AT&T, a company with a reputation for evil such that placing their logo inside a Death Star has always seemed genuinely appropriate, has announced some changes to pricing on its mobile data plans today. While some of those changes are genuinely good if you're a subscriber with a large data bucket or have some pretty particular usage habits, many new customers can expect to pay $5-10 more a month under the new structure, which AT&T of course claims is a totally innocuous attempt to "simplify" things for customers.
For American penny-pinchers who can meter their phone usage to a tiny sliver of voice and data and supplement with Wi-Fi, FreedomPop offers a pretty amazing deal. If you can snag a compatible phone and SIM card, you can get a small amount of service every month for free, gratis, and nothing. The service is now expanding outside of FreedomLand (he said, with only a trace element of irony) and hopping the pond to the United Kingdom.
Ready for Google's vision of a modern cell phone service provider? So are we. Google Fi isn't quite prepared to open its doors, but right now it's accepting sign-ups for invitations at this site. The service isn't quite ready to launch, but according to the site and the video, lucky invitees will be allowed in sometime in the next week. Google will allow batches of customers in each week, but you should get a "yes" or "no" answer within 30 days.
We know pretty much what to expect from Google Fi thanks to a couple of high-profile leaks. Check it out here, after you're done getting your invitation in - there are likely to be hundreds of thousands of applicants, so do it quickly.
We've been hearing (and seeing) more and more about Google's possible wireless service lately, but WSJ published a report this evening indicating that the service's launch may be even sooner than we anticipated.
For those unaware, rumors have been swirling that Google might be ready to open up its own wireless service, an MVNO backed by Sprint and T-Mobile networks, codenamed "Nova."
Tonight's report from the Wall Street Journal suggests Google could be ready to announce the service as early as tomorrow, April 22. Additionally, the report corroborates previous whisperings that Nova would only charge customers for the amount of data they actually use every month, with totals being driven lower by the service's apparent emphasis on using WiFi for voice and data when possible.
For most of us, making and receiving phone calls with our devices is something we simply take for granted. Unfortunately, Nexus 6 owners who use Sprint as their carrier are finding that it's not quite that simple.
The Nexus 6 works on all five major US carriers with the simple swap of a SIM card, but that doesn't mean that all problems with the device are universal to all carriers. In this case, a lot of people who have a Nexus 6 on Sprint are reporting that their devices are not receiving phone calls. The problem seems very random and there isn't much of a pattern to it.
Ting has attracted many customers with its low-cost, pay-for-what-you-use tier-based approach to mobile service (give me a second, I'm sure I could fit more hyphens into this sentence), but some have been put off by the company's reliance on the Sprint network. Starting February 2015, folks will have a choice. Ting will start offering a GSM option for people who just want to pop a SIM card into their existing unlocked phone.
To be clear, Ting isn't severing its relationship with Sprint. GSM will appear as a separate option, with customers able to have both GSM and CDMA lines under a single account, where they utilize the same pool of minutes, texts, and data.
For a limited time, AT&T is willing to offer Mobile Share Value customers 15GB of data for the current price of 10GB. The rate is what many of us in the business would refer to as still not cheap. To get this discount, folks have to pay $100 a month plus their device access charges, which ranges from an extra $15 - $40 per phone depending on whether you're going the BYOD, Next, or on-contract route. Tablets and wearables are an extra $10.
AT&T has produced this graphic so that everyone sees just how much they can do with 15GB.
For years now, we've been drooling over Sony's high-end hardware and gorgeous industrial design, only to be bummed since the phones rarely come to the United States. Sony and T-Mobile have a pretty good relationship, as evidenced by yesterday's announcement that the new Xperia Z3 would launch on the carrier in the US. But according to a recent post from PC Mag, Verizon may be getting some Sony phone hardware for the first time in years.
Thumbnail: Sony Xperia Z3. Above: Sony Xperia Z3v (artist's interpretation)
According to Sascha Segan, the long-standing magazine has been given Verizon promotional documents that show the custom-branded "Xperia Z3v" with Verizon logos, and a screenshot that includes Amazon Music, the Kindle app, and the Amazon Appstore.
Remember that Sprint and T-Mobile price war we mentioned? Yeah, things are continuing to get better. Today T-Mobile has announced an add-on to its Simple Starter plan that will significantly increase how much LTE data customers can use. For an extra $5 a month, they can bump their allotment up from 500 MB to 2GB. This amounts to four times the data, and it manages to beat out the 1GB of LTE allowed under T-Mobile's $50 Simple Choice plan. The limited-time offer will start on September 3rd.
T-Mobile's press release doesn't make any mention of its own Simple Choice plan, so presumably it will be staying the same.