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!
Verizon adds full-track music downloads to VCast
Verizon Wireless is expected to make headlines once again at the International Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, unveiling a full-track mobile music download service. The carrier, which last year launched its Vcast offering at CES, looks to expand the service with a dual-download service that delivers tunes to both PCs and mobile phones. Verizon has scheduled a press conference for Thursday morning with Chief Executive Officer Denny Strigl and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and will host a reception that night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino featuring live music from Maroon 5 and Yellowcard. While company officials declined to discuss details, spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said Verizon will unveil “a revolutionary step in wireless entertainment” at the show. Sprint Nextel Corp. launched the first full-track service for wireless users in November; Verizon looks to be the second U.S. carrier to offer full-song downloads. … Read more
Amp’d Mobile MVNO takes aim at music lovers
If Amp’d Mobile Inc.’s bargain-basement full-track download music service was designed to get attention, it’s working. The recently launched mobile virtual network operator made headlines a few weeks ago when it said it would match the price of Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes service, selling full songs for 99 cents per download. The announcement was a shot across the bow of Sprint Nextel Corp., which offers tunes at the potentially prohibitive price of $2.50 each, and a pre-emptive strike at other U.S. operators that have yet to deploy full-track services. But whether Amp’d’s opening volley signals the beginning of a long-term strategy or a simple publicity stunt remains to be seen. The company, which declined interview requests from RCR Wireless News for this story, has said it will stick to 99-cent downloads to compete with Apple even as it loses about 25 cents per transaction to record labels. The operator comes out of the gate with an impressive music portfolio: EMI Group, Warner Music Group and Vivendi Universal’s Universal Music Group all reportedly have signed on, leaving Sony BMG-which is said to have balked at Amp’d’s pricing structure-as the lone major label on the sidelines. … Read more
Crown Castle subsidiary plans a mobile TV network
HOUSTON-Crown Castle International Corp.’s subsidiary, Crown Castle Mobile Media L.L.C., said it plans to use its tower network and its unencumbered spectrum rights to launch live mobile TV to the nation’s top 30 markets. The company also said it plans to deliver video and audio services to a wide range of mobile devices, including cars. Along with the new offerings, Crown Castle Mobile Media also announced that it’s changing its name to Modeo L.L.C. The company explained that it plans to launch live mobile TV in a few select markets this year, including New York City, and will continue with launches throughout 2007. Modeo said its Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld mobile broadcast network can deliver live video and audio channels, and will allow subscribers to download dozens of video podcasts and hundreds of audio podcasts to their mobile devices on a weekly basis. “Our marketing campaign, ‘Modeo: For the love of TV’, emphasizes our focus on providing a fun and easy-to-use service that delivers popular news, sports, music and entertainment to a broad range of mobile devices including cell phones, laptops, portable media players, personal digital assistants and more,” said Michael Schueppert, president of Modeo. Verizon Wireless recently announced plans to use Qualcomm Inc.’s proprietary MediaFlo mobile TV offering. … Read more
San Francisco puts out RFP for Wi-Fi network
After collecting and reviewing 26 industry proposals and nearly 300 public comments during a round of information requests for a citywide Wi-Fi network, San Francisco issued an official Request for Proposal for the project Dec. 22. In a statement, the city said it intends to select a proposal and commence negotiations early in 2006. The city explained that the RFP issuance begins a 60-day process to determine how the city plans to get affordable wireless broadband access throughout its borders for its 750,000 or so residents. “We are committed to bring universal, affordable wireless broadband Internet access to all San Francisco’s residents and businesses, and today we are one step closer to making good on that commitment,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. The statement also explained that the RFP sets forth the specifications of the broadband network, addressing issues including the network’s business model and services; coverage area; open access policies; network infrastructure; customer services; security and privacy; as well as contributions the network provider will make regarding the other important elements of the city’s technology strategy. … Read more
Consumer electronics sales hit a new high
ARLINGTON, Va.-Factory sales of consumer electronics will reach a new high of $135.4 billion this year in the United States, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, with wireless handset sales accounting for $16 billion of that number. Last year, CEA said U.S. consumers purchased some 104 million wireless handsets for a total of $13.5 billion. “The numbers say it all-the consumer electronics industry is hot,” said Gary Shapiro, CEA’s president and chief executive officer. “Sales exceeded our expectations in 2005, totaling $125.9 billion, and we’re forecasting 8-percent growth in 2006. Consumer electronics sales are consistently growing, breaking records every year, because our industry is constantly changing to provide products that consumers love and can’t live without.” … Read more
China set for a 3G handset boom
EL SEGUNDO, Calif.-While China continues to export a growing number of cell phones, new research also shows that the country’s domestic market is set to explode. According to electronics research firm iSuppli Corp., China exported 45.5 million mobile phones during the third quarter, a 26.1-percent increase from the 36.1 million units exported during the second quarter. The number of manufacturers in China also is on the rise, with 15 new companies receiving government approval to make and sell handsets in China. About 40 companies previously held licenses to sell phones in the country. However, iSuppli said some of the newly licensed manufacturers likely will fail, while others are not considered serious players. Unlike most countries, China licenses handset manufacturers. Meanwhile, iSuppli said wireless will contribute considerably to China’s economic growth in the near future, especially since third-generation licenses are expected to be issued in 2006. … Read more
Motorola partners with Kodak on camera phone imaging and printing
LAS VEGAS-Motorola Inc. announced an extensive agreement with camera company Eastman Kodak Co. that calls for the two players to collaborate on mobile imaging and printing. Specifically, Motorola announced it will use Kodak’s CMOS sensors in its upcoming camera phones and will include software in its phones that supports Kodak’s various imaging programs and services. “It’s a natural partnership,” said Ed Zander, Motorla’s chairman and chief executive officer. “By cooperating to simplify and enhance the quality of virtually every aspect of the development and delivery of the mobile imaging experience, we’ll be able to bring new value and revenue opportunities to our operator customers while helping consumers by seamlessly liberating billions of photos stuck inside camera phones.” Motorola said it would install software in its new camera phones that will allow users to interact with Kodak home printers, retail kiosks and the Kodak Easyshare Gallery. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.
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