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T-Mobile Offers Infinite Upgrades with A Catch

February 21, 2014 9:44 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

 T-Mobile is allowing people who participate in its $10-a-month Jump program to upgrade their phones anytime, eliminating the previous limit of two upgrades a year. That's all good and fine, but there's a little bit of a catch involved...

T-Mobile Blasts BlackBerry CEO’s Response, Offers $200 BB Trade-In Credit

February 20, 2014 11:25 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In his response, T-Mobile CMO Mike Sievert marveled at the passion of BlackBerry fans but firmly opposed Chen’s response. “The premise of his article was that it's best for customers if we restrict the free flow of information and limit consumer choice.  At T-Mobile we totally reject that premise,” Siervert wrote.

FirstNews Briefs: Transit Wireless, NetScout, China Mobile, DragonWave, Ceragon

February 19, 2014 9:17 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

China Mobile and Alcatel-Lucent are demonstrating their progress in the development of network functions virtualization (NFV) for mobile operators. Using Alcatel-Lucent’s virtualized LTE radio access network (RAN) Baseband Unit (BBU) and its virtualized evolved packet core (vEPC) in a multi-vendor environment, the companies are showing how an open mobile cloud network can enhance agility, efficiency and scale.

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BlackBerry CEO “Outraged” Over T-Mobile Promotion

February 18, 2014 4:40 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

An email blast issued by T-Mobile last week, offering BlackBerry users a chance to upgrade to an iPhone, was met with a swift and angry response from BlackBerry CEO John Chen. Chen voiced his outrage over the promotion in a blog post. “I can only guess that T-Mobile thought its ‘great offer for BlackBerry customers’ would be well received. T-Mobile could not have been more wrong,” Chen said.

T-Mobile Alleviating Roaming Costs with eSIM for IoT, M2M Markets

February 18, 2014 9:59 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile today announced eSIM, a modular solution for connected devices that provides local data rates while roaming. Targeted at the Internet of Things (IoT) and M2M applications, the eSIM will see its initial roaming deal launched for the U.S. and Canada. T-Mobile will be announcing more supported countries throughout 2014.

Review: Sony Xperia Z1S: Great Smartphone, Phenomenal Dinosaur Camera

February 13, 2014 10:51 am | by Ben Munson | Articles | Comments

Sony has built a handsome, if somewhat smudge-prone, smartphone in the Xperia Z1S. If the Z1S is the kind of smartphone Sony can make now, it should be interesting to see what the company comes up with now that it’s putting even more focus on mobile.

Verizon Intros More Everything Plans with Higher Data Caps

February 13, 2014 10:13 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Verizon Wireless today introduced new More Everything plans that raise the data caps on its shared plans and offer incentives for opting into the carrier’s Edge early upgrade program. As expected, Verizon seems to be responding to recent pricing moves from AT&T. More Everything plans are similar to AT&T’s recently announced shared data and early upgrade service discounts.

SoftBank CEO Says U.S. Consolidation Needed to Make Sprint Number One

February 12, 2014 10:13 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Son said that without consolidation, it’s “literally just a dream” for Sprint to become the number one carrier in the U.S. He also criticized the large gap between the top two U.S. carriers, AT&T and Verizon, and numbers three and four, Sprint and T-Mobile, respectively. Son said those current market positions are not good for competition.

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Report: Sprint Getting Cold Feet on T-Mobile Merger

February 10, 2014 11:02 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son and CEO Dan Hesse are having second thoughts about their company’s plans to buy T-Mobile. In the wake of the passionate, public opposition the potential merger received from regulatory officials, Sprint is heading back to the drawing board, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Aio: T-Mobile Magenta Ruling Has No Effect on Advertising Plans

February 10, 2014 10:38 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

“While we disagree with the court's decision, it addresses advertising and store designs that we are no longer implementing. Accordingly, this decision has no effect on our advertising plans,” said Alejandra Arango, director of media relations at Aio Wireless.

Verizon Gives Discounts to Loyal Customers, Many Caveats to Qualify

February 7, 2014 1:46 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Verizon spokeswoman Debi Lewis confirmed for Wireless Week that the carrier has long offered reduced rates for long-standing customers. She said there are a lot of caveats to qualify for the reduced rates and as such the plans are not advertised.

California Bill Proposes Mandatory Cell Phone Kill Switches

February 7, 2014 10:31 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Democratic State Senator Mark Leno has proposed a bill that would require all smartphones and tablets sold in California to feature a kill switch, a user-activated theft deterrent. The bill would by Jan. 1, 2015 require manufacturers to include the function on all devices or face fines of up to $2,500 for each device sold without a kill switch, according to the New York Times.

AT&T Tops, T-Mobile Passes Sprint in J.D. Power Wireless Study

February 6, 2014 10:22 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Although its overall score of 793 is slightly down from the 795 J.D. Power awarded it in August 2013, AT&T still came in first among its contract carrier competition. Verizon Wireless didn’t trail by much with an overall score of 788. T-Mobile managed to increase its overall score by 18 points over the previous study, giving it a 778 and moving it ahead of Sprint.

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AT&T Done Paying T-Mo Customers to Switch

February 4, 2014 10:41 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

AT&T confirmed Tuesday that it has ended its incentive program that offered T-Mobile users up to $450 per line to switch carriers. AT&T said when it launched the program that it was a limited-time offer but did not specify how long it would last.

Report: FCC “Highly Skeptical” of Possible Sprint-T-Mobile Merger

February 4, 2014 9:46 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday met with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and said he would keep an open mind about the potential merger, according to Reuters. But in general Wheeler’s thoughts on the matter were in line with Justice Department officials who’ve already signaled doubts.

The Un-Carrier Effect: AT&T Is Wide Awake, Is Verizon?

February 3, 2014 4:31 pm | by Andrew Berg | Blogs | Comments

After AT&T's new Mobile Share plans went live Saturday, I am absolutely certain its customer care departments have heard of T-Mobile. I say this in reference to the Aug. 8, 2013 blog I wrote about a call I made to AT&T customer service.

Report: SoftBank CEO Meeting with FCC Chairman Wheeler

February 3, 2014 10:22 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son will meet Monday with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to discuss a possible merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. Son, who also serves as Chairman at Sprint, will reportedly push for U.S. wireless industry consolidation and argue that a combined Sprint and T-Mobile stands a better chance against Verizon and AT&T. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse is also expected to attend the meeting.

New AT&T Mobile Share Plans: Two Lines, 10GB of Data, $130

February 3, 2014 9:48 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

AT&T's new plans start at $130 per month for two lines with 10 GB of data and unlimited talk and text. With the new plans, the carrier has dropped the monthly device charge to $15, regardless of the type of device. With other plans, smartphones incurred a $40 monthly charge, while basic messaging and feature phones were $20 per month.

DOJ Signals More Reluctance to Bless Sprint, T-Mo Merger

January 31, 2014 10:42 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

In remarks made Thursday to the New York Bar Association, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, Bill Baer, said that since the blocking of the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile "competition in the wireless sector has flourished and consumers have benefitted."

Aren’t Regulators Always Skeptical About Mergers?

January 29, 2014 3:21 pm | by Ben Munson | Blogs | Comments

The Justice Department being skeptical of a potential anti-trust-bending merger is not exactly news. It’s in theirs and the FCC’s job description to be skeptical of things like that. It would have really been news if the DOJ had indicated something like “Sure, go for it! Mergers are cool.”

Report: Regulators “Skeptical” About Sprint-T-Mobile Merger

January 29, 2014 10:11 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

U.S. Justice Department officials told Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son that any potential Sprint/T-Mobile merger would be met with “skepticism.” The Wall Street Journal spoke with individuals briefed on the conversation who said the meeting reinforced Son’s seriousness in making the merger happen.

Legere Says Sprint Merger would Help T-Mobile Compete

January 27, 2014 11:00 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

T-Mobile CEO John Legere said a merger of his company with the Softbank-held Sprint could put more pressure on what he called the "duopoly" of AT&T and Verizon. Legere told Bloomberg that T-Mobile would eventually need more spectrum and other resources to compete with larger rivals and that merging with Sprint...

T-Mo Goes After Banking Fees with Mobile Money Product

January 22, 2014 9:27 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

T-Mobile Wednesday announced a new side project with the launch of a personal finance and mobile payments service. The company calls the new project Mobile Money by T-Mobile. The service includes a combination of smartphone money management applications designed for use with a re-loadable T-Mobile Visa Prepaid Card.

If Dish Wins the H Block Auction, What’s Next?

January 21, 2014 4:04 pm | by Ben Munson | Articles | Comments

Smaller regional carriers like nTelos and C Spire are in the running to snatch up some of the H Block licenses, but large competitors like Sprint and T-Mobile have sworn off participating in the auction. Dish could very well walk away with the most licenses. A win for Dish would put more spectrum in the hands of a business without an apparent idea of what to do with it. So what’s the endgame for Dish?

AT&T Offers Early Upgrade Program to Existing Customers

January 21, 2014 10:46 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

As of Jan. 18, AT&T customers at least six months into their two-year contracts can switch to the Next program for no additional charge. At the same time, customers switching over can opt for one of AT&T’s mobile share plans. In addition, for customers newly signing on for two-year contracts as of Jan. 19, AT&T has shortened the device upgrade cycle from 24 months to 20 months.

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