After years of back-and-forth boardroom negotiations, handshakes with government officials, a failure along the way, and many doses of hard bargaining, Sprint and T-Mobile are on track to merge and form a wireless carrier with a total of 137 million subscribers. The Department of Justice recently greenlit the deal, all we're waiting for now is the FCC vote. Today, the countdown has begun as commission chairman Ajit Pai announced his support for the combination. Read More
Securus Technologies is a Texas-based company, specializing in providing and monitoring calls to prison inmates. Securus came into the spotlight earlier this month, when a former Missouri sheriff was found using the company's service to repeatedly track people without a warrant. The New York Times reports that between 2014 and 2017, former sheriff Cory Hutcheson used the service at least 11 times, allegedly tracking a judge and members of the State Highway Patrol.
Securus obtains tracking information through a company called LocationSmart, which in turn has agreements with most U.S. carriers. Earlier this month, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon wrote a letter to various carriers asking them to independently verify that these requests are made lawfully. Read More
If you bought a Galaxy Note8 on Big Red, be sure to check your phone for updates. Verizon has announced it is rolling out an update for the Note8, containing changes to the camera app and various security fixes. Read More
Virgin Mobile has been a popular pre-paid wireless carrier in the United States for a while now, using Sprint's network as a backend. As with most carriers in the US, both iPhones and Android devices were available to customers. However, Virgin has now partnered with Apple and will only offer iPhones moving forward. Read More
In the wake of the horrific concert bombing in Manchester, AT&T is offering free calls to the area and will credit any calls or SMS messages made to England from the 22nd to 24th. Virgin Media is making all calls to Manchester landlines in the 0161 prefix area free. Virgin Mobile in the US is also waiving fees, as is Sprint. No word yet from T-Mobile or Verizon, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them do the same soon. Read More
You can still spend nearly $1000 on a phone if you want, but there are vastly cheaper options that aren't terrible. ZTE has been making great strides in the "cheap but not bad" space lately, and it has just announced a new device called the MAX XL. As the name suggests, it's a big phone. The price isn't big, though. This device is live on Boost Mobile today for $129.99, and it's on sale for $28 off. Read More
It looks like budget-focused Sprint subsidiary Virgin Mobile USA is taking a page out of T-Mobile's book. Starting on Friday, the carrier will allow users to access certain streaming music services without taking the requisite hit to their data caps. The selection is a bit paltry at the moment (and notably lacking in both Google Play Music and Apple's Music service), but fans of Pandora Radio, Slacker, and iHeart Radio should be glad to hear that they can listen to practically unlimited amounts of music while they're out and about without incurring an extra charge.
Virgin Mobile is also reshuffling its phone plans. Read More
Among postpaid plans, shared data has become par for the course. Your family (or "family") gets a certain allocation of data that everyone is allowed to use. This way instead of everyone getting 2GB of 3G/4G LTE, with a few people hardly touching their allotment and others burning through theirs in a week, the heavy users can have at the otherwise unused data as well.
Now Virgin Mobile is bringing the same treatment to prepaid, no-contract plans. In a deal that's available exclusively at Walmart, the Sprint subsidiary is letting customers sign up for a "Data Done Right" plan for roughly $30 a line. Read More
The Sharp Aquos Crystal is very close to being an Android nerd's dream device. It has virtually no bezel (except on the bottom) and comes with a stock version of Android 4.4.2. It looks unlike anything else on the market in the US today, and many Sprint customers will no doubt be happy to pick one up from the carrier starting today at $239.99 off-contract. People who prefer to walk out without putting any money down can get the phone for $10 a month.
People looking to pick up the Aquos Crystal through one of the carrier's MVNOs can get a better deal. Read More
Perhaps you noticed that AT&T started selling the low-cost HTC Desire 610 late last month for just $0.99 on-contract and $200 without. That was apparently only the first step in HTC's attempted conquest on the mid-range device market in the US. The 610 is now on sale direct from HTC and the Desire 816 is launching on August 12th (tomorrow) on Virgin Mobile and direct from HTC.