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Telecom Daily

Welcome to Faulkner's Telecom Daily. We publish Monday through Friday, updating top stories as events warrant.

Friday, May 4...

Verizon Signs Agreement with Samsung for New Apps, Ads on Galaxy S9 Devices
Verizon Communications has, according to Reuters signed an agreement with Samsung that will see several of its media properties being represented in pre-installed app form on Galaxy S9 handsets sold by Verizon Wireless. These apps will include Yahoo Sports; Yahoo Finance; Go90, a mobile video streaming service; and Oath Newsroom. The agreement is apparently part of a larger deal which will see Verizon's Oath (the company's media division which was built from the combined assets of AOL and Yahoo) becoming the "premiere content partner" for Bixby, Samsung's first-party digital assistant. While this news may already concern consumers wary of "bloatware" coming pre-installed on their devices, there is the additional issue of this agreement also supporting the placement of "native ads" among the news feeds provided by the aforementioned apps. Those ads will apparently appear in a relatively similar fashion to actual news items, but will provide revenue to both Verizon and Samsung for every tap. It remains unclear if the apps named in this agreement can be uninstalled or disabled on newly-shipped devices.

Google Brings Advanced Protection Program to iOS' Native Apps
Google announced that its Advanced Protection Program will now function with certain iOS apps. The program is designed for people that are considered particularly high-risk hacking targets, such as politicians, celebrities, journalists, and other groups that are frequently under digital attack. Previously, the additional protections offered by signing up for Advanced Protection were limited to Google's first-party apps. Now, that protection is being extended to Apple's first party apps on iOS as well. At launch, this expanded support includes iOS' native Calendar, Contacts, and Mail apps, as long as the user is signed into those apps via their Google account. This means it is now possible to enjoy additional security measures such as two-factor authentication, physical security keys, and more, without the need to actually use Google's own services. Google hopes to continue to expand these protections to additional apps and platforms, although it did not provide any specific details on future plans.

Windstream Sees Continued Net Losses, Despite Increasing Revenue
Windstream posted its financial results for the first quarter of its 2018 fiscal year. For the period, the company's revenue reached $1.44 billion, up from Q1 2017's reported $1.34 billion. Despite the gains, Windstream's net losses worsened, year over year, to $121.4 million, an increase over the net loss of $111.3 million posted one year ago. This produced losses per share of $0.65, compared to the $0.89 posted for the year-ago quarter. The drop in losses per share can be contributed to the issuance of additional shares in the interim. On these results, Windstream issued guidance including a somewhat vague prediction of FY 2018 service revenue being "slightly improved versus 2017 trends."

... Michael Gariffo, Faulkner Information Services

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