Even Microsoft has to work really hard to compete with Google on search. So how might Leap.it, a small startup of Kansas City, take on the world’s biggest search engine?
As Austin readies for the announcement of Google Fiber, it’s worth thinking about what responsibilities and new demands come with a gigabit network. There’s still a lot of work to be done.
Google Fiber offers a gigabit to Kansas City residents for $70, but the key word is residents. Businesses aren’t getting service. So a few startups have banded together to rent and buy homes slated to get fiber so they can experience the joys of a gigabit.
RadioShack joins the ranks of the mobile virtual network operators, partnering with Leap’s Cricket Communications to resell its prepaid smartphone and feature phone plans. The deal both expands Leap’s retail presence and allows RadioShack to sell service plans, not just handsets.
MetroPCS recently met with the FCC about wireless competition, presumably in response to AT&T’s proposal to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. Industry groups, average consumers and Sprint have come out against the proposed merger, and MetroPCS also offered up this slide showing industry consolidation.
Leap Wireless, the company behind the prepaid Cricket prepaid service, will transition to a 4G Long Term Evolution Network in the second half of this year, but is dubious about the technology being ready for customers. Leap’s CEO thinks devices will achieve “critical pricing” in 2012.
Veebeam announced that it’s raised $6 million in the first tranche of a two-tranche funding round. The startup, which makes a wireless USB system for streaming from the PC to the TV, will use the funds to ramps up production and ship product to customers.
[qi:015] KeyOn, a wireless broadband provider in Omaha, Neb., said this morning that it’s applied for $150 million in broadband stimulus funds in order to expand its WiMAX network and cover an additional 4 million people — a cost of $37.50 each. KeyOn, which uses WiMAX and its nationwide license for 3.65GHz spectrum to provide broadband, satellite television service and VoIP calling packages under the brand names SpeedNet and Siris, currently serves 2.5 million people in 11 states.
It’s joined by fellow wireless providers Yonder Media and Leap Wireless (s leap), the operator behind the Cricket brand of prepaid cell phone service, which on Monday filed for $8.6 million in broadband stimulus funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Authority’s program. So where are all the wireline providers? Read More about WirelessCos Want $169.6M in Stimulus Bucks. What About Wireline?
[qi:083] The second-quarter results are in, and the big carriers continued to to rake in the bucks from data, with AT&T managing to win over the most new subscribers and the biggest spenders. Thanks, iPhone! But outside of the staid world of the larger carriers, as the economic downturn and cheap plans offering unlimited voice and data convinced folks to dump their contracts and check out life on the prepaid side, the competition among prepaid players continued to heat up. Even Sprint decided to toss its hat into the prepaid ring, agreeing to pay $483 million to buy Virgin Mobile, a predominantly prepaid carrier that uses the Sprint network. Read More about Q2 Wireless Scorecard: When Prepaid Attacks
MetroPCS (s pcs), the prepaid cellular service provider, this morning reported a weaker profit and a drop in new subscribers for the second quarter, and analysts are blaming the increased competition among prepaid plans. The carrier, which has been reporting record quarters, only added about 206,000 subscribers in the most recent 3-month period, compared with 684,000 in the first quarter. The relative slowdown in new subscriber adds was surprising given that the second quarter marked the first full quarter in which MetroPCS served the New York City and Boston markets. Compared to the same period last year, profits fell by 48 percent to $27.2 million and revenue rose 27 percent, to $859.6 million.
In the last few quarters we’ve seen some aggressive pricing plans from other prepaid carriers with Tracfone, which is owned by Mexico-based America Movil SA, offering unlimited plans for $45 a month, and Sprint’s (s s) Boost subsidiary offering unlimited voice and text for $50 a month. Other carriers have followed suit. Read More about Prepaid Competition Takes a Bite Out of MetroPCS Earnings