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The Lead

Verizon Expands XLTE to 22 New Markets

September 18, 2014 10:45 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Verizon today announced that it is expanding XLTE to 22 new markets. After substantially completing its nationwide LTE buildout on 700 MHz, Verizon began supplementing that with an AWS LTE deployment. The carrier is promising XLTE will deliver double the LTE bandwidth and faster peak speeds.

Softcard Nabs Subway as National Mobile Payment Partner

September 16, 2014 10:07 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Softcard today announced that Subway will start...

Confirmed: Sprint Won't Participate in AWS Auction

September 12, 2014 11:44 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The AWS-3 spectrum is probably less suited to pair with...

Legere: T-Mo Added 552K Postpaid Net Adds in August Alone

September 12, 2014 10:22 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Amid T-Mobile's Uncarrier 7.0 announcement...

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T-Mobile Adds 2.75M Customers in August

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

While unveiling its latest Uncarrier initiative, T-Mobile revealed that it recorded 2.75 million gross customer additions for the month of August. It’s unclear how much of that total is branded postpaid additions. But to put some perspective on the number, T-Mobile posted 1.5 million net customer additions. CEO John Legere called August the best month in the history of T-Mobile.

T-Mobile Addresses Capacity, Coverage with Wi-Fi Calling

September 10, 2014 5:02 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

T-Mobile promised that 100 percent of new smartphones in T-Mobile stores will be Wi-Fi calling and texting capable. The company plans an exclusive enrollment window in JUMP!, T-Mobile’s upgrade program, that will allow its customers to immediately upgrade to a smartphone that supports Wi-Fi calling and texting.

SMW: Handset Financing: Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Opportunities

September 10, 2014 5:00 pm | by Patrick Reemts | Articles | Comments

With all the options that exist for financing, carriers need to look at some core areas to help them determine which route they want to go. At a high level, it’s all about weighing the chosen economic model with the risk involved to determine whether or not the carrier has the resources to handle the new approach. 

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Cricket Doubles Data Buckets

September 10, 2014 11:30 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

LAS VEGAS - Cricket Wireless today announced a limited-time offer of up to double the data for its Basic, Pro and Smart plans. Starting Sept. 13, the $40 Basic plan jumps to 1GB from 500MB, the $50 Pro plan jumps to 3GB from 2.5GB, and the $60 Smart plan jumps to 10GB from 5GB. All three plans receive a $5 discount when customers sign up for auto pay.

FirstNews Briefs: T-Mobile, Boingo, Sierra Wireless, Averna, Cal-Bay Systems

September 8, 2014 11:08 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Boingo Wireless today announced S.M.A.R.T. Networks, a new approach to providing public Wi-Fi access in airports and other large-scale venues. Boingo’s new S.M.A.R.T network design – which stands for Secure, Multiplatform, Analytics-Driven, Responsive and Tiered – is based on usage data that identified multiple classes of users with significantly different connection and usage profiles.

AT&T Covers 300M LTE POPs Ahead of Schedule

September 4, 2014 11:02 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

AT&T today announced its LTE network now covers more than 300 million POPs. Hitting that milestone puts the carrier ahead of the timetable it announced in 2012 along with its Project Velocity IP (VIP) initiative. At that point, AT&T promised 300 million people covered with LTE by the end of 2014.

MetroPCS Expands Into 10 New Markets, Ups Data for Existing Subs

September 4, 2014 10:34 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The T-Mobile prepaid brand will be setting up shop in Chattanooga, TN; Chicago; Kansas City, MO; Minneapolis-St.Paul; Milwaukee, WI; Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA; Richmond-Petersburg, VA; Salt Lake City; St. Louis, MO; and Yakima-Pasco-Richland-Kennewick, WA.

Isis Mobile Wallet Changes Name to Softcard

September 3, 2014 10:41 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Isis Wallet today announced it’s changing its name to Softcard. In July, Isis—a mobile payment joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon—announced its intent to ditch its old name to avoid any confusion with the radical Islamic militant group ISIS.

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Iliad Seeking Possible American Partner for Larger Stake in T-Mobile

September 2, 2014 10:48 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Iliad Chief Financial Officer Thomas Reynaud said the deal could still “evolve” and that his company is currently talking with potential partners, some American, about possibly bidding for an increased stake. Reynaud told reporters that the possible partners were either industrial competitors or private equity firms.

T-Mobile Uncarrier 7.0 Coming Sept. 10

September 2, 2014 10:28 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile sent out invitations for its next Uncarrier announcement, taking place Sept. 10 in San Francisco. As usual, T-Mobile is being cryptic about what Uncarrier 7.0 will be. The invitation only notes that “This time it’s personal.” This will be the first official Uncarrier announcement since late June saw T-Mobile announce a 7-day test drive for its network and the end of data plan charges for streaming music.

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 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.

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 the list of streaming music services that won’t affect its customers’ data buckets. The carrier also revealed Google Play Music won its online poll to find another service to exempt. Google’s streaming music service will be added to Music Freedom later this year.

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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 says it will now match their smartphone data plan up to 5GB and set it aside for use on the tablet. Beginning Sept. 3, any tablet added gets the LTE data plan match for a limited time as well as the 200MB free per month T-Mobile has previously offered for tablets.

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.

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.

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."

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