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MetroPCS Makes The ZTE Avid 4G Official - An LTE Smartphone That Costs $150 Off Contract

If you're looking for an LTE smartphone on a serious budget, look no further - MetroPCS may have just unveiled the cheapest LTE phone to date, in the form of the $150 ZTE Avid 4G. Yes, really, an LTE phone that costs $150. Color us shocked (well, as shocked as we can get about budget phones).

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Of course, the Avid 4G is designed to also work with Metro's CDMA network, (thus that whole PCS business) so it won't do much good outside America's smallest national carrier.

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Republic Wireless To Customers: "It's Not OK To Root Your Phone"

Just like subscribers to any other phone service provider, advanced users of the hybrid 3G/WiFi mobile virtual network Republic Wireless are eager to customize and modify their phones - probably more so, in fact. That's why we posted a rooting guide for the only Republic phone available, the Motorola Defy XT.  But in a message to the Republic subscriber base, an employee clarified the company's position on rooting, custom ROMs and other modifications to the Android hardware it provides to its customers.

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[Deal Alert] HTC EVO LTE Now $0.01 For New Customers And Upgrades From Amazon Wireless

If you've been waiting for the best possible price on the EVO LTE, it's time to go ahead and buy. Why? Because Amazon Wireless is letting this handset go for a penny, and, well, it doesn't get much more affordable than that. This deal's good for both new customers and upgrades, so it's open for basically everyone (granted you're already eligible for upgrade). And of course, let's not forget that the handset was recently updated to Android 4.1, so now it's full of Jelly Bean goodness.

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AT&T Launches Several New LTE Markets, Expands In A Few Others

Another day, another set of LTE networks. That's how the old saying goes, right? Eh, it's something like that, and when we're talking about the mobile world, I'd say that's pretty damn accurate. Just five days ago, AT&T announced a handful of LTE Market updates and expansions - not to be outdone by Verizon's twofer this month, though, Big Blue has just upped the ante with another set of activations.

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Sprint Lights Up Six New LTE Markets, Including Indianapolis, Santa Rosa, And Hanover, PA

You know the drill by now. It's time for some new LTE market announcements! Woo! Party hard. The network rollouts today are coming to Pennsylvania, California, Indiana, Virginia and Puerto Rico. This comes on the heels of Sprint announcing its intention to purchase the remaining shares of Clearwire that it didn't already own.

Here's the list of new cities:

  • Indianapolis/Carmel, Ind.
  • Santa Rosa/Petaluma, Calif.
  • Vallejo/Fairfield, Calif.
  • Southern Puerto Rico (including Ponce, Coamo and Guayama)
  • York/Hanover, Pa.
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CyanogenMod 10.1 Nightlies Arrive For Verizon And Sprint Galaxy S III Variants

The CyanogenMod team has been slowly but surely rolling out CM 10.1 builds for various devices - mostly Samsung - over the last week or so. A handful of new tablets and phones hit just yesterday, including the LTE Galaxy Nexus variants, 3G Nexus 7, Galaxy S, SII, some SIII variants, and Galaxy Tab 2. Adding to that list, builds for the Verizon and Sprint variants just hit the scene this morning.

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Verizon Announces Several More LTE Markets For December 20th

After a couple years of working on its LTE Network, we've come to expect these monthly market activations from VZW. The lists started off small - consisting of mostly big cities - but as the towns get smaller, the lists get longer. Earlier this month, Big Red announced that it would be bringing LTE to a slew of new markets on December 20th:

  • Port Angeles, WA
  • Port Townsend, WA
  • Sequim, WA
  • Kennewick, WA
  • Pasco, WA
  • Richland, WA
  • Klamath Falls, OR
  • Roseburg, OR
  • Jackson Hole, WY
  • Teton Village, WY
  • Kemmerer WY
  • Pinedale, WY
  • Price, UT
  • Richfield, UT
  • Lamar, CO
  • LaJunta, CO

Today, however, it has expanded that list by several more areas:

  • Marshalltown, IA
  • Saddlebrooke, AZ
  • Ruidoso, NM
  • Flagstaff, Prescott, And Sedona, AZ
  • Casa Grande, AZ
  • Farmington and Gallup, NM
  • Payson, AZ
  • Mason City and Charles City, IA
  • Oskaloosa, IA
  • McCook, NE

December 20th is the big day for all those cities, as well - looks like you're only three days away from saying goodbye to VZW's [less than spectacular] 3G network for good.

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OTA Update Coming To T-Mobile's Galaxy Note II Beginning December 19th, Brings Multi-Window And More

There's no doubt that the breakout feature of Samsung's Note II is multi-window, which allows users to run two apps side-by-side on the device's massive 5.5" display. The thing is, this isn't yet available on all versions of the Note II, though Samsung has been doing a pretty good job of getting updates ready and rolling out to all the different variants.

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Beginning on Wednesday, December 19th, T-Mo's Note II is next in line to receive multi-window in an OTA update.

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Sprint Is Buying 100% Of Clearwire For $2.2bn, Will Invest $80m Per Month For 10 Months While Deal Awaits Approval

Today, Sprint announced that it would be spending $2.2bn to acquire the remaining (roughly) half of Clearwire that it doesn't already own. The transaction, which is naturally subject to regulatory approval, will give the carrier ownership of all of Clearwire's significant share of spectrum, which will be a huge boost to Sprint as it attempts to build out an LTE network to compete with Verizon and AT&T.

Of course, these deals can take forever to close, so in the meantime, the two companies have entered into a rather brilliant agreement: Sprint has promised to buy roughly $80m worth of Clearwire stock every month starting in January 2013 for up to ten months (or a total of $800m, and slightly more than 1/3rd of the total Clearwire purchase price).

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[Deal Alert] Sprint's Galaxy Note II Now $99 And LG Optimus G Only $50 For New Customers From Amazon Wireless

Apparently it's the Day of the Deal, because the savings just keep rolling in. We've already highlighted a couple of good deals on GSIIIs today, but if that's just not your cup of tea, Amazon Wireless just knocked quite a bit off the price of Sprint's Note II and Optimus G for new customers.

We've actually seen Amazon Wireless do some real damage to the Note II's price over the last few weeks: on November 20, it was $229; just three days later, on November 23, AW brought it down to $199.

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