Posts filed under ‘USA’
MasterCard is going to launch its P2P mobile remittance platform for issuers in the US later this month. MasterCard has partnered with The Bancorp Bank for this launch and worked with US mobile payments services provider Obopay to add a mobile channel to its money transfer platform MoneySend. In a first phase, consumers will be able to use MoneySend with a MasterCard prepaid card issued by The Bancorp Bank and link it to their mobile phone number to send or receive money. Banks who will use the platform will enable customers who register for MoneySend to use it with their everyday accounts, including MasterCard debit, credit, prepaid or checking, as determined by their issuer. The platform enables users to send and receive funds via SMS message, mobile web browser or a downloadable MoneySend application. Upon the initiation of the transfer, the sender approves the request by entering the MoneySend mobile PIN which is only known by the accountholder. Subsequently, the recipient receives a text message confirmation of the transfer (for pre-registered users) or that the transfer is pending (for yet to be registered users). The funds can then be accessed by the recipient through an account designated during the registration process. Initially, this will be a prepaid account with The Bancorp Bank. These funds are then available for access through the mobile phone. If the consumer has a MasterCard card associated with the account the funds can also be accessed at traditional points of interaction, including ATMs, over-the-counter at a bank branch, or at the point-of-sale.
Clearwire, the US wireless broadband operator 51% owned by Sprint Nextel, has reported a narrowing of first-quarter losses to USD71.06 million, compared to a pro forma loss of USD76.44 million a year earlier (before Sprint and Clearwire unveiled their USD12 billion partnership to combine their planned nationwide mobile WiMAX networks). Revenue in the three months to the end of March 2009 rose 21% year-on-year to USD62.1 million. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Clearwire provides broadband internet services in at least 50 markets nationwide via fixed wireless networks which utilise a combination of pre-WiMAX and true 802.16e mobile WiMAX technologies. Clearwire, which has so far launched commercial WiMAX in Baltimore and Portland, Oregon, reported that it added 25,000 subscribers in the first quarter, bringing its total base to 500,000 (up 57,000 year-on-year). The firm expects to add 802.16e networks in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia and Seattle during 2009. The company said yesterday that it still plans to expand its ‘Clear 4G’ WiMAX service to 80 markets covering a potential 120 million customers by the end of 2010 but the plan could be altered depending on the availability of capital.
Also announced yesterday, Clearwire has selected Cisco as its national core infrastructure provider as it expands mobile WiMAX network coverage across the US. Clearwire’s all-IP network will be upgraded and extended under the deal, whilst separately, Cisco is also planning to move into the mobile WiMAX terminal device manufacturing market this year.
AT&T announced that the 1.5 million subscribers it will acquire from Verizon Wireless will be shifted from Verizon’s CDMA network to AT&T’s GSM network within 12 months of the deal’s completion. The assets were previously owned and managed by Alltel, which was acquired by Verizon Wireless earlier this year for $28.1 billion. AT&T, which will pay $2.35 billion for the assets, said it will spend another $400 million on the switchover. The AT&T-Verizon deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2009, AT&T said. Subscribers in the mostly rural regions will be able to receive mobile broadband on AT&T smartphones, including iPhones and BlackBerry Bolds, after the transition is completed, the company indicated in an announcement late Friday. In a smaller deal in the wireless-infrastructure musical chairs exercises between the two largest U.S. wireless carriers, AT&T said it will sell some wireless assets of Centennial Communications to Verizon Wireless.
AT&T has agreed to acquire mobile assets from Verizon Wireless for USD 2.35 billion in cash. AT&T will acquire mobile properties, including licences, network assets and 1.5 million current subscribers in 79 service areas, primarily in rural areas across eighteen states. Verizon Wireless is required to divest these properties as part of the regulatory approvals granted for its purchase of Alltel earlier this year. The states represented are Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming. While the transaction primarily represents former Alltel assets, but it also includes assets from Verizon Wireless and the former Rural Cellular. AT&T expects integration costs for network conversion, amortisation of intangible assets and subscriber migration to result in dilution to EPS of approximately USD 0.06 per share in the first year after closing and to improve thereafter. Network conversion from Verizon’s CDMA network to GSM technology and transition of the operations to AT&T is expected to take no longer than 12 months from the date the transaction closes and to result in an additional planned capital investment of approximately USD 400 million over 2009 and 2010. The transaction is contingent upon regulatory approval and is expected to close in the fourth quarter. AT&T has also agreed to sell certain mobile assets of Centennial Communications to Verizon Wireless for USD 240 million.
Leap Wireless reported a hefty increase in its net new subscribers for the first quarter.However, it still came in behind competing wireless operator MetroPCS. Both companies have benefited from the current economic slowdown as mobile customers defect to their flat-rate, no-contract wireless services instead of sticking with landlines or high-end plans. MetroPCS appears to be doing a bit better than Leap after posting a net profit and higher customer additions in its latest quarter, although its churn rate and ARPU (average revenue per user) come in behind Leap’s. Leap added 493,000 new subscribers while MetroPCS plowed its way ahead with an additional 684,000 customers in the same period, and it expanded into highly-populated markets in New York and Boston and covered an additional 15 million people.Leap launched service in Chicago and Philadelphia toward the end of the first quarter, covering an additional 17 million people and adding 193,300 customers in those new markets.
US cellular operator Alltel has confirmed that it is continuing to provide services to the 2.2 million customers in 22 states which Verizon Wireless has agreed to divest under the terms of its USD28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel. Alltel says these subscribers will have no change to their services while a buyer for the networks is sought. Verizon leapfrogged AT&T to take the number one spot in the US wireless market when it bought out Alltel; AT&T is hoping to close the gap by acquiring the operations in the markets now being divested. These have been valued at around USD3 billion.
Time Warner Cable says it hopes to launch WiMAX wireless broadband services to customers in at least one US city later this year. The firm is one of three US cablecos to be partnering WiMAX operator Clearwire, which is aiming to deploy high speed wireless networks in cities across the US. Time Warner plans to offer its customers packages of cable broadband, TV and phone services coupled with WiMAX-based wireless internet access.