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Free wireless service provider FreedomPop has unveiled a new annual mobile plan, offering less data-hungry users a service option that comes in under $50 per year.

The carrier said its $49 plan offers 1,000 minutes of talk, 1,000 texts, and 1 GB of data for an average of $4 per month. The option is meant to cater to lower-level data users, who don’t need or want to spring for the unlimited plans sweeping the industry.

“Every month Americans are paying a big chunk of their paychecks for wireless service. For one month’s bill, they can now get service for a year,” FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols commented. “FreedomPop has always been centered around an internet-centric model, and this plan builds off our strategy and fills a much needed gap in the mobile market, while also putting pressure on carrier pricing.”

The MVNO, which rides on both AT&T and Sprint’s nationwide networks, said it will also offer a $114 semi-annual plan that gives users unlimited talk and text as well as 5 GB of data at a rate of $18.99 per month. A second semi-annual plan with unlimited talk, text, and 2 GB of data will be offered for $78 (or $12.99 per month).

“We’re moving away from the idea that a mobile service has to come with a monthly bill,” FreedomPop COO Steven Sesar added. “With U.S. mobile prices coming down, we felt it was time to lead the industry to even further price drops, offering massive discounts for annual plans like most online subscription companies have been doing for years.”

In another plan-related move, Ultra Mobile launched a new unlimited plan that will run customers $49 per month. That offering comes in addition to an upgraded $19 plan that comes with 100 MB of 4G data and unlimited 3G data when three months are purchased at a time.

The carrier now offers a total of four plans, with tiers including:

  • $19 – 100MB 4G LTE plus Unlimited 3G data when customers buy three months;
  • $29 – 4GB high speed data doubled to 8GB when customers buy three months;
  • $39 – 6GB high speed data doubled to 12GB when customers buy three months;
  • $49 – Unlimited 4G LTE data including a free fourth month when customers buy three months.

All plans feature unlimited talk to more than 60 countries and unlimited global texting.

Nokia has launched a new 5G project aimed at using network slicing to enable new use cases in industries including automotive, healthcare, and media.

The 5G Mobile Network Architecture project, also known as 5G MoNArch, will be supported and financed as part of Phase II of the European Union’s 5G-PPP Horizon 2020 Framework Program. Nokia reports a total of 14 project partners are on board, including Huawei, Samsung, Deutsche Telekom, and Telecom Italia.

According to Nokia, the project’s main goals are as follows:

  • Detailed specification and extension of 5G architecture
  • Enhancement of architectural designs with key enabling innovations such as inter-slice control and cross-domain management, experiment-driven modeling and optimization, and native cloud-enabled protocol stack
  • Functional innovations around the key technologies required for dedicated 5G use cases: resilience, security, and resource elasticity
  • Deployment and experimental implementation of the architecture for two use cases in real-world testbeds - heavy communications usage in a tourist-heavy city, and secure and reliable communication in a seaport environment
  • Evaluation, validation, and verification of the architecture performance

The 5G MoNArch program will run for two years with a total budget of 7.7 million euros (around $9 million).

Verizon’s new company Oath is reportedly on the hook for $5.5 million after its new acquisition Yahoo stepped out of a promotional agreement with SCA Promotions and into a similar contract with Quicken Loans and Berkshire Hathaway. As reported by CNBC, a New Orleans court said SCA Promotions should get half of its $11 million contract with Yahoo for the cancellation. SCA retained Yahoo’s $1.1 million deposit for the contract, meaning the company has to fork over the remaining $4.4 million.

The promotions in question would have awarded $1 billion to an individual who correctly predicted every winner in the 2014 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. No winner was named in the challenge.

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