Leap Wireless Launches Handset Financing and 4 Telecom Titans Attracting Interest

AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T): It may be the middle of the holiday season, but AT&T has continued to be busy. Today, the carrier revealed the expansion of its 4G LTE data network to seven more metropolitan areas. Now, Ma Bell’s most advanced cellular network covers Reno, Nevada, Richmond; Virginia; Allentown-Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Hattiesburg and Starkvillle, Mississippi; Moscow, Idaho; and Pullman, Washington. Furthermore, while AT&T has claimed that it covers 3,000 cities with its fastest 4G offering including more than 160 million people, its LTE network footprint cannot compare to the breath and scope of that that is given by arch-rival Verizon.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ): A team of top online-identity and technology providers, led by Criterion Systems and including Verizon, was awarded a federal grant in the development of a pilot program as a means to test new solutions that create a seamless, more secure online identity system.  The new system is to assist the enhancement of the protection of Internet users from identity theft and cybercrime. The grant funding was delivered by the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, and a public- and private-sector initiative was launched by the White House during 2011, which is helping in the development of an Internet-identity ecosystem able to improve privacy, security, and convenience of sensitive online transactions.  The initiative is now part of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.

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Vodafone Group plc (NASDAQ:VOD): Vodafone Ireland has begun the deployment of Tellabs (NASDAQ:TLAB) Insight Analytics Services to analyze the network data that is currently contained in its multi-vendor 3G mobile network. Vodafone is to use the information as a means to both optimize network performance and provide a higher quality of service. Furthermore, the company will allow Vodafone Ireland both to perform capacity management and root-cause analysis at a quicker pace and more cost-effectively.

Leap Wireless International Inc. (NASDAQ:LEAP) and MetroPCS (NYSE” target=_blank>NYSE:PCS) both recently launched handset financing options and this will let eligible customers make a down payment on a smartphone and pay off the rest in the future. These programs are directed toward assisting the prepaid carriers’ customers to be able to afford high-end smartphones, which are not subsidized by the carriers and can cost as up to $500 upfront.

Alcatel-Lucent, S.A. (NYSE:ALU) was called a Thomson Reuters 2012 Top 100 Global Innovator, as its achievements as one of the world’s most innovative companies was recognized. The program is an initiative of the IP Solutions business of Thomson Reuters, and honors corporations and institutions globally are the center of innovation as measured by various proprietary patent-related metrics.  This makes the second year in a row that Alcatel-Lucent was named a Top 100 Global Innovator.

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