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    Why 168,149 Valentine’s day text messages arrived in November

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica – 5 days ago - 18:29

Why 168,149 Valentine’s day text messages arrived in November

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty)

Did you get a Valentine's Day text message on November 7? If so, you can blame a company called Syniverse, which provides text-messaging services to major mobile carriers.

Syniverse helps deliver text messages via its intercarrier messaging service and boasts that it is "Connected to more than 300 operators" and processes 600 billion messages per month.

Syniverse says it delivers 99.8% of messages within one second. But a server failure caused many messages—exactly 168,149, according to The Washington Post —to be delivered nearly nine months late.

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  • Te chevron_right

    T-Mobile sugar-coats Sprint merger with promises of free data — but only if it’s approved

    news.movim.eu / TechCrunch – 6 days ago - 19:52

The planned $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint has been approved by the Justice Department and the FCC, but it’s not a sure thing yet. To sweeten the deal, T-Mobile is dangling three big free and cheap data initiatives that will only go through if the merger does. A little sugar helps the medicine go down.

Contingent on creating the “New T-Mobile,” there are three big moves planned, all of which, to be fair, sound great:

  • 10 years of free 5G for all police, fire, emergency medical services and other first responders countrywide
  • Free wireless service and reduced cost devices to 10 million disconnected households in the U.S. and Puerto Rico
  • New $15/month prepaid plan with unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data

Obviously these are all aimed at making it seem like T-Mobile is concerned with the public good. And no one is disputing that these programs would help a lot of people out. It just feels like such a transparent play to balance out the anti-competitive risks of the merger.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Stark speculated in his dissent from yesterday’s approval decision that the merger would lead to three 900-pound gorillas that would “divide up the market, increase prices, and compete only for the most lucrative customers.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, on the other hand, asserts that the merger “will provide New T-Mobile with the scale and spectrum resources necessary to deploy a robust 5G network across the United States,” and make it competitive with Verizon and AT&T. (Disclosure: TechCrunch is owned by Verizon Media, but this does not affect our coverage.)

Although the regulatory hurdles are out of the way, the merger still faces a lawsuit from a collection of states that oppose the deal. That’s due to go to court soon, but may be either dismissed or delayed due to the fact that the complaints were filed before the Justice and FCC approvals, and the stipulations with which that came.

  • Te chevron_right

    FCC approves T-Mobile/Sprint merger despite serious concerns

    news.movim.eu / TechCrunch – Tuesday, 5 November - 19:20

The FCC has given its stamp of approval to T-Mobile and Sprint’s proposed merger, saying the deal will “enhance competition” and hasten 5G deployment. Those opposed say the merger defies common sense, creating a triumvirate of mobile giants that will “divide up the market, increase prices, and compete only for the most lucrative customers.”

The two mobile companies have been attempting to merge for years, ostensibly in order to compete with the considerably larger AT&T and Verizon. (Disclosure: TechCrunch is owned by Verizon Media, but this does not affect our coverage in the slightest.)

Previous attempts at deals were blocked more or less on the grounds that while a consolidated market might make the new T-Mobile/Sprint entity more competitive, it would be a net negative for consumers, who would have less choice than ever. The announcement of a $60 million FTC settlement over anti-consumer business practices by AT&T when they had the leverage to carry them out is a timely reminder of the general temperament of mobile carriers.

This latest attempt by the two companies (and backers like Softbank, which stands to make a bundle on the deal) has met with more success, and the Department of Justice approved it in July. The DoJ’s proposed remedies for competition problems created by the merge apparently gave the FCC “further confidence” in its approval, which Chairman Ajit Pai signaled earlier this year — interestingly, before those remedies were proposed.

Among other things, Sprint must sell its Boost Mobile brand, and T-Mobile must sell its interest in Dish Network. The hope is that Dish, Boost, and a few other players will somehow band together to form a new insurgent wireless network that will rise to compete with its former masters.

Sound a bit far-fetched? FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel thinks so as well.

Commissioner Rosenworcel at her confirmation hearing.

“Instead of promoting vigorous competition among providers, today’s order justifies increased concentration by jerry-rigging a new provider dependent on the government dictating who sells what to whom and when,” she said in a statement.”

Commissioner Starks indicated his dissent on other grounds as well, specifically recent charges that Sprint has been irresponsibly deploying funds from the Commission’s Lifeline program for low-income mobile subscribers.

“Sprint may be responsible for the most egregious violations of our Lifeline rules in FCC history,” Starks wrote in a statement. “Our review should have been held in abeyance following the Chairman’s recent announcement of an investigation into Sprint’s alleged misappropriation of Lifeline support for 885,000 ineligible accounts. If substantiated, this would represent the misuse of nearly 10 percent of the funds for the entire program.”

More than anything else, though, critics remain skeptical of the basic idea that consolidation will produce increased competition. In fact the Justice Department even thinks that may happen, which is why it is requiring the carriers to hastily assemble a new competitor out of whatever parts are left laying around, including some still being used by T-Mobile and others.

“The proposed transaction is exactly the type of merger that the Justice Department and the Commission have discouraged and rejected in the past: one that would harm competition and result in higher prices and poorer service, particularly for the most vulnerable consumers,” wrote Starks.

Others are concerned that the deal seemed to be a done deal even before Justice handed down its recommendations to improve competition following the merger.

“The FCC majority prejudged the merits of this merger two months before the Justice Department found the combination of T-Mobile and Sprint to be anticompetitive and required the creation of a new fourth competitor to pass legal muster. Despite this radical change in the merger, Chairman Pai has refused to put the new arrangement out for public comment,” noted Gigi Sohn, former general counsel for the FCC.

“Three of my colleagues agreed to this transaction months ago without having any legal, engineering, or economic analysis from the agency before us,” wrote Rosenworcel. “The procedural irregularities that have plagued the FCC’s review of this transaction make it difficult to ensure this agency’s findings are credible—especially when in so many key respects they are at odds with the findings of the Department of Justice.”

Proponents of the deal lean heavily on promises being made that “New T-Mobile,” as it is referred to in the decision, will use its new position to quickly and efficiently deploy 5G to many markets it might not otherwise have reached.

“This transaction will provide New T-Mobile with the scale and spectrum resources necessary to deploy a robust 5G network across the United States,” said Chairman Pai in his statement regarding the decision. “New T-Mobile will make the mobile broadband market more competitive in large swaths of rural America where neither Sprint nor T-Mobile is currently a strong competitor to AT&T and Verizon.”

Pai says that the idea that reducing the number of major carriers from four to three will be harmful to competition is a “simplistic, backward-looking claim.” The truth, he says, is that in many places this merger will increase the number of competitors from two (Verizon and AT&T) to three as T-Mobile enters the market. That’s fair speculation to be sure, but as Commissioner Starks points out, that idea too is simplistic. The truth is that reducing the number of major carriers will likely have serious and immediate negative effects as well as well as Pai’s imagined long-term benefits.

“In the short term, this merger will result in the loss of potentially thousands of jobs. In the long term, it will establish a market of three giant wireless carriers with every incentive to divide up the market, increase prices, and compete only for the most lucrative customers,” Starks writes.

While Justice and FCC approval were the largest obstacles to the proposed merger, much still has to occur before Sprint customers find their phones switching over to the T-Mobile network. More than a dozen states have opposed the merger and filed lawsuits, though those might be mooted under the new proposed scheme. Still, state-level challenges are no joke and may further delay the merger, especially if they are elevated to the federal level.

  • Te chevron_right

    OnePlus’ second 5G phone will be a T-Mobile exclusive

    news.movim.eu / TechCrunch – Wednesday, 23 October - 16:18

OnePlus’ 5G strategy has marked something of a shift for a company that has traditionally prided itself in a slow and steady approach to new features. Following the arrival of the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G this summer, the company is announcing its second 5G device for the U.S. market.

This time, it’s opted for its longer-time carrier partner, T-Mobile. Though soon enough, the distinction between the U.S.’s third and fourth place wireless carriers may be moot. For now, however, the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition is a T-Mobile exclusive here in the States.

For the record, the 7T Pro and the new McLaren Edition are pretty similar, though the latter gets a flashier color scheme and some pretty beefy specs, including an extremely generous 12GB of RAM.

Along with being OnePlus’ second 5G handset, it’s also the second T-Mobile device to support the next-gen network, following the already announced (but not yet released) Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G. As for the state of T-Mobile’s 5G roll out, the company promises to “cover 200 million people nationwide this year.”

  • Te chevron_right

    HTC’s new CEO discusses the phonemaker’s future

    news.movim.eu / TechCrunch – Friday, 4 October - 22:00

On September 17, HTC announced that cofounder Cher Wang would be stepping down as CEO. In her place, Yves Maitre stepped into the role of Chief Executive, after more than a decade at French telecom giant, Orange.

It’s a tough job at an even tougher time. The move comes on the tail of five consecutive quarterly losses and major layoffs, including a quarter of the company’s staff, which were let go in July of last year.

It’s a far fall for a company that comprised roughly 11 percent of global smartphone sales, some eight years ago. These days, HTC is routinely relegated to the “other” column when these figures are published.

All of this is not to say that the company doesn’t have some interesting irons in the fire. With Vive, HTC has demonstrated its ability to offer a cutting edge VR platform, while Exodus has tapped into an interest in exploring the use of blockchain technologies for mobile devices.

Of course, neither of these examples show any sign of displacing HTC’s once-booming mobile device sales. And this January’s $1.1 billion sale of a significant portion of its hardware division to Google has left many wondering whether it has much gas left in the mobile tank.

With Wang initially scheduled to appear on stage at Disrupt this week, the company ultimately opted to have Maitre sit in on the panel instead. In preparation for the conversation, we sat down with the executive to discuss his new role and future of the struggling Taiwanese hardware company.

5G, XR and the future of the HTC brand

  • Be chevron_right

    The XMPP meetup for everyone

    debacle – pubsub.movim.eu / berlin-xmpp-meetup – Saturday, 28 September - 11:44 edit

This week in the meetup: Sprint, Kaidan, MUC...

Change of plans: We will talk about a planned XMPP sprint next year in Berlin, probably about Kaidan on Purism Librem 5, and maybe about MUCs and why they need to be replaced by something better. Let's see.

When? Wednesday, 2019-10-09 18:00 CEST (always 2ⁿᵈ Wednesday of every month)

Where?xHain hack+makespace, Grünberger Str. 16, 10243 Berlin (as always)

The original topic aenigma - the XMPP server for everyone is postponed to the next month, i.e. 2019-11-13, same time, same place.

Nicolas North of openspace, a hackerspace in Milano, Italy, will present aenigma, the | state-of-the-art | secure-by-default | one-touch-deployed | XMPP server for everyone.

See you then!

Or join our non-physical room!

#berlin #xmpp #meetup #community #xhain #federation #chat #freesoftware #ænigma #aenigma #selfhosting #security #privacy #anonymity #openspace #sprint #kaidan #librem5 #muc

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    debacle , Holger Weiß , error

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  • person

    7 October error

    # Language Acquisition with XMPP -- Research Proposal in Progress

    This year we will submit a research proposal to the German Research Foundation (DFG) including an XMPP based architecture. In the proposal we sketch a language learning app which makes video content accessible for language learning via semantic enrichment. We present our proposal at the XMPP meetup.

  • Ar chevron_right

    Sprint took FCC cash for “serving” 885,000 people it wasn’t actually serving

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica – Tuesday, 24 September - 19:03

A sign with the word

Enlarge / A Sprint sign in Branford, Connecticut, in 2014. (credit: Mike Mozart )

Sprint has been caught taking millions of dollars in government subsidies for "serving" 885,000 low-income Americans who weren't using Sprint service, the Federal Communications Commission said today . Sprint violated the Lifeline program's "non-usage rule" that requires providers of free, subsidized plans to de-enroll subscribers who haven't used their phones recently, the FCC said.

"It's outrageous that a company would claim millions of taxpayer dollars for doing nothing. This shows a careless disregard for program rules and American taxpayers," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said. "I have asked our Enforcement Bureau to investigate this matter to determine the full extent of the problem and to propose an appropriate remedy."

Sprint has admitted the mistake and said it will pay the money back. Like the FCC's other universal service programs, Lifeline is paid for by Americans through fees imposed on phone bills.

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    DOJ’s plan to make Dish the fourth major carrier has a fatal flaw

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica – Tuesday, 27 August - 16:02

Illustration of water circling the drain of a sink, along with the Dish Network logo.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty)

When the Department of Justice approved T-Mobile's purchase of Sprint, the DOJ's antitrust officials insisted that an unusual remedy could replace the competition lost in the merger.

Sprint will no longer exist as a separate entity if the DOJ's plan is finalized, reducing the number of major nationwide mobile carriers from four to three. But the government agency is simultaneously requiring T-Mobile and Sprint to sell some of their assets to Dish Network in what amounts to a government attempt to micro-manage the mobile industry.

Dish, the government-selected replacement for Sprint, will create its own mobile service from its existing assets and spare parts the DOJ is requiring T-Mobile and Sprint to sell off. The DOJ acknowledged that T-Mobile buying Sprint "would eliminate head-to-head competition" and threaten the "lower prices and better service" created by that competition. But the department also claimed that the required divestitures will let Dish replace Sprint as a viable fourth carrier.

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