Carriers and phone manufacturers might be talking about nothing but 5G lately, but when it comes to the infrastructure that keeps most of us online, day-in and day-out, the US still very much runs on LTE. While such 4G coverage is fantastically strong in many places, that's still far from the case everywhere, and it hasn't always been easy to get straight answers from the carriers about exactly what kind of reception you can expect, and where. Thankfully, the FCC has just taken a big step towards fixing that, publishing its first standardized nationwide map of 4G coverage.
Samsung's new Galaxy S21 series is now shipping to buyers, and just like last year, there are three models to choose from. Even though all of them — the S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra — are cheaper than their S20 counterparts, they can still cost you up to $1,200. Finding the best deal possible could save you hundreds of dollars.
Google has finally revealed the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G today, following months of leaks and rumors. Both phones are available for pre-order starting today, and while the pricing is the same no matter where you get them from, some stores offer bonuses and trade-in promotions that sweeten the deal.
Cellular carriers have earned many negative impressions over the years for poor billing practices, unfair contracts, and some dubious attempts to insert themselves where they might not belong; but there's no denying that they have a good track record for giving a little back in times of crisis. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, carriers in the U.S. have committed to not terminate customers' lines and provide more data and cheaper plans to those who need them.
Samsung put out its phones. We've put out our review. You've yet to make a purchase decision. It's okay. If you didn't pre-order a Galaxy S20, S20+, or S20 Ultra, don't worry: depending on which retailer your prefer, you may have greater incentive to buy a shiny new 5G phone today. We've got the details on all the sweeteners these brands are offering to get a shiny new slab in your hands.
When you live in a remote area, carrier coverage maps are supposed to help you choose the best service for your location so you don't end up with no signal at all. To no one's surprise, a test conducted by the FCC brings to light that some mobile internet providers tend to overestimate the speed and reach of their network — you could even conclude that they're outright lying about their coverage about 40% of the time. The carriers blame the FCC for their inaccurate maps and claim that they just followed the agency's instructions on how to submit coverage data, which they say led to the overestimates, understandably.
The Pixel 4 and 4 XL have been announced and already, the masses have flocked to online retail outlets to make their pre-orders. Over time, more carriers will sign on with their own sales. So, we're gonna help you keep track of where you can buy the latest Google phones and what you'll be getting for your money with this handy-dandy post right here, which will be updated when necessary.
Congress has told voice service providers to shut down robocallers and instate call blocking by default. The FCC has mandated just the same. Now, 12 voice service providers have agreed to a series of principles drawn by attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia that include offering that call blocking to consumers for free, implementing STIR/SHAKEN across their networks, and cooperating in investigations.
Samsung's Galaxy Note10, Note10+, and Note10+ 5G are all official. Following that long and leaky wait, you can now pre-order the latest stylus-equipped Note series flagship. And whether you're already locked into a specific carrier, or hoping to shop around for a deal, you can save quite a bit of cash taking advantage of the right pre-order promotions.
The rise of 5G is exciting, but taking full advantage of its potential is going to require carriers to expand their coverage into new parts of the RF spectrum. The FCC has been auctioning off the rights to some of these frequencies and has just completed the process for the 24GHz band while also announcing the winners of its 28GHz band auction. As was expected from the outset, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon were the largest bidders and winners of the processes.