The market has been buzzing with speculation that Verizon might make a play for Charter Communications or some other large cable or content player. But there’s one very important person who doesn’t think Verizon really needs another acquisition to remain successful: CFO Matt Ellis.
According to a Wednesday note from MoffettNathanson, Ellis told analysts in a meeting earlier this week he and Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam are “confident” they can effectively pilot Verizon forward “without needing M&A activity.”
During Sprint’s earnings call yesterday, CTO John Saw indicated Samsung is among the vendors planning to release a device with support for the carrier’s new HPUE technology. Saw said he expects additional HPUE-compatible devices will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress later this month, and initial roll outs will begin in the next few months. By 2018, Saw said he expects all of Sprint’s postpaid phones with Band 41 to support the technology.
On the call, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure also shed more light on the carrier’s recent content move in acquiring part of Jay-Z’s music streaming service, Tidal. Claure said there were three fundamental points of logic behind the deal: the desire to make the Sprint brand more “culturally relevant,” testing the concept of whether exclusive content can help drive customer additions and retention, and the idea that Sprint’s distribution of the service to its 45 million-strong customer base will help Tidal grow.
Additionally, Claure reported between 75 percent and 90 percent of new customers are signing up for Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom plan.
The Competitive Carriers Association is pushing the House Judiciary Committee to make the current temporary device unlocking exemption permanent.
In 2012, the Librarian of Congress mistakenly allowed the device unlocking exemption to expire, leading Congress to pass and President Obama to sign the Unlocking Act. CCA is hoping the Committee will make that exemption a pillar of copyright law.
“Unlocking is a big issue for competitive carriers, especially many smaller carriers that still have trouble accessing the latest devices. There is clearly broad support from consumers, industry and policymakers in favor of making permanent the unlocking exemption; let’s not relive the mistakes from years past,” CCA CEO Steven Berry urged in a statement. “I am confident the Committee, under the good leadership of Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers, will act on this commonsense consumer and competitive issue as part of their broader effort to move copyright law into the modern era.”
A new report from Strategy Analytics indicates Apple was able to recapture its former position as the number one smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter 2016, narrowly beating rival Samsung.
According to Strategy Analytics data, Apple closed the quarter with 78.3 million device shipments and 17.8 percent of the market share, compared to Samsung’s 77.5 million shipments and 17.7 percent market share. Huawei continued to make gains in third place with 44.9 million shipments and 10.2 percent of the global market share.
Overall in 2016, Strategy Analytics said global smartphone shipments grew 3 percent year over year to a record 1.5 billion units.