The FCC today gave its blessing to T-Mobile's acquistion of a swatch of 700 MHz A Block spectrum from Verizon. In an emailed statement, T-Mobile Vice President of Federal Regulatory Affairs Kathleen Ham thanked the FCC for approving the deal.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has reportedly proposed limitations for AT&T and Verizon Wireless, who together hold the majority of available low-band spectrum licenses. But the FCC based its rules on “current market structure” and would reconsider if a Sprint-T-Mobile tie-up proceeded, according to a Reuters report.
“Without additional clarity about the impact of government operations in the band, wireless carriers’ bidding strategies will have to be made in a vacuum, potentially depressing auction participation and revenues,” Steve Sharkey, a senior director of government affairs at T-Mobile, said in a statement.
The FCC is planning to set aside up to 30 MHz in each market for smaller carriers to bid on once bidding for those markets hits a set threshold. After the threshold it hit, carriers holding at least one-third of the low-band spectrum in that market wouldn’t be allowed to bid. AT&T and Verizon would experience the most impact from this rule though in some markets, smaller regional carriers like U.S. Cellular would be restricted.
T-Mobile today announced it is doing away with all talk, text and data overage charges for its customers and it’s challenging AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to follow suit. The carrier claims that more than 20 million people in the U.S. were stuck with overage charges in 2013 and that the three biggest U.S. carriers raked in more than $1 billion combined off the practice.
Besides the carrier deals, it looks like Samsung is willing to toss in some extras for S5 buyers. Bloomberg reports the OEM is offering up to $600 in bonuses including PayPal vouchers—to use with the S5’s fingerprint scanner—as well free apps and a LinkedIn premium account.
T-Mobile today announced it’s only going to charge the Wi-Fi tablet price to customers who add an LTE tablet to their plan. Wi-Fi-only tablets typically run $100 to $130 less and T-Mobile has vowed that will reflect in the zero-down monthly installment costs.
In this week’s episode of SmartWatch, sponsored by SanDisk, we take a look at the seismic shift happening in the wireless industry as carriers begin paying bounties and move away from device subsidies. We also get a quick look at the Samsung Galaxy S5, and touch base with Boston Red Sox DH, David Ortiz. All this and more in this week’s edition of SmartWatch!
“It’s wrong! And I personally want to drive those ridiculous schemes out of this industry. We will continue to be relentless and bring this forced march of change to the market every day so consumers can be creative with and enjoy the true benefits of wireless. I know we have it right and when we all are done reporting results from the first quarter – I think you’ll share my conviction,” Legere said in a statement.
U.S. Cellular is also allowing customers to purchase a new device for $0 down on Simple Connect plans as well as the company’s Shared Data plans, now named Shared Connect plans. The Shared Connect plans are similar to AT&T's Next, Verizon Jump and T-Mobile's Edge plans, where customers make monthly payments towards the cost of the device on their wireless bill.
Sprint is now offering up to $650 in Early Termination Fee (ETF) payoffs and device credits for subscribers who bring a number over to a Framily plan. The limited-time deal promises each line up to $300 for their current phone and a prepaid Visa worth up to $350 to take care of ETFs. The deal is good April 4 through May 8.
In this edition of SmartWatch, sponsored by SanDisk, we get special insights from outspoken T-Mobile CEO John Legere on a number of recent happenings. From Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son’s recent trip to CCA in San Antonio to rumors of a new iPhone, John Legere has something to say about all of it.
In an updated blog post on the matter, Legere said he's "been doing a lot of listening to our customers," and as a result everyone enrolled in the Advantage Program or who applied to enroll before April 1 will be able to keep a rate plan discount as long as they work at a participating employer and remain on a qualifying plan.
The regional carrier, headquartered in Mississippi, announced the ETF program as “back and better than ever.” Customers will need to pick a C Spire plan and device, port over their number, fill out the ETF form within 90 days and C Spire will kick back a $200 ETF credit within 60 days of getting the form.
April Fools’ Day is over, right? Technically, news of BlackBerry not renewing T-Mobile’s license to sell its phones came yesterday. But we checked and, it’s real. That means BlackBerry, a once-mighty handset maker that is now barely clinging to life, told the hottest U.S. carrier that it can’t sell BlackBerry devices anymore. This move seems counter-intuitive to say the least.
BlackBerry today announced it will not be renewing T-Mobile’s license to sell BlackBerry products after it expires April 25. In a blog post, BlackBerry promised that existing BlackBerry users on T-Mobile would not experience any lapse in support and that it would continue to support any customers who purchase BlackBerry devices from T-Mobile’s remaining inventory.
Sprint and T-Mobile are calling into question AT&T's recently approved IP-network trials in Florida and Alabama, saying the initiative is holding back the rest of the industry's move to develop cross-carrier IP interconnections. "AT&T’s proposed experiment is putting the cart before the horse," Sprint wrote...
T-Mobile's latest Un-Carrier moved announced today will do away with discounts for large companies. In the interest of simplifying the company's pricing plans across the board, T-Mobile will do away with discounted plans for large employers. Writing in a blog...
Masayoshi Son said that if only the big two U.S. carriers are increasing market share—from 56 percent to 73 percent in the last five years—the U.S. wireless market will continue at status quo. “We would like to have partnership with the rural carriers which we do not overlap,” Son said while speaking with press after his keynote.
In this week's episode of SmartWatch, brought to you by SanDisk, we take a look at HTC's new One flagship smartphone, as well as sneak peak at the Competitive Carriers Association's (CCA) annual expo. We also managed to get Stephen Elop's thoughts on just exactly why the Nokia/Microsoft deal has been delayed.
Speaking Thursday at the CCA Global Expo Masayoshi Son talked about the need for teamwork between Sprint and the carrier members of the CCA in order to take a “real fight” to the AT&T and Verizon “duopoly.” And he had the GSMA Intelligence numbers to back up his doubt.
Rick Kaplan, executive vice president of strategic planning for the National Association of Broadcasters, said he's worried that broadcasters still need assurances from the FCC around how the upcoming incentive auctions will work. "One challenge is you want to be able to trust what you hear from the Commission," Kaplan said.
Sprint, T-Mobile and Dish Network are teaming up to ensure smaller carriers can get their hands on low-band spectrum. Along with the Competitive Carriers Association and advocacy groups like Public Knowledge, the group is lobbying the FCC to adopt rules in the upcoming 600 MHz auctions that will benefit carriers other than AT&T and Verizon, who together hold the majority of available below-1 GHz spectrum licenses.
HTC today announced its new One smartphone at events in New York and London. The phone will see U.S. release at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile within the first few weeks of April. But starting today, customers will be able to buy the phone online from all the carriers mentioned. Verizon will have the phone available in-store starting today.
Whether the Samsung Galaxy S5 shapes up to be the blockbuster its predecessor was remains to be seen. But carriers have already begun pre-orders and special promotions for the 5.1-inch smartphone (due April 11) and the trio of wearables Samsung is sending out alongside it.