TC Roundup: Google lobbies for cheaper airwaves

6 Jan, 2015

Google lobbies for cheaper airwaves: Having carved out a leading position in the software that runs cellphones, Google Inc. is now angling for a role in the networks that connect them.

That isn't to say the Internet giant wants to set up thousands of cell towers to compete with carriers like AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. Instead, it is lobbying U.S. regulators to free up vast amounts of low-cost, mostly vacant spectrum that could serve as an alternative to the big carriers' services. (The Wall Street Journal)

Apple now offering SIM-free iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the U.S.: Starting today, Apple is giving customers in the U.S. who want an unlocked iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus the option of getting both models without SIM cards.

Previously, customers could buy an unlocked iPhone 6 and 6 Plus through T-Mobile. Once they got the gadgets, they still needed to either visit an Apple store or contact T-Mobile to activate the phone. After that, they could just discard the T-Mobile SIM card and select another carrier. (Venture Beat)

Google unveils home-audio service based on Chromecast technology: Google Inc. (GOOGL) is unveiling a home-audio service so people can stream music in their homes using smartphones, broadening the company's effort to become a hub for digital entertainment.

The new service, called Google Cast for audio, works when people tap a button on their smartphone and choose a home speaker that has the same embedded technology to stream music through, according to Rishi Chandra, director of product management. The service, which is being announced today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, was built atop the same technology as Chromecast, a small device that plugs into televisions and lets people access digital video services such as YouTube or Netflix Inc.(Bloomberg)