Let’s kick things off this week with some AT&T headlines, shall we?
The U.S. wireless carrier last week said it will roll out a new data minimizing service called “Stream Saver” starting in early 2017. Like T-Mobile’s Binge On/T-Mobile One plan and Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom plan, the new service will stream mobile video at 480p.
Unlike the competition’s plans – which charge extra for HD video streaming – AT&T said the new service will be a free option customers can switch on and off whenever they want via their account online or on the myAT&T app. AT&T said customers will receive a text or email once Stream Saver is active on their account. The message will also include directions about how to turn this feature on and off to make it as easy as possible, the carrier said.
AT&T last week also continued its tangle with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its data throttling practices.
Following an August court decision to dismiss its lawsuit against AT&T, the FTC last month appealed the decision and sought an en banc ruling from California’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Commission argued letting the judgement stand would create a critical loophole in consumer protection enforcement. The ruling declared AT&T’s “common carrier” classification was status based rather than activity based, allowing non-common carrier activities to fall under its common carrier protections.
However, AT&T last week again sought to dismiss the suit, arguing “the FTC cannot dispute that, in the 102-year history of the FTC Act, it has never been permitted to press a case against a common carrier,” MediaPost reported.
And last but not least, AT&T’s GoPhone prepaid brand bumped up the high speed data allowance on its $45 and $60 plans by one third. Users on the $45 plan now get 4 GB of high speed data while users on the $60 plan will get 8 GB of high speed data. Customers on both plans can get a $5 monthly discount when they sign up for AutoPay.
The move mirrors a recent increase in data bucket allotments on AT&T’s Cricket prepaid brand. That brand now offers 8GB of high speed data for $50 per month.
CORD Project, the community working on an open source service delivery platform that combines SDN, NFV, and elastic cloud services, announced the availability of the first open sourced disaggregated and virtualized Evolved Packet Core (EPC). Radisys, a system integrator and CORD partner, contributed its EPC framework to M-CORD.
CORD and its partners are developing the open M-CORD platform to deliver the capabilities that will enable 5G. M-CORD is built on CORD as the base platform that delivers economies of scale and cloud agility to the central office by integrating open networking technologies, merchant silicon and commodity white boxes to enable rapid creation of new mobile edge services. The group said M-CORD will help pave the way for service-driven 5G architecture through capabilities such as programmable Radio Access Network (RAN), disaggregated and virtualized EPC, mobile edge computing, and end-to-end slicing from RAN to EPC.
Dialog Semiconductor plc, a provider of integrated power management, AC/DC power conversion, solid state lighting (SSL) and Bluetooth low energy (LE) technology, announced a strategic investment in Energous Corp., the developer of the WattUp wire-free charging technology. Dialog has agreed to make a $10 million investment in Energous and become the exclusive component supplier of the WattUp integrated circuits (ICs), while Energous will be able to leverage Dialog’s broad sales and distribution channels to accelerate market adoption.
Energous’ WattUp wireless charging technology sends energy through the air using radio frequencies in a manner similar to a Wi-Fi router.