AT&T has a problem on its hands. It's big, but is it big enough? If you're a CEO of a major corporation the answer to that question is always "no." However, the carrier has difficulty expanding on the home front. An overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens have phones with one carrier or another, so there's very little wiggle room to grab new customers. And gaining in market share when you (and all your competitors!) are dead set on locking people into two-year contracts is very difficult. In short, growth isn't much of an option outside acquisitions, and those haven't gone so well.
Verizon and T-Mobile may not regularly make headlines together, but this morning the two companies have announced that they've struck a deal to swap spectrum (and some money) to bolster both companies' LTE networks. Yes, including the one T-Mobile has yet to build. While specifics haven't been disclosed, it sounds like T-Mobile will be the big winner here, walking away with a net gain in spectrum holdings—something the company desperately needs—while paying an undisclosed amount of money to Verizon for the trouble.
The deal isn't solid yet, though. Some of the spectrum that Verizon is offering to T-Mobile technically belongs to SpectrumCo, Cox, and Leap at the moment.
Sprint has long been the refuge for data-hungry users that don't want to deal with caps or overages. While Sprint's regular 3G and 4G data usage on phones is still unlimited, back in October the Now Network started capping the mobile hotspot feature at 5GB per month. Starting last Friday, May 18th, that plan is gone. In its place are two pricier options.
The low-end option comes with 2GB of monthly bandwidth and costs $19.99 per month. The high-end offering is quite a jump; 6GB for $49.99. It's a clever way to push you to a much more expensive option that you might not need.
The CEO of AT&T's mobile business, Ralph de la Vega, told CNET in an interview that the company is working on family data plans that would give consumers one big pot of data that all devices could share. While minute plans have worked this way for years, since tiered data came along, customers have been waiting on a way to pool their data.
No details are available on how the plans will work, or how it will affect subsidized devices. It's also unclear whether or not devices like tablets would be entered into the mix. One of the biggest hang ups on selling network-enabled tablets (aside from the increased device price) is convincing customers to buy into yet another data plan.
This morning, Google Drive finally launched, and for about 30 minutes the pricing structure inconsistencies had me scratching my head. The blog post mentioned a new pricing scheme, with "25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month" and yet the storage upgrade page continued to list old prices - +20GB for $5 a year, and so on, which was much cheaper than the new offerings.
I quickly jumped into the $5 plan to see if it works on Google Drive storage limits, and to my surprise it did (hat tip to @LiamJohnson_95):
Now I was completely confused.
We all love LTE. We also all love not being broke, if we can avoid it. Sometimes our two great loves conflict with each other. MetroPCS wants to try and make this love triangle work with $40 unlimited plans for all LTE devices in its portfolio. There's a catch, though: you're only allowed 100 MB of "multimedia streaming access."
According to MetroPCS, "multimedia streaming access" is defined as "content that is programmed as streaming within a web site." Suffice to say, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, and any number of other services that you might want to use would fall into this category.
Since the upcoming HTC EVO View 4G will be Sprint's first WiMAX-capable tablet, the Now Network decided to tweak its tablet plans a bit. The baseline price is quite similar to the current tablet plan pricing: 1GB for $20, 3GB for $45, and 5GB for $60. It does, however, include a few new options, namely a new 10GB plan for $90 a month and the addition of unlimited 4G data for a 3GB plan or higher.
If you notice, there are two sets of prices there - MRC and Bundled MRC. The latter is a special price point for existing Sprint customers with qualifying unlimited smartphone plans.
Earlier this month we told you that T-Mobile was working to revamp a couple of its pre-paid plans to include unlimited data, and that is finally official as of today.
(Note from David: Except, that data isn't really, truly unlimited. I mean, if you count 2G EDGE [which is what you get when you exceed your cap] as "data," then yes - you can have all the EDGE you can eat. But that's like eating sand. And not beach sand, either - it's dirty playground sand. That is T-Mobile's definition of "unlimited data," and it's nothing but marketing department spew, plain and simple.