carriers Stories August 31, 2019

As Hurricane Dorian inches closer to landfall in the United States, each of the big four wireless carriers has announced plans to help those in its path. Verizon, for instance, says it will offer unlimited data, calling, and texting to all users who could be affected by Hurricane Dorian.

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carriers Stories June 26, 2019

Comcast Xfinity Mobile starts selling cellular iPads and Apple Watches with unlimited data plans

Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile carrier today announced that it will start selling the iPad and Apple Watch Series 4. The iPad and Apple Watch join the iPhone in Xfinity’s lineup of Apple products.

carriers Stories February 20, 2017

apple-iphone-71

Over the weekend, I broke down all of the details and differences between the new unlimited data plans being offered by the four major United States carriers. Of course, as I and many others were quick to point out, these plans aren’t technically unlimited as once you hit a certain amount of data, you may be throttled.

This made me wonder, how much data do you use on average per month?

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carriers Stories January 7, 2016

Sprint continues the trend, will stop offering two-year contracts for smartphones

The trend of carriers ending contract pricing continues today. According to an internal leaked document obtained by Android Central, Sprint smartphone subsidy options are now limited to customers who wish to add a line to an existing account or upgrade their existing phone. This move follows AT&T’s announcement that it will stop offering two-year contracts this week, as well as Verizon, who simplified its offerings last August.

carriers Stories October 14, 2015

T-Mobile brings back its 4 for $120, 10GB-per-line deal

T-Mobile is bringing back one of its most popular promotions by — once again — offering four 10GB data lines for $120 total. The offer is available for a limited time from today, and is ideal for data-hungry families needing multiple lines. With no overages, you know exactly what your bill’s going to be every month too.

If you don’t need four lines, you can get two 10GB lines at $50 each:

With #10Gigs4All, two people can get up to 10 GB of 4G LTE each – no sharing required – for just $100 a month. Then, each additional line is just $20 more per person – also with 10 GB of T-Mobile’s blazing-fast 4G LTE. Now, with this promotion, that 4th line is free, bringing the total cost to just $120 per month for a family of four.

As with every Simple Choice plan, customers signing up get access to a host of awesome offers including rollover data for up to 12 months, Wi-Fi calling, unlimited music streaming and unlimited in-flight texting with GoGo. Customers also get unlimited calls to and from Mexico and Canada, as well as the ability to use 4G LTE data from their plan allowances in those countries, unlimited data and texts in 140 countries abroad and unlimited international texts from the US. Compared to the other three carrier options, it looks a fantastic deal:

This news comes just weeks after the carrier announced some killer iPhone deals, where customers were offered the new iPhones for $5 per month if they trade in their old ones.

carriers Stories September 24, 2015

sprint

The carriers really are getting carried away trying to sell you an iPhone 6s as they respond to Apple’s own Upgrade Program. T-Mobile got the ball rolling with a $125 discount on an 18-month plan, before later offering an iPhone 6s from just $5/month if you trade in your iPhone 6 as part of the deal. Sprint has now responded with a similar deal for just $1/month.

This new offer is part of Sprint’s iPhone Forever program, which allows new and upgrade-eligible Sprint customers to get the newest iPhone as soon as it is available.

Of course, the old adage applies: if a deal seems too good to be true, it is too good to be true …  expand full story

carriers Stories August 17, 2015

reachability-iphone-6-plus

Sprint today announced a new $22/month upgrade option for iPhone users allowing them to pick up a new iPhone at anytime through a plan dubbed “iPhone Forever”.

iPhone users can now opt to pay an extra $22/month on top of any individual unlimited plan or family share pack plan and when a new iPhone is eventually released, they simply bring in their old device to upgrade to the latest entry-level iPhone model. Here’s how it compares to options from the other carriers… expand full story

carriers Stories August 7, 2015

verizon building Verizon will launch brand new, simpler data plans and kill subsidies as expected from August 13. Today, the company introduced a set of plans which will require customers to pay for their smartphones in monthly installments, or buy them outright, instead of having the cost subsidized.

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carriers Stories July 29, 2015

AT&T doesn’t want to be throttled for throttling customers

It seems AT&T thinks throttling the data speeds of customers without telling them about it isn’t such a big deal. The Federal Trade Commission sued AT&T back in 2014 for “deceptive and unfair data throttling” after the company imposed caps on unlimited data contracts, beyond which it reduced their data speeds by almost 90%. The Federal Communications Commission joined the party last month, fining AT&T $100 million – and The Hill reports that the carrier now wants that fine reduced to just $16,000.

The Commission’s findings that consumers and competition were harmed are devoid of factual support and wholly implausible,” the company wrote in its filing. “Its ‘moderate’ forfeiture penalty of $100 million is plucked out of thin air, and the injunctive sanctions it proposes are beyond the Commission’s authority.”

The FTC had stated that it could legally have imposed fines of $16,000 per affected consumer, but that would have resulted in an “astronomic” fine, so chose to limit the total penalty to one large enough to deter future violations. AT&T had originally claimed that it was doing nothing wrong, but Ars Technica notes that the company amended its policy in May so that throttling was applied only when the network was congested.

AT&T has not offered unlimited data plans to new customers for some years, but has a small-ish group of customers who remain on grandfathered plans which remain valid for as long as the customer retains the plan.

Apple last month removed subsidies from both AT&T and Verizon iPhones, moving to plans where customers pay the full cost of the phone on an installment plan.

Photo: Re/code

carriers Stories May 5, 2015

T-Mobile hits back at Verizon’s ‘Never settle’ ads, offers free try-out & switch deal

T-Mobile is hitting back at Verizon’s ‘Never settle’ ad campaign, offering to lend Verizon customers a new smartphone and port their existing number to it for a 14-day trial. If customers prefer T-Mobile’s service, the company will pay off Verizon’s Early Termination Fees up to a maximum of $650.

Any outstanding payments on your phone are also paid off, within the same overall limit, when customers choose to trade in their old phone for a new one on T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plan.

T-Mobile promises you won’t lose out if you choose to stay with Verizon. You always retain your existing phone, the carrier will refund any fees incurred on its own network and will pay any costs for switching back to Verizon.

The offer opens on 13th May, running until the end of the month. Visit t-mobile.com or one of the company’s retail stores between those dates for details. The company introduced crowd-sourced coverage maps back in March, extending its LTE data rollover deal to prepaid customers in the same month. Verizon cut most of its data plan prices by $10/month back in February.

carriers Stories April 22, 2015

Security researchers yesterday demonstrated a method of creating a ‘No iOS zone,’ inside of which all carrier iPhones and iPads on iOS 8 are rendered impossible to use, reports Skycure. Most apps that connect to the Internet crash on opening (shown above), and it’s even possible to put iOS devices into a constant boot loop (shown below).

The approach exploits an SSL bug in iOS, causing an app to crash when it attempts to establish a secure connection to a server. Although the exploit requires the iPhone or iPad to connect to a fake WiFi hotspot, the researchers were able to force devices to do so …  expand full story

carriers Stories March 31, 2015

deutsche-telekom

German Apple Stores have dropped Vodafone and O2 contracts for both iPhones and iPads, offering them only with Deutsche Telekom contracts or SIM-free. The change affects only post-paid contracts: pre-paid SIMs remain available on Vodafone. expand full story

carriers Stories February 20, 2015

Family Share Pack 2_20_15

Just one day after T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced the wireless provider surpassed Sprint to become the number three carrier in the country, Sprint today announced a new aggressive shared data plan that it says offers better value compared to T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon. expand full story

carriers Stories February 19, 2015

John Legere says T-Mobile passed Sprint to become third largest US carrier

T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced during the company’s Q4 earnings call today that the company has surpassed Sprint to become the number three carrier in the country.

That would mean the carrier has reached its goal set by Legere to move ahead of Sprint by the end of last year (via The Verge):

“…Going into this year, they have 55 million customers… T-Mobile had 33 million customers. We merged with MetroPCS and went to 42 million customers, and we’ve since added 13 million customers to get up to, guess what, 55 million customers.”

So as of right now the two appear to be neck and neck based on the numbers Legere shared, but he also hinted T-Mobile’s lead would be easier to see over “the next quarter or two.”

carriers Stories February 4, 2015

iPhone 6 Plus iPhone 6 iPhone 5s iPhone 5c

Verizon is following its More Everything holiday promotion today with a new limited time promo for its customers, the carrier announced today. Starting tomorrow, Verizon will begin offering customers data plans at new price points from 1GB up to 20GB with most price tiers being reduced by $10/month compared to their previous rates.

With the new plans, customers can take advantage of plans with the same data amount at a cheaper rate, or pay the same price and receive a data increase. Additionally, Verizon will introduce more data tiers with 12GB, 14GB, and 16GB options. expand full story

carriers Stories January 23, 2015

iPhone 6

Just one day after T-Mobile unveiled its Smartphone Equality program letting loyal customers avoid credit checks, Sprint has announced a new promotion specifically targeting T-Mobile customers with an offer to make switching carriers easier. Sprint’s latest buyback and trade-in offer joins the carrier’s existing ‘Cut Your Bill in Half’ promo which encourages AT&T and Verizon customers to switch; T-Mobile was notably missing from that offer. Here’s how Sprint details the new promotion for T-Mobile customers: expand full story

carriers Stories December 16, 2014

T-Mobile-Data-stash

T-Mobile announced its latest Un-carrier initiative today with a new “Data Stash” feature that allows customers to bank unused data and carry it over month-to-month for up to a year. expand full story

carriers Stories December 9, 2014

AT&T and Verizon warn investors of higher Q4 churn as Sprint and T-Mobile increase competition

While the traditional wireless landscape in the United States has consisted of AT&T and Verizon Wireless as the heavyweights and Sprint and T-Mobile as the underdogs, the divide between the carriers appears to be quickly narrowing. Sprint and T-Mobile have both introduced highly-competitive plans and promotional offerings in the fourth quarter, leading many consumers to switch carriers at a higher-than-average pace.

carriers Stories November 11, 2014

DEP-Apple

Apple is today expanding its Device Enrollment Program, its service for business and education customers deploying and managing large fleets of iOS and Mac devices, to new countries. It’s also opening up the program to third-party resellers.  expand full story

carriers Stories April 14, 2014

T-Mobile says it will end domestic overages in May, petitions AT&T, Sprint, & Verizon to do the same

Following a number of new initiatives launched last week including its new Simple Starter plan and new perks for tablet users, T-Mobile issued a press release today calling for an end to overages and urging consumers to sign a petition for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon to do the same.

Traditional wireless plans start with a low monthly fee for a fixed amount of domestic minutes, texts or data.  Once consumers go over those limits – even by a little – they’re hit with dramatically higher rates and extreme penalties.  These plans seem purpose-built to drive customers over that invisible line into massive overage charges.

In the press release, the carrier noted it will end all domestic overages in starting in May for the June billing cycle (something we thought it was doing since the beginning of Uncarrier?). The wording also sounds a lot like it could continue to charge overages for international use.  T-Mobile’s new Simple Starter plan does not include the free international perks it unveiled for other plans last year, so it looks like the carrier is giving itself some room to continue charging overages for international use in some cases.

T-Mobile has been doing a lot of talking about ending overages, and its approach might be slightly more transparent than the other guys, but at the end of the day an overage is an overage and even T-Mobile charges some customers for more data. It’s new Simple Starter plan for example which caps at 500MB for LTE data, will force users to purchase $5/day or $10/week “additional data sessions.”

The company’s full press release is below.

carriers Stories February 24, 2014

WhatsApp plans to add Facebook Messenger-like voice calling features by next quarter

Just about everyone in the tech industry is talking about the $19B Facebook/Whatsapp deal, so what better time to announce new features coming soon to the service. TechCrunch reports that WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced at Mobile World Congress today that the app will gain voice calling functionality sometime in Q2 of this year:

“We use the least amount of bandwidth and we use the hell out of it,” he said. “We will focus on simplicity.” Voice will come to Android and iOS first and then following on some Nokia and BlackBerry phones, he added.

The report adds that WhatsApp will also soon be working with some carrier partners:

While WhatsApp, as an OTT service, may appear like one of the companies that is attacking carriers, it is also working with them. The first partnership will be with e-plus to offer special tariffs to access the app, Koum said today. Interestingly, disrupting the current mobile communications economy has put WhatsApp right back into the kinds of services that built out that economy in the first place — in today’s case, voice.

Facebook of course already offers voice calling in some countries, but it’s unclear if the new WhatsApp feature will be integrated with the Facebook voice features. WhatsApp already offers users the ability to send short recorded voice messages as pictured above).

Despite the plans for new features, Koum reiterated that, “There are no planned changes and we will continue to do what we set out to do, even after the acquisition closes.” That, he said, includes “no marketing.”

carriers Stories January 3, 2014

Photo: Fox

Photo: Fox

AT&T has announced incentives worth up to $450 for T-Mobile customers who switch to their service. The move is being made in response to T-Mobile’s Uncarrier offers, after AT&T recently said that it too expected to move toward separating device and service charges.

Proving the old adage that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, the deal of course comes with strings. First, $250 of that is the maximum you’ll receive in return for trading in your existing T-Mobile handset. To get the full $250, you’ll need a recent handset in good condition – in which case you’d almost certainly get more selling it privately …  expand full story

carriers Stories December 26, 2013

iPhone-Taiwan

The Wall Street Journal reports that Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission has fined Apple approximately US$670,000 for its attempts to influence phone pricing set by distributors and service providers in the region. According to a statement from the commission, Apple was forcing at least three carriers to submit pricing plans for iPhone ahead of offering the devices for sale:

“Through the email correspondence between Apple and these three telecom companies we discovered the companies submit their pricing plans to Apple to be approved or confirmed before the products hit the market,” it said in a statement.

The report adds that Apple could face an additional fine of NT$50 million (around $1.7 million US) if it doesn’t change its current methods of negotiating iPhone pricing plans with carriers: expand full story

carriers Stories October 15, 2013

T-Mobile sunsets grandfathered plans with new rates due to ‘complexity’

Blame it on ‘unnecessary complexity’, but T-Mobile revealed today plans to move customers still using paying old rates to updated plans in an effort to reduce the number of plans it services (via TmoNews).

The Uncarrier is set make these changes starting next month and will give customers until February 2014 to choose new plans before imposing fees for users on grandfathered plans.

For T-Mobile’s part, the carrier offered the following statement:

Maintaining thousands of rate plans is the norm in the industry, but we think it creates unnecessary complexity. Simple is better, which is why we’re reducing the number of older plans in our systems. We’re giving customers on these plans the opportunity to choose a plan that best meets their needs. For the vast majority, their plan will provide similar or better features at a comparable price.

News of T-Mobile’s plans originally surfaced when one customer posted the letter seen below to an online forum:

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