carrier Stories January 4, 2017

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Air conditioning firm Carrier has announced its first smart thermostat that works with Apple’s HomeKit feature. Carrier’s Côr thermostat will work with Siri, Apple’s new Home app, and automation in iOS 10.

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carrier Stories March 31, 2016

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[Update: Sprint says the issue has been resolved as of today and apologizes for the convenience.]

While Apple has fixed a few issues relating to iOS 9.3 with a subsequent iOS 9.3.1 update, there’s still at least one bug plaguing Sprint users that appears to be out of Apple’s hands. According to a handful of Sprint users across Twitter and Reddit, they have been unable to connect to LTE data following the iOS 9.3 update and are forced to use only 3G data. Today, however, Sprint acknowledged the issue and confirmed that it is working on a fix.

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carrier Stories February 18, 2016

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Apple is today rolling out another new way to buy an iPhone at an Apple Store, a combination of its existing iPhone Upgrade Program and trade-in offers. Right now, on the normal iPhone Upgrade Program, customers can pay about $32 a month for a brand new iPhone 6s on a two-year agreement with an annual trade-in option.

What the ‘Trade Up With Installments’ offers is a reduction of that monthly fee, in exchange for a trade-in of your existing smartphone. For example, you can trade in your current iPhone 6 to get a new iPhone 6s with a 2-year payment plan of $15/mo. What’s interesting is that you can trade in an Android device, not just iPhones — Apple will give up to $300 in trade-in value for Android handsets.

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carrier Stories November 10, 2015

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As was widely rumored, T-Mobile has today announced at their UnCarrier X event that customers can now stream unlimited video from certain services without impacting their data caps. The new program is called Binge On (not all too different than the company’s previously-launched Music Freedom in principle), and the list of compatible services includes many favorites like ESPN, Netflix, HBO Now, and more. The company also announced new Simple Choice plans… expand full story

carrier Stories October 1, 2015

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Update: T-Mobile has reached out and clarified that the breach affects current and former customers who went through a credit check. Anyone who did not go through a credit check is unaffected.

T-Mobile has confirmed this evening that as many as 15 million of its customers have been affected by a data breach. As the company is quick to point out, however, the breach did not occur on its servers, but rather its credit partner’s, Experian.

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carrier Stories September 16, 2015

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The retail availability of Apple Watch has been gradually expanding since its initial release back in April and now it looks like another avenue for purchasing the device will soon emerge. According to images of an internal Sprint stock screen obtained by 9to5Mac, Sprint will begin to sell Apple Watch in its retail locations on Friday, September 25th.

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carrier Stories September 15, 2015

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AT&T today has revealed a slight change to how it is handling throttling users grandfathered into unlimited data plans. Up until today, AT&T has throttled unlimited data users when they hit 5GB of usage and are in a congested area. As a reader has pointed out to us this evening, however, the carrier has updated its website with a new policy for throttling those on an unlimited data plans…

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carrier Stories August 25, 2015

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Verizon has recently started allowing customers to bring non-Verizon devices its network and will activate them. The program officially began this week and Verizon confirmed to 9to5Mac that it applies to the iPhone, as well as Google’s Nexus 6. Verizon notes, however, that the devices must be unlocked prior to being activated on its network.

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carrier Stories August 4, 2015

In case you didn’t notice (which is basically no one at this point, thanks to the more-than-loud John Legere), T-Mobile has tried to be as disruptive as possible over the last couple years. And now, Sprint, which has long been the third-largest mobile carrier in the United States, is admitting defeat. It seems T-Mobile’s tactics are working, and Sprint’s first fiscal quarter report released today shows that its 56.8 million subscribers are just shy of the 58.9 million that T-Mobile reported it had last month.

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carrier Stories August 3, 2015

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Telstra, the largest carrier in Australia, has today launched a new webpage on which it reveals an exclusive offering related to Apple Music. The carrier is offering new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus customers, across both 12 month and 24 month contracts, a free year of Apple Music on its Go Mobile plans. This offering is the first of its kind for Apple Music, and also hints at a another first: carrier billing.

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Following the iCloud voicemail transcription news from earlier today, Business Insider is reporting that Apple may actually be following Google’s Project Fi  into the “becoming a carrier” field.

Sources close to Apple say that the company is privately trialling an MVNO service in the US, but is also currently in talks with telecoms companies in Europe about bringing the service there too.

MVNO or Mobile Virtual Network Operator  is a wireless communications services provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which the MVNO provides services to its customers. Google’s Project Fi uses Sprint and T-Mobile’s infrastructure and combines them to become a “super-carrier”.

Apple of course announced the so far iPad-limited Apple SIM last year which allows you to choose between a handful of network carriers for iPad data on a month to month basis.

Three weeks ago, the UK-based FT reported that Apple and Samsung were in talks with carriers to launch “e-SIM” cards and and Apple MVNO service might be an evolution of that.

The idea behind the talks is a universal standard for embedded SIM cards (“e-SIM”) that are built into the phone and not user accessible. These subscriber identity modules would allow customers to sign up for service on any network they wanted, then allow them to switch at any time (obviously with some limitations placed by the carriers).

Apple isn’t the only smartphone manufacturer in these discussions. Samsung is also reported to be part of the talks, meaning this tech could become a real standard across iPhone and Android devices, unlike Apple’s current SIM which is locked specifically to the company’s hardware.

Apple has a long history of flirting with the MVNO business with an insider revealing that Steve Jobs wanted Apple to become a carrier before the release of the iPhone (if only!). Telecom vet and former CTIA chairman John Stanton had worked with Jobs on the project… expand full story

carrier Stories July 3, 2014

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Apple confirmed today that it has released an unlocked variant of its cellular iPad in Japan allowing users to buy the device and use it with their carrier of choice. expand full story

carrier Stories December 4, 2013

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has finally reached an agreement with China Mobile to carry the iPhone. China Mobile is currently the world’s largest mobile carrier with well over 700 million subscribers. Yesterday a subsidiary of the carrier started taking pre-orders for the smartphone, though the page was quickly pulled from its website.

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In September the advertisment above leaked to the media. The image is a promotion for the iPhone 5s and 5c running on China Mobile’s network. The Chinese government, which controls China Mobile, confirmed that the phone would be available on December 18th last month, although neither Apple nor China Mobile would actually confirm the rumor.

carrier Stories October 30, 2013

1.4M iPhone sales help Sprint into profitability, but carrier still squeezed in the middle

Sprint has reported a move into profit, posting a Q3 profit of $383M, contrasting with a $767 loss in the same quarter last year. The carrier reported that it sold 1.4M iPhones, representing 28 percent of its total smartphone sales of 5M.

While its decision to start carrying the iPhone clearly helped it reduce defections to other carriers, it still reported a net loss of 313,000 customers in the quarter. CNET reports that the carrier appears to be finding itself squeezed in the middle, between Verizon and AT&T at the top end and T-Mobile at the bottom.

But as the nation’s third-largest carrier by subscriber, Sprint finds itself in a bind. The company can’t compete with the reach and resources of larger Verizon Wireless and AT&T, which are locking up the high-end, premium customers. But on the low end, T-Mobile has gotten more aggressive with one promotional offer after another and now boasts an LTE network that covers more areas than Sprint.

Full results below the fold … 

carrier Stories August 8, 2013

T-Mobile CEO teases carrier will expand its Apple product offerings (iPad?)

Following this morning’s T-Mobile announcement of a jump in customer base, thanks somewhat to Apple’s iPhone, T-Mobile CEO John Legere teased an expansion of what Apple products his company offers. In an interview with AllThingsDLegere said the following:

“I think there’s a whole array of Apple products that we look forward to carrying,” Legere said. “We will expand what we offer from them.”

The first part of the quote seems to be referring to upcoming, rumored Apple product launches such as two new iPhone models. Apple is planning an “iPhone 5S” with improved camera and voice features plus the potential of a biometric fingerprint scanner. Also in the works is a low-cost, plastic-based iPhone model. We previously noted that Apple would debut an “army” of new products this fall, and the company says it plans to have an aggressive product rollout this fall and throughout 2014.

The second part of the quote is a bit more assertive, however. Legere outright says that his carrier will expand its Apple product offerings. T-Mobile currently does not carry the cellular-enabled iPads, so perhaps Apple will team up with the carrier to also sell tablets. Apple has expanded its iPad carrier options over the past couple of years, starting in 2010 with AT&T, adding Verizon in 2011, and Sprint in 2012. Perhaps T-Mobile will be the 2013 addition with the upcoming fifth-generation iPad. (Image via Fox).

carrier Stories June 27, 2013

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AT&T already announced plans to turn on HD Voice, aka, wideband audio support, later this year through a carrier update for iPhone users in the US. Today, iTweakiOS announced an update for one of its hacked carrier profiles that it claims will allow AT&T users to access HD Voice, as well as the recently announced CMAS government and Amber alert update, ahead of a full roll out of the feature later this year.

This hack fixes the reported issue of unstable HSPA+ speeds/signal and iPad users having trouble updating and losing all signal. This hack enables, along with the previous enabled features, HD Voice for all iPhone models running on AT&T so users can now use the UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+ network for HD qaulity calling on their 4S and 5. This hack also enables Release 7 HSDPA speeds for the iPhone 4S, giving it a new maximum theoretical downlink of 21Mbps, which AT&T does indeed support. Signal improvements from the previous release have not changed and are still present in this release along with unthrottled LTE and HSPA+.

Apple has actually supported the feature since the iPhone 5 launched last fall, but only around 20 international carriers currently support the feature. Unfortunately, the HD Voice feature, even with the hack, won’t yet work for all users, as AT&T is still currently in the process of rolling out support: expand full story

carrier Stories May 11, 2013

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Just prior to the official launch of the iPhone, T-Mobile issued a carrier update to enable LTE, improve battery performance and add Visual Voicemail support .  The only problem is that some users were reporting slower speeds after the update.  TmoNews reports that two well known cellular programmers, @joe012594 & @cooldayr2, have successfully modified the carrier update to “increase the amount of bandwidth allowing for better throughput of data and data connection.”  That means you should be able to download apps quicker, browse the web faster and have a better overall experience on your T-Mobile iPhone after applying the patched carrier update.

Before and after speed comparison (via TmoNews):

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The update does not require your iPhone to be jailbroken, preface by the coders and instructions for the hack are below.  As always, please be sure to do a full backup of your iPhone prior to modding it in any way. expand full story

carrier Stories October 22, 2012

According to a report from BGR, a reliable source informed it that Apple has begun testing iOS 6.0.1 with U.S. carriers in anticipation of a release in the coming weeks. Also mentioned in the report is a list of fixes apparently included in the update that address many of the issues users have complained about since the launch of iOS 6. Among them is a fix for the horizontal glitches that some have experienced in the iOS keyboard and folders and a number of other bug fixes for recently reported problems.

The report said the update would also bring a fix for issues with cellular data, improved Wi-Fi, as well as “a problem with the camera’s flash not going off.” Other fixes Apple will release with iOS 6.0.1 are related to iTunes Match, Passbook, and Exchange bugs:

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carrier Stories May 1, 2012

Industry expert sees Apple becoming a mobile operator

At a recent presentation in front of international wireless operators at the Informa MVNO Industry Summit in Barcelona, wireless industry analyst Whitey Bluestein claimed Apple will soon move to provide wireless service directly to users of its iOS devices. Specifically, he said Apple will beat Google to become a mobile virtual network operator. While noting Apple’s distribution through retail stores and the 250 million iTunes accounts with credit cards, Bluestein said Apple’s biggest barrier is the subsidies paid by carriers to offer consumers iPhones at their current prices on contract. We already know former Apple CEO Steve Jobs wanted to “replace carriers” and worked on it leading up to the iPhone launch, but Bluestein said Apple would soon be the “first mover” as Google struggles to compete with the iTunes ecosystem.

Here are the main points:

  • Apple will in the near future begin providing cellular service, data, voice and roaming, directly to its customers.
  • Apple will begin by offering mobile data plans bundled with iPads (vs. current practice of selling GSM iPads with AT&T data and CDMA iPads with Verizon data plans).
  • Apple will then offer iPhone customers activation, data and international roaming plans through the iTunes Store.
  • Apple will provide voice, data and messaging plans directly to its iPhone customers, on an ala carte basis as an alternative to their current mobile operator and then as wireless service provider directly to customers.
  • Google, while behind Apple in technology, distribution and back-office capabilities, will nevertheless follow in lock-step behind Apple and provide wireless data services directly to its Google Tablet customers.

The big problems obviously include the mobile industry’s resistance to Apple becoming an MVNO. Also, Apple becoming a carrier would be a difficult transition and would leave customers with two-year contracts stranded on previous carriers.

carrier Stories August 15, 2011

It appears that Apple is now putting an LTE 4G-capable iPhone or iPad through the usual carrier testing. The proof comes from a .plist hinting at “LTE” (discovered by BGR) in an internal iOS test build that is allegedly from “one of Apple’s major carrier partners”. Of course at this point we don’t know whether this is the iPhone 5 (iPhone 4S variant?) or even a new iPad, but its a good sign that the company has plans to take advantage of 4G LTE networks in the future… even if it isn’t the iPhone 5 “worldphone” you might be hoping for.

This wouldn’t be the first time Apple prototyped a device to take advantage of the latest carrier networks.

Plist file reproduced below: expand full story

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