Apple ‘trying to fix’ iPhone roaming charges

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 2, 2015

The wireless industry has been plagued with a bunch of illogical business practices, most of which were conceived to take advantage of consumers, really. On the other hand, carriers like T-Mobile have successfully exploited the sad state of the U.S. wireless industry to fix some of the most glaring customer pain points.

Apple, too, appears to have vested interest in wrestling power away from the carriers. According to Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue in the British publication The Evening Standard, the Cupertino firm is now “trying to fix” one of the wireless industry’s dirtiest tactics: exorbitant roaming charges. Read More


AT&T raises LTE throttling threshold for unlimited customers to 22GB

By Cody Lee on Sep 16, 2015

AT&T on Wednesday updated its website with a minor but noteworthy change to its throttling policy. The carrier says it will no longer throttle subscribers on grandfathered unlimited data plans in congested areas until they surpass 22GB of data in a single bill cycle.

The move represents a significant change from AT&T’s previous stance on throttling, which was to start slowing down unlimited data plan customers in high-traffic areas after just 5GB of usage, and it probably has something to do with the FCC’s $100 million fine. Read More


AT&T Wi-Fi calling rolling out to some iOS 9 beta users

By Cody Lee on Aug 11, 2015

AT&T on Tuesday began rolling out support for Wi-Fi calling to some iPhone users running iOS 9 beta 5. The feature was added when that beta was released to developers last week, but testers on the AT&T network are only just now able to activate it.

For those unfamiliar with Wi-Fi calling, it allows iPhone users to place phone calls over Wi-Fi instead of their cellular network. The feature was first activated for T-Mobile in iOS 8, and users have reported better call quality and improved battery life. Read More


T-Mobile overtakes Sprint to become third largest US carrier

By Cody Lee on Aug 4, 2015

It’s official. T-Mobile has overtaken Sprint to become the third largest carrier in the United States. During its earnings call on Tuesday, Sprint told investors that it ended its most recent quarter, which ended in June, with 56.8 million customers.

That falls just shy of the 58.9 million subscribers T-Mobile finished with in its most recent quarter, which also ended in June, officially moving the Magenta-colored company into the third largest US carrier spot, behind AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Read More


AT&T fined $100 million by FCC over unlimited data throttling

By Cody Lee on Jun 17, 2015

The US Federal Communications Commission announced plans on Wednesday to fine AT&T $100 million for unsuitable throttling practices. The Commission issued a press release on its website this morning proclaiming the decision, charging the carrier with violating the ‘2010 Open Internet Transparency Rule.’

The move comes as the result of an in-depth investigation, where the FCC found that AT&T—the second largest wireless provider in the US—had not adequately informed its customers with unlimited data plans that it would be dramatically slowing down their Internet access once they crossed a particular threshold. Read More


Carrier Settings Update: what it is and how to check for it

By Sébastien Page on Jun 11, 2015

From time to time, you might see a Carrier Settings Update message pop up on your iPhone, saying that new settings are available, and asking if you would like to update them now. Admittedly, this message is somewhat cryptic, and doesn’t give you any information regarding what’s included in the update or where it’s coming from. Maybe even worth, I’ve had a friend ask me once if his iPhone got hacked as the message looked suspicious to him. Read More


AT&T pulling back on throttling of unlimited LTE customers

By Cody Lee on May 7, 2015

AT&T is pulling back on its throttling efforts against unlimited LTE customers, reports ArsTechnica. The site noticed that the carrier recently changed its policy to say that it will only throttle users with unlimited LTE data plans who have both exceeded 5GB in a billing cycle and are in an area experiencing network congestion.

Previously, AT&T’s policy said that unlimited LTE users could experience slower data speeds after reaching 5GB, with no mention of location. The change comes after customers complained the carrier’s throttling—some reported speeds as slow as 0.5Mbps—was part of its strategy to sway them away from their unlimited plans. Read More


Google unveils ‘Project Fi,’ an MVNO with plans starting at $20 per month

By Cody Lee on Apr 22, 2015

After years of rumors and speculation, Google is officially getting into the wireless business. The tech giant on Wednesday announced “Project Fi,” an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) set to shake up the wireless industry with plans starting at $20 per month.

Google has teamed up with Sprint and T-Mobile for the project, and it will piggyback on their networks. The service is designed to allow devices to dynamically switch between the carriers’ networks and nearby Wi-Fi networks, depending on which offers better service. Read More


Sprint will send someone to your house to set up your iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 13, 2015

Monday, U.S. wireless carrier Sprint announced Direct 2 You, an industry-first new service that sends a retail-trained Sprint expert to your home or other location who will deliver and set up your iPhone or other device, promising to change how customers buy or upgrade their phones, tablets and other mobile devices.

In addition to bringing a mobile device to your own home, office or other location of your choice, Sprint’s experts will set it up on your behalf and transfer all the content, including contacts, pictures, videos and apps, from an old device to a new one, simplifying switching from one platform to another. Read More


Sprint launches free unlimited international roaming when traveling to select countries

By Sébastien Page on Apr 11, 2015

Taking a page from T-Mobile’s Uncarrier book, Sprint announced on Friday that the company will offer free unlimited international roaming to customers traveling to specific countries. Read More


Google wants you to have free international roaming with its new network

By Jake Smith on Apr 5, 2015

Google wants US subscribers of its upcoming mobile phone service to be able to roam the globe and see no extra charges. Specifically, The Telegraph reports Google is in talks with Hutchison Whampoa, the owner of the mobile operator Three and soon O2 in the UK. Read More


T-Mobile’s new coverage map uses crowdsourcing for near ‘real-time’ results

By Jake Smith on Mar 30, 2015

T-Mobile is trying to once again shake things up in the mobile industry with the announcement of a new, real-time coverage map for prospective customers.

Boasting itself as “the industry’s first and only crowdsourced, customer-verified network coverage map”, T-Mobile is aiming to show new data bi-monthly to help you decide if it’s worth making the switch. Read More


Sprint will pay what it costs for you to switch carriers

By Jake Smith on Mar 15, 2015

Sprint really wants your business. Not only will it cut your bill in half, but now the nation’s fourth-largest carrier will pay the early termination fee and any remaining payments at its competitors for you to come over to its network.

The early termination fee is why many customers don’t make the switch from one carrier to another. In many cases, the fee is required to be paid to end the two-year contract carriers like to lock you into. Read More


iOS 8.2 arriving Monday, here are full release notes

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 5, 2015

Backtracking on its previous report which claimed iOS 8.2 would be released for public consumption this week, BGR is now claiming that the software will be released to the public next week.

According to BGR founder and editor Jonathan Geller, Apple’s decided to release one more Gold Master (GM) version crying a build number of 12D508 to employees and testers ahead of an expected launch this coming Monday.

Jump past the fold for full release notes. Read More


T-Mobile can’t afford to keep going, parent company says

By Jake Smith on Jan 19, 2015

While T-Mobile and its UnCarrier strategy are great for customers like you and me, apparently it’s not the best for business.

Tim Hoetthes, CEO of T-Mobile US’ parent company Deutsche Telekom, said in an interview with Recode the company’s current path is unsustainable and something needs to change.  Read More


AT&T and T-Mobile could owe you money – here’s how to request it

By Jake Smith on Dec 29, 2014

The FCC negotiated settlements with both T-Mobile and AT&T over mobile “cramming”, an act carriers know all too well by sneaking recurring monthly charges onto your bill through ringtones, trivia, horoscopes and more. Read More


Sprint just had a bad day: Record FCC fine, no more Nascar partnership

By Jake Smith on Dec 16, 2014

Sprint just had a pretty bad day, sending its stock down 5 percent after some troubling news. The Wall Street Journal reports an FCC official confirmed the regulatory body is preparing to fine Sprint, the nation’s third-largest mobile carrier, a record $105 million after allegations it charged consumers for unwanted text message alerts and other services. Read More


AT&T bumps 10GB Mobile Share plan to 15GB in limited time promo

By Cody Lee on Nov 17, 2014

AT&T announced a new promotion today regarding its Mobile Share Value plans. The limited-time offer gives qualified customers 15GB of monthly shareable data, for the price of 10GB, which typically runs $100 per month plus device access charges.

The change puts AT&T’s 15GB plan on-par price-wise with Verizon’s 15GB More Everything share plan, which also runs $100 per month plus access charges. These access charges for both plans run $40 per device, unless you subscribe to Next or Edge. Read More


AT&T says it’s no longer tracking subscribers using perma-cookies

By Cody Lee on Nov 15, 2014

AT&T told the Associated Press on Friday that it is no longer using permanent cookies to track its subscribers. In late October, security researchers discovered that the carrier, along with its competitor Verizon, were using unique identifying numbers or “perma-cookies” to track their customers online habits.

A spokesperson for AT&T said that the tracking practice was part of a pilot program to improve targeted marketing called “Relevant Advertising.” But it says that the experiment is over, and it has pulled the identifying numbers from their customers’ accounts, although it may still sell the data it’s collected. Read More


Verizon tweaks ETF policy to make it more expensive to cancel

By Cody Lee on Nov 14, 2014

Heads up to anyone thinking about signing a new plan or equipment contract with Verizon in the near future, it just tweaked its early termination fee (ETF) policy. Spotted by DroidLife, the policy makes it more expensive to cancel your contract with the carrier during the first 8 months.

Previously, Verizon’s ETF with a 2-year contract would decline $10 for each month of the term you completed, so after 8 months your ETF would be 80$ cheaper. But under the new policy, until you complete the 8th month of service, you’d be stuck paying the full $350 ETF for canceling. Read More

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