When a mobile network sells you a phone with a costly contract, it makes sure that switching providers won't be easy. Handsets have traditionally been locked to the carrier who sold it, and you have to jump through hoops to get it unlocked. From December next year, this practice will no longer be permitted in the UK as regulator Ofcom is banning the sale of locked phones by network operators.
Dish has officially completed the acquisition of the merged T-Mobile's mandated divestiture of its various prepaid carriers — now all under the Boost Mobile umbrella — valued at $1.4 billion. With new ownership comes immediate changes such as a modified logo and new rate plans effective tomorrow.
One of the laces left untied in the closure of the Sprint and T-Mobile merger was the condition that the combined carrier would sell prepaid entity Boost Mobile to Dish Network. Now, after a blip of a possibility that the satellite company would back out of negotiations, the two have officially locked into the divestiture deal.
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.
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.
Amidst news of the Department of Justice's approval of its merger with Sprint, T-Mobile has announced a record second quarter with big gains in both subscribers and revenues. In its earnings call, the carrier tooted its horn about its rapid pace of capital expenditure related to 600MHz and millimeter wave spectrum and painted a couple of insights to its spectrum and MVNO sale to Dish.
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.
Every day we seem to be inundated with ads about who has the absolute cheapest data plan. Online, television, billboards, junk mail, even old-fashioned radio - it seems I can't go five minutes without each carrier telling me how much cheaper they are than everyone else, going so far as to hire old Verizon spokesmen and make dubious claims about reliability.
You know what? To hell with all of that. I've looked at every smartphone plan from every nationwide carrier in the country, big and small, to find the absolute cheapest plans. Let's pinch some freakin' pennies.
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.
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.