Normally we're pretty pleased when we can report that a new country or carrier has enabled the option for carrier billing in the Google Play Store, allowing customers to charge app and media purchases directly to their phone bill. But for some reason, European carrier Vodafone seems to have dropped the option entirely. Vodafone has disappeared from the list of carrier billing partners on Google's Play Store support page, and we've confirmed the loss of capability from individual users in the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
After 14 years together, Verizon and Vodafone are calling it quits. Verizon will buy out Vodafone's 45% stake in Verizon Wireless to gain full control of the company. The two wireless giants have agreed to a deal valued at $130 billion, which includes $58.9 billion in cash, $60.2 billion in Verizon stock, and $11 billion in additional cash from smaller deals. This confirms rumors that began surfacing late last week.
United Kingdom citizens, your long wait for LTE service is finally over... assuming you haven't gotten fed up and switched to EE already. Vodafone and O2, half of the UK's "big four" wireless providers, have both switched on their 4G/LTE networks today. Vodafone's LTE network is limited to London at the moment, while O2's network fares slightly better with a rollout to London, Leeds, and Bradford.
EE has had a de facto monopoly on LTE/4G in the UK (none of the carriers across the pond ever muddied the "4G" name with HSPA service, so the terms are interchangeable) since October of last year thanks to the government's spectrum licensing.
The phone is up for pre-order on all of the UK's major networks - EE, Three UK, Vodafone, O2, Orange, and T-Mobile - as well as Carphone Warehouse, Phones4u, and Amazon. Don't know which network to go with? Let's break it down for you...
It's easy for the tech world to forget that not everyone is looking to buy a new $200 phone on contract every six months. Vodafone UK hasn't forgotten, though. The British carrier is launching a new service to help put top-tier smartphones in the hands of pay-as-you-go customers by selling them lightly used hardware. More specifically, phones exchanged within the carrier's 7-day return window.
If you're buying a phone without a contract, the up-front cost would be slightly cheaper, as one would expect from a used device.
It was only a couple of months ago that Sony introduced its new budget smartphone - the Xperia tipo - but after implementing a few spec boosts and increasing the size of the screen, they're ready for round 2, and this time they've brought the Xperia miro into the ring.
There's no doubt that the miro is still very much a budget smartphone, it's available for £150 SIM-free, but Sony has managed to make it look and feel the part thanks to a nice plastic material covering the back, and an LED which shines between the screen and capacitive touch buttons each time you turn on the display.
Now that Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S III Mini, Phones4U has started to take pre-orders in the UK, with prices for the mid-range phone starting at £25 a month.
All of the tariffs on offer from Vodafone, Orange, and O2 offer the phone for free, although none of the plans include a data allowance over 1GB per month.
The cheapest option is available from Vodafone, giving you 300 minutes, unlimited texts, and a paltry 250MB of data per month for £25.
Following the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note II in the UK on Monday, Vodafone is now offering the device alongside Three.
The network has only the white version of the Note II for now, with plans starting at £33 a month for 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data. At this price, you will also have to pay £149 up-front. For £37 a month, you can get unlimited minutes and texts and double your data allowance to 1GB per month as well, with the phone costing £99.
It looks like mobile device users in the UK can expect 4G services to begin rolling out a bit sooner than previously expected – six months sooner, to be specific.
The Wallstreet Journal reported Tuesday that the UK government has struck a deal with the UK's four largest mobile operators which will enable the auction of 4G mobile spectrum to begin at the end of 2012, with bidding beginning in early 2013.
We're already expecting to see a good number of new devices, like the Galaxy Note 2, announced at next week's IFA Conference in Berlin. It looks like Vodafone has an unveiling of its own, as well; the company just announced that an LTE-packing version of the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity will be outed.
Given the mobile-connected Infinity's model number - TF700KL - we assume that this one will ship with the Krait processor instead of the Tegra 3, which we know doesn't play well with LTE.