomberg News is reporting that Sprint was set to name a new CEO as soon as Wednesday in a shakeup of the carrier that has seen numerous shakeups since being acquired by Softbank last year. The report cites an unnamed source. The Bloomberg report followed one by The Wall Street Journal claiming that Sprint was set to abandon a planned offer to acquire T-Mobile US, citing significant regulatory hurdles. Although Sprint never made an official bid for T-Mobile US, the carrier on Wednesday is reported to be making an announcement that it will not pursue an offer. Sprint is scheduled to hold its annual investor meeting on Aug. 6. … Read more

Claure in as Sprint CEO
Sprint this week unveiled a bomb shell when it announced it was replacing long-time CEO Dan Hesse with board member and former CEO and founder of Brightstar Marcello Claure. That move also came with comments that the carrier, and parent company Softbank, were backing away from a rumored attempt to acquire T-Mobile US and instead focusing on its internal operations. Sprint and Softbank Chairman Masayoshi Son cited potential regulatory hurdles in noting that “our focus moving forward will be on making Sprint the most successful carrier,” though the regulatory hurdles seemed to be only the tip of the iceberg. In sifting through what were weekly rumors of a potential deal between Sprint and T-Mobile US, analysts were having a heyday trying to figure out just how two operators, seemingly going in different directions and with vastly different management styles, would integrate operations. But, not that the offer appears to be off the table, where do Sprint and T-Mobile US go from here? … Read more

Pondering the future of Sprint and T-Mobile US
Regulatory hurdles have apparently put to rest Softbank’s plans to bid for T-Mobile US, but the potential deal faced headwinds on several other fronts, including go-to-market strategy, coverage and network integration. All in, just like any other deal, the combination of Sprint/ T-Mobile US would not immediately create an all powerful third competitors as there would be be multiple high-stakes challenges to be cleared for the deal to be a long-term success. As the companies stand today, Sprint and T-Mobile US have very different brands and value propositions. On the brand front, T-Mobile US has – under the leadership of John Legere – built a brand based on market disruption with differentiated offers and pricing plays that challenge the current wireless ecosystem. The company has continuously evolved its “un-carrier” strategy toward unique offers that generate buzz and attract customers to its maverick style of trend bucking. Sprint, on the other hand, has approached the market with a classic, value-based attack on unlimited data, content ecosystem (think: Spotify partnership) and wireless family plan extension plays (e.g., Framily) aimed at rebuilding its base. … Read more

Throttling under scrutiny
Consumers call it throttling, carriers call it network optimization. The Federal Communications Commission is sure to hear from consumers about T-Mobile US’s plan to throttle some LTE users. Those found to be breaking T-Mobile US’s rules by using their 4G connections for peer-to-peer file sharing of tethering could see slower data speeds as soon as Sunday, Aug. 17. Throttling is a dirty word to mobile data addicts and consumer watchdogs alike. Carriers call it network optimization, reflecting the supplier’s point of view, but from the demand side the practice presents as cramming data into a narrower, slower pipe — throttling. LTE throttling sprang into the spotlight recently when Verizon Wireless said that it will slow data speeds for some of its heaviest LTE data users starting in October. Verizon’s announcement sparked what has amounted to a war of words between the carrier and the FCC, with Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead telling reporters, “I’m not sure the chairman understood what we’re doing exactly,” while his SVP of federal regulatory affairs penned a letter to the agency claiming that other carriers already slow down data delivery and that “This practice has been widely accepted with little or no controversy.” Wheeler’s response: “‘All the kids do it’ was never something that worked for me when I was growing up.” … Read more

Keysight kicks off operations
Agilent Technologies’ electronic test and measurement segment has officially begun operating as its own brand, Keysight Technologies. The spin-off of Keysight from Agilent won’t be complete until November, but Keysight has now begun operating under its own name. “As we launch our new company, we are mindful of our rich heritage as part of Agilent and prior to that, Hewlett-Packard,” said Ron Nersesian, who is president and CEO of the new company, in a statement on the first step toward independent operations. “We are also mindful of our responsibility and commitment to our stakeholders including customers, our shareholders and our employees. We look forward to the many opportunities ahead that will allow us to focus solely on electronic measurement and showcase the leading-edge technologies that our customers have come to expect.” … Read more

Verizon moves toward VoLTE
Verizon Wireless has reiterated its plan to launch voice-over-LTE late this year. Speaking at the Oppenheimer Technology, Internet & Communications Conference, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said that VoLTE is coming to Verizon in the fourth quarter. AT&T and T-Mobile US have already launched VoLTE in some markets. Sprint has said that VoLTE is not currently a priority. Verizon is the only carrier that has said it will try to launch nationwide VoLTE this year. Analysts have said that the CDMA carriers (Verizon and Sprint) are more likely to “turn on” VoLTE across the network, while the GSM carriers (AT&T and T-Mobile) may go market by market. Verizon is not ready to ask its customers to rely solely on its LTE network in the near future. Shammo also said yesterday that VoLTE-only phones on the Verizon network are more than a year away. … Read more

VoLTE shows its mettle
With voice-over-LTE networks slowly coming to market, focus is now turning to just how those networks perform compared with legacy circuit switched-based voice offerings. And, according to a new report, it appears that the performance benefit is clearly in the lap of VoLTE services. In a new report from Signals Research Group, commercially deployed VoLTE networks are already providing better call quality, faster connectivity and proving to be less taxing on device battery life than legacy systems. The firm conducted trials on VoLTE services in June and July, comparing performance with 3G-based circuit-switched networks and Skype’s voice-over-IP solution. Results from the testing showed a “measurable” improvement in call quality for VoLTE; improved device data performance for VoLTE compared with Skype; VoLTE call set-up times twice as fast as circuit-switched networks; and VoLTE’s need for fewer device resources and thus improved battery life compared with Skype. Perhaps most important to end users, the testing showed successful handoffs between VoLTE service and legacy circuit-switched services as devices transferred between the two networks. “Based on our analysis of the data, VoLTE lived up to expectations,” said Michael Thelander, CEO and founder of Signals Research. “VoLTE delivered a consistently higher call quality than circuit-switched voice and over-the-top applications.” … Read more

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

The post #TBT: Sprint acquisition of T-Mo falls apart; Sprint CEO shake-up; throttling under scrutiny … this week in 2014 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.


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