Last year T-Mobile tried to merge with AT&T but the deal was blocked by the FCC. Now T-Mobile and MetroPCS have agreed to merge in a $1.5 billion deal.There doesn’t seem to be much concern that the FCC will disagree with this deal, perhaps because the two companies combined will have a user base of 42.5 million, which will still be smaller than the #3 player Sprint‘s 56.4 million. Because the two companies have similar spectrum holdings T-Mobile claims the merger will allow them to offer better coverage. They also say they will continue to offera range of both on and off-contract plans.
Well, what started as a service for interactive mobile social networks grew up a lot today; that’s right, Dodgeball, the little project that could borne of NYU’s ITP program got bought by Google today for an undisclosed sum of money (we’ll just assume they’ll be able to pay off those student loans). For those of you who don’t remember Dodgeball, they were started as a service wherein a registered phone can “check-in”, and anyone in your registered circle of friends (or their friends as well) in the area will be notified of your proximity (and vice versa), so you can, you know, do lunch or whatever people do. It pretty much goes without saying that this is just begging for use with Google maps mobile and Google local (why do they keep building technology to make it easier to get out of the office and have a social life, anyway?), not to mention the obligatory Orkut integration we’re likely to see.
Now quick Dodgeball guys, cash out now and live like kings in the Balkans forever!
Yep, along with all of your friends, you signed up for Dodgeball, the new service for cellphones mentioned a few weeks back that can tell you which of your friends are within a ten block radius of where you are (“it’s like Friendster for cellphones!”).
Then you got bored of it and stopped using it almost immediately. But, guess what now Dodgeball is expanding its original environs and is available in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and Philadelphia, but as is the hallmark of any hot trend, once it leaves New York and hits the provinces, it’s all over! NOT.
It’s like Friendster all over again: we’re being barraged by requests to add people to our Dodgeball friends list. Anyway, Dodgeball is a new service which can tell you which of your friends are within a ten block radius of where you are. Once you’ve signed up and registered your cellphone number with them, you can “check-in” by sending a text message to Dodgeball with your location (it only works in NYC, Boston, LA, Philadelphia, and San Francisco right now, which is already two more cities than we’re likely to be in anytime soon), and then if anyone on your friends list (starting to sound familiar?) has also checked-in and is within range, you both get a text message.
UPDATE: Dennis Crowley, Mr. Dodgeball himself, writes in that right now the beta only works in NYC, and that when you “check-in” not only do your friends get a text message of your whereabouts, but your friends’ friends do as well.