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.
T-Mobile says "the Un-carrier never stops" in a blog post announcing its new pay-as-you-go plan, set for availability August 17th. The carrier, which recently became the top prepaid provider in the US, is looking to simplify pay-as-you-go with a flat $0.10 cost per message or minute. The plan will have a $3.00 monthly minimum, which would give customers 30 minutes of talk or thirty SMS messages.
T-Mobile will also offer daily or weekly LTE data passes, with a day pass (allotting 500MB) priced at $5.00 and a seven-day pass (allotting 1GB) running customers $10.
With this new plan, T-Mobile hopes to eliminate confusion from pay-as-you-go plans, which the carrier says have historically been "difficult to understand." With straight-forward rates and affordable data passes, the carrier says it is "making it easier than ever to switch to T-Mobile."
There's quite a bit of tension between AT&T and T-Mobile. America's two largest GSM carriers have gone after each other in ads, on Twitter, and in court. Now AT&T is willing to bribe pay customers who switch to the carrier from T-Mobile up to $450 in credit per line.
Starting today, customers who take advantage of this limited-time offer can receive a promotional card worth up to $250 by trading in a smartphone. You can then get an additional $200 for transferring service, which should arrive by your third wireless bill. This deal applies regardless of whether you buy a new device or activate one you already own.
We've already seen plenty of HTC's One Mini for AT&T in the flesh, but a blurrycam can only go so far. Tonight, we've got one more treat – a crisp, clear press shot of the device.
While the shot doesn't hold much more information than what we already saw in our exclusive photos recently, it's interesting that the Beats Audio logo isn't sporting its typical red brand color (though the same is true for the press shots that have been released). The phone's Blink Feed screen has also been updated, showing different stories than the press shot we saw when HTC made the phone official, but that makes sense considering the location has changed to Atlanta from London.
Whether or not you want to partake in T-Mobile's "Uncarrier" experiments, they're obviously having an effect on the wider American carrier landscape. Today AT&T announced plans to counter T-Mobile's JUMP! upgrade/trade-in plan with one of their own, called Next. The Next plan will allow similar installment payments on new phones with no money down, and users will be given the option to trade in their existing phone and begin paying off a new one. The program will begin on July 26th, and it will be open to new and existing customers.
There are some stark differences between the T-Mobile and AT&T plans: first of all, the upgrade option for the larger carrier is a full year, as opposed to six months with T-Mobile.