News Scan: Alcatel-Lucent tops small cell vendor study; T-Mobile LTE rollout coming soon;


>> Alcatel-Lucent gets nod as top small cell, carrier Wi-Fi vendor

Alcatel-Lucent is the top supplier of small cell and carrier Wi-Fi products, based on an assessment of its innovation and implementation by ABI Research. Other top vendors include Huawei, Ericsson and Cisco. "The small cells market is very competitive now with the increasing demand for LTE, Carrier Wi-Fi, and enterprise femtocells," says ABI research analyst Ahmed Ali. Read more on ABI's assessment.

[More on small cells: Huawei pushes past NEC for second place among microwave gear vendors | Smartphones are expected to push small cell backhaul revenues past $500 million by 2017, says Dell'Oro]

>> T-Mobile to rollout LTE services later this year

T-Mobile plans to begin deploying LTE services on the 700 MHz of A Block spectrum it is acquiring from Verizon later this year, company officials told the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference this week. T-Mobile expects to have devices supporting 700 MHz LTE by the fourth quarter, according to a report by Wireless Week. The company is paying $2.4 billion and sending licenses for advanced wireless services and personal communications services to Verizon for the low-band spectrum. Read more on T-Mobile's LTE plans.

[More on T-Mobile: 4G LTE will account for 50% of US wireless connections by end of 2014 | Sprint one step closer to buying T-Mobile]

>> Amazon launches mobile app for its Amazon Sellers

Amazon has launched a new mobile app just for Amazon Sellers. The app offers mobile tools that allow sellers to search and scan barcodes of items, check prices, rank and review sales, list items and communicate with customers, Tech Crunch reports. Amazon Sellers are individuals and businesses who use Amazon's network to reach millions of shoppers by listing on the Amazon site. Read more on the Amazon Sellers' mobile app.

[More on Amazon: Precision marketing uses big data, mobility for insight on consumers | Amazon dominates in mobile paid search]

>> Disney's Magic Band functions as room key, ticket, and payment card

Disney's NFC-equipped Magic Band serves as a room key, park entrance ticket and payment card for purchases in the park, explains Galen Gruman with InfoWorld. However, the Magic Band was no more convenient than an actual credit or debit card to make payments, Gruman said. The wearer has to hold the Magic Band until the Mickey Mouse icon on the register glowed green and enter a PIN. "The usually user-experience-savvy Disney really messed up its terminals by having a tiny keypad for entering the required confirmation PIN," he opines. Read more on Gruman's views of the Magic Band.

[More on Disney: Disney Animated- Best new Android, iOS apps of August 2013 | Twitter, ESPN partner for ad-supported sports video highlights]

>> Slowing consumer purchases prompts IDC to lower tablet growth forecast

Slowing consumer purchases of tablets has prompted IDC to ratchet down its tablet growth projection for 2014 by 3.6 percent. IDC is now expecting 260.9 million tablets to be shipped worldwide this year, a 19.4 percent year-over-year increase, compared with a 51.6 percent year-over-year increase in 2013. "In mature markets, where many buyers have purchased higher-end products from market leaders, consumers are deciding that their current tablets are good enough for the way they use them. Few are feeling compelled to upgrade the same way they did in years past, and that's having an impact on growth rates," says Tom Mainelli, program vice president for devices and displays at IDC. Read more on IDC's tablet projections

[More on tablets: Tablets to fuel growth in European smart connected device market, says IDC | Tablet production to grow 25% this year, predicts IHS