Consumers and businesses in America spend billions on wireless service each year. And it’s no wonder — the average cost of cell phone service on each of the top four nationwide carriers in the U.S. is painfully high. One is higher than the rest, of course, and you’ll have to try to act surprised when you find out which it is. More →
Don’t worry, American consumers: the death of net neutrality is no big deal and it won’t harm your online experience at all. That’s the takeaway from the various responses U.S. Internet service providers offered up to the public following Tuesday’s U.S. appeals court ruling that killed net neutrality rules. Some believe the ruling will ultimately lead to the destruction of the Internet as we know it today, giving service providers free rein to squeeze money out of companies looking to give their services an edge by allotting them additional bandwidth that standard service will not enjoy. But according to companies such as Comcast and Verizon, that won’t be the case at all. More →
T-Mobile CEO John Legere has become fond of using social media to taunt his rivals at Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. And on Tuesday, Legere came up with yet another way to use Twitter to annoy his competitors: By posting pictures of their former customers making the switch to T-Mobile. To rub salt even further into the wound, most of the pictures Legere posted were of customers who were also displaying “breakup letters” they’d written to their former carriers that included messages such as “BYE BYE AT&T I’m breaking up with you!” and “Peace out, Sprint, U suck!” T-Mobile first launched its “carrier breakup letter” initiative at CES last week where it offered to help customers write breakup letters informing rival carriers that they were being dumped for “the Uncarrier.” Some of Legere’s choice pictures follow below. More →
Nokia may have agreed last year to sell its devices and services business to Microsoft, but that certainly hasn’t stopped the vendor from building and launching a wide range of new devices while it waits for the deal to be finalized. According to a new leak, the company’s next launch will be a sleek new smartphone coming to Verizon Wireless in the near future. Engadget on Wednesday evening discovered a Verizon test site page that was home to the all new Nokia Lumia Icon, a Windows Phone 8 handset with what appears to be a fairly large HD display. Stated specs include a 20-megapixel camera and a 2,420 mAh battery with support for wireless charging, but the rest is a mystery — at least for the next few days until Verizon announces the phone. The test page on Verizon’s site has been taken down.
Data caps. The mere mention of the phrase is enough to send shivers up the spine of any smartphone user. While there is a glimmer of hope that carriers might someday be forced to raise caps or even eliminate them entirely, data caps likely aren’t going anywhere anytime soon for Verizon Wireless and AT&T subscribers. Luckily, however, there are tools to help subscribers better manage their data usage. Carriers themselves offer tools that help users analyze data usage and they also notify customers as they approach their data caps, but a new free tool made available by the CTIA takes things a step further by helping smartphone and tablet users learn which iPhone, iPad and Android apps consume a large amount of data and which apps are more cap-friendly. The “Know My App” site allows users to browse through a list of popular apps or search by name, and it also shows how concerned people should be based on how high their data caps are. A link to the site follows below in our source section.
Verizon and AT&T have long insisted that the majority of their subscribers face no danger of going over their monthly data caps, but that may be about to change. The New York Times reports on a new study published this week showing that average monthly mobile data consumption in the United States has surged over the last year, going from an average of 690MB per month in 2012 to 1.2GB per month this year. If data usage keeps growing at this pace then next year the average wireless user will consume around 2.4GB per month, which is well over many subscribers’ monthly data caps. More →
Has Verizon’s super-fast LTE network been less super-fast than normal for you lately? If so then you can blame the surge in video streaming that Verizon says has taken it by surprise. The Wall Street Journal reports that demand for mobile video streaming has put serious strain on Verizon’s LTE network, with average download speeds decreasing by more than 20% in some areas. Because of this, Verizon is spending another $500 million to boost its network capacity in key markets such as New York, San Francisco and Chicago where the strain created by video data has been particularly acute. The Journal notes that Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said this past fall that “consumption of video is far outpacing what our expectations were,” which explains why the carrier seems to be scrambling to get its network up to speed.
Last week, AT&T sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission saying that it will not disclose information about how it shares private data with the NSA. Reuters reports that Verizon is now taking a similar stance, but rather than challenging the proposal from its own shareholders by taking the necessary steps with the SEC, the wireless carrier plans to skip the vote all together if it can. More →
The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU) has announced it has partnered with various investment firms that have stakes in AT&T and Verizon to demand more transparency from the two carriers when it comes to government spying. To convince AT&T, the ACLU has partnered with The New York State Common Retirement Fund and Trillium Asset Management LLC. The Verizon shareholder proposal was jointly filed with Trillium Asset Management LLC, Park Foundation and Clean Yield Asset Management. More →
The Moto X is now on sale at Verizon for as low a price as you’re likely to see. Motorola’s flagship phone is available on Amazon for Verizon customers in black or white for only a penny. If you want to customize your phone, though, you’ll still have to pay the regular $99.99 for the Moto X on Verizon. This offer comes two days after Verizon ended its half-off deal on the Moto X for $49.99. Since it’s on Verizon, the Moto X will be able to upgrade to the latest version of Android, KitKat right away, which Motorola released yesterday. While this deal won’t save you much money over the course of a two-year contract, it’s still a great deal for one of the best Android phones out there.
Motorola and Verizon are offering a very tempting stocking stuffer for early holiday shoppers. 9to5Google notes that Verizon customers can now design their own Moto X smartphone using Moto Maker and get it for just $49.99 with a two-year contract. The offer only lasts through November 18th, however, so you’ll have to act quickly if you want to get the Moto X at such a steep discount. Motorola’s Moto Maker program, which lets users choose their own smartphone casing colors, engravings and custom wallpapers, started out as an exclusive for AT&T but this week branched out to all other major carriers in the United States. Relatedly, prepaid carrier Republic Wireless announced Thursday that it is selling the Moto X for $299 off-contract with plans that range from $5 to $40 per month.
Good news, Verizon customers: Soon you’ll be able to buy the same wood-patterned Moto X that AT&T customers have enjoyed for months. Droid Life’s sources claim that Verizon customers will get access to the Moto Maker system starting on November 11th, which will let them custom-design their Moto X smartphones and choose from features such as colors, engravings and signature wallpapers. Like AT&T, Verizon will probably sell the customizable Moto X for just $99 with a two-year contract. More →
It’s bad news for TV viewers interested in alternative services as Intel has apparently decided to give up on its exciting aspirations for a subscription TV service. AllThingsD reports that Intel is currently in talks with Verizon to “hand over control of Intel Media, the unit that has been trying to build a Web-based subscription TV service.” Rumors surrounding the service have been circulating for months, but Intel never public unveiled the set-top box that would run its service, nor did the company set a date for its release. More →