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By Jay Bonggolto
Verizon to acquire value mobile provider Tracfone for more than $6 billion
by Jay Bonggolto
Verizon announced today that is buying pre-paid and value mobile provider Tracfone for more than $6 billion in cash and common stock. The company has entered into a deal with Tracfone's parent company, America Movil, for the acquisition.
As part of the agreement, Verizon will add Tracfone's approximately 21 million subscribers to its customer base when the acquisition is completed. It will also provide 4G LTE and 5G networks to existing Tracfone customers. The carrier expects the closure to happen in the second half of 2021.
Regarding the deal, Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon, said:
Tracfone has been operating as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in the U.S., running the StraightTalk, Net10, and Walmart Family Mobile brands in the country. It depends on Verizon’s wireless network to serve more than 13 million customers, with over 90,000 locations across the U.S.
Verizon will pay $3.125 billion in cash and $3.125 billion in common stock, plus up to an additional $650 million cash in the future relating to performance measures and other commercial deals. Ronan Dunne, Executive Vice President and Group CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, also said Tracfone’s nearly 850 employees will transition to the company when the deal is closed.
By Jay Bonggolto
Verizon picks Samsung as 5G network supplier in $6.6 billion contract
by Jay Bonggolto
Samsung has been awarded a $6.6 billion contract to supply 5G networking equipment to Verizon. The deal will see the South Korean tech giant as the sole provider of 5G solutions to the U.S. carrier until December 2025.
The contract should give Samsung's 5G ambition a boost after making investments in the latest-generation network technology over the past few years. In 2018, the company introduced the Exynos Modem 5100, its first 5G modem that meets 3GPP standards, in an effort to advance 5G commercialization. The firm is also expanding its foundry capacity at a plant in Pyeongtaek, Korea, where it will build 5G solutions, among other systems. It also acquired TeleWorld Solutions earlier this year to accelerate 5G deployment in the U.S.
In a statement, Samsung said, "With this latest long-term strategic contract, we will continue to push the boundaries of 5G innovation to enhance mobile experiences for Verizon’s customers." It's not the first time, though, that Samsung and Verizon partnered for 5G. The two companies teamed up two years ago to launch commercial 5G network solutions in Sacramento, California after conducting a trial across the U.S. in early 2017.
The latest partnership is considered as one of Samsung's largest contracts in the 5G segment. Another American carrier, U.S. Cellular, also tapped the Korean firm in February to use Samsung's equipment for both its 4G LTE and upcoming 5G networks.
By Rich Woods
LG's Velvet is coming to Verizon this week in the exclusive Aurora Red
by Rich Woods
While LG's Velvet handset has been available in the U.S. for almost a month now, it promised a Verizon variant would be on the way. And today, Verizon announced that it will be offering the device beginning on Friday, August 21. It will be priced at $699.99, $100 more than what AT&T and T-Mobile are selling it for.
The reason, as usual, is because it supports both sub6 and mmWave 5G, something that non-Verizon variants of the Velvet can't do. In fact, this is common practice for Verizon devices, as it's true for the OnePlus 8, LG V60 ThinQ, and Samsung Galaxy S20. The only smartphones that support both sub6 and mmWave 5G outside of Verizon are the Samsung Galaxy S20+, S20 Ultra, and Note20 series.
Moreover, the Verizon variant of the Velvet comes in an exclusive color called Aurora Red, being that red is Verizon's favorite color.
Called the LG Velvet 5G UW, you'll be able to get it on a payment plan for $29.17 a month for 24 months. However, if you activate a new line on a Premium Unlimited plan, you can get the device for $10 a month.
Some of Verizon's Unlimited plans now include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+
by João Carrasqueira
Prior to the launch of Disney's new streaming service, Disney+, Verizon said that it would be giving away a free year of Disney+ to all of its Unlimited plans. Today, the carrier announced that it has signed an extended agreement with The Walt Disney Company, which will bring Hulu and ESPN+ on board as well, but this time only for certain plans.
When the new plans launch on August 20, the one-year offer will be removed, and instead, customers on Verizon's Start Unlimited or Do More Unlimited plans will get six months of Disney+ for free. However, if you're on the Play More Unlimited or Get More Unlimited, you'll get the new Disney bundle, which includes Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, all for the same price of the current plan. What's more, this deal doesn't have a time limit, so you'll get those services as long as you keep your Verizon account active.
Customers that took advantage of the one-year Disney+ offer but aren't on Play More Unlimited or Get More Unlimited, can pay $6 per month to add Hulu and ESPN+ and get the full bundle. This will seemingly only work for the remainder of the free year of Disney+, however.
It's not all good news, though, because there are also some changes being made to the Apple Music subscription included. Currently, both Play More Unlimited and Get More Unlimited offer an Apple Music subscription that runs as long as you're a Verizon customer. After August 20, new Play More Unlimited will only get six months of Apple Music, as a drawback of getting the Disney bundle indefinitely. Only the Get More Unlimited will offer both perks. As a reminder, all Unlimited plans will support Verizon's nationwide 5G network later this year.
By Rich Woods
Verizon starts rolling out 4G LTE home internet in rural areas
by Rich Woods
Today, Verizon announced LTE Home Internet, which is meant to bring broadband Internet service to rural areas that might not have access otherwise. It's rolling out now in Savannah, GA, Springfield, MO, and Tri-Cities, TN/VA/KY with a plan to be available beyond areas covered by Fios and 5G Home.
LTE Home is just like 5G Home, except it's a lot slower, using regular old 4G instead of Verizon's blazing-fast mmWave 5G. Rather than gigabit speeds, LTE Home will offer download speeds of 25Mbps with peak speeds of 50Mbps.
"Our 4G LTE network keeps our customers connected when and where it matters most," said Frank Boulben, Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing and Products at Verizon. "With LTE Home Internet, our most awarded 4G LTE network will provide Internet connectivity for customers in more rural parts of America who may not have access to broadband Internet service - a critical need, especially now, when so many are counting on reliable connectivity for remote work and educational needs."
While 5G is expensive to roll out, especially with Verizon's strategy of using millimeter waves, rolling out a home internet plan that's powered by LTE seems like a strange move right now. Verizon is planning to roll out a sub6 5G network later this year, and there's no word in the press release about these customers getting upgraded.
Verizon's LTE Home plan costs $40 a month if you've got a Verizon phone, and $60 a month otherwise. You'll also have to lease a router for $10 a month.