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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.

Sprint Offers Businesses 20GB for $90, $300 Switching Credit

September 16, 2014 10:46 am | News | Comments

Sprint introduced new Business Share Plans and the...

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...

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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. 

Verizon Launching Car Share Program Via Smartphone App

September 8, 2014 11:35 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Verizon today announced that Verizon Auto Share, the carrier’s secure car share program, will be available by the end of 2014. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet. The program will allow users to download a mobile application that can locate a vehicle and then scan a QR code to gain access and pay for rental. The carrier is planning on working with car rental companies, auto dealers and other companies.

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.

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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.

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.

Verizon, BlackBerry Offer Enterprises $150 Credit to Upgrade Devices

August 26, 2014 3:01 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In a short promotional video, the companies confirm the credit can be used to buy BlackBerry technical support services, sign up for BBM Protected, or anything else enterprises have in mind. It appears the credit can be applied on a fairly large scale—the video points out that 1,000 upgraded devices means $150,000 in credit.

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."

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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.

FirstNews Briefs: Verizon, Magpi, Trimble, Telit Wireless

August 25, 2014 9:50 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Verizon today announced it will invest nearly $40 million to expand the on-site green energy program that it launched in 2013. This year, Verizon will install 10.2 megawatts of new solar power systems at eight Verizon network facilities in five states – California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.

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.

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.

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. 

Verizon Bets on Video, VoLTE and Tablets for Growth

August 12, 2014 10:09 am | News | Comments

In a talk at the annual Oppenheimer Investor Conference that was broadcast online, Shammo said Verizon is looking to new technologies like LTE Multicast and Voice over LTE as potential growth areas. He also said tablets pose an opportunity.

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.

Verizon to FCC: Throttling Unlimited Users “Widely Accepted”

August 5, 2014 10:21 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Verizon has officially responded to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler after the Commissioner criticized the carrier’s decision to start slowing data speeds for some unlimited plan customers on its LTE network. The United States’ largest carrier called the practice “widely accepted,” according to Reuters. Verizon CEO Dan Mead, to whom the FCC’s letter was addressed, said the policy was in line with FCC principles.

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.

SmartWatch Episode 16: The Rise and Fall of the Tablet in Carrier 2Q Earnings

July 31, 2014 3:09 pm | Videos | Comments

In this episode of SmartWatch, we take a look at the rise and possible fall of the tablet. As net phone additions lagged in the second quarter, the major carriers leaned on tablet additions to prop up their numbers. Big Red added 1.4 million postpaid subscribers, reporting that it had added 304,000 postpaid phone net additions and whopping 1.15 million postpaid tablets.

T-Mobile Says VoLTE Coverage is Now Nationwide

July 31, 2014 10:40 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile took a moment out of its quarterly earnings day to proclaim nationwide coverage for its freshly launched VoLTE service. The carrier 2.8 million VoLTE-capable devices are currently running on its network and that more than 52 million VoLTE calls to date have been placed. The jump to nationwide coverage comes just two months after T-Mobile initially launched VoLTE in Seattle.

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