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Sprint, U.S. Cellular Slam AT&T’s Push for Package Bidding on H Block

August 7, 2013 10:42 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The FCC is on track to auction off 10 MHz of paired spectrum licenses in H Block as early as January 2014 and AT&T has weighed in on how it wants that auction to proceed. The carrier is advocating for Heirarchical Package Bidding (HPB) that would allow bids for groups of licenses.

TextNow Releases VoIP-Only Smartphones

August 6, 2013 10:58 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

TextNow is beefing up its OTT empire with the introduction of two smartphones that will solely offer VoIP and IP-based SMS. The company is selling a Galaxy S2 ($120) and a Nexus S ($90) that swap out the native phone and app features for TextNow’s app, which enables calling and texting over Wi-Fi, as well as Sprint’s CDMA and WiMax networks.

FreedomPop Goes LTE, Releases New LTE Hotspot

August 6, 2013 9:28 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

FreedomPop has been promising a switch to LTE for awhile now and today the MVNO is making good by offering up Sprint’s LTE network to its customers. FreedomPop is rolling out the FreedomSpot 5580 LTE hotspot to go along with the network expansion.

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Half-Caf Latte with a Shot of Google?

August 1, 2013 1:20 pm | by Andrew Berg | Blogs | Comments

Google's recent move to provide Wi-Fi at all of Starbuck's 7,000 company-owned stores is intriguing. It seems to portend a continued encroachment on the connectivity market from the Internet giant. After all, Google has already launched its uber-fiber project in Kansas City, and Provo, Utah, with more markets on the way...

Sprint’s Tri-Band LTE Could Be a Valuable Differentiator

August 1, 2013 11:10 am | by Ben Munson | Articles | Comments

The weather metaphors chosen in addressing the rise in mobile data consumption trend toward waves or, for added emphasis, tsunamis. But those are a bit misleading. Waves hit the shore and then recede into the ocean. The unprepared will be swept up but soon the tides will turn and the rebuilding can begin.

SoftBank CEO “Prepared to Die” Over Spectrum Allocation Issues

July 31, 2013 10:46 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

When the Japanese government recently awarded unused 2.5 GHz spectrum licenses to SoftBank rival carrier KDDI, Son lectured government officials for 50 straight minutes. Son argued that the process was unfair to SoftBank’s users and that he was “prepared to die” in order to get this message across, according to the Japanese Daily Press.

Sprint Records $1.6B Loss in Wake of iDEN Shutdown

July 30, 2013 9:59 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Sprint on Tuesday unveiled second quarter earnings that showed record revenues of $8.8 billion, but the company couldn't stop the bleeding that has resulted from the shuttering of its Nextel iDEN network. While Sprint said it has managed to migrate 4 million iDEN subscribers over to the...

T-Mobile Offers Zero Down on Flagship Phones

July 29, 2013 9:56 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

All carriers offer zero-down phones for new subscribers and new contracts, but that low price is traditionally reserved for entry-level devices.  As of July 27, T-Mobile customers can snag devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2, Sony Xperia Z, Nokia Lumia 925, HTC One, BlackBerry Q10 and iPhone 5 (8 GB model only) for nothing up front in exchange for paying higher monthly fees in some cases.

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Tech Tips: New Phone Upgrade Plans Akin to Renting

July 25, 2013 9:17 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Over the past few weeks, three major U.S. wireless providers unveiled plans to combat phone envy: Let's say you just bought a phone, and then one with better features comes out a month later. You no longer have to wait a full two years to get it. Instead, you pay a monthly fee...

First Sprint Tri-band LTE Phone Stops by FCC

July 24, 2013 10:45 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The first phone supporting all three of Sprint’s LTE bands has come through the FCC. As Phone Scoop points out, an LG device bearing the model number LS-980 yesterday showed up, indicating support for Sprint’s current 1900 MHz LTE frequencies as well as the 800 MHz and 2.5 GHz the carrier plans to deploy in soon. The handset supports both CDMA and GSM.

Sprint to Bring Wireless to All 277 NYC Subway Stations

July 24, 2013 10:16 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Cell reception can be tough to find when you’re riding a train underground. Up to this point, only GSM customers got much of anything in a handful of New York City’s subway stations, with only AT&T and T-Mobile having a presence—along with Boingo Wireless. But now Sprint and Transit Wireless have finalized a deal to bring Sprint voice and data to all 277 subway stations in New York.

C Spire Launching Push-To-Talk Service

July 22, 2013 10:32 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

C Spire Business Solutions today announced the IP-based service—that’s leveraging Ericsson and Kodiak Networks technology—and is gearing it toward enterprise customers. C Spire has bundled up a suite of devices for its PTT service, including the Samsung Galaxy S2 and S3 as well as Unimax 680 Android smartphones, the BlackBerry Curve 9360 and the BlackBerry Bold Touch.

FCC Looking to Auction H Block Spectrum in January

July 17, 2013 10:11 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The FCC is making plans to auction spectrum licenses in the H Block as early as January 14, 2014, with bidding to stop by February 23. In a statement Monday, the FCC officially opened up the matter for public comment, with comments due by August 5 and comment replies due by August 16. No comments have been posted yet on the docket (13-178) for the auction.

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Sprint’s “Unlimited For Life” Hinged on Clearwire Deal

July 12, 2013 9:43 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Just a day after closing its merger with SoftBank, Sprint unveiled some new unlimited talk, text and data plans. Unlimited data’s a big deal if only because the two biggest wireless providers in the U.S., AT&T and Verizon, completely shun the idea. But the timing of the plan caused speculation that the move was the first of many disruptive waves stemming from SoftBank entering the U.S. market. Not exactly.

Sprint Launches 'Guarantee' for Unlimited Plans

July 11, 2013 5:02 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Sprint is introducing a new wireless plan that guarantees new and existing subscribers unlimited voice, text and data plans in a move to differentiate its service from rivals AT&T and Verizon. Sprint Nextel Corp. says that the plan, called the "Sprint Unlimited Guarantee," offers unlimited data for $30 a month on smartphones and $10 per month on traditional phones. 

The SoftBank-Sprint-Clearwire Deal is Officially Done

July 11, 2013 9:51 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Following nine arduous months of bids, revised bids, public beefs and lawsuits, Sprint today announced the completion of its merger with Japanese carrier SoftBank. With Sprint absorbing Internet wholesaler Clearwire in a deal finalized Monday, both Sprint and Clearwire are now effectively under the control of SoftBank.

The Price of Surveillance: Gov't Pays to Snoop

July 10, 2013 10:46 am | by Anne Flaherty, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — How much are your private conversations worth to the government? Turns out, it can be a lot, depending on the technology. In the era of intense government surveillance and secret court orders, a murky multimillion-dollar market has emerged. Paid for by U.S. tax dollars, but with little public scrutiny, surveillance fees charged in secret by technology and phone companies can vary wildly.

Sprint Taking Its Connected Car Service to the Cloud

July 10, 2013 10:40 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint’s Velocity connected car platform is earning an upgrade that will store information in the cloud for use across multiple vehicles and devices. The new Velocity Service Bus is leveraging IBM’s MessageSight M2M appliance to put a new suite of functions in place and to store driver preferences and diagnostic information in the cloud.

Clearwire Minority Shareholders OK Sprint Deal

July 8, 2013 2:12 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Clearwire today announced its minority shareholders approved the $5 per share merger bid from Sprint. Of the minority shareholders not affiliated with Sprint or SoftBank, approximately 82 percent voted in favor of the transaction. In addition, holders of approximately 95 percent of all outstanding shares of Clearwire common stock also cast votes in favor of the merger.

FCC Approves SoftBank-Sprint-Clearwire Transaction

July 8, 2013 10:11 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The FCC has given its blessing to SoftBank’s $21.6 billion merger bid for Sprint and Sprint’s $5 per share buyout bid for Clearwire. In the order, released last Friday, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction will likely result in public interest benefits.

Report: FCC Approves SoftBank’s Bid for Sprint

July 3, 2013 9:14 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

SoftBank’s $21.6 billion deal for Sprint has won the approval of the FCC in a 2-1 vote. Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, said the Commission’s decision covers both SoftBank’s bid and Sprint’s $5 per share offer to buy the remaining 50 percent of Clearwire it doesn’t already own.

Dish Formally Withdraws from Clearwire Bidding

June 27, 2013 10:15 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Dish Network on Wednesday formally withdrew its tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Clearwire for $4.40 per share.  The move comes in the wake of Dish’s decision back out of its bid for Sprint. Dish was far from winning over Clearwire investors to its offer anyway...

Verizon Flips Switch on 500th LTE Market

June 27, 2013 9:26 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Verizon is communicating its satisfaction today with a job well done on its LTE network. The company has dedicated the newsfeed on its website to all things LTE in recognition of its 500th LTE market. "Today, the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network reaches a milestone. With the announcement...

Sprint Shareholders Approve Softbank Deal

June 25, 2013 12:48 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Sprint Nextel shareholders voted today to approve Japanese carrier Softbank's offer to purchase 78 percent of Sprint. Shares of the company were up almost 2 percent to $6.99 on the news. According to a press release, Sprint shareholders overwhelmingly approved the deal...

Privacy Debate Rages as FCC Takes up Mobile CPNI Rules

June 24, 2013 4:49 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The operators right now are in a bit of a bind when it comes to recent revelations of the NSA's surveillance program. They're bound by law to cooperate with the government and most likely legally bound not to discuss the program. The best they can do is offer up the party line, which to this point has been that their customers' privacy...

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