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FCC Gets Hands On: Regulates Data Roaming And Suggests Signal Boosters

When we talk about the Federal Communications Commission, we usually do so in regards to a new and highly anticipated device they have just finished testing. Today, there is a little something different in the news regarding the FCC. On Thursday, the FCC made a couple of moves that have received mixed responses from the major wireless carriers.

Roaming Data

The first order they passed was to establish a rule forcing carriers to allow competitors to send and receive data on their networks for an established price.

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T-Mobile Launching Even More Plus Unlimited Plan For Just $59.99 A Month

T-Mobile is starting to get aggressive with customer acquisition and retention, and in light of less than stellar fiscal performance and the news of the AT&T deal, it's not hard to see why.

On April 13, the carrier will begin offering a new off-contract smartphone plan, and it's a steal - for $59.99 a month (down from $79.99), you'll get unlimited talk, text and data*. But, there are some significant catches.

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The Four-Gees Comparison: Which Carrier Should You Be Looking To For Your 4G Android Phone?

4G is here - and it seems like all four of America's biggest carriers are more than happy to advertise the fact that they've got it. Sprint was first on the scene - offering their WiMax 4G, and T-Mobile shortly thereafter began its upgrade to HSPA+ technology. Verizon was next, providing mobile broadband LTE via USB dongle for laptops, though its much-awaited debut 4G handset, the Thunderbolt, has yet to hit shelves after numerous delays.

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Updated: Verizon Confirms What It Has Been Saying For A Year: Unlimited Data Is Going Away, Say Hello To Tiers

While some people were unable to contemplate the possibility that Verizon's all-you-can-eat data plans would be coming to an end, Verizon's CFO Fran Shammo again affirmed the carrier's commitment to move to a tiered system today. When will life start to suck for new or upgrading Verizon customers? This Summer, apparently.

"But David, I already have an unlimited data contract, they have to honor that!" Why yes, they do. Until you want to upgrade to a 4G device, and you have to sign a completely "new" rate plan contract.

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Froyo Update For Samsung Epic 4G Halted After Reports Of SD Card Access and Data Connection Problems

Samsung has a reputation for not being the greatest at updating their devices, but this week has been especially rough for them. First, Microsoft had to halt an update to the Samsung Omnia 7 due to reports of bricked devices. Today, Sprint has just stopped pushing the Android 2.2 update for the Epic as users have found hardware problems after applying it.

According to Sprint's support forum, there have been an increased number of calls into their Care Centre about issues with wireless data connectivity and the ability to access the SD card.

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Google Takes A Swing At Facebook: Removes Contact Syncing With Nexus S Update

Today, Google got the ball rolling on Gingerbread updates for the two official "Google phones", the Nexus One and Nexus S. While this is exciting, long awaited news for owners of the Nexus One, the Nexus S crowd may have some reason for disdain.

One of the things that got me really excited when I bought my first Android phone was the ability to import the numbers and email addresses of all my Facebook friends to my contact list automagically.

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Engadget Reviews The Motorola Atrix 4G, Finds A Great Phone, Highly Overpriced Gimmicky Docks, Awful Data Speeds, Bootloader Lock, And Lots Of Crapware

One of the few tech blogs who managed to get their hands on Motorola's upcoming AT&T flagship - the Atrix 4G - is, of course, Engadget. The reviewer, unsurprisingly, is the infamous cool geek and editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky, who, from my experience reading Engadget's reviews, does a good overall job but fails to go into those details that matter to most Android users. The Atrix 4G review is exactly what I had expected, and I'm going to summarize it and save you 20 minutes reading it.

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Motorola XOOM $799 + 1 Month Data And $749 Off-Contract Thunderbolt Now Confirmed By Best Buy Circular

If one thing can put an end to rumors, it's the official Best Buy weekly ad - the one you get in print from the store. Unfortunately, this time, all the rumors turned out to be correct. Namely:

  • As rumored, Motorola XOOM is indeed going to cost $799 and will require a 1-month data package to unlock WiFi. February 24th remains the go-live date. Anyone still up for picking it up?
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Verizon Drops To One 3G Data Plan, Premium 4G Pricing Imminent

Well, we knew it was coming. Did you honestly think Big Red would bundle your 3G and 4G into one big, happy family? Neither did we. An anonymous Engadget tipster snapped a picture of Verizon's latest data plans - probably set to be released in time for the iPhone 4. Check it out:

verizon-10-75-plan

Droid-Life posted a helpful companion image of the old pricing for comparison's sake:

verizon-data-plans2-600x226

Notice the 150MB smartphone plan has vanished, along with an increased base data cap for feature phones.

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Sprint's "Premium Data" Charge To Affect All Smartphones After January 30

Although Sprint's data plans are significantly cheaper than their competition, there was still some outcry when Sprint decided to charge a $10 monthly add-on charge to phones with 4G connectivity, even if your area isn't actually covered by their WiMax network. Now, however, all smartphones activated after January 30 will be subject to the same charge.

Sprint's reasoning - that “building, maintaining and expanding wireless data networks isn’t free" - is sound, and you can't argue that they still beat every other carrier when it comes to the price of their data plans.

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