Tag Archives | Wireless Carriers

Verizon Wireless May Offer Family Plans for Data

The bad news–at least for some people–is that Verizon Wireless plans to follow AT&T’s lead and eliminate all-you-can-eat data plans this summer. The good news is that it’s talking (albeit vaguely) about family-plan data pricing that would let you spread one bucket of megabytes among multiple gadgets.

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T-Mobile Wants You (to Switch)

Hey, jt might be just about to be gobbled up by AT&T, but that sure isn’t stopping T-Mobile from sticking it to the big guys. As part of a push for its 4G services, the carrier is offering credits of to $300 on the trade-in of a competitor’s device.

There are a few requirements: you need to be a new customer (obviously), and the device needs to be fully functional and in good condition — free of either water or corrosion damage. In order to trade the device in, the consumer needs to visit a retail location.

In partnership with The Wireless Source, representatives have a list of values for current devices. The payment for the device comes in the form of a mailed check, so the savings on a T-Mobile device aren’t instant, infortunately unfortunately.

T-Mobile’s deal certainly seems good, but I think I’d echo most people’s concerns that one would have to wait for a mailed check rather than instant payment much like Radio Shack has begun to do. What happens if The Wireless Source doesn’t think the device is in good enough condition? Do you get it back? We really don’t have an answer to that.

[Hat Tip: TMoNews]

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Free Android Tethering Blocked by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile

So much for free tethering apps on Android phones, at least in the Android Market. AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile are now blocking these apps, which offer a free or cheap alternative to the carriers’ official, subscription-based offerings.

As Engadget points out, you can still see tethering apps like PDANet in the Android Market, but if you try to install them on any of the major U.S. carriers besides Sprint, you’ll be told that “This item is not available on your carrier.”

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Consumers Say Verizon iPhone Drops Fewer Calls

If the latest survey from ChangeWave Research is any indication, the theory that the Verizon iPhone would be more reliable than AT&T’s iPhone is more than just a theory. That said, consumers still seem to be as satisfied with the iPhone 4 on AT&T as they do on Verizon.

82 percent of iPhone 4 owners on Verizon are satisfied with the device versus 80 percent on AT&T. Conversely, 18 percent are dissatisfied with the iPhone 4 on AT&T, and 16 percent on Verizon. Not much of a difference, and within the margin of error.

There are definitely areas where the two carriers diverge, though, most notably in dropped calls.

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Sprint Doesn’t Like the Idea of AT&T-Mobile

At last week’s CTIA Wireless conference, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse was somewhat subdued about the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile US–he said that his opinion didn’t matter. But now Sprint has formally come out in opposition to the deal, in a press release that uses the dreaded M-word: Ma Bell.

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Your Take on This AT&T-T-Mobile Thing

I spent the last few days at the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, and the big news at the show wasn’t big news from the show. It was, of course, the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile US. Everyone at the conference seemed to still be processing it in their minds–and I decided to ask my friends over at Twitter (where I’m @harrymccracken) for their takes as of right now.

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Verizon Wireless Doesn’t Want Sprint

So is Verizon going to react to AT&T’s T-Mobile bid by snapping up Sprint? Apparently not.

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Google and Sprint Buddy Up on Nexus S, Google Voice

The Googlephone. It’s a concept that sometimes sounds an exciting taste of the future, and sometimes sounds like it’s already fizzled. And today, it’s back to being exciting: Google has announced that there will be a Sprint 4G version of its fine Nexus S phone–and that it will give consumers all the goodness of Google voice without making them switch their phone numbers. That’ll make it the first true native Google Voice phone.

The news would be noteworthy whenever it came down, but the timing is fascinating. It came down hours after AT&T agreed to acquire T-Mobile–there latter being the carrier that partnered with Google for the Nexus One and original Nexus S, and the only national carrier other than Sprint that counts as a scrappy underdog. Sprint needs good news; Google needs a wireless partner that isn’t T-Mobile and that doesn’t insist on acting like an 800-pound gorilla. Short of Google buying a phone carrier, there are all kinds of interesting things it could do with Sprint if the two companies agreed to let Google take the sort of dominant role that Apple took with the iPhone but which otherwise just doesn’t happen.

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An Ex-Regulator Dissects the AT&T-Mobile News

Bruce Gottlieb–until recently an advisor to the chairman of the FCC–has some smart analysis on the implications of AT&T’s plan to buy T-Mobile US over at The Atlantic.

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A Brief History of the Rise and Fall of Telephone Competition in the US, 1982-2011

So much for quiet Sundays. AT&T announced today that it’s agreed to acquire T-Mobile US from Deutsche Telekom, a merger which, if completed, will make it by far the country’s biggest wireless phone company. It’ll also leave us with three national carriers: AT&T, archrival Verizon Wireless, and the much smaller Sprint.

I’m not an expert on the dynamics of the telecommunications industry, but Om Malik’s thoughts–that this is bad news for everybody except AT&T and T-Mobile shareholders–do a good job of summarizing the pessimistic view I’m instinctively inclined to tak. In the US, T-Mobile was a scrappy underdog that did shocking things like reduce monthly bills once a customer had completed a contract for a subsidized phone. It’s tough to imagine that T-Mobile’s personality will rub off on AT&T rather than the other way around.

Of course, AT&T does its best to make the case that this is good news: If the merger goes through, it will have more wireless spectrum to work with, and says it will bring LTE to former T-Mobile customers. And the company argues both that (A) there’s still plenty of competition, between national and regional wireless companies, and (B) past mergers have been good for consumers. Which is, I guess, the argument you’d expect from a company named AT&T.

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