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Carriers

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T-Mobile Will Soon Have An Arena In Las Vegas, With Exclusive Benefits For Subscribers

Big companies like to put their names on places where a lot of people go. It's a sign that they're big. It's a form of advertising that people can't turn off. Every time you go to an event, you type in the company's name followed by the words "Center" or "Arena," and there you are.

T-Mobile wanted some of that action, and now it has an arena of its own. According to USA Today, the company has reached a deal with MGM Resorts International to sponsor the new 20,000 seat arena set to open in Las Vegas in the spring.

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In Full Used Car Salesman Mode, John Legere Says Google Attacked Binge On Throttling To "Get Into The News"

In a video released today, John Legere - CEO of a publicly-traded wireless carrier and, apparently, your sort of out-of-touch uncle - accused Google, a $517 billion search company, of attacking T-Mobile's Binge On service in order to "get into the news." As to what Google's end in such an endeavor might be, well: John just doesn't know. It's shadowy, it's dark! They have an agenda.

In what is frankly an almost uncomfortably defensive clip, Legere's cultivated public persona continues to deny that Binge On's throttling of all video content is throttling. Instead, everybody's favorite wireless CEO focuses on the fact that you're getting more video!

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InBrief
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Verizon LG V10 Gets A Small Bug Fix Update

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BlackBerry Priv Will Soon Be Available On Sprint, T-Mobile, And Verizon (And Vodafone UK Starting Today)

The BlackBerry Priv is the sole option for Android users looking for a high-end phone with a physical keyboard. But, here in the States, the phone is currently only available on AT&T. Want the Priv? You need that carrier. Network not good in your area? Tough.

Except, that's about to change. BlackBerry announced at CES that the phone will soon come to the other big three carriers. T-Mobile will get the phone on January 26th. Sprint and Verizon will presumably get the device at some point after.

In BlackBerry's home country of Canada, Rogers, Bell, and Telus are all already supported.

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AT&T Buys Software Rights And Acquires Some Staff From Carrier iQ (Yes, That Carrier iQ)

Do you remember the huge scandal that was Carrier iQ? It's alright if you don't - it's been over four years since the company's data-logging mobile phone software was revealed, resulting in accusations of privacy violations, lax security, lawsuits both from and against the software maker and its partners, and eventually the removal of Carrier iQ code from phones via security patches. The months-long scandal basically killed Carrier iQ as a company... but now its corporate assets are owned by a carrier jokingly referred to as "the Death Star." There's no way that can go wrong, is there?

Yes, AT&T, in between attempts to snap up competing telcos and the country's biggest satellite TV provider, has somehow found time to buy a tiny but incredibly controversial software developer.

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T-Mobile Really Doesn't Like It When You Call Binge On's Video Quality Throttling What It Is, Which Is Throttling

Listen, I don't really have a problem with Binge On itself - it's a pretty nifty value-add for T-Mobile customers that allows them to throttle all their video streamed over mobile data to 480p, in exchange for some of that video (Binge On partner services, like Netflix, but notably not YouTube) not counting against their plan's data cap. I consider this a "pretty fair deal." In exchange for reducing the burden of video bandwidth on T-Mobile's network, you get to stream all the [partnered] OK-quality video you want. It's nice!

But T-Mobile has come under fire - and I think rightly so - for the fact that Binge On is an opt-out service that does not explicitly disclose to subscribers just what they've automatically signed up for.

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AT&T Will Stop Offering 2-Year Phone Contracts On January 8th [Update]

AT&T has sent out an internal communique to employees today that signals a change in the way the carrier sells devices. It's getting with the times and ditching the two-year contracts that used to be standard for the US wireless industry. The change happens on January 8th, so you'll want to hurry if you were planning to get a phone on contract for some reason.

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YouTube Isn't Happy With T-Mobile's "Binge On" Video Quality Throttling, According To WSJ

T-Mobile has made some big changes in the last few years, but the way it manages data caps has worried some net neutrality advocates. Its last big announcement was Binge On, which exempts services like Netflix, Hulu, and others from data caps, but YouTube has now started complaining that T-Mobile throttles all video regardless of its participation in the program.

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[Update: All Current Fi Customers Eligible] Device Protection Is Now Available With Phones Ordered From Project Fi

It seemed a little odd that Google's first-party extended warranty program, Nexus Protect, didn't work with Google's own MVNO effort, Project Fi, when it was announced. New buyers of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P could apply the Nexus Protect warranty to their phones if they bought them from the Google Store, but not through the Project Fi site. Now it looks like that lack of synergy has been rectified: Nexus Protect, or at least something very much like it, is available with new phone purchases from Fi.

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Project Fi Now Supports Tablets And Internet-Only Devices, Won't Charge A Bogus Per-Month "Device Fee"

A Project Fi support page for tablets and "other compatible devices" has just gone live, and it spills all the juicy details of the very-soon-to-launch (we assume) feature on Google's MVNO. The best part? The money: it costs nothing to add a tablet to your Project Fi plan. There is no monthly device fee, and it doesn't even appear that Google is charging for SIMs, though we've yet to verify that.

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