Vodafone Faces Spectrum Troubles and 4 Telecom Titans Attracting Interest

Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) says that it will begin offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 with a 4 gigabyte LTE on November 11th. This comes after Verizon launched an LTE-equipped version of its smaller counterpart a few months past. Sprint’s offering will go for $550 without a contract, and can be activated on one of the firm’s new month-to-month tablet rate plans, which start at $15 per month for 300 megabytes of data, and run to $80 for 12 gigabytes. Additionally, Sprint is waiving activation fees on all 3- and 4-gigabyte tablets “for a limited time.” The device itself comes with a faster 1.5 gigahertz dual-core processor than the 1-gigahertz WiFi-only model, but otherwise seems to be identical down to the Android 4.0 for an operating system. So far, there is no word on a planned upgrade to 4.1 or 4.2.

Vodafone Group plc (NASDAQ:VOD): The Empowered Group of Ministers in India has finally decided to go forward with transferring incumbent GSM operators from the 900 megahertz spectrum band, but only in part rather than the entire amount as was the previous proposal. On Thursday, the panel decided to allow the operators to keep 2.5 megahertz spectrum in this band. Incumbent operators Vodafone India, Airtel, and Idea Cellular will get a measure of relief in cost terms, but they said that partial shifting creates more technical complications. Director General of Cellular Operators Association of India Rajan Mathews commented that, “It will be next to impossible to service 450-500 million subscribers in the existing 900 megahertz band with the same quality of service with limited 2.5 megahertz in 900 megahertz band and remaining on 1800 MHz band without any disruption of wide-scale services.”

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Leap Wireless International (NASDAQ:LEAP) is in the middle of its LTE deployment as it attempts to catch up with its bigger competitors by supplying its subscribers with the latest LTE phones and high-speed data services. President and Chief Executive Doug Hutcheson spoke with FierceWireless Executive Editor Mike Dano in regards to Leap’s buildout, its spectrum position, and its network access payments to Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S).

MetroPCS Communications (NYSE:PCS) said Wednesday that Rich Communications Suite is immediately available over its LTE network for the Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G. RCS is currently a standard for the combination of voice calls with video and text chatting on smartphones. Subscribers with that phone may download the application called Joyn for RCS from the carrier’s @metro App Store or from the Google Play store. The application is free and its use is covered by the carrier’s existing plans. For its part, MetroPCS claimed that it is the world’s first carrier to offer RCS over LTE.

Level 3 Communications (NASDAQ:LVLT) is reporting no major service disruption from Sandy, although there have occurred a few isolated incidents which impacted a small number of customers. The firm says that it is resolving those as fast as possible along with staying mindful of employee safety and is also cooperating with government closures in the area, which might delay network repair response time.

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