News tagged: Verizon Wireless Broadband
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Carriers like AT&T and Verizon have a long history of offering "me too" software and service products, even if they've shown repeatedly and painfully that they're not particularly good at developing them. The hope is that these services can be marketed to a captive audience, but often these "me too" products are so immensely lackluster, they wind up being shelved early. Verizon's app store
and their VCast video service
are just a few examples that come to mind.
Undaunted by their incompetence in this arena, Verizon this week launched the creatively-named Verizon cloud
, their entry into a very crowded and successful field of existing cloud storage services.
Verizon Cloud allows both smartphone and tablet users to store up to 500MB worth of text messages, call logs, contacts, music, and other files for free. After that, users can pay for storage options including $3 a month for 25GB. $7 a month for 75GB, and $10 a month for 125GB.
The SMS backup might prove useful to some, but the 125 GB pricing is about twice what you'll pay for 100 GB from either Microsoft or Google.
Speaking at an investor conference this week Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo insisted the company's shared data plans are being well received, and despite T-Mobile's recent return to unlimited wireless data
, insisted that the option is going the way of the dinosaur. Verizon launched their shared data plans back in June
to mixed reviews, its steep $15 per GB overage and per device fees countering most of the savings provided by offering unlimited voice and text.
Last December Verizon announced
that in addition to buying $3.6 billion in spectrum from the cable industry, they'd soon be partnering with them as well -- Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox and Bright House all agreeing to bundled Verizon Wireless services with their triple plays. The deal has taken significant heat from consumer advocates
for its potential erosion of competition; particularly of the landline variety in smaller markets where competition barely exists as it is.
In December Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Bright House announced a massive deal
that not only involved the sale of $3.6 billion in cable industry spectrum to Verizon, but also gave the telco the right to bundle their wireless service with the cable triple play. Comcast is wasting no time moving ahead with the offers, last month bundling Verizon LTE service with cable TV, broadband and VoIP service in Seattle and Portland
Verizon today announced
that the company will be pushing their shiny new LTE network into five additional markets tomorrow. According to big red, the company will be turning on LTE in the smaller markets of Glens Falls and Utica, N.Y.; Lawton, Okla.; and Brownsville and McAllen, Texas.
Last summer Verizon followed AT&T and eliminated unlimited data
, replacing the offer with low caps and overages up to $10 per gigabyte. Fortunately many unlimited users were grandfathered -- and if they weren't there has long been a loophole allowing users to get unlimited data if they were willing to use a little elbow grease.
Not too surprisingly, a Comcast insider tells Broadband Reports that the company will be phasing out their Comcast "Internet2Go" wireless broadband service over the next six months. The move comes on the heel of a new Comcast deal with Verizon to bundle Verizon LTE services, with Comcast saying they'll start offering the service in four markets early next year. story continues..
Verizon Wireless has been suffering a string of significant, nationwide LTE outages over the last year -- with three this month alone. In a statement
the company explains that each outage has had a slightly different technical trigger -- though the largely empty statement fails to actually detail what those reasons were.
Several users have written in to note that Verizon Wireless is once again suffering through another wireless data outage impacting a massive number of customers. A quick look at the Verizon support forums
shows outages are impacting a large number of states, with users from California to Maryland noting they're unable to get LTE service. Users with 3G only handsets say they're able to access Verizon's EVDO 3G network, but a number of users with dual-mode handsets say they're unable to access either the 3G or 4G (LTE) network. While Verizon's been deploying LTE at breakneck speed, this would be at least the fourth major nationwide outage this year.
In 2008's 700 MHz Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum auction, Cox Communications won 14 Block A and 8 Block B licenses for bids totaling $304 million. Unlike Time Warner Cable and Comcast, Cox wasn't content with piggybacking on Clearwire's network to offer the "quadruple play," and originally planned to build their own network. story continues..
Under the name SpectrumCo, a coalition of the nation's largest cable companies managed to snag a large swath of spectrum during the FCC AWS auction a few years back -- technically enough to make them the nation's fifth largest wireless provider. Speculation raged for several years about what the companies planned to do with the spectrum, and while there was talk about them building their own wireless network, the majority (with the exception of Cox, who tried and failed to build a network) of them just sat on it. story continues..
To coincide with Verizon Wireless's launch of the new LTE Droid Razr on 11/11/11 at 11:11 AM (clever!), Verizon is running a new promotion allowing LTE users to double their tier's usage cap -- for the same price. According to Verizon, starting tomorrow users who buy a new LTE phone and agree to a two-year contract will get double the LTE data. For example(s), users on the $30 for 2GB plan get 4GB, the 5GB on the $50 plan gets bumped to 10GB, and those paying $80 for 10GB users get 20GB. While it doesn't quite take the sting out of Verizon's decision to kill unlimited data -- it's a promotion heavy users will probably want to jump on, especially if they were considering a new LTE phone on Verizon anyway. Verizon hasn't yet announced an end date for the promotion, but we'll keep you posted.
Verizon continues to deploy LTE markets at breakneck speed -- and is well on the way to exceeding their goal of 175 deployed LTE markets by the end of the year. There's a slew of LTE markets slated for launch October 20
, including Bloomington, Indiana, Sioux City, Iowa and Santa Fe New Mexico.
According to new data from Validas
, Sprint customers consume the most data, eating an average of 778 MB per month and a median of 371 MB a month. That's not particularly surprising, given that Sprint (for now
) has made unlimited use the center of an ad campaign intended to differentiate the company.
Last week we discussed how
AT&T has decided to escalate their war on unofficial tethering, announcing they'd revoke grandfathered unlimited data service for any customers found to be tethering unofficially. Shortly thereafter reports started popping up
suggesting that Verizon had also raised their anti-unofficial-tethering game, and is sending people who try to tether with jailbroken devices to a special referral page
demanding they upgrade to a more expensive tethering or mobile-hotspot-ready data plan.
Over the last few years, Verizon's been repeatedly tinkering and experimenting
with their wireless data pricing -- trying to figure out what customers are willing to pay. They've also hinted dozens of times
that when LTE finally launched for smartphones, they'd be tinkering with new, more usage-based pricing options.
On a conference call this morning discussing company earnings
, Verizon noted that the company has more than 500,000 LTE subscribers, after launching the new network last December. 260,000 of those subscribers are owners of Verizon's first LTE smartphone -- the HTC Thunderbolt, and the rest are USB modem customers. Interestingly, Verizon this morning stated they're accelerating their LTE network deployment, and will offer the service in 175 markets covering a potential 185 million subscribers by the end of this year. The company had only just recently pegged their end-of-year deployment market total at 147. A complete list of so-far announced 2011 deployment cities can be found here
Last December Verizon launched their new LTE network
, offering speeds anywhere from 5-20 Mbps to approximately 100 million users in 38 markets and roughly 60 airports. The initial launch included USB modems only, with users paying $50 for 5 GB per month of usage and $80 for 10 GB per month of data downloads.
As we noted yesterday
, Verizon Wireless is preparing a new throttling system just as the Verizon iPhone hits their network. The system as described in this Verizon document
(pdf) so far is painfully vague, simply saying some customers may find their service throttled -- but not specifying how much consumption triggers the throttling, how long the user will be throttled for, and at what speed they'll suddenly find their connection reduced to.
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Recent news contributorsKarl Bode