Telecommunications Stories January 29, 2014

AT&T offering $100 to both new and existing customers

Following a back and forth between T-Mobile and AT&T on promotions geared toward customers wanting to jump the carrier ship, AT&T announced today a short term promotion that actually rewards existing customers in addition to new users.

AT&T is shelling out $100 (in the form of a credit) for new lines including smartphones and tablets.

New and existing customers are eligible when you activate a qualifying wireless line

Add a new line for any smartphone, feature phone, tablet, wireless home phone, MiFi puck, or other connected device

You must remain active and in good standing for 45 days; your credit will be applied within 3 bill cycles

The promo runs through the end of March, so it’s not permanent, but it’s certainly a hefty incentive and hopefully of sign of what carrier competition can bring.

Telecommunications Stories November 2, 2012

Report: Apple loses rights to ‘iPhone’ trademark in Mexico

Apple’s ongoing fight to get control of the iPhone brand in Mexico is running into a bit of trouble, with El Universal and Electronista reporting today that a Mexican court denied “Apple’s injunction request on the grounds that the iPhone brand is too phonetically similar to iFone.”  The iFone brand is owned by a Mexican telecommunications company that apparently registered its trademark in 2003—four years before Apple:

Apple has lost an injunction bid that would have allowed it to continue selling iPhone-branded products in Mexico…The decision stems from a legal action that Apple initially filed in 2009 requesting that the company cease using the iFone brand in order to head off the possibility of consumer confusion… Apple sought unsuccessfully to gain sole control over the brand in the year after the iPhone first launched in Mexico.

It’s a possibility this could change Apple’s plans to launch the iPhone 5 this Friday on a number of Mexican carriers, but it’s more likely the company will appeal the decision or reach a settlement with iFone. We’ll update you when we learn more.

Telecommunications Stories October 14, 2012

Japanese Softbank taking 70 percent stake of US carrier Sprint for $20B

As rumored last week, Japanese Softbank has taken a controlling 70 percent stake in Sprint according to CNBC:

Softbank and Sprint have reached a deal under which Softbank will pay $20 billion for a 70 percent stake in the wireless telecom operator, according to people close to the situation.

Softbank will buy $8 billion worth of shares directly from Sprint and tender for another $12 billion worth of the shares from existing holders.

(Update: Confirmed by Sprint)

The deal will allow Sprint to purchase the half of Clearwire that it does not already own, according to the report. Softbank expects to take use of its expertise in LTE networks to bolster Sprints position in the market.

AT&T is now the sole remaining U.S. carrier not under foreign control. Verizon Wireless is a joint venture with Vodafone, while T-Mobile is obviously German.

Sprint and Softbank both carry Apple’s iPhone. Softbank was the original Japanese carrier while Sprint was the third U.S. carrier to adopt the iconic phone.

The deal is expected to close in roughly six months.

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