Verizon Drops $2 Fee

Verizon Wireless today announced it has decided it will NOT institute the $2 fee for online or telephone payments that was announced earlier this week.

The company made the decision in response to customer feedback about the plan, which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions. The company continues to encourage customers to take advantage of the numerous simple and convenient payment methods it provides.

Verizon Wireless’s announcement of a $2 “convenience fee” for paying bills on mobile devices caught the attention of the Federal Communications Commission. The agency said in a statement on Friday afternoon that it would look into the fee, which goes into effect on Jan. 15.

“On behalf of American consumers, we’re concerned about Verizon’s actions and are looking into the matter,” the statement said.

In June, the F.C.C. cracked down on “cramming,” unauthorized fees put onto a consumer’s phone bill. As a result of an investigation, the F.C.C. fined four small phone companies $11.7 million.

Verizon, the biggest U.S. mobile service provider, admitted on Thursday it was having “growing pains” with its new LTE network which caused service outages. After saying earlier in the day that services on its older third generation, 3G, network were not affected, the company admitted Thursday night that 3G customers were also affected.

Google/Facebook Ad War

Market researcher ZenithOptimedia expects global advertising revenues will reach $486 billion in 2012 (pdf), a rise of 4.7 percent compared to 2011, reports Paid Content.

Digital ad spending is still seeing healthy growth: it will account for slightly more than one-fifth of all ad spend, but more than half of all growth. Social networks already make money from marketing and advertising services.

Overall, ZenithOptimedia predicts internet advertising will increase its share of the ad market from 15.9% in 2011 to 21.2% in 2014. Internet advertising already accounts for more than 25% of total ad expenditure in four markets (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK), and by 2014 we expect it to account for more than 30%.

According to eMarketer by September, Facebook made some $3.8 billion in advertising revenue in 2011.

Facebook has already started laying the groundwork for how it might draw on the content and nature of a users’ activity on the site as a route to promoting products and services to others within users’ timelines.

Google will insert your gmail address to sign you up for marketing lists if you click on a link in ads.

Mobile advertising, which uses a combination of an opted-in user’s location, browsing activity and purchasing habits, will deliver “relevant” ads and offers to consumers.

Some researcher believe Google will have 293 million people by the end of 2012, even 400 million users, although that number is still less than the 800 million people that Facebook claims. Facebook has 300 million mobile app users compared to Apple and Android, which each have around 225 million active mobile users. But Google+ is growing fast.

2012 Wireless Predictions

E-Week has a Top 10 Wireless Industry Predictions for 2012. They are:

  1. AT& T will deploy 4G LTE countrywide
  2. T-Mobile will find new partners to expand business
  3. No roaming on competing carriers’ LTE networks
  4. LightSquared wireless data service is doomed
  5. Nokia Windows Phone 7 handsets will catch on–overseas
  6. Look for a 7-inch Apple tablet early in the year
  7. Amazon will add 3G or 4G connectivity to Kindle Fire
  8. Prices for 7-inch tablets will hover around $225
  9. Using a smartphone will get more costly
  10. Guerilla WiFi phone access to fight rising 4G costs

Kevin Tofel on GigaOm also has 16 predictions for mobile in 2012.

I have my own:

  1. T-Mobile will team with Dish. Microsoft, Amazon and Google will chip in $3-5 billion (for wholesale access)
  2. Apple and Clearwire will team up on a competing wholesale network using the 2.6 GHz band. The same phone will work in China and India.
  3. Cricket and MetroPCS will merge on their own. For additional spectrum, they will partner with AT&T.
  4. AT&T will buy 40 MHz from Sprint/Clearwire for expanded LTE service. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Ralph de la Vega, CEO-AT&T Mobility, move on.
  5. Cost of cellular service will decrease. Increased competition lowers prices.
  6. Lightsquared will give up. The 2-way satellite infrastructure will be bought by Iridium.
  7. Unlicensed White Spaces will win limited approval. But it’s targeted for rural users.
  8. First Responders will get their dedicated LTE network. Unfortunately, jurisdictional disputes and cost overruns will keep it in court for 5 years. Service will be limited to urban areas.
  9. Newspapers, tv stations and magazines will shrink. Entrepreneurs will reinvent newsrooms and entertainment.
  10. Asymmetric power fosters revolution and creativity. 2012 is going to be interesting.

Top Dailywireless Posts for 2011

For the curious, here are the top ten Dailywireless articles for 2011:

Here are some of my favorties articles:

Six Globalstars Successfully Launched

Globalstar today announced that its six new second-generation Globalstar satellites were successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Launch services provider Arianespace confirmed that the upper stage accurately injected the six second-generation satellites into the targeted low earth orbit of approximately 920 km. Globalstar reports that all six satellites have been successfully acquired following separation of the Upper Stage and release from the satellite dispenser.

Globalstar has initiated satellite in-orbit testing and all six spacecraft are operating normally at this time.

The new satellites are gradually restoring voice and duplex data service as they join the network. S-band antenna degradation on Globalstar’s first-generation satellites has limited voice and duplex data communications since 2007. The problem has not affected Globalstar’s simplex data relay and asset tracking products, according to the company.

See Dailywireless: Space-Based Vessel Tracking

Samsung Galaxy SIII Next Month?

Korean electronics giant Samsung is reportedly set to launch the Galaxy S III, the successor to its popular Galaxy S II Android smartphone, at Mobile World Congress in February, almost exactly a year after it launched the Galaxy S II. That has been the world’s most successful Android smartphone to date, selling over 10 million units in five months since its launch in April of this year.

The device is expected to feature new quad-core processing, Android 4.0, and 3D technology.

Samsung announced today that they shipped over a million Galaxy Note phones. The Galaxy Note is a large Android v2.3 phone with a 5.3″ Super AMOLED display with an HD resolution: 1280×800.

Other specs include a dual-core 1.4Ghz processor, 8mp camera, touch display with pen input the phone isn’t shipping in the US yet (Samsung does have plans to introduce it in 2012). It took Samsung about 2 months to sell a million Notes. The Galaxy SII (Samsung’s fastest selling phone ever) sold over 2 million units in the first 30 days.