Pricing changes don't usually happen this fast in the wireless industry. It seems like T-Mobile and Sprint both have multiple contingencies in place to attack one another based on what goes down each day. Following T-Mobile's announcement of the free LTE upgrade for one year, Sprint has revealed a new unlimited data plan that's only $60 per month. There are a few caveats, though.
T-Mobile has really been stepping up the rhetoric against Sprint since the backroom acquisition deal allegedly fell through a few weeks ago. T-Mobile's latest promotion takes direct aim at the Now Network, but it targets the other big carriers too. Starting next week, if you bring a friend over to T-Mobile on a Simple Choice plan, you and they both get a free upgrade to unlimited LTE for one year. Also, there will be awkward dancing, if T-Mobile's promo image is to be believed.
The rumors that Sprint was moving on from the Hesse era were true. After seven years at the helm of the Now Network, Dan Hesse is stepping aside so Sprint's parent company SoftBank can bring in someone new. Its choice is Marcelo Claure, the founder and current CEO of SoftBank subsidiary Brightstar.
French telecom company Iliad made a surprise bid for T-Mobile US late last week after months of rumors that Sprint and T-Mobile would be getting hitched. Iliad offered $15 billion for a 56.6% stake in T-Mobile, but now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that T-Mobile isn't even willing to entertain that deal and has opted not to give Iliad access to its financial data.
In some emergency situations it might not be practical or possible to make a voice call to 911, but starting today, you might have another option. It took a bit of wrangling with wireless carriers, but the FCC's deadline for having the necessary wireless infrastructure in place is today. That doesn't mean everyone will be able to text 911 yet, but the pieces are in place.
Bucking the status quo of American wireless companies seems to be working for Legere and Company. For the first three months of 2014 T-Mobile added 2.4 million new wireless customers, according to the company's financial report published this morning. In the crucial post-paid segment (as opposed to the less reliable prepaid segment) T-Mobile added 1.3 million new subscribers.
While T-Mobile is still a long way away from 800-pound gorillas AT&T and Verizon Wireless, it's safe to say that the lower prices and ceaseless "Uncarrier" promotions are having an effect.
On the off chance you were looking for another reason to be annoyed at the big US carriers, you may have found it. According to Fierce Wireless, AT&T isn't the only carrier that opted to remove Download Booster from the new Samsung Galaxy S5 – both Verizon and Sprint have yanked Samsung's LTE-WiFi merging feature. That would make T-Mobile the only US national carrier that supports it. Update: We've been tipped that the US Cellular Galaxy S5 will have Download Booster as well.
When I had the Republic Wireless Moto X for testing, the company said it planned to have support for reactivations ready in a few months. Well, it's finally happening – Republic Wireless can now handle reactivations for the Moto X and the older Motorola Defy XT.
Without reactivations, you can never put a Republic device on a different account than the one it was originally activated on. That's a problem if you want to jump ship to another carrier and sell the phone (or if you want to buy a used RW phone from one of those folks).
The cellular network business is one of the most competitive in the world, but it's also one of the most lucrative, and it's only growing. That being the case, it's not surprising that American telecom giant Comcast may be looking into entering this hotly-contested market. According to a report on The Information, Comcast is hoping to use its huge userbase of home Internet customers to create a combination Wi-Fi and cellular network, competing directly with carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.