Drew FitzGerald

Verizon to Buy TracFone in Deal Valued at Up to $7 Billion

Verizon agreed to buy TracFone, a provider of wireless prepaid services, in a deal worth up to $7 billion in cash and stock, further consolidating the US cellular market. TracFone, a unit of Mexico’s América Móvil SAB, has about 21 million prepaid customers in the US under its namesake brand as well as StraightTalk and Net10. The company doesn’t run its own physical network in the US and instead rides on other cellphone carriers’ systems for a fee and then resells service under its own brands.

AT&T Chief Says Hiring Michael Cohen as Consultant a ‘Big Mistake’

Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive, said in a staffwide memo  that the company had made a “big mistake” by hiring President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Airlines Cancel Some Flights Citing Launch of AT&T, Verizon 5G Signals

Several international airlines canceled some US-bound flights after American wireless operators and aviation officials were unable to fully resolve a months-long standoff over the launch of new 5G signals. AT&T and Verizon agreed to temporarily water down expansion plans for 5G wireless service to address air-safety regulators’ concerns about the network signals’ effect on aircraft instruments.

US Airlines Say Further 5G Delay Needed to Avoid Flight Disruptions

The chief executives of major passenger and cargo airlines said there could be significant flight disruptions when new 5G service goes live in the US, unless implementation of the wireless service within 2 miles of major airport runways is delayed. The outlook had worsened for flight disruptions from the planned rollout of new high-speed wireless services, the airline executives said in a letter to US officials.

AT&T and Verizon Agree to New Delay of 5G Rollout

AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay their rollout of a new 5G service for two weeks, after the Federal Aviation Administration requested they do so in an effort to mitigate potential interference with airplane safety systems. At Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s request, “we have voluntarily agreed to one additional two-week delay,” an AT&T spokesperson said.

AT&T and Verizon Propose 5G Limits to Break Air-Safety Standoff

AT&T and Verizon said they will limit some of their fifth-generation wireless services for six months while federal regulators review the signals’ effect on aircraft sensors, an effort to defuse a conflict that has roiled both industries.

Verizon Completes Its Takeover of TracFone Wireless

Verizon Communications closed its $6.25 billion purchase of prepaid cellular-service provider TracFone Wireless, cementing its lead in a market split among three major mobile-phone networks. Verizon previously agreed to buy the company from América Móvil SAB of Mexico for a combination of cash and stock.

AT&T and Verizon Delay 5G Rollout Over FAA’s Airplane Safety Concerns

AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay their planned December 5 rollout of a new 5G frequency band so they can work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to address concerns about potential interference with key cockpit safety systems. AT&T said it agreed to delay its planned 5G deployment until January 5 at the request of the US Transportation Department, which oversees the FAA. Verizon also agreed to postpone its launch of the new 5G wireless spectrum by about a month, people familiar with the matter said.

T-Mobile reports third-quarter earnings

T-Mobile's third-quarter profits slipped as higher costs and a lull in new customer additions following a headline-grabbing hack sapped its bottom line. The company said it added 673,000 phone subscribers in the closely watched market for postpaid wireless service during Q3 2021. The tally lagged behind AT&T, which reported a net gain of 928,000 such subscribers over the same span.

Infrastructure Bill’s Broadband Plan Shrouded From Scrutiny

Congress is poised to shield a $42 billion broadband grant program from federal transparency and privacy laws, hampering oversight of money expected to flow mostly to telecommunications companies. In a bid to cut through red tape and speed delivery of the broadband funds, the Senate-passed Infrastructure Investment and JOBS Act includes a provision that suspends certain rules the federal government ordinarily has to follow in administering programs.