A few months ago AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all started blocking wireless tethering apps in the Android Market, making them unavailable for download on their respective devices. At that time, Sprint was the only carrier still allowing tethering apps to be installed without limitation -- but that time has come to an end. That's right, the Now Network has begun blocking the installation of wireless tethering apps from the Market on any device attached to its network.
How long have we been hearing that the Galaxy Nexus would be exclusive to Verizon? Quite a while -- probably since rumors of the "Nexus Prime" first started surfacing. It looks like those rumors have been around so long that Verizon itself started to believe it, too... until they were told it wasn't true.
Last night, Big Red threw an exclusive tag on Galaxy Nexus banners floating around on its site.
When Sprint confirmed that the iPhone 4S was headed to the US's Alamo of unlimited data, current Sprint subscribers feared that a tidal wave of iDevices could finally force the company to surrender to tiered data pricing.
Speaking to Forbes, CEO Dan Hesse said the iPhone was actually having the opposite effect, and that Apple's smartphone would actually reduce the rate of growth of smartphone data consumption because it uses Sprint's network more efficiently.
Sprint just released its Q3 earnings report, and while it's nothing to boast about, it does offer some encouraging numbers for the Now Network. Its operating revenue is up to $8.3 billion -- a slight jump up from this time last year. It also saw a major jump in wireless subscribers, adding 1.3 million new customers -- a five year high for the company. Out of the 1.3 million, 304,000 were post-paid, 485,000 were pre-paid, and 835,000 were wholesale.
Tonight, Samsung Mobile and T-Mobile announced the Exhibit II 4G, a new 4G smartphone aimed at the budget-conscious subscriber. The Exhibit II 4G will be the first no-annual-contract 4G smartphone sold at most Walmart stores, and is set for an October 27th release.
The budget smartphone will also come to T-Mobile retail stores November 2nd, offered at the low price of $29.99 after a $50.00 mail-in rebate with a two-year agreement and qualifying plan.
There's been a lot of buzz over Sprint's LTE plans lately, but the company's vice president of network development and engineering, Iyad Tarazi has just added more fuel to the fire, indicating that Sprint plans to deploy LTE-Advanced in a 10x10 configuration by the first half of 2013, using its 800MHz spectrum, offering download speeds of around 12-15 MB/s.
Meanwhile, Sprint's deployment of LTE on their 1900MHz spectrum is still on track for commercial launch by mid-2012.
It seems there's been some renewed interest in the subject of Block C LTE "no locking" provisions after news that the Motorola RAZR will come equipped with a locked bootloader per Verizon's request. About four months ago, I published an article on this very topic. To summarize: Verizon can basically do almost anything it wants with handsets on its network in the name of reasonable network management - subject to a few limitations and caveats.
The clever folks over at WirelessGoodness located an FCC filing today that indicates with a fair degree of certainty that a GSM version of the upcoming DROID RAZR is headed to either AT&T or US regional carriers, as the phone does not support T-Mobile frequencies. The filing doesn't say anything about the RAZR itself, but it does contain a part number matching the RAZR's unique non-removable battery, the first on a Motorola smartphone.
So, you want to jump over to Sprint, but don't need the fastest device on the planet?
Both Amazon Wireless and Wirefly have a good deal going on the just released EVO Design 4G by HTC: $50. Update: It's still $50 at Wirefly, but Amazon Wireless just dropped the price to $30. Of course, this requires a new two-year contract, so all current Sprintsters will be stuck paying $80, which still saves about $20 over the in-store price.
The mid-range Samsung Transform Ultra was recently announced for Boost Mobile, a pre-paid subsidiary of Sprint. It looks like the Now Network loved this little guy so much, though, that it just had to snag its own version, too -- but don't expect many (or any, really) changes over the Boost Version.
The Transform Ultra is sporting a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB RAM, a 3MP rear camera and VGA front-facing, with a 3.5-inch display, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and Android 2.3.