The nation's top carriers and some smaller ones have disclosed their holiday weekend deals -- some of which include "Cyber Monday." They include deep discounts on new phones and tablets, strong incentives to switch carriers, free data buckets and giveaways of products apart from mobile devices.
Google has achieved its goal of keeping its Project Loon broadband balloon afloat high in the atmosphere for more than 100 days, the company said, a key step toward providing 4G data to underserved areas of the globe. "Our balloon manufacturing has evolved quite a bit from the beginning," Project Loon's Mahesh Krishnaswamy said.
Mobile banking has caught on globally faster than Juniper Research predicted, with 1 billion accounts expected to be reached by the end of the year, which would be six months earlier than the firm had predicted. Analysts contend that banks must target wearable devices if they want to reach younger consumers.
C Spire on Monday introduced what the regional carrier termed an "Easy to Understand" pricing plan designed to pack all the elements of a wireless package into a single, bottom-line cost with specific prices for different phone models. Overall, the carrier has developed seven "combos" that each include unlimited calls and texts and monthly data buckets of either 3 or 8 gigabytes.
Wireless carriers and CTIA have asked federal regulators to dismiss a petition aimed at putting text messaging under the same Title II common-carrier rules that the Federal Communications Commission has applied to Internet content. Messaging platform firm Twilio has asked the FCC for such protection. In a filing, CTIA said such a move would allow "massive quantities of unlawful and unwanted mobile messaging spam" to reach consumers.
Estonian startup Velmenni has completed trials of Li-Fi technology -- in which transmissions travel using visible light communications at speeds that reach 1 gigabit per second, more than 100 times faster than Wi-Fi networks. The company conducted the tests at office and industrial venues in Tallinn.
Apple Pay gained more support for its mobile-payment platform with Square's move to bring new readers to 100 businesses across the US that will accept Apple Pay and chip credit cards. Separately, Apple Pay has completed deals with four Chinese banks that would facilitate the introduction of Apple Pay in China early next year if the company obtains regulatory clearance.
Huawei Technologies has formed partnerships with 16 European entities to collaborate on testing 5G technologies. The Chinese equipment-maker will work with vendors, network operators, engineers and academic institutions as part of Europe's 5G Exchange, or 5GEx, project.
The movement among carriers to add voice-over-LTE services has made it more economically feasible for them to install small cells, said AT&T's Gordon Mansfield, who notes that the base stations increase VoLTE's weaker uplink signal. AT&T had pulled back from small cells until it began its VoLTE initiative.
AT&T has introduced video calling and advanced messaging services as part of its limited introduction of LTE Rich Communications Services, joining T-Mobile US. Two Samsung phones support the messaging feature so far: the Galaxy S5 Mini and Galaxy S6 Active. Video calling is available in 20 states.
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