This story was originally published and last updated .
Amid an economy-crushing pandemic, AT&T decided that now was a good time to send a scaremongering email to many of its customers, claiming that their phone "is not compatible with the new network and you need to replace it to continue receiving service." The email conveniently omits that this message is regarding a change that won't take place until February 2022, providing only a link that later calls out this change linked to the decommissioning of AT&T's legacy 3G network.
HMD Global is the manufacturer behind the Nokia brand revival and has created a plethora of well-received Android smartphones ever since that Windows Phone bet didn't work out. With Nokia re-established, the company seems to be searching for the next frontier, and it looks like it wants to start an additional business as a mobile operator. An "HMD Connect" app has silently appeared on the Play Store, and judging from the description and the listing's images, the Finnish company wants to focus its effort on providing data-only plans to those who travel a lot internationally.
Virgin Mobile is one of the smallest network carriers in the United States. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Sprint, the MVNO has been on the decline for years, and now the brand is set to cease operation as early as next month.
If you're on the lookout for a stylus-toting smartphone, the Galaxy Note series has traditionally been your only option. Unfortunately, these cost a pretty penny (except for the Note 3 Neo which Samsung sold for a hot minute), so customers on a budget were left out. LG has targetted the Note customer on a budget with the LG Stylo 5, and AT&T just announced its own variant, the Stylo 5+.
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.
AT&T recently made the headlines for some misleading business concerning its 5G network — in essence, it added a 5GE indicator on devices that don't actually support 5G. Even a lawsuit from Sprint couldn't stop the company. Now, another complaint is on its way to the carrier, this time from its customers. They are accusing AT&T of charging a monthly $1.99 "bogusAdministrative Fee" that it doesn't properly disclose in its rates.
T-Mobile and Sprint still haven't sealed the deal on a possible merger, though not for a lack of trying — approval from government regulators is the last major hurdle. T-Mobile has already promised not to raise prices for a few years if the deal is approved, but the U.S. Justice Department reportedly still isn't on board. Supposedly, the Justice Department wants the combined T-Mobile/Sprint to create a new fourth carrier, with its own dedicated network.
The road to merging two large carriers isn't an easy one. For Sprint and T-Mobile to merge into "New T-Mobile," a lot of hearts need to be won over. In October 2018, company shareholders approved the merger and in December, "Team Telecom" and the Committee on Foreign Investments green-lighted it too. The next two hurdles to cross are clearances from the Department of Justice and FCC. Yesterday, T-Mobile CEO John Legere penned a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai asking for approval. In this, he promised to keep rates "the same or less" than the current plans by T-Mobile and Sprint, for at least three years.
The FCC is ending its enforcement of net neutrality (unless the Senate can override it), but it's still an important issue. Now that it's no longer illegal, we'll probably see more carriers and ISPs begin to interfere with internet traffic as time goes on. Researchers from Northeastern University and The University of Massachusetts have published 'Wehe,' an app that can verify if your carrier or ISP is throttling or blocking some services.