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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.

Thursday, October 21...

AT&T Posts Moderate Gains in Revenue, Lower Profits on Cost Increases for Q3
AT&T posted its financial results for the third quarter of the 2014 fiscal year. The company's revenue for the period totaled $32.95 billion, a moderate year-over-year increase compared to the $32.15 billion reported for the same period in 2013. Net income for the quarter was $3.05 billion, compared to the $3.9 billion posted a year ago. The drop in profits can be attributed to an increase in quarterly expenses of just over $1.5 billion. The resulting earnings per share were $0.58, down from the $0.71 reported for the third quarter of 2013. During the third quarter, AT&T's wireless division added a net total of just over 2 million customers, most of which (approximately 1.2 million) were from the connected device category, while the majority of the remainder (785,000) were postpaid cellular customers. Meanwhile, AT&T's wireline segment saw mixed results, with its voice service reporting 3 million fewer customers than Q3 last year; its broadband segment gaining just over a quarter million customers; and its U-Verse video services bringing in about 800,000 new subscribers.

Members of Congress Fire Back at FBI Director's Encryption Circumvention Plan
Members of congress from both sides of the aisle, as well as Senator Ron Wyden have come out against the FBI's request that a back door be implemented in encrypted mobile devices, Engadget reported. This reply comes as FBI Director James Comey has asked the lawmakers to expand the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which was designed to make sure citizens' cell phone voice calls were accessible to law enforcement officials. Comey would have all of the recently imposed encryption measures on iOS, Android, and other platforms outfitted with a controlled back door through which his agency and others could access sensitive information. However, the aforementioned members of congress say there is "zero chance" of such a bill obtaining their support. They feel that the government has already completely ruined any chances of the public trusting them with such direct access to their data, due to revelations such as the NSA's level of domestic surveillance. Engadget also notes that the request would create what is essentially a deliberate security hole in mobile device encryption, allowing anyone that can figure out how to exploit it to have full access to a user's personal data.

Sprint Doubles Data on "Low-End" $20 Plan to 1GB Per Month
Sprint continued to expand its doubled data offerings with the announcement that it is bringing the increased allowances to its "low-end" data users. The new offering affects the lowest tier of the Sprint Family Share Pack, which previously offered 500MB of data per month. That has now been bumped up to 1GB of data for each billing cycle, while remaining at the same cost of $20 per month. The company claims that this is twice what Verizon Wireless is offering at the same price point, and triple AT&T's analogous subscription. Sprint did not disclose whether this new pricing model would be a limited time offer, or if it intends to make the larger data allowance permanent. More information is available at the Sprint Family Share Web page

... Michael Gariffo, Faulkner Information Services

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