With the endeasing of the Cuban embargo, T-Mobile is looking to expand its services to the island. As the company points out, it has many customers of Cuban descent, and they'll soon have more options when calling or visiting the country. This is thanks to a new deal with Cuban carrier Empresa De Telecomunicaciones De Cuba, S.A. (ETECSA).
John Legere, the mobile CEO who can't get Deutsche Telekom to love T-Mobile no matter how many new customers they sign up, is back with another jab at his competitors. T-Mobile already features some pretty extraordinary free international roaming extras, but now it's going whole hog on the two countries that Americans visit the most: Canada and Mexico. Starting next week if you cross the border to the north or south, your T-Mobile phone will work the same as it does in the States. Take it away, John:
Sprint is so good, you can take it with you when you leave the country. Okay, maybe its service isn't the best. Whatever. It's cheap. That's why you signed up, right?
Now when you travel to Colombia, Denmark, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Paraguay, or Sweden with an International Value Roaming plan, you can roam data for free. You're limited to 2G speeds and might not always be able to find a connection, but again, it's free. If you do need faster connectivity, you can get 3G for the not-at-all-tempting prices of $15-$50 for 100-500MB of data that last up to fourteen days.
These additions join the likes of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Russia, South Korea, Spain, and the UK.
Sprint wants your business. Obviously. It's a carrier. So today it has announced a plan meant to appeal to those of you who travel. The package includes free international roaming, unlimited texting, and calls that cost 20 cents per minute when you travel to countries in Europe or Latin America, as well as Japan and South Korea. Think of it as International Value Roaming.
With this plan, Sprint limits international roaming to 2G speeds. If you want something faster, you need to cough up quite a bit of money for a day pass. We're talking $15 for 100MB in a single day.
Free international roaming is one of the many nice perks T-Mobile offers to entice customers. When the Uncarrier launched the feature over a year ago, it supported over 100 countries. That list has now grown to over 120. The latest addition includes Paraguay, in South America, and Croatia, in Europe.
Today AT&T announced an agreement with Canadian wireless carrier Rogers that will enable its customers to have access to 4G LTE data speeds even when on the northern side of the border. This arrangement makes AT&T the first American carrier to offer international LTE roaming, but before some of you get too excited, know that this luxury still doesn't come cheaply.
AT&T customers can roam internationally by selecting a Data Global Add-On package, the same ones needed to access 3G. These offer 120MB of data for $30 a month, 300MB for $60 a month, or 800MB for $120 a month. Without a package, you're looking at paying $15.36 per megabyte.
If you're traveling between countries in the European Union, there's good news for your wallet: it won't be quite so thoroughly mugged by international roaming charges starting today. After a vote by the European Commission last month, wireless roaming charges for text, data, and voice usage are being forcibly reduced across its 28 member states. Today's policy change will lower maximum roaming charges to 45 European cents per megabyte, 24 cents per outgoing call minute, 7 cents per received call minute, and 8 cents for a text message, plus value-added tax in all cases. Data gets the most dramatic reduction, with an average savings of 36% over last year.
Starting in July 2014, Europeans will be free of burdensome roaming charges as they travel across the European Union's 27 member states. This comes after officials voted to terminate such fees for voice calls, text messages, and internet access as part of a move to create a single European telecoms market. This is great news for French citizens hopping across the border to Germany, but it will have no impact on tourists from outside of the continent. Americans, for example, will still have their roaming fees determined by their carriers back home.
Officials hope that this change will allow Europe to begin consolidating mobile network operators in order to improve the quality of service among member states.
Verizon is possibly pushing out an over-the-air update v4.03.605.1 to the HTC Rezound which only just received ICS (v3.14.605.12) last week. The 104MB update is pretty hefty for only a few weeks of work, which has puzzled many XDA members and made things turn pretty ugly in the relevant thread. The reason I'm saying "possibly" is only one person at XDA has received it so far, which may indicate there's some sort of soak testing going on.
Update: A commenter (Cody) chimed in and let us know he's currently getting the OTA as well. Anyone else?
Having now read through 20+ pages of comments about half of which are literally baseless and ignorant garbage written by trolls with nothing better to do (what XDA update thread would it be without these, right?), I have pieced together a few details and confirmed that the OTA is indeed legitimate by verifying the update's cryptographic signature and checking with a source close to Verizon.
According to a recent FCC filing, Qualcomm is hard at work on a new radio chipset that would support seven spectrum bands, including three below 1GHz. The introduction of this chipset could offer an effective solution to LTE spectrum fragmentation, which is a thorn in the side of manufacturers looking to cleanly execute broad product releases.
LTE fragmentation has also stirred debate among carriers, though. Smaller carriers operate within the Lower A block of the 700MHz band, in Band Class 12 while larger carriers like AT&T operate on the Lower B and C blocks in Band Class 17. For this reason, smaller carriers are urging the FCC to mandate interoperability.