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AT&T still playing catch-up, finally adding HD Voice later this year

iPhone 5 Keynote wideband Audio

I have a bridge to sell you if you think AT&T's announcement had nothing to do with T-Mobile's hard push of its new HD Voice to its upcoming iPhone customers. AT&T Senior VP of Network Technology, Kris Rinne, was chatting it up at the VentureBeat Mobile Summit in Sausalito, California. She stated that the telecommunications company will support the HD Voice technology later this year in 2013. Nevermind that smartphones like the iPhone 5 have had HD Voice capabilities since October 2012.

 

 

Rollout of newer technology has historically been AT&T's Achilles Heel; it took them over a year to include Internet tethering for the iPhone 3GS, despite carriers across the globe supporting it at launch. AT&T finally included the internet tethering, only after the iPhone 4 launched, with several deal breaking caveats such as forfeiting "unlimited" data plans and exorbitant pricing for data that customers are already paying for. On the brighter side, dropped calls will soon be in HD.

Read More | AllThingsD

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Verizon Wireless opts to end handset exclusivity agreements (with a catch)

Verizon Wireless Wireless announced this morning that their President and CEO, Lowell McAdam, has sent a letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill announcing that “Effective immediately for small wireless carriers…any new exclusivity arrangement we enter with handset makers will last no longer than six months - for all manufacturers and all devices.” At first glance, that’s kind of a big deal. After all, handset exclusivity is something that can be very financially beneficial to a carrier (see AT&T and as one such example.) So here’s the thing, when you re-read that statement, you discover that this exclusivity thing will still be in effect as it pertains to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. It’s only the small wireless carriers, those with 500,000 customers or less, that will be able to pick up handsets that are exclusive to Verizon Wireless after a six-month period. Still, it’s better than nothing, but the cast majority of non-Verizon Wireless mobile customers won’t benefit from this news.

In other words, this is a blatant attempt by Verizon Wireless to look like the nice guy while the FCC and congressional inquiries into exclusive handset deals proceed. This isn’t much progress at all. It’s just a political play that we can guarantee wouldn’t have happened if lawmakers weren’t taking a peek behind the curtain. What’s more, Verizon is hoping that other carriers will follow their lead with this move, specifically AT&T with the iPhone.

You can see the entire letter after the break.

Click to continue reading Verizon Wireless opts to end handset exclusivity agreements (with a catch)

Read More | Verizon Policy Blog

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