Think of Sprint as the Little Engine That Could. It's tinkered with 4G perhaps longer than any of America's other major carriers, but it has little to show for it. There are large swaths of the country that don't have LTE coverage and the speeds aren't necessarily that fast in the areas that do. Still, those of us on Sprint's network must hold on to hope. The company is hard at work, and today they've announced the availability of 4G LTE in 41 new markets.
If you're on The Now Network and looking for a new phone, you'd be hard-pressed to find one better than the Galaxy S4 (with one exception, depending on your personal preference). And in keeping with their tradition of rock-bottom prices at surprisingly fast intervals, Amazon Wireless is now offering the 16GB model for just $99.99 on-contract, to both new customers and existing subscribers adding a line.
Activation is free for new Sprint customers, as is two-day shipping (even without an Amazon Prime account).
Update: Sprint has officially announced these new plans as of tonight.
As you may have already heard, Sprint is gearing up to put some new plans called Unlimited, My Way and My All-In in motion. From what we've seen, the new plans likely won't replace the old Everything plans, but they are definitely different in essentially every way. And for some, they may even be cheaper.
Sprint announced in a press release this afternoon that SoftBank's acquisition of the Sprint Corporation had officially been completed. The two companies announced a mutual interest back in October of last year. After struggling with competing bids from Dish Network, SoftBank received its final regulatory approval for the merger from the FCC just a week ago.
The merger gives SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son overarching control of Sprint as chairman of the Sprint board of directors, though Dan Hesse will stay on as the Sprint Corporation's CEO.
In case that Google Play Edition HTC One doesn't strike your fancy, or the price tag is too outlandish, there's always the subsidized carrier version. Amazon has chopped a bit more off the cost of the HTC One on both AT&T and Sprint. Both devices are now $49.99 with a new line on a 2-year contract.
This deal matches what WireFly did for the Sprint model last month, but that retailer doesn't offer AT&T phones at all.
If you use the stock browser on the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4, you may notice the strange button in the corner. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the Lumen Toolbar. It shipped on the S4, but Sprint is just now detailing it as part of the carrier's Pinsight Media+ mobile advertising program. You know those obnoxious toolbars that programs are always trying to cram on your PC? This is the same thing, but your carrier is doing it to you.
It's not much of a surprise at this point, but the Federal Communications Commission has approved the tri-company merger deal involving Japanese carrier SoftBank, Sprint, and Clearwire. The FCC ruling follows Justice Department approval several weeks ago, and some delicious drama that ended with Dish Network being shut out of the deal.
SoftBank is throwing $21.6 billion at Sprint to acquire a 78% stake in the company. Sprint is now also free to buy the remaining 49% of Clearwire it doesn't already own, giving it a big juicy slice of wireless spectrum.
If you bought into the ruggedized LTE device hype and picked up a Kyocera Torque on Sprint, then good news is afoot: your little tank is getting its taste of Jelly Bean beginning in just three days' time. According to Sprint's update blog, the Torque should begin receiving an update on July 5th that not only brings Android 4.1.2 to the rough-and-tough handset, but also international calling, the ability to "power cycle," email sync fixes, and enhancements to sleep mode.
If you've been clinging steadfastly to one of the tiny number of iDEN Android phones ever produced, you better have backup plan. Sprint shut off the old Nextel iDEN network yesterday (June 30th) just like it said it would. That juicy Nextel spectrum will be worth much more to Sprint as the backbone of its ever-expanding LTE network. Sprint is still happy to take you money, but only if you use the CDMA/LTE network.