It's been almost eight months since the Federal Communications Commission opened its lawsuit against AT&T for misleading statements on its "unlimited" data plans. Today the Commission announced its intention (PDF link) to fine the wireless company $100 million for failing to notify its customers that going over unspecified data limits on an "unlimited" plan would result in severely reduced or "throttled" speed, well below advertised speeds, violating the 2010 Open Internet Transparency Rule. "Unlimited means Unlimited," said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc.
The Federal Communications Commission plans to fine AT&T Mobility, LLC $100,000,000 for misleading its customers about unlimited mobile data plans.
Straight Talk offers good deals for mobile service on the big national networks (it's an MVNO), but the deal is getting a little sweeter today for anyone who brings their own phone. The standard plan will now offer 5GB of unthrottled LTE data instead of just 3GB. The price is staying at $45, and the increased data takes effect on your next monthly "refill" date.
It's been known since launch that Verizon wouldn't give you a SIM card for a Nexus 6 unless you tricked its system. With that said, the assumption always seemed to be that Big Red would at least add IMEI numbers for phones purchased from Google Play once it launched the phone in official capacity. This assumption had historical precedent to back it up, as Verizon did exactly that when it launched the Nexus 7 LTE six months after everyone else. In the official announcement, the carrier went so far as to state, "Users who have already purchased the Nexus 7 (2013 model) will also be able to activate their device on the Verizon Wireless network after they download the latest software update." This caveat was conspicuously absent from the official Nexus 6 announcement, and now we may know why. Read More
T-Mobile had its Uncarrier 9 event earlier today, and it didn't have anything to do with HTC's announcement. They just happened to be on the same day. John Legere took to the stage as usual with a bombastic attitude and sly smirk to deliver the news. The announcements mostly revolve around business accounts, but there are a few juicy bits for consumers too. Read More
Paying a few hundred dollars to cover an ETF has been done, but Sprint's new offer goes a little further. Starting today, the nation's (maybe) smallest carrier will pay "all" the costs associated with moving your number to Sprint, no matter what is owed. They are apparently serious because ctrl+f "$" returns zero results. Read More
Google's Project Loon isn't on our radar much here in the US because we have expansive high-speed internet access. That's not the case everywhere, though, and it's a problem Project Loon aims to solve. According to Google, a single balloon can apparently provide LTE service to a region the size of Rhode Island. I could have baited you with "a whole state" in the headline, but this is still pretty impressive.
One of the more interesting behind-the-scenes additions in Android 5.1 is a new carrier provisioning API that provides functionality which likely benefits carriers and customers alike. Any time you join a carrier, you get services along with your account, whether it's Play Store billing, visual voicemail, premium subscription services billed to your account, or any number of other things. For as long as Android has existed, the methods used to provision these services on a customer's account have varied widely from carrier to carrier, and there was no standard way of doing it.
While this normally wouldn't be an issue on carrier-branded phones or tablets, what happens when you bring an off-contract AT&T phone over to T-Mobile, or you buy a Nexus phone that doesn't have carrier-specific framework APKs installed? Read More
There are plenty of pre-paid MVNOs in the US, but Ting has consistently offered some of the best deals. However, it only worked on Sprint's network. If that wasn't a good fit for you, tough. The company recently started testing a GSM service on an invite-only basis, but now it's open to everyone. While it's still technically beta, you can add a GSM phone to Ting right now.
Sprint hasn't said anything about John Legere's assertion that T-Mobile is now the larger of the two carriers, but it is rolling out a new plan apparently intended to slow Tmo's progress. The new plan is actually just a limited time offer in Sprint's existing Family Share Pack tiers. For $90 per month you can (sort of) get 12GB of data to share across 10 lines with unlimited SMS and voice. As with all mobile plans, there are plenty of caveats.