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Telecom Daily

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.

Friday, November 21...

Consumer Reports' Latest Mobile Carrier Survey Shows Verizon, T-Mobile on Top
Consumer Reports issued the results of its latest survey on customer satisfaction among wireless carriers. The company once again praise Consumer Cellular for scoring among the highest in nearly all measured categories of satisfaction, with particularly outstanding scores for value, data service, and customer support. Meanwhile, lesser-known carrier Ting moved up considerably, matching Consumer Cellular on the value and data service fronts. As usual, among the four major carriers, Verizon Wireless fared the best, scoring particularly high in voice and text quality, but faltering when it came to value. T-Mobile made a move in the right direction this year, coming in a close second to Verizon, largely thanks to a spike in its perceived value ratings, which Consumer Reports attributes to its recent subscription pricing changes. AT&T showed the least change among the top four carriers, scoring very closely to its previous year's performance. Unfortunately for Sprint, the carrier once again found itself near the bottom in nearly all categories, with particular weak spots showing in value, and data service, with only "middling" performance in voice and texting. The full survey results are available via subscription to Consumer Reports.

Samsung's Delay Request Denied in Microsoft's Android Royalties Suit
Samsung has been denied its bid to postpone Microsoft's lawsuit against it over allegedly unpaid Android royalties, Reuters reported. The company appealed to presiding US District Judge Jed Rakoff to delay the trial while it completed related arbitration in Hong Kong. Unfortunately for the Android device maker, the request was denied, and the trial will proceed as scheduled. Microsoft filed this latest suit against Samsung in August, claiming that the Korean company had failed to pay agreed-upon royalties after Microsoft completed its acquisition of Nokia's Devices & Services business. The specific amount quoted by Microsoft is $6.9 million still owed, a small fraction of the overall $1 billion in royalties Microsoft originally asked from Samsung. For its part, Samsung claims it ceased payment due to anti-trust concerns resulting from Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's business. The smartphone maker asserts that Microsoft's ownership of Nokia's mobile device assets positions it as a direct competitor, violating the terms of the royalty agreement. Although Judge Rakoff did not give a reason for his decision, he promised to explain his reasoning in a future opinion on the case.

Sprint to Resell Prepaid Devices and Services at Third Party Retailers
Sprint announced that its prepaid calling devices and services are going on sale at retail outlets across the US and Puerto Rico. The company currently markets a trio of prepaid calling plans, all of which include unlimited calling and messaging. The tiered subscriptions are based on the amount of monthly data allowances, which are available in 1GB, 3GB, and 6GB varieties for $35, $45, and $55 per month, respectively. Although the plans have been available for some time from Sprint's corporate stores, the company now plans to offer the prepaid subs at third-party retail chains, including Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Fry's, as well as online via Amazon.com, HSN.com, and QVC.com. Sprint claims this move will allow it to better compete with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Metro PCS, and NET10, all of which already have prepaid devices and plans available at various retail outlets.

... Michael Gariffo, Faulkner Information Services

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