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The Lead

nTelos Launches $45 Single-Line Plan with 10GB

August 28, 2014 10:31 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

nTelos today launched a promotional single-line plan that pairs unlimited talk and text with 10GB of data for $45 a month. For an extra $10, customers can upgrade to unlimited data. The promotional plans are available to new and existing customers eligible for upgrade. Subscribers have to opt for nTelos’ Equipment Installment Plan (EIP). Device charges for EIP run $35 a month.

Report: Large Carrier Interested in Buying FreedomPop

August 26, 2014 11:14 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

A major U.S. carrier is interested in acquiring Sprint MVNO FreedomPop, according to...

T-Mobile Offers Simple Starter Plans 1.5GB More for $5

August 25, 2014 11:26 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile will begin offering Simple Starter customers an additional 1.5GB of data for an...

FirstNews Briefs: Samsung, Sprint, Trimble, Wireless Ronin, Creative Realities

August 22, 2014 10:18 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Samsung is soon releasing a Multi-Charging Wall Charger that allows users to charge up to three...

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Sprint Lashes Back at T-Mobile with $60 Unlimited Single-Line Plan

August 21, 2014 1:13 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

“Sprint’s new everyday price of $60 a month for unlimited saves customers $480 over two years against T-Mobile’s $80 everyday pricing. And, customers can save $120 over two years versus T-Mobile’s promotional price…and they don’t have to jump through T-Mobile’s hoops and recruit their friends,” Sprint said in a statement.

Analyst: China Mobile Could Help Band 41 Support Make it Into New iPhone

August 21, 2014 11:42 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

China Mobile might be able to help convince Apple to put Band 41 support in the new iPhone, according to BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk. The move would be a boost to Sprint, whose massive holdings in the 2.5 GHz Band didn’t factor into the LTE support in the current iPhone models. Sprint took possession of that swath of spectrum after last year acquiring Clearwire.

T-Mobile Offering Unlimited Data for Poaching Customers

August 21, 2014 10:25 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile today announced that customers who “rescue” subscribers from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon will earn one year of free unlimited data from themselves and their friend. Beginning next week, subscribers who port over their number to T-Mobile and an existing T-Mobile subscriber will earn unlimited LTE or, if they already have unlimited data, a $10 monthly credit for 12 months.

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Sprint Prices New 'Edge-to-Edge' Sharp Smartphone at $239

August 19, 2014 5:53 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

David Owens, senior vice president of product development for Sprint, said the company will sell the device for a suggested retail price of $239 and sell it outright to prepaid customers for $149. The Aquos Crystal supports Sprint’s HD Voice product, as well as the company’s high-speed Spark network.

T-Mobile Passes Up Sprint in New RootMetrics Network Report

August 19, 2014 11:12 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In measuring during the first half of the year, RootMetrics found earned an overall score of 71.5 out of 100 and Sprint scored 69.6 out of 100 in the same category. In RootMetrics’ previous report, which covered the second half of 2013, Sprint scored 68.2 and T-Mobile scored 64.3.

FirstNews Briefs: Sharp, Sprint, AT&T, SmartPlay, Intel, Samsung

August 19, 2014 10:26 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

SmartPlay Inc., a design services company with working in digital, analog, wireless software and system design, announced that it is ready to offer design services to customers of Intel Custom Foundry that require IP in critical embedded applications. SmartPlay will provide support in SoC implementations and will offer turnkey services ranging from RTL/Netlist to GDSII.

Sprint Undercuts AT&T, Verizon with 4-Line, 20GB Plan for $160

August 19, 2014 10:07 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint announced the Sprint Family Share Pack, a new set of shared data plans that start at 600MB and reach all the way up to 60GB. Under Sprint’s new offer, four lines with unlimited talk and text plus 20GB costs $160, doubling the data allowance packages with similarly priced plans from AT&T and Verizon.

Verizon Cuts Rate Plans with Discounts for Edge Customers

August 18, 2014 2:46 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The new plan, which includes unlimited talk, text and 2GB of data for $60, or $50 if the customer signs up for Verizon’s Edge device financing program. Verizon's 'More Everything' plans include data packages that range from 250MB to 100GB of data that can be shared with up to 10 lines. 

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Contract's Up? What To Do Now

August 15, 2014 10:08 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | Articles | Comments

Although the discounts are typically less than the subsidies you're forgoing, it's the reverse for plans with at least 10 gigabytes of data. So big families sharing lots of data are probably better off with a full-price plan. That's also the case if you don't need a high-end phone, as the monthly fees for voice, text and data services factor in the costs of subsidizing the most expensive phones. 

Sprint Announcing ‘Very Disruptive’ Rate Plans Next Week

August 15, 2014 9:58 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint next week will start rolling out new “very disruptive” rate plans. Light Reading reports that new Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure held a company-wide call to detail Sprint’s new priorities, with lowering prices being number one. Claure told employees that Sprint is behind in network quality and therefore has to become more competitive on pricing. He promised new rate plans would be “simple and attractive."

T-Mobile’s Next Uncarrier Event Coming Before End of Summer

August 13, 2014 1:33 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter said the next Uncarrier announcement will come before the end of summer. Speaking at an Oppenheimer conference that was broadcast online, Carter didn’t offer details on what will be “Uncarrier 7.0,” only saying that it is “coming up very quickly.”

T-Mobile Urges FCC to Reserve Half of 600 MHz Spectrum for Smaller Carriers

August 13, 2014 11:42 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile is asking the FCC to consider reserving half or more of the 600 MHz spectrum cleared for auction for smaller carriers to bid on. In an FCC filing, T-Mobile said adjusting the spectrum reserve based on different clearing scenarios would “promote robust competition among service providers and ensure the continued vitality of four nationwide providers.”

Sprint Intros Samsung Galaxy Tab as First Spark-Enabled Slate

August 11, 2014 11:15 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Starting Aug. 15, the Tab will be available for zero down and $12.50 a month. Sprint for a limited time is offering a $10 credit for 24 months to customers who buy the new tablet and sign up for a tablet data plan of $10 a month or more. The $10 plan comes with only 100MB. Other tablet data plans offer 1GB for $15, 3GB for $35, 6GB for $50, 12GB for $80, and 30GB for $110.

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T-Mobile: We’ll Overtake Sprint in Total Customers by Year’s End

August 7, 2014 10:33 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In a press release touting his company’s new dominance in the prepaid space, T-Mobile CEO John Legere voiced the fairly safe assumption that T-Mobile would surpass Sprint in total customers by the end of 2014. “As a matter of fact, I’m going on record—I predict we’ll overtake Sprint in total customers by the end of this year. Not someday. Not next year. This year,” Legere said in a statement.

Will Scrapped Sprint-T-Mobile Deal Mean Lower Prices?

August 7, 2014 9:26 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Lower cellphone bills seem like a good thing for consumers. But T-Mobile and Sprint are already losing money and AT&T's profits are down. (Verizon, as the market leader, is doing fine.) This matters because U.S. wireless carriers invest more in their networks than European companies, and higher profits in the U.S. are a big part of the reason.

Analysts: Sprint, Claure Need to Move Now to Reaffirm Value Leadership

August 6, 2014 11:00 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Incoming CEO Marcelo Claure will still have his hands full as he looks to reassure investors that Sprint has a plan beyond buying T-Mobile. Already shares of Sprint were down 15 percent Wednesday morning on reports that SoftBank was killing the deal for T-Mobile.

Sprint CEO Hesse Out, T-Mobile Merger Off

August 6, 2014 10:16 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint this morning confirmed reports that CEO Dan Hesse is leaving the company. Brightstar CEO Marcelo Claure will take over as President and CEO at Sprint, effective Aug. 11. “In the short-term, we will focus on becoming extremely cost efficient and competing aggressively in the marketplace. While consolidating makes sense in the long-term, for now, we will focus on growing and repositioning Sprint,” Claure said in a statement.

Report: T-Mobile Rejects Iliad’s Buyout Offer

August 5, 2014 4:13 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile is rejecting Iliad’s surprise bid to buy out the carrier, according to the Wall Street Journal. But Reuters is reporting that Iliad is already reaching out to other investors in an attempt to sweeten the deal. The carrier has reportedly talked with Dish Network, Cox Communications and Charter Communications.

Verizon to FCC: Throttling Unlimited Users “Widely Accepted”

August 5, 2014 10:21 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Verizon has officially responded to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler after the Commissioner criticized the carrier’s decision to start slowing data speeds for some unlimited plan customers on its LTE network. The United States’ largest carrier called the practice “widely accepted,” according to Reuters. Verizon CEO Dan Mead, to whom the FCC’s letter was addressed, said the policy was in line with FCC principles.

FCC May Spoil Sprint, T-Mo Joint Bidding Plans

August 4, 2014 10:25 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

“We must make sure that the biggest providers are not able to limit broad participation in the spectrum auction,” FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Chief Roger C. Sherman wrote in a blog post. “Therefore, the item tentatively concludes that joint bidding arrangements between nationwide providers should not be allowed.”

Analysts: Iliad 'Free' Strategy Could Cripple U.S. Carrier Earnings

August 4, 2014 10:25 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

According new research from Strategy Analytics, Iliad's "Free" has had a dramatic impact on the French market, driving a 29 percent decline in service revenue and 19 percent decline in EBITDA since its launch. Strategy Analytics also notes that Iliad’s founder, Xavier Niel, is also an investor in Israel’s Golan Telecom...

Wideband LTE’s Time is Now as Carrier Aggregation Waits in the Wings

July 31, 2014 3:36 pm | by Ben Munson | Articles | Comments

Carrier aggregation is only one component of the emerging LTE-Advanced feature set but it’s received the most attention so far. Maybe that’s because it’s more fun to say than Relay Nodes but more likely it’s because of the phone-melting downlink speeds it’s capable of producing. South Korea’s SK Telecom earlier this year successfully stitched together three LTE bands (one 20 MHz and two 10 MHz) and was able to support speeds up to 300 Mbps.

SmartWatch Episode 16: The Rise and Fall of the Tablet in Carrier 2Q Earnings

July 31, 2014 3:09 pm | Videos | Comments

In this episode of SmartWatch, we take a look at the rise and possible fall of the tablet. As net phone additions lagged in the second quarter, the major carriers leaned on tablet additions to prop up their numbers. Big Red added 1.4 million postpaid subscribers, reporting that it had added 304,000 postpaid phone net additions and whopping 1.15 million postpaid tablets.

Confirmed: French Carrier Iliad Offers to Buy T-Mobile

July 31, 2014 12:27 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint’s stock has fallen nearly six percent as of 11:15 a.m. CT upon news of the offer. The U.S.’s third largest carrier, owned by Japanese carrier SoftBank, is widely speculated to be putting together a merger bid for T-Mobile that values the carrier at around $32 billion.

T-Mobile Adds 1.5M Net Customers, Closing On Sprint’s No. 3 Spot

July 31, 2014 10:07 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Though the net 220,000 subscriber losses Sprint posted represents an improvement for the carrier, it’s still significant. If both Sprint and T-Mobile maintain their current rates of subscriber growth/loss, it’s fair to imagine that T-Mobile will become the third largest carrier, in terms of customers, by the end of 2014.

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