You may recall that Facebook acquired WhatsApp Messenger back in February for an eye-watering $19 billion, and is only now in the process of rolling out its first major update for the service. Don’t get too excited, though, as the added functionality is not welcomed by many.
If you’re either an avid user of WhatsApp or a complete novice, I’m pretty sure you’re aware of its ‘double tick’ delivery system. If not, don’t worry. It’s simple. A grey tick on its own represents that a message has been successfully sent, while two grey ticks mean it has been delivered to the recipient’s phone. However, Facebook has decided to adapt this feature.
AT&T announced this morning that they have entered into a deal to acquire the Alltel wireless network currently owned by Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. AT&T will pay cash to acquire the wireless properties, licenses, network assets, retail stores, and roughly 585,000 Alltel subscribers. Alltel currently operates in Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Caroline, primarily in rural areas that cover about 4.6 million people. The purchase will help AT&T secure additional spectrum in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands. Alltel operates a CDMA network that should prove complementary to AT&T’s network. Once upgraded, AT&T expects customers in the covered “areas will enjoy an enhanced mobile Internet experience.”
The deal is subject to FCC and Department of Justice review and approval. AT&T anticipates the deal will close in the second half of 2013. Hit the break for the full press release.
T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, was poised to merge with MetroPCS for a purchase price of $1.5 billion, until the shareholders stepped in. MetroPCS, who has been successful with their low-cost LTE service, is currently sitting at around $11.33 per share. Deutsch Telekom’s original offer of $1.5 billion would hand over 74% of the stock, which works out to around $12.48 per share, as well as include a 1-for-2 reverse stock split. The remaining 26% would stay in the shareholders hands.
The current shareholders are feeling a bit undervalued, which you can’t completely blame them since the company was once valued at $10 billion. They feel that the small asking price is a far cry from the $39 billion AT&T dropped for T-mobile itself, and T-Mo doesn’t even offer LTE service. This barricade by stockholders could potentially affect not only the mobile service business, but also increase the value of the MetroPCS stock on the New York Stock Exchange.
The anticipation is over and as most of you are well aware, Google officially announced the launch of its new Google Music Service. The event kicked off with a bang as they displayed a commercial touting the new service. I’ve always said that Google is known for reinventing the wheel, and when they do, they do it well. Google Music is no different and we’re pleased to see what the search giant has done with it. Adding incredible digital content, seamless integration with the Android Market and Google Music app, searching and discovering new music is not only going to be a cinch, but fun as hell. Lets get in to the meat and potatoes of the service shall we? Google is really focusing on making Google Music not only an easy way to get new tracks from artists you love but to also deeply integrate it’s own social network, Google Plus.
The team used an HTC Amaze for the demo and touted the service as instant, flexible, convenient and offers Instant Mix, a neat way to build play-lists with one click. Just point your browser to music.google.com and you’re all set to start listening to your uploaded music as well as purchase new content on the fly. One of the features they showed off was the ability to “pin music” when you don’t have an adequate internet connection. This allows you to then resume obtaining that content when you reconnect to the web later. Google has also added features like play count and ratings in this latest release. The company also showed off its new Google Music integration into the Android Market both on the web and on your Android device. The new Music service on the market will offer millions of songs from all different sorts of genres, sub genres and top charts giving you generous 90 second previews. They’ve also added better music discovery to the home page just in case you’re not sure of what you’re looking for. The service will offer “personal recommendations” based on your music collection, which is a neat feature. But that’s not all! Google has also integrated the seamless ability to share your music with your friends on Google Plus. When you download a song you like, you can instantly share it with Google Plus, offering your friends full previews while never interrupting their streams. In addition, they can then head on over to check the artist out for themselves and get full previews of the artists’ albums.