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Welcome to Faulkner's Telecom Daily. We publish Monday through Friday, updating top stories as events warrant. If you would like to receive Telecom Daily emailed daily to your desktop, please click here: TelDailyEmail.

Tuesday, July 29...

Cell Phone Unlocking Bill on its Way to the White House After Unanimous House of Reps Vote
The US House of Representatives unanimously passed its own cell phone unlocking bill. The so called Unlocking Consumer Choice Act would once again make it legal for consumers to unlock their cell phones when their contract with the carrier from which the device was purchased expires. Although this was considered a legal practice until several years ago, a 2012 decision from the Library of Congress removed the right to unlock a consumer's cell phone from their purview. Since then it has been a legal gray area, and largely left up to the individual carriers to design a policy. Now that both the House and Senate have passed their respective versions of the bill, President Obama will have the option of signing the potential legislation into law. The White House's stance on the legalization of cell phone unlock has been extremely positive, making it likely that the bill will get the go-ahead with little or no difficulty.

T-Mobile Undercutting 10GB/$160 Per Month Plans with New 10GB/$100 Per Month Offering
T-Mobile US is launching a new family plan specifically designed to undercut the recently advertised 10GB for $160 per month offerings from AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless. The offer will provide four family plan members with access to a 10GB monthly data cap for $100 per month. As with all T-Mobile plans, the subscription also includes unlimited voice minutes and text messages. It should be noted that this is a limited-time offer; customers must sign up for the new Simple Choice plan between July 30 and September 30, and are only guaranteed to retain the $100 per month price "until 2016." In any case, the cheaper offering is likely to draw even more customers to the fourth place carrier, which has been an increasingly problematic competitor for AT&T and Verizon Wireless thanks to highly public gestures like this one.

AT&T Branching Out into Tennessee with Nashville Gigapower Launch
AT&T announced plans to expand its 1Gbps U-verse with Gigapower network to Nashville, Tennessee. This is the first market in the state for the carrier, as well as the first service area not located in its original launch beds of Texas or North Carolina. Although AT&T did not provide any specific service areas or pricing for the new geography yet, it did reveal that it will also be launching its U-Verse TV service in the region. This announcement comes right on he heels of AT&T's recent launch of U-Verse with Gigapower in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas, making it very likely that Nashville will be the second major city in the south to go live on the carrier's 1Gbps network. More information on AT&T's current and future plans for its Gigapower buildout are available at its Web site.

... Michael Gariffo, Faulkner Information Services

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