It looks like budget-focused Sprint subsidiary Virgin Mobile USA is taking a page out of T-Mobile's book. Starting on Friday, the carrier will allow users to access certain streaming music services without taking the requisite hit to their data caps. The selection is a bit paltry at the moment (and notably lacking in both Google Play Music and Apple's Music service), but fans of Pandora Radio, Slacker, and iHeart Radio should be glad to hear that they can listen to practically unlimited amounts of music while they're out and about without incurring an extra charge.
Virgin Mobile is also reshuffling its phone plans. Read More
Are you and your family so-called "data hounds," who need much, much more mobile data per month than the average user? Then for God's sake, avoid the limited plans on AT&T and Verizon, and go for T-Mobile or Sprint instead. But if those carriers aren't an option (say, because you occasionally like to stray beyond the limits of major metropolitan areas), then you'll definitely want to check out AT&T's latest data promotion.
If you sign up for a new AT&T Mobile Share Value family plan starting today, you get double the data for the same price, starting with the $130 tier. Read More
Remember when T-Mobile announced plans that included Music Freedom, which let users stream music from certain services without impacting their wireless data limits? Remember when it didn't include [insert your music streaming service of choice here], so you ignored it? Actually that isn't quite fair: Music Freedom support currently includes Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio, which are the heavy hitters in the industry. But it's hard to deny that a lack of support for Google Play Music was kind of disheartening.
Good news, everyone: T-Mobile says that after a user poll indicated that everyone wanted Google Play Music added to the free streaming list, they're going to implement it. Read More
Those of us who've managed to hang on to Verizon unlimited data after the tiered plans started showing up are not going to give it up lightly. We buy unsubsidized phones at ridiculous prices to stay secure in the knowledge that we can gobble as many gigabytes as we want for $30 a month. This does not please Verizon: unlimited data is not conducive to profits, and unsubsidized customers are more likely to bolt. So they're trying to bring grandfathered unlimited customers back into the fold with a "deal" for Verizon Edge, codenamed Verizon Max.
If you'll recall, Verizon Edge is Big Red's take on the quick-upgrade plans currently offered by T-Mobile (JUMP) and AT&T (Next). Read More
Thinking about switching to a prepaid carrier? As the fifth-largest U.S. cellular provider, MetroPCS should certainly be on your list (at least if you live in an urban area). Today they've shuffled up their tiered service plans, adding in some more full-speed data at the lower tiers and consolidating the highest tier into a single plan. For those of you who want the genuine article, don't worry: the $60 plan remains, with real unlimited 4G LTE data. The only stipulation is that you gave to have one of MetroPCS's LTE phones.
At the $40 level, customers can now access the network at LTE speeds for up to 500MB, after which customers are throttled to 3G speeds. Read More
Only in the confusing realm of smartphone data plans can 'unlimited' not really mean unlimited. We started to see the big carriers cut back on all-you-can-eat data a few years ago, and T-Mobile was no different. The nation's smallest national carrier relied on vague language and semantics to justify its continued use of the word 'unlimited.' Now it looks like T-Mobile is going to finally offer real unlimited data again.
The new unlimited 4G data plan will be available starting on September 5, and it does away with all the caps and throttling that angered power users. T-Mobile will be charging a downright reasonable rate of $30 per-month for those on the classic plans, and just $20 for anyone on a value plan. Read More
"AT&T gives customers more choice with new shared wireless data plans." That's the headline of the press release that AT&T sent out about its new shared data packages. Keywords: more choice. That's a polite way of saying "we're aiming to confuse the crap out of you." Unlike Verizon's shared data packages, which are about as simple to understand as they come, AT&T did what AT&T does best: took the simple and made it far more complex than in should be. Hopefully we can break it down so it makes sense.
As you can see, the amount paid for each smartphone goes down with each bump up in bandwidth. Read More
Looks like AT&T has been tweaking its data packages again, trying to find a way to better compete with the likes of the Sprint, T-Mobile, and VZW no doubt. The revised data plans will go into affect on January 22, and they look a little something like this:
- Data Plus 300MB: $20 for 300MB
- Data Pro 3GB: $30 for 3GB
- Data Pro 5GB: $50 for 5GB, with mobile hotspot / tethering
So, how does that compare to Ma Bell's current data rates? Have a looksee:
- Data Plus 200MB: $15 for 200MB
- Data Pro 2GB: $25 for 2GB
- Data Pro 4GB: $45 for 4GB
Tablet plans have also undergone a similar change:
- DataConnect 3GB for $30 (Current rate: 3GB for $35)
- DataConnect 5GB: $50 (Current rate: 5GB for $60)
So, all-in-all, it is a better deal, especially for those on a 3GB or 5GB plan - more geebees for you. Read More