Dearly beloved, we are gathered together in the sight of the FCC and these witnesses to join MetroPCS and T-Mobile in the bonds of holy mergrimony. If any shareholder can show just cause why they may not be joined together, let them speak now or forever shut the hell up.
Today, MetroPCS shareholders approved the merger between the company and T-Mobile USA. As a result of the deal, Deutsche Telekom will own a 74% stake in the new company, while the former MetroPCS shareholders will own 26%. The new company will be called T-Mobile US and, for the first time, be traded publicly on the NYSE under the name TMUS. Read More
The wireless service landscape is undergoing significant changes in the US this year. T-Mobile just launched it's kind-of no contract plans with monthly hardware payments, something no other US carrier offers. Sprint is in the early stages of its LTE rollout, a buyout from Japanese firm Softbank, and the acquisition of Clearwire (which seems more likely with each passing day). AT&T has already gained the #2 LTE spot in the US, but may have turned off a good number of potential Galaxy S4 buyers by pricing the device at $250 on contract, while continuing to push its own shared data plan model. Read More
Yesterday, T-Mobile officially announced its new "UNcarrier" plans to much fanfare and profanity. The idea is simple: you pay one price for your service, and a separate price for your device. You can either choose to pay the full cost of your phone up front, or pay a deposit at first and then a monthly fee after that.
"But wait," the entire tech world cried, "That monthly fee is still a contract, right? I mean, I can't pay $99 up front, terminate one month later, and walk away with a super cheap phone, right?" Well, no, that would just be straight up theft and- "Then it's still a contract! Read More
Most of the time, major corporations like to cushion their words so that, in the event of a PR disaster, it's easier to walk back its statements. Today, an AT&T exec in charge of public policy decided to throw that caution to the wind and announce in no uncertain terms 'the Librarian’s ruling will not negatively impact any of AT&T’s customers.' Well. That sure is blunt.
We're not apt to take any AT&T rep at their word, and there are certainly some things to raise eyebrows over. For starters, at one point in the post, the author says the following:
As we make clear on our website, if we have the unlock code or can reasonably get it from the manufacturer, AT&T currently will unlock a device for any customer whose account has been active for at least sixty days; whose account is in good standing and has no unpaid balance; and who has fulfilled his or her service agreement commitment.
Two days ago, the White House announced its support for carrier unlocking handsets. The administration promised an FCC/NTIA investigation as well as a willingness to "work with Congress" on legislation to fix the problem. So, we can probably count on the President's support of the new Wireless Device Independence Act, introduced last night by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). The bill, which is only three pages long, has a simple goal: amend the DMCA such that it explicitly allows the unlocking of cell phones, obviating the need for a tri-yearly exemption.
The following language would be added to the DMCA's section on anti-circumvention policies:
AT&T is apparently cracking the whip when it comes to popular MVNO Net10. The company has announced on its site that new AT&T data caps went into effect on March 1. From here on out, all AT&T SIMs on Net10 will be limited to 1.5GB of high-speed data on the "unlimited" plan. If you want more bytes, a T-Mobile SIM is your only option.
Net10 has always been a bit vague about how much data you can go through before hitting the soft cap. The language used in the blog post appears to indicate this change just moves the cap lower. Read More
In the future, your car is going to be connected to the internet. This is a matter of when, not if. Volvo and BMW are already working on auto connectivity, and Verizon has partnered with just about everyone. Today, AT&T and GM announced that they're joining the fray by combining their strengths. Starting in 2014, cars from General Motors will have LTE radios .
More specifically, most 2015 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac models will support wireless connectivity in the U.S. and Canada. AT&T notes that it expects its LTE network to cover 300 million people by the end of 2014. Read More
Little T-Mobile already has a reputation for being the carrier for budget-conscious consumers, but it's taking things even further with the new GoSmart service. The plans are cheap, and there are no annual contracts to worry about. Service starts at $30 per month and customers get access to the full T-Mobile network. It sounds like a solid deal if you can get past the contrived marketing lingo that would insult the intelligence of a third-grader.
Like other pre-paid brands, you can plug in a compatible phone that you already own, or buy one from GoSmart. There is a $49 Alcatel dumbphone, and a $99 ZTE device running an ancient version of Android. Read More
HTC this morning officially unveiled its new flagship for 2013: the HTC One. So far, we've posted the full specs, our hands-on, and the list of carriers in the U.S. and Canada, but if you live outside those territories, you might be wondering exactly which carriers and major retailers to visit to pick up the One when it becomes available in March.
We've got the current list, courtesy of HTC, right below. I imagine it may grow in the future, but in the meantime I applaud the company for itemizing it in such great detail - something you don't get to see too often these days. Read More