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Carriers

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Project Fi now has coverage in 170 countries

Google's Project Fi would already work in 135 countries around the world, but today that number balloons to a whopping 170. In newly added countries like Belize and Myanmar, you pay the same $10 per gigabyte of data, and data after bill protection kicks in is free (but slow). You'll even know if a country is covered before you go just by opening the Fi app.

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Sprint plans to begin 5G rollout in first half of 2019 with higher unlimited plan prices

The 4G era has not been kind to Sprint. It went from a strong number three in the US wireless market to a distant fourth place behind T-Mobile. The company hopes that the move to 5G will help it regain market share and compete on network quality. CEO Marcelo Claure now says the carrier will begin its 5G rollout in the first half of 2019, putting it ahead of the other national carriers. However, that new network will likely come with higher plan prices.

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T-Mobile tops JD Power wireless customer care rankings, Sprint a distant fourth place

T-Mobile has un-carried itself back to the top of J.D. Power's customers care rankings for full-service wireless carriers. The latest survey, which evaluates consumers' satisfaction with their carriers' customer service, shows Verizon and AT&T taking spots two and three respectively, and Sprint...well, someone needs to do something about Sprint.

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OnePlus investigating US carrier deals, will launch next flagship in late Q2

OnePlus has gotten where it is by selling unlocked phones directly to consumers at a rapid pace. The sub-$500 OnePlus 5 was only out for around five months before the 5T usurped it. Now, OnePlus is looking into potential carrier deals in the US to move future phones in larger numbers. Speaking of future phones, OnePlus confirms a new phone is coming in a few months.

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The first real 5G wireless standard is official

Every carrier is clamoring to roll out a 5G network, or at least something they can reasonably market as 5G. After a long, long development period, the 3GPP wireless governance organization has released the first official 5G standard, known as 5G NR. Formalizing the 5G standard gives carriers and hardware makers the pieces they need to begin moving full speed ahead toward a 5G future. Maybe we can get this transition done without anyone re-branding their 4G service as 5G.

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T-Mobile quietly launches LTE CellSpot V2 and Signal Booster Duo

T-Mobile has done a lot to improve its network in recent years, but there are still places where you can't get a good signal. The carrier has long offered devices to boost signal, and it quietly snuck out some new versions of them this month. T-Mobile is now offering the CellSpot V2 and Signal Booster Duo to qualifying customers for (mostly) free.

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OEMs and carriers are working with GSMA to create an open standard for advanced network features

We live in an era when phones often support a dozen or more LTE bands, making them functional on virtually all carriers. Simply working on a carrier might not be enough anymore. There are advanced network technologies like VoLTE and WiFi calling that require device makers and carriers to collaborate to test and certify phones. The GMSA has taken note of this clunky process, and is now working with its partners to develop an open standard for delivering carrier features to more phones.

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T-Mobile offering Nest Secure bundle with discounted subscription to Nest Aware and cellular backup

Nest started shipping the Nest Secure system a few days ago, but there will be another way to get Nest's new security system later this week. T-Mobile has announced it will sell a Nest Secure bundle beginning November 10th. It includes some extra hardware, financing, and a small discount on your monthly service fees.

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Sprint and T-Mobile could announce a merger by the end of the month

A report from CNBC last month claimed that T-Mobile and Sprint were in talks of a merger. While a merger/buyout between the two carriers has been rumored for years, CNBC claimed that T-Mobile's parent company Deutsche Telekom would emerge as the majority owner of the new combined carrier. According to a new report from Bloomberg, negotiations between the two companies are almost complete.

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T-Mobile boosts prioritization point on unlimited lines from 32GB to 50GB

T-Mobile is all in on unlimited data plans—you can't even buy a traditional capped plan anymore. Oh, there are still limits, of course, but Tmo isn't alone there. However, T-Mobile is making one of its unlimited limits a bit less irksome. Unlimited users now have to use more data before the network starts slowing them down.

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