Verizon Wireless today announced an agreement with T-Mobile USA to exchange specific spectrum in the AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) band. Under the agreement, both companies also will receive additional spectrum depth in specific markets to meet LTE (Long Term Evolution) capacity needs and enable LTE expansion. Since this agreement includes spectrum that will be purchased by Verizon Wireless in its transactions with SpectrumCo, Cox and Leap, this agreement is contingent on the closing of those transactions. The agreement includes a number of intra-market spectrum swaps that will result in better use of the AWS band for both companies. The agreement also includes exchanges of spectrum between the companies in numerous markets which result in an overall net transfer of spectrum from Verizon Wireless to T-Mobile and a cash payment from T-Mobile to Verizon Wireless. Financial terms of the agreement are not being disclosed. The license transfers require FCC approval which is expected later this summer.
Facebook has quietly added a new feature to its mobile and web applications called "Find Friends Nearby" that potentially lets you speed up the process of "friending" someone you're already hanging out with. Essentially, Find Friends Nearby takes you to a web page where you can see other people who are near your location and also looking at the FFN page. In an ideal situation, if you and a person that you just met want to be friends on Facebook, you could both could go to the FFN page rather than typing in each other's names the old-fashioned way.
Two British hackers linked to the notorious Lulz Security group pleaded guilty to a slew of computer crimes Monday, the latest blow against online miscreants whose exploits have grabbed headlines and embarrassed governments around the world. Ryan Cleary, 20, and Jake Davis, 19, pleaded guilty to conspiring with other members of LulzSec to attack government, media, and law enforcement websites last year, according to Gryff Waldron, an official at London's Southwark Crown Court.
Microsoft announced their new Windows 8 tablets last Monday. By Friday they announced the Windows 8 for mobile phones. This is all good news except anyone who bought a Windows phone up until now will not be upgradeable. Some analysts are saying that was a bad idea to not tell the public, or Nokia. Others are saying Microsoft is trying to weaken Nokia so they can buy the company for pennies on the dollar.
Research In Motion is considering a plan to split its company in two, separating its handset division from its messaging network and selling off the struggling BlackBerry hardware business, according to The Sunday Times. The British newspaper (subscription required), which didn't cite sources, also mentioned Facebook and Amazon as "potential buyers." Another option has the company staying intact but selling a large stack to a larger tech company such as Microsoft. RIM declined to comment on the report's specifics but reiterated that it's examining a wide range of strategies.
Amazon's "Amazon Studios" project has announced the first four TV series it will develop. The Studios project announced last month that it was looking for comedies and kids shows. The Studios effort -- which hitherto had been focused on short and feature-length films -- is designed to provide original programming for Amazon's Instant Video service. Amazon Studios works differently than traditional Hollywood production companies in that it solicits original scripts via the Web -- writers can have their pitches reviewed publicly or by the studio staff. If a project gets picked to be moved along to the Studios' Development Slate, the creators receive $10,000, and the show may eventually be produced.
Google Inc Chief Executive Larry Page has reassured employees about his health, but the company on Friday shed little additional light on an unspecified condition affecting his voice that will sideline him from two high-profile events in the coming weeks. The condition will also cause Page to miss Google's annual developer conference next week as well as its quarterly results announcement next month. The prolonged absence from the public spotlight raises questions about his condition, and the company's obligation to disclose issues of concern to shareholders.
Google will launch its own sub-$200 7-in. Nexus tablet at its Google I/O conference in San Francisco this week, according to training documents viewed by Gizmodo Australia. The report comes in the wake of a slew of rumors, including reports of a Google tablet called Nexus 7 that would run Android Jelly Bean, the next generation of the Android operating system. Jelly Bean, or Android 4.1, was recently described as a modest upgrade from Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich. A $199 starting price would put the Nexus 7 in the same category as the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook tablets. Both have the same price tag and feature the same screen size as the expected Google tablet.
New York City tapped Boingo in May to roll out Wi-Fi service across its subway system over the next five years. Today, the company announced it is partnering with Google Offers to sponsor free Wi-Fi at more than 200 hotspots in Manhattan, including six subway stations through Sept. 7. When someone accesses one of the Boingo hotspots on their smartphone or other device, they'll see a branded welcome page that lets them subscribe to Google Offers for nearby deals. Among the stations with free Wi-Fi are the A/C/E station at 8th Avenue and 14th Street, the L station at 8th Avenue and West 14th St., and the F, M station at Sixth Avenue and 14th St. Signs at the locations will publicize the availability of Wi-Fi.
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