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The Lead

FCC Slaps T-Mobile with $819,000 Fine

August 28, 2014 10:59 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The FCC has levied a $819,000 fine against T-Mobile, citing the carriers has for more than two years failed to offer its customers enough hearing aid-compatible digital wireless handsets. Originally spotted by Phone Scoop, the FCC’s complaint against T-Mobile alleges the carrier “willfully and repeatedly” violated the mandate toward carrying hearing aid-compatible phones.

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...

T-Mobile Adds Streaming Services to Music Freedom Program

August 27, 2014 10:32 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile today added AccuRadio, Black Planet, Grooveshark, Radio Paradise, Rdio and Songza to...

T-Mobile Offers Up to 5GB of Tablet Data for $10

August 26, 2014 10:18 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

When T-Mobile Simple Choice customers add a tablet to their plan for $10 a month, the carrier...

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Verizon Promises Nationwide VoLTE in 'Coming Weeks'

August 26, 2014 10:00 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

In a post on the carrier's website, Verizon said that "in the coming weeks, Verizon Wireless customers can begin to see what Advanced Calling 1.0 -- HD Voice and Video Calling -- can mean to their wireless experience when tightly integrated with their 4G LTE smartphones."

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 extra $5 a month. Beginning Sept. 3, subscribers opting for T-Mobile’s $40 Simple Starter plan can bump their 500MB cap to 2GB. The limited-time offer is available to new and existing Simple Starter customers and once customers sign up, they get the 2GB cap indefinitely.

Cricket Offers $100 to Subs Switching from T-Mobile, MetroPCS

August 22, 2014 11:42 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Cricket Wireless has joined the current wireless bounty bonanza by offering a $100 bill credit to customers who switch over from T-Mobile or MetroPCS. From August 24 to October 19, customers who switch will get the credit. The promotion is only available for customers coming over from T-Mobile or MetroPCS but there’s no limit on the amount of lines a single customer can switch over and get the credit.

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The Reality of Sprint's New Plans

August 22, 2014 8:30 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

The new Sprint plans are available starting Friday and reward families that need a lot of data. But the company is also keeping an unlimited-data plan that's beneficial for individuals — and competes with a similar T-Mobile offering. Now that most Americans have cellphones, wireless companies have been trying to lure consumers with lower prices.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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. 

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.”

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T-Mobile “Simply Prepaid” Putting Four Brands “Under One Roof”

August 12, 2014 5:50 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile could soon be bringing its prepaid brands together under one offering called “Simply Prepaid.” In a description of a T-Mobile booth on the CTIA Super Mobility Week website, Simply Prepaid is described as “a new concept that brings together four amazing brands under one roof.” It says further that Simply Prepaid customers will be able to choose from T-Mobile, GoSmart Mobile, Univision Mobile, or Ultra Mobile for their service.

Report: Claure Focusing on Cost Efficiency at Sprint

August 12, 2014 10:30 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

As was reported earlier this month when Claure's appointment was announced, Sprint is backing off a proposed acquistion of T-Mobile. In the memo, Claure said that consolidation makes sense in the long-term but noted that Sprint will have to focus on growing and repositioning Sprint. 

FirstNews Briefs: Alcatel-Lucent, Pioneer Cellular, T-Mobile, Sony

August 12, 2014 9:47 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Alcatel-Lucent is to deploy a complete 4G LTE overlay network in the Midwestern U.S. states of Oklahoma and Kansas to enable Pioneer Cellular, an affiliate of Pioneer Telephone Cooperative, to offer ultra-broadband mobile access to its customers.

T-Mobile Buying 700 MHz A Block Spectrum from Actel

August 11, 2014 10:27 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile is acquiring 700 MHz licenses from Actel, a subsidiary of CenturyLink. The 12 MHz licenses (698-704 MHz and 728-734 MHz) cover markets in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana and New Mexico. As TmoNews points out, the licenses cover about 6.1 million POPs.

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.

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.

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