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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.

Thursday, October 2...

Sprint and Verizon Join AT&T in Offering Larger Data Allowances
Following the announcement of AT&T's promotional offer of double the data it normally offers as part of its Value Share, both Verizon Wireless and Sprint have launched similar deals. In Sprint's case, the promotion affects all Family Share Pack plans, and, like AT&T's promo, will provide all customers signing up by October 31 with double the normal amount of data allowance offered at a given price point. This raises the available tiers from Sprint to 60GB, 80GB, and 120GB per month. Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless is offering a slightly smaller bump to lighter More Everything users' data buckets, with a deal promising to raise its 12GB per month plan to 15GB, and its 16GB subscription to 30GB. The company is, however, matching the doubled data offering of its competitors for all plans that originally provided between 20GB and 50GB per month, meaning the higher tier offerings now range from 40GB to 100GB. All three carriers' promotions are running until October 31, and all three have said they will honor the larger data allowances for the life of the plan selected during the promotional period.

Verizon Wireless Ends Plan to Throttle Heavy LTE Data Users Following FCC Pressure
Following significant pressure from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Tom Wheeler, Verizon Wireless has dropped its plans to begin throttling its most voracious data users. The company announced in July that it would begin throttling the speeds for the top 5 percent of LTE customers on its grandfathered, unlimited data plans. The announcement brought an immediate and heated response from Wheeler, asking whether Verizon could provide any legitimate reason why those heavy data users should be detrimentally affected, other than calling it "network optimization." Despite months of protestations, none of Verizon's claims about its motivations gained any ground with the regulatory leader. Now, Verizon has apparently decided to drop the matter entirely, saying simple "we've decided not to move forward with the planned implementation of network optimization for 4G LTE customers on unlimited plans." For his part, Chairman Wheeler issued a statement saying "I salute Verizon Wirelessís decision. This is a responsible action and I commend Verizonís leadership 
on this issue."

Nokia Signs Contract to Provide T-Mobile US with LTE Hardware, Software
Nokia signed a new contract expansion agreement with T-Mobile US with the goal of helping the carrier to expand its nationwide LTE network and introduce carrier aggregation technology. Under the terms of the contract, Nokia will provide the carrier with LTE-Advanced equipment and services designed to cover additional spectrum bands, while also offering improved coverage and capacity for "in-building, highway and rural areas." The buildout will consist of Nokia's Flexi Multiradio10 Base Station platform for 700MHz radio sites and its LTE/GSM RF sharing solution for 1900MHz sites. Nokia claims the upgrades will support T-Mobile's efforts to introduce VoLTE (Voice over LTE) calling, as well as providing carriers aggregation support across the aforementioned bands. No financial terms for the contract were disclosed.

... Michael Gariffo, Faulkner Information Services

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