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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...

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.

Verizon Launches New Crop of Droid Phones

July 23, 2013 3:44 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Verizon Wireless is launching three new Droid smartphones made by Google's Motorola unit. The nation's No. 1 wireless carrier said Tuesday that the three phones will be the Droid Mini for $100, the Droid Ultra for $200 and the Droid Maxx for $300....

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T-Mobile Attacks AT&T’s Device Upgrade Plan in New Print Ad

July 23, 2013 10:00 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The wireless carrier print ad wars just got a whole lot more entertaining. In T-Mobile’s new print ad running today in USA Today, the gloves are off as the carrier comes right out and calls AT&T’s new early device upgrade plan, Next, “calculating, sneaky, and underhanded.”

Verizon Touts “Standard for Reliability” in Response to AT&T Claims

July 22, 2013 3:53 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Verizon took out a full-page ad in Monday’s Wall Street Journal to stake its claim as the nation’s most reliable network. The ad—no small gesture considering the rate for a non-contract color full-page ad in the Journal’s national edition costs nearly $328,000—is presumably in response to an AT&T press release issued last Friday, in which the carrier claimed it is “now also [the] nation’s most reliable.”

The Conundrum of Parent-Controlled Phones

July 18, 2013 5:07 pm | by Ben Munson | Blogs | Comments

It used to be so easy to keep tabs on kids’ phone activity. Simply pick up a different phone and try not to breathe too heavily into the receiver. But the kids don’t want a landline anymore and as the functionality of their cell phones have become more impressive, monitoring their activity on them has gotten more complicated.

Verizon Confirms New Upgrade Program, Adds 941K Postpaid Subs

July 18, 2013 10:22 am | News | Comments

Verizon today confirmed that it will move to an early device upgrade and/or financing program similar to those recently launched by AT&T and T-Mobile. During a second-quarter earnings call Thursday morning, CFO Fran Shammo said the company has recognized the demand for such a program...

AT&T’s New ‘Next’ Plan Grants Subs New Phones Once a Year

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

After last week teasing the dawn of “What’s next in wireless,” AT&T late Monday announced its new ‘Next’ plan, that will give its customers the option of upgrading their devices (smartphone or tablet) every 12 months. Subscribers who opt for Next—which will be available starting July 26—will skip the down payment and activation fee, instead paying a monthly installment.

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Researchers Exploit Femtocell Vulnerability

July 15, 2013 11:11 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Data security firm iSEC Partners says it has successfully hacked a Verizon residential network extender, or femtocell. The company demonstrated the hack in a video posted to Reuters. The hack allows for the interception of phone calls and texts that are transmitted through the femtocell, which acts as a mini cell tower...

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.

Big Disconnect: Telcos Abandon Copper Phone Lines

July 9, 2013 9:35 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Post, 85, has a pacemaker that needs to be checked once a month by phone. But the copper wiring that once connected his home to the rest of the world is gone, and the phone company refuses to restore it. In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy pushed the sea over Post's neighborhood in Mantoloking, N.J...

AARP Calls Out Verizon’s NY Landline Elimination Plans

July 1, 2013 2:09 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is voicing its concerns over Verizon’s proposal to replace some of its wireline networks. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the damage that it caused to Verizon’s copper landlines, the service provider plans to turn off those networks in the western portion of Fire Island and some New Jersey Barrier communities, and replace it with wireless Voice Link technology.

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...

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Report: Verizon Offers $700M for Canadian Carrier Wind Mobile

June 26, 2013 10:28 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Verizon is offering $700 million for Wind Mobile, a small Canadian carrier, according to a report from Canadian news outlet The Globe and Mail. The report also states that Verizon has started talks with Mobilicity, another minor player in the Canadian market. Verizon could not be reached for comment on the news...

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...

Report: Verizon Eyes Canadian Carrier Wind Mobile

June 18, 2013 10:02 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Verizon could be looking to grow its reach to Canada, according to a report from Bloomberg. Verizon is reportedly looking to purchase one of the smaller Canadian carriers, Wind Mobile. Verizon began eyeing Wind Mobile after the Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis...

Report: VZW, T-MO Not Part of NSA Surveillance Program

June 14, 2013 10:45 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile may not have been required to particpate in the NSA's phone surveillance program. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal today reported that the NSA may have exempted T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless from the program for their foreign ownership...

AT&T Bumps Upgrade Wait From 20 Months to Two Years

June 10, 2013 10:00 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

AT&T has extended the waiting period for upgrades on phones from 20 months to two years. In a blog post Sunday, the company said the new upgrade policy will apply to new contracts and any existing contracts ending March 2014 and later.

Report: NSA Collects Data From AT&T, Sprint, Google, Apple and More

June 7, 2013 10:01 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

After yesterday’s public reveal of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) demands for Verizon customers’ data, more information is coming out suggesting the NSA’s casting a much bigger net. The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the NSA’s operations, reports that the same initiative targeting Verizon data is also collecting similar information from AT&T and Sprint.

Report: Verizon Handing Over All U.S. Call Records to NSA

June 6, 2013 10:19 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The Guardian has received and published the order which outlines that Verizon is to deliver to the NSA the numbers of both parties, location data, identifiers like IMSI and IMEI numbers, and time and duration of calls. The order has been in place since April and has demanded Verizon give over the requisite information for both international calls originating in the U.S. and calls made within the U.S.

Verizon, NFL Expand and Extend Mobile Agreement

June 4, 2013 11:14 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The National Football League (NFL) and Verizon have announced a renewed and expanded contract to eventually bring all NFL games to Verizon Wireless customers' mobile devices. Until now, a limited nummber of games were available through the Verizon Wireless' package...

HTC Loses Another Exec but May Sales Pick Up

June 4, 2013 9:38 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The high-level exodus continues for the flailing HTC as COO Matthew Costello has stepped down. Bloomberg reports that Fred Liu, president of engineering and operations, will have his duties expanded to cover the responsibilities of the departing Costello. This makes four senior executives who have left the company in the past two years.

Verizon Smartphone Sales Grow on Windows Popularity

June 3, 2013 10:23 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Verizon took the lion's share of smarpthone sales in the United States, due in part to the growth of Windows Phone, according to new numbers from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech. Of the carriers, Verizon grabbed 36.3 percent of smartphones sold, an annual increase of 1.8 percent. Sprint Nextel accounted for 13.1 percent of smartphones sold...

Verizon's Shammo Says T-Mobile, Sprint Not Threats

May 31, 2013 10:15 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Fran Shammo, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Verizon, says the strengthening positions of Sprint and T-Mobile will be mitigated by continued growth in connected devices. Speaking yesterday at the Nomura Global Media & Telecom conference...

Americans Talk, Surf More than Europeans on Cells

May 30, 2013 9:06 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Americans pay more for their cell service than Europeans, but they're getting a lot more use out of their phones, a global wireless trade group said Wednesday. In releasing the report, GSM Association urged European regulators to take cues from the U.S...

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