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The Lead

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...

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...

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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

T-Mobile Adds 1.5M Net Customers, Closing On Sprint’s No. 3 Spot

July 31, 2014 10:07 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Though the net 220,000 subscriber losses Sprint posted represents an improvement for the carrier, it’s still significant. If both Sprint and T-Mobile maintain their current rates of subscriber growth/loss, it’s fair to imagine that T-Mobile will become the third largest carrier, in terms of customers, by the end of 2014.

Wheeler to Verizon: Throttling Is Not Network Management

July 31, 2014 9:51 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

In a letter to Verizon CEO Dan Mead, the Chairman voiced his objections to plans Verizon announced last week to begin throttling LTE customers on unlimited plans that use an exorbitant amount of data. Verizon said the change will only affect about 5 percent of its users and it is being done in the name of network managment. 

AT&T Adds Over 1M Subscribers, Sees Record Low Churn

July 23, 2014 5:09 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

AT&T added more than one million postpaid subscribers during its second quarter, calling it the strongest gain in five years. The subscriber growth came in due to more than 700,000 postpaid smartphone net adds and 366,000 postpaid tablet net adds. But AT&T’s tablet growth fell well short of the 1.15 million postpaid tablets Verizon added during the same quarter.

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VZW Posts Solid 2Q with Postpaid Tablets Leading Way

July 22, 2014 8:10 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Tablets ruled the quarter. The company added 304,000 postpaid phone net additions and 1.15 million postpaid tablets. At the end of the quarter, smartphones accounted for nearly 75 percent of retail postpaid customer phone base, up from 72 percent in first-quarter 2014. 

Verizon Breaks Taboo with Lucrative Location Play

July 21, 2014 4:49 pm | by Andrew Berg | Blogs | Comments

Carriers have long been trying to figure out how best to make use of the massive amounts of data out various cellular-connected devices create. Until now, they haven't really done a good job of what many analysts refer to as digital gold.

Verizon Mining Location Data with Opt-In Rewards Program

July 21, 2014 10:48 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Verizon Selects will then analyze the information that is collected about customers to see whether they fit into certain audiences Verizon or third-party marketers are trying to reach. Verizon hopes the program will allow it to deliver more relevant ads via email, text, postal mail or online or mobile advertising.

Verizon Increasing FIOS Upload Speeds

July 21, 2014 7:09 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Current subscribers will see their upload speeds raised over the coming months, product manager Fowler Abercrombie said. He expects that 95 percent of Verizon customers will see higher speeds. For the rest, fully symmetrical speeds may not be possible for technical reasons.

Verizon AllSet Prepaid Plans Now Open to LTE

July 16, 2014 10:55 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The Allset plan offers unlimited talk and text plus 500 MB of data for $45 monthly. Verizon is offering to double the data to 1 GB for customers who sign up for auto-pay. And if subscribers need more data, they can add on 500 MB for $5 or opt for bridge data expansions that last 90 days. Those run $10 for 1 GB and $20 for 3 GB.

Verizon Adds Tablets to Edge

July 15, 2014 11:37 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Verizon over the weekend added the iPad and Android tablets to its Edge early upgrade program. “We’ve had other tablet payment plans in the past, but now we’re focused on Edge,” a Verizon spokesperson told Wireless Week when asked about why tablets are just coming to Edge.

Sprint, T-Mobile Stocks Jump on Nikkei Merger Report

July 11, 2014 2:36 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Both Sprint and T-Mobile are surging in the markets after Nikkei reported SoftBank has reached an agreement to buy a controlling T-Mobile stake from Deutsche Telekom (DT). Sprint was up nearly four percent and T-Mobile was up 1.5 percent as of 1:15 p.m. CT.

McAdam: Verizon Postpaid Additions Hit 1.4M in 2Q

July 10, 2014 2:42 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Both Verizon and AT&T saw pressure on customer numbers in the first quarter of the year quarter, which could have been at least partially due to T-Mobile's disruptive promotions. AT&T marked just 625,000 postpaid additions in the first quarter. 

Carriers Failing Miserably at Location Data for Wireless E911 Calls

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

According to new data obtained from the FCC through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filed by the Find Me 911 Coalition, only 10 percent of wireless 911 calls made in Washington D.C. in the first half of 2013 were delivered with accurate location information needed to find callers who are lost, confused, unconscious or otherwise unable to share their location. 

Verizon Received 150K Information Requests in 1H of 2014

July 9, 2014 9:41 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

In Verizon's transparency report covering the timeframe from January 1 to June 31, Verizon said the information was only released in the event of a valid law enforcement demand or an appropriate request in an emergency involving the danger of death or serious physical injury.

Report: Sprint Vetting Plans That Undercut AT&T, Verizon

July 8, 2014 11:17 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The trials—reportedly running San Diego, Portland, Ore. and Las Vegas—are charging per device and offering data buckets ranging from 1 GB to 60 GB. Sprint’s 1 GB plan is $20, only $5 less than similar plans at AT&T and Verizon. But Sprint’s 10 GB plan is $40 less and its 30 GB plan is $95 less than the same deals at AT&T and Verizon.

Legere: FTC Unfairly Targeted T-Mobile with SMS Charges

July 7, 2014 8:48 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Legere went on to deny that T-Mobile was participating in any kind of "cramming" practices. He acknowledged that all of the larger U.S. carriers engaged in billing for third-party premium texting services from a period between 2009 and 2013. However, he claimed that T-Mobile had made the decision to terminate those services in November of 2013. 

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