The big news in the wireless business this week has been AT&T's upcoming purchase of Leap Wireless, which the FCC approved yesterday. The deal has been in the works since July of last year. That leaves AT&T in an interesting spot, since it now owns the CDMA-based Cricket Wireless, which directly competes with the budget-focused Aio sub-brand. Apparently AT&T prefers the more established brand, because the company said it will combine the assets of both under the "Cricket" name.
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of its LTE rollout, T-Mobile has announced a major network upgrade plan that is sure to make a lot of customers a little happier. Anyone who has ever tried to use T-Mobile's network outside of densely-populated areas has undoubtedly noticed that, out in the sticks, the data speeds are almost always 2G/EDGE. Well, apparently that's all about to change. According to a new press release, it plans to upgrade its existing 2G/EDGE network to LTE and begin deploying additional LTE coverage on the 700 MHz A-Block spectrum that it's acquiring from Verizon.
Verizon's LTE version of the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition tablet is now available online. Its existence isn't a surprise following @evleaks' previous leak of the device, but today we have an official product page to point you towards. This one. You can get the tablet for $599.99 with a two-year contract or $699.99 without.
Competition is a wonderful thing. As the market continues to react to a push for lower prices from T-Mobile and other cellular service companies, customers are getting more and more economical options. AT&T's latest reactionary price change to its Mobile Share Value plans drops the base price by $15 for single-user plans and family plans with up to two smartphones. That makes the price $65 a month and $90 a month for one and two people, respectively.
Like all of the current writers and editors for Android Police, I'm American. Which means that my understanding of cricket is something along the lines of, "like baseball, but more British." That gives me the vague impression that during the seventh inning stretch everyone stops to sing God Save The Queen and heads to the concession stand for tea. If you know more about the noble sport of cricket than I do, you'll be pleased to hear that Google just added support for scores and schedules to Google Now.
All joking aside, we know this is a big deal for sports fans in India, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, and several other countries.
Customers who want Android tablets on Verizon's admittedly excellent LTE network tend to have only a few options, but there are two more this morning. Flagships from both LG and Samsung, the G Pad 8.3 and Galaxy Note Pro (or NotePRO) 12.2, are now available as branded Verizon devices. You can pick both of them up on the carrier website, and they should be available at retail stores either today or soon after.
Sprint has posted the details regarding an impending OTA for the Galaxy Tab 3. This software update won't turn the tablet into a brand new device, nor will it even bring along much in the way of fresh air, but it's better than nothing. Software version T217SVPUANB8 will improve WiFi, install KNOX, and make the WiFi "auto network switch" default to off. That last one's pretty specific, but Sprint says it will ultimately enable users to connect to any WiFi network regardless of its strength by suppressing the "Your internet connection is unstable" error message.
Verizon's version of the Galaxy S III Mini (you know, the one with the defaced home button) is slated to receive a minor over-the-air update in the coming days, bringing along software version G730VVRUANA4. The update is indeed fairly unremarkable, updating some of that lovely Verizon bloat, removing a "never time out" feature from Bluetooth settings, adding photos to incoming calls on call waiting, and something about "enhanced device security" (probably Android security patches).