NBCUniversal Opens Tech Center with Focus on Collaboration

NBCUniversal announced the launch of its 63,000-square-foot NBCUniversal Technology Center in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. The $17 million facility will serve as the new center for the company’s core technology team and home for its new Media Labs operation, which plans to work with academic research groups, startups and venture capital firms. The facility’s Technology Show Lab will provide the opportunity for employees and outside partners to collaborate on new products and technology innovation. Continue reading NBCUniversal Opens Tech Center with Focus on Collaboration

Verizon Will Likely Respond to T-Mobile’s Aggressive Prices

Following a 3 percent drop in market value, Verizon has hinted at plans to get competitive in pricing, which customers will likely appreciate, but investors might not. The telco lost about $4 billion of its value, and some say it’s directly related to the competition among telcos to be the most aggressively priced. T-Mobile has been most notably aggressive in its pricing strategies, attracting new customers and possibly forcing Verizon to lower its fees as well. Continue reading Verizon Will Likely Respond to T-Mobile’s Aggressive Prices

Fox to Preview Authentication Service by Streaming Super Bowl

Fox plans to offer a special one-day preview of its Fox Sports Go service by streaming Super Bowl XLVIII free to tablets and PCs. To promote the online and mobile authentication service, Fox will stream the NFL championship game between the Broncos and Seahawks, its halftime show with Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and related programming. The live stream will be available on Sunday, February 2 for iPads via the Fox Sports Go app and for desktop PCs at FoxSportsGo.com. Continue reading Fox to Preview Authentication Service by Streaming Super Bowl

FCC Scheduled to Begin Wireless Airwaves Auctions This Week

The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to conduct its first major auction of wireless airwaves in six years today. Telecom analysts at New Street Research estimate that national wireless carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile — along with satellite TV operator Dish Network — will spend at least $46 billion on spectrum over the next two years in a series of auctions. Next year, the government plans to sell coveted spectrum in the 600 megahertz band, used by TV stations, to be resold for wireless use. Continue reading FCC Scheduled to Begin Wireless Airwaves Auctions This Week

Tech Companies Hopeful for Change in NSA Disclosure Policy

President Barack Obama spoke about the National Security Agency last week at the Department of Justice in Washington. The President touched on allowing technology companies to disclose information to the public about the kinds of data the government requests from them. However, he did not address issues such as secret government taps on data centers located overseas and encryption standards, two issues of particular interest to technology and phone companies. Continue reading Tech Companies Hopeful for Change in NSA Disclosure Policy

Sprint Could Acquire T-Mobile to Better Compete with Rivals

Sprint, the third largest carrier in the U.S., may take over its smaller rival, T-Mobile. Sprint has received proposals from at least two banks on how to finance the acquisition. T-Mobile’s market value is reportedly around $26 billion, but the deal would likely cost $50 billion total, with approximately $20 billion going toward paying off T-Mobile’s debt. The potential takeover comes at a little more than a year from an expected government auction of wireless airwaves. Continue reading Sprint Could Acquire T-Mobile to Better Compete with Rivals

Beats Creates Playlists Based on Your Mood, Location, Friends

A new streaming service, Beats Music, is hitting the market in a new AT&T subscription model that will bundle it with smartphone data service, and offer it to as many as five users on the same plan. It will also stand alone as an app for smartphones with free and paid versions, available next week. Beats comes at a time when music lovers have the option to stream, download or listen to the radio, and the streaming market in particular is saturated with endless options of services. Continue reading Beats Creates Playlists Based on Your Mood, Location, Friends

AT&T Service Enables Companies to Pay for Consumer Data

AT&T’s new service, Sponsored Data, allows developers and brands to deliver content — at their cost — to the mobile devices of their customers without eating into individual data plans. UnitedHealth Group, Aquto and Kony were the first three companies to sign up for the service at launch early last week. The telco’s intention is to allow companies to reach their target audience without costing consumers money in cell phone bills, but some say Sponsored Data is bad for the economy. Continue reading AT&T Service Enables Companies to Pay for Consumer Data

Cisco CEO John Chambers Heralds Trillion Dollar IoE Boom

Thought leaders are looking beyond smartphones in anticipation of smart cities and smart nations. The Internet of Things — or what Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers refers to as the Internet of Everything (IoE) — presents a $19 trillion revenue opportunity. “Think of the change the Internet brought into our lives, and imagine that 5- to 10-fold over the next decade,” Chambers shared in a Tuesday keynote address at the Venetian during CES. Continue reading Cisco CEO John Chambers Heralds Trillion Dollar IoE Boom

Audi Connects with Future of Mobility in CES Keynote Address

The Audi of the future is more than mere transportation. In a CES keynote presentation, Professor Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management of Audi AG, demonstrated how the “connected car” is redefining today’s automobile with an array of innovations that include piloted driving and “a new dimension of in-car entertainment.” Audi cleverly cast Kunal Nayyar of “The Big Bang Theory” to introduce and host the tech-heavy presentation. Continue reading Audi Connects with Future of Mobility in CES Keynote Address

Wearable Tech Innovators Have an Eye on the Smart Home

Although wearables are a relatively new category in the digital marketplace, manufacturers are already looking to expand beyond the wrist to the smart home. “The [home security] market largely didn’t move from the 1970s,” explains Michael Wolff, founder of NextMarket Insights. “It was always high-end proprietary systems, but it’s being reinvented in the last couple of years.” Wearables are a great source of data, such as biometrics, goes the argument, and therefore can interface nicely with smart home applications. Continue reading Wearable Tech Innovators Have an Eye on the Smart Home

Connected Cars: Chevrolet Drives OnStar 4G LTE with AT&T

Underscoring Detroit’s determination to be a player in the connected consumer space, General Motors announced that OnStar 4G LTE will be factory-enabled in the majority of its 2015 Chevrolet models including the Corvette and Impala, hitting the market this summer. The move sees GM expanding its relationship with OnStar connectivity partner AT&T and simultaneously mounting a developer outreach program to fuel the Chevrolet AppShop. Continue reading Connected Cars: Chevrolet Drives OnStar 4G LTE with AT&T

MobiTV Aims to Power Over-The-Top Video Service Next Year

MobiTV reportedly has plans to power a service in 2014 that will introduce a new HDMI streaming stick or lightweight set-top box for playing Internet content on a TV set. While the company is not revealing who is behind the prospective service, it is likely that a broadband or wireless provider would use MobiTV to turn an OTT video service into something consumers can easily enjoy in their living rooms. This would be a bold move for MobiTV, which is not a traditional service provider. Continue reading MobiTV Aims to Power Over-The-Top Video Service Next Year

Wireless Telcos Adhere to FCC’s Request to Unlock Phones

Wireless telcos Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular have agreed to the FCC’s demands to unlock subscribers’ phones. The Commission’s chairman Tom Wheeler gave the providers the ultimatum to unlock phones or face regulation, and now they — along with CTIA – The Wireless Association — have complied, agreeing to meet requirements within a year. They’re recommending the policies be incorporated in the association’s Consumer Code for Wireless Service. Continue reading Wireless Telcos Adhere to FCC’s Request to Unlock Phones

AT&T CEO: Wireless Carriers Can No Longer Subsidize Phones

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, speaking at an investor conference in New York City last week, said wireless operators can no longer afford to subsidize cutomers’ devices in an era when smartphones are upgraded so frequently. With smartphone penetration above 75 percent and soon expected to reach 90 percent, Stephenson suggests that operators need to make greater efforts to get their customers to use more of the network, as opposed to merely getting on the network. Continue reading AT&T CEO: Wireless Carriers Can No Longer Subsidize Phones