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Sprint Won't Profit on iPhone Until 2015

But hey, company is losing less money than it has in years

(Newser) - Sprint’s latest earnings reveal just how pricey its deal to get the iPhone was—and the numbers aren’t pretty. Spring is staring down a $2.2 billion cash shortfall next year, and will come up short by $5.2 billion the year after as it pays for the... More »

Feds Push for Stronger Law on Wiretapping

Government can't keep up with phone companies' upgrades

(Newser) - Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials are pressing to change a 1994 wiretapping law to force wireless carriers to make their phones easier to wiretap. Telecom companies have been upgrading their services faster than the government can keep up, the New York Times explains. Now an Obama administration task force is... More »

Verizon to Nab iPhone in January: Report

Timing coincides with network upgrade, which could make this zillionth prediction credible

(Newser) - Verizon customers will at long last be able to buy iPhones in January of next year, according to an anonymously sourced report on Bloomberg . The move could “dramatically increase” iPhone sales, notes one analyst. “It's hard to ignore the quality issues that AT&T has faced,” he... More »

RIP Ringtones: $1B Industry Bites the Dust

Who wants to talk on their phone anymore?

(Newser) - The ringtone industry, which just two years ago was raking in $1 billion annually, will be dead and gone by 2016, analysts predict. Revenue is already plummeting—to about $750 million this year—for one obvious reason: Phones don’t ring very often anymore. “People used to talk on... More »

Straighten Out Your Finances in 2010

Some simple moves can net $1K or more

(Newser) - On the eve of the first serious workday of the New Year, take a hard look at your finances and see where you can cut back in 2010. A relatively small investment in time can result in some serious savings, Kathy Kristof writes for the Los Angeles Times :
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UK Network: Dropped Calls? Blame iPhone

O2 follows suit after AT&T accuses gadget of data gluttony

(Newser) - Slammed for poor signal and dropped calls, AT&T has blamed its troubles in part on the iPhone’s heavy data usage—and now UK provider O2 is also pointing a finger at the gadget, PC World reports. O2 users have been plagued by similar problems, and “where we... More »

French Telecom Suicides Spark Official Unease

Firm's chief to meet with labor minister

(Newser) - A spate of suicides by workers at a French telecommunications company is prompting a meeting between the firm's CEO and France's labor minister, the BBC reports. Since last year, 23 employees of France Telecom have killed themselves; unions blame tough management practices, but the firm, which was privatized in 1998,... More »

Federal Court Ruling Shakes Up Cable Industry

FCC limit doesn't take into account other sources of competition, court rules

(Newser) - In a decision that could revolutionize the communications industry, a federal appeals court has struck down an FCC rule prohibiting a cable TV company from serving more than 30% of the market, Reuters reports. The court declared the rule "arbitrary and capricious,” noting that cable operators face competition... More »

As Telecoms Hype 4G, Recall How Long 3G Was in Coming

(Newser) - 3G landed in the US in 2003. But it wasn’t until the iPhone came around five years later that “consumers finally had a device that showed them the power of mobile broadband networks,” Stephanie N. Mehta writes in Fortune. In fact, "a few executives at US... More »

AT&T Will Spend $565M to Green its Vehicle Fleet

(Newser) - AT&T pledged to spend $565 million to replace its current vehicle fleet with models that run on alternative fuels, the Detroit Free Press reports. The firm will buy over 15,000 hybrid and natural-gas-powered cars, mainly from Ford. AT&T billed the move as not only environmentally responsible but... More »

Skype Plans Voicemail-to-Text Service

Users will fork over 25 cents per message

(Newser) - Internet-telephone firm Skype will offer a service that converts voice messages into texts in any one of four languages, the company plans to announce today. But at 25 cents per text message—and with long voicemails running up to three texts—users’ costs could add up. And if a poor... More »

AT&T Layoffs Just the Beginning of Telecom Pain

Reduced consumer spending will result in cycles of layoffs and decreased capital expenditure

(Newser) - AT&T’s elimination of 12,000 jobs is just the beginning of cutbacks that will radiate throughout the telecom industry, BusinessWeek reports. As pinched consumers cut back on communication spending, job and capital-expenditure reductions will only continue. One surprising statistic shows how consumers are downsizing telecom budgets: The fastest-growing... More »

Service Lets Callers Dodge Conversation

Slydial users can sneak a message straight onto voicemail

(Newser) - A new phone service is a hit with people who want to make a phone call without actually talking to anybody, the New York Times reports. Slydial allows users to skip directly to leaving a message on voicemail without the recipient realizing they have an incoming call. Users say the... More »

Alcatel-Lucent CEO, Chair to Quit After 6th Straight Loss

6th straight quarterly loss for troubled telecom giant

(Newser) - Patricia Russo, the CEO who led the merger of Alcatel-Lucent, will step down by the end of the year after the troubled telecom giant released yet another grim quarterly report, posting a net loss of $1.73 billion. That figure was much larger than analysts had predicted, and almost double... More »

Skype Pushes Video Calls

Version 4.0 will make seeing who you're talking to more integral

(Newser) - The newest version of Skype is designed to make video calls easier and more widespread. Skype 4.0, which begins public testing today, detects bandwidth and attached devices to make it simpler to use a computer to add video to calls, Reuters reports. Skype's president says that the resolution of... More »

Mukasey Open to Spy Bill Deal

AG calls for 'creative' solution to debate on phone company lawsuits

(Newser) - The nation's top lawman welcomed a deal today on a stalled federal spy bill, Reuters reports. “If somebody has some brilliantly creative compromise, I'm happy to hear that,” Attorney General Michael Mukasey said. A recent House bill would allow lawsuits against phone companies that gave records to Washington,... More »

Wireless Tech Leaps Forward ... on Balloons

Flying 'towers' could revolutionize rural Internet, cell use; Google interested

(Newser) - A decidedly whimsical business model could bring wireless Internet and cell service to wide swaths of rural America, slinging signals from balloons drifting toward the edge of space. Don’t scoff—the system is already providing services for truckers and oil companies, courtesy of Space Data Corp., and Google is... More »

At Cell Phone Trade Show, Eyes on Google

But company keeps low profile as it pushes phone software

(Newser) - At this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google kept to the shadows, holding meetings away from the crowds as it pursued its telecom future. But its presence was everywhere as companies discussed Android, Google’s new phone platform, the New York Times reports. Android faces resistance from phone... More »

Congress Torn on Telecom Immunity

Senate panel sidesteps; House passes bill without it

(Newser) - Congress is conflicted over proposed immunity laws that would retroactively protect telecoms from suits alleging they illegally handed the government information on calls. The Senate Intelligence Committee endorsed immunity 13-2 last month, but the Judiciary Committee left the immunity section out of the document it approved yesterday. The House passed... More »

Comcast Sued Over File-Sharing Interference

Telecom giant says it slows high-volume users to protect wider network

(Newser) - A subscriber has sued Comcast for slowing file-sharing activities after an AP report last month showed that the nation's largest cable company falsely signals file-sharing software that the network connection has dropped. The man alleges that Comcast misleads consumers by claiming it offers "mind-blowing" speeds and "unfettered access"... More »

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