Leap Wireless shareholders have given their seal of approval to a $1.2 billion takeover of the company by mobile giant AT&T.
According to the company’s press release, more than 99% of votes cast were in favor of the transaction, which will boost AT&T’s (Dallas, TX, USA) position in the US prepaid market besides shoring up its spectrum holdings.
AT&T has sought to allay concerns about its ability to compete in the US mobile market by saying it expects to add another half a million contract customers during the three months ending in June 2013.
The operator is not due to publish second-quarter results until July 23 but claims its broadband, TV and mobile divisions are all thriving in terms of subscriber adoption.
The operator says that a number of promotions in the mobile phone market have paid off, “driving strong sales, higher gross adds and smartphone upgrade rates similar to the first quarter”.
Telefonica has teamed up with PC maker Dell to provide a ‘pay-as-you-go’ mobile broadband service for laptop and tablet computers equipped with M2M SIMs.
Under the Dell (Round Rock, TX, USA) NetReady service, consumers in Europe will be able to use 3G services on various Windows 7 and Windows 8 devices through an on-demand service.
The companies say the offer is aimed at companies that want to provide their employees with “fast and reliable connectivity, anytime and anywhere, paying only for what they need”.
AT&T seems determined to address its shortcomings in the US prepaid market, having unveiled a new brand called Aio Wireless for customers who want to avoid signing up to long-term contracts.
Announcing the availability of the service in selected stores across Houston, Orlando and Tampa, the operator said it expected to introduce the service in “multiple markets across the US over the next year”.
Verizon Wireless plans to change its policy on handset upgrades so that customers are forced to wait longer before they can get their hands on new devices.
Under the current system, customers can upgrade their phones every 20 months, but when the change comes in they will have to wait two years before they can rid themselves of older smartphones.
“This change aligns the upgrade date with the contact end date and is consistent with how the majority of customers purchase new phones today,” said the operator in a statement on its website.
T-Mobile USA, the No. 4 U.S. mobile provider, on Tuesday launched GoSmart Mobile, a nationwide prepaid wireless brand that will sell cellphone services to customers who want to pay for calls in advance.
The wireless operator, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (Bonn, Germany), has agreed to merge with smaller rival MetroPCS Communications (Richardson, USA). It is hoping to benefit from growth in the prepaid market to regain customers lost to rivals.
T-Mobile USA has launched a $70-a-month no-contract offer that promises an “unlimited nationwide 4G data” service to customers.
Unveiled at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the deal follows T-Mobile’s announcement last month that it would stop subsidising smartphones in 2013.
Under new arrangements, customers will be required to pay substantial upfront fees for their devices, but will benefit from much lower monthly tariffs.
Roaming cell phone charges while traveling abroad are still a major concern among consumers. As many as 60% of travelers don’t switch on their mobile device when they travel overseas, due in large part to fears of racking up huge roaming bills. Much of this fear isn’t due to voice, but data use, which has spiked with the adoption of smartphones and tablets.