Cricket adds unlimited music downloads to unlimited calling plan

By on December 20, 2010 at 11:27 PM.

Cricket adds unlimited music downloads to unlimited calling plan

Value-driven wireless provider Cricket has announced a new, unlimited mobile calling plan that has a bit of a musical twist. The new plan will offer unlimited calling, text messaging, and data, and include unlimited music downloads. Customers, using the company’s Muve Music service, will be able to download full music tracks from labels such as Universal, Warner, Sony, and EMI; users will also have unlimited access to ringtones and ringback tones.

“Cricket was the first to introduce an unlimited wireless rate plan and now we are the first to introduce a new unlimited wireless rate plan that includes unlimited music. With Muve Music, Cricket is bringing together the best of wireless and music in a way no one has ever done before,” said Doug Hutcheson, the company’s president and CEO.

The Samsung Suede will launch as the first Muve device and the accompanying Muve unlimited plan will retail for a paltry $55 per month. Cricket plans to debut both the device and the music service at the Consumer Electronics Show this January in Las Vegas. More →

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Sprint outlines network evolution plan, multimode towers in 2011

By on December 6, 2010 at 10:06 AM.

Sprint outlines network evolution plan, multimode towers in 2011

Today, U.S. wireless provider Sprint published a press release outlining its “Network Vision” to be implemented over the next several years. As the PR reads:

Today, Sprint uses separate equipment to deploy services on 800MHz spectrum, 1.9GHz spectrum and, through its relationship with Clearwire, 2.5GHz spectrum. Under the terms of the new contracts, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung will install new network equipment and software that brings together multiple spectrum bands, or airwaves, on a single, multimode base station.

Sprint notes that the shift to multimode towers will enhance service quality, create network flexibility, reduce operating costs, and improve environmental sustainability. Network executives estimate the cost of Network Vision at between $4 billion and $5 billion, but it should save the company between $10 billion and $11 billion after 7-years.

The same announcement also contains a short note about the future of Sprint’s iDEN, push-to-talk service. “During the nationwide implementation of Network Vision, PTT customers will continue to receive a superior customer experience on the iDEN network, currently performing at best-ever levels,” the release reads. “As the Network Vision transformation unfolds, Sprint expects to launch the next-generation of PTT services in 2011 on the CDMA network, offering customers sub-second call setup time along with robust data capabilities. […] As the shifting to more broadband-centric PTT applications on the CDMA network occurs, it is expected that iDEN cell sites will be phased out. This phase out is expected to begin in 2013.”

Hit the jump to check out the full release. More →

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T-Mobile to announce new, low-cost international talk and text plan

By on November 30, 2010 at 2:44 PM.

T-Mobile to announce new, low-cost international talk and text plan

According to a memo acquired by TmoNews, U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile is set to introduce a new, low-cost, international text and calling plan in time for the holidays. The new offering will allow users to send unlimited text messages to cell phones in over 220 countries and call land-line phones in 56 countries without incurring long-distance charges — calls to these countries will count against your plans monthly minute-allowance. The new international talk and text plan will require subscribers to have a postpaid calling account with a monthly plan costing $49.99 or higher and an unlimited domestic text messaging plan. After those prerequisites are met, users can add the international text and calling plan for an additional $10 per line. The plans should be available to T-Mobile customers starting December 8th. Hit the jump to see the full memo. More →

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Netflix announces streaming only plan, price hikes for existing offerings

By on November 22, 2010 at 9:34 AM.

Netflix announces streaming only plan, price hikes for existing offerings

What was once rumored is now a reality. Netflix has announced that beginning today the company will offer a new, streaming-only service option for $7.99 per month. The plan, which does not include any by-mail DVD rentals, allows users to stream available titles to their televisions, mobile devices, and computer screens. “Creating the best user experience that we can around watching instantly is how we’re spending the vast majority of our time and resources,” reads the press release.

The second, and less attractive bit of this story, is that the company also plans to increase monthly plan prices by anywhere from $1 to $8. Netflix did not offer any explanation for the increases, but did note that the price of its two most popular plans — one DVD and 2 DVDs — will only rise by $1. Hit the bounce to see how your Netflix plan will be affected. More →

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Virgin Mobile adds $20, 1GB data plan to prepaid repertoire; Walmart exclusive

By on November 18, 2010 at 12:43 PM.

Virgin Mobile adds $20, 1GB data plan to prepaid repertoire; Walmart exclusive

Today, Virgin Mobile USA quietly added a 1GB prepaid data-plan to its Broadband2Go offerings; the plan will retail for $20 per month. The 1GB plan, which will be a Walmart exclusive, fills the gap between the company’s $10, 100MB and $40, unlimited monthly data options. Here is an official statement from a Virgin Mobile representative:

Today Virgin Mobile launched an exclusive $20 Broadband2Go mobile broadband plan available only at Walmart stores and online at www.Walmart.com. This new offer, available only to consumers who have purchased or will purchase a Novatel Wireless MiFi® 2200 device or Ovation™ MC760 USB device from a Walmart store or from www.Walmart.com, provides 1 GB of data for an affordable $20/month price point.

The company noted that the plan is aimed at “budget-conscious consumers who are looking for a mid-tier plan falling somewhere between heavy and light usage.” Not a bad option for those in need of both mobile connectivity and contract flexibility.

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Verizon announces ‘Smartphones Talk Free’ promotion

By on November 18, 2010 at 9:12 AM.

Verizon announces ‘Smartphones Talk Free’ promotion

Today, Verizon Wireless took the wraps off of its “Smartphones Talk Free” promotion that we briefly told you about yesterday. The new promotion aims to save those Family SharePlan customers looking to add an additional smartphone line for a child, spouse, or acquaintance some cold hard cash. As the press release reads:

To take advantage of the Smartphones Talk Free promotion, customers will need a Nationwide Family SharePlan starting at $69.99 monthly access for 700 Anytime Minutes and add a $29.99 data plan for each additional smartphone. Customers currently on a Nationwide Family SharePlan may have a total of up to five lines, and receive the promotional credit on each new line that uses a new smartphone.

The offer credits each new smartphone line — that subscribes to a $29.99 data plan — $9.99 per month; the offer expires on January 7, 2011. Verizon notes that consumers can save nearly $240 per line over the life of a two-year contract. Hit the break for the full PR. More →

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Sprint officially announces ZTE Peel iPod touch case

By on November 10, 2010 at 10:20 AM.

Sprint officially announces ZTE Peel iPod touch case

Today, via a press release, Sprint officially announced its ZTE Peel iPod touch mobile-hotspot case. The iPod accessory, which will be available November 14th, will retail for $79.99 and will fit second and third generation iPod touch devices. Sprint will offer a $30, month-to-month hotspot plan for the Peel that will include a 1GB data allowance. The Wi-Fi case will support WEP 64-bit encryption, has a 3-hour run-time, and is comparable with Windows 7, Vista, and XP as well as Mac OS 10.5 and 10.6. The announcement mirrors information we broke about the Peel last week and on Monday. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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Confirmed: ZTE Peel launching on Sprint November 14th; $79.99, $30 month-to-month plan

By on November 8, 2010 at 7:15 AM.

Confirmed: ZTE Peel launching on Sprint November 14th; $79.99, $30 month-to-month plan

On Friday, we told you about a rumor we were hearing surrounding the release-date and pricing for Sprint’s ZTE Peel; the iPod touch case that provides 3G internet access. Today, we’ve got cold hard evidence to confirm our previous scoop. As you can see from the above screen shot, the ZTE Peel will indeed be hitting the Now Network on November 14th and will retail for $79.99. The plan that Sprint will provide Peel customers is a $29.99, month-to-month, offering that will include a 1GB data allowance; overages will be billed at $0.05 per megabyte. The Wi-Fi case will be able to provide internet access for up to two devices and supports second and third generation iPod touch devices. Although… we do have to wonder if Sprint/ZTE will delay the current Peel as it is not compatible with the fourth generation iPod touch; most notably, the camera is in a different location.

What do you think iPod touch owners, you like?

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Verizon Wireless testing Sprint-like, $70, 450-minute, unlimited plan

By on November 6, 2010 at 11:20 AM.

Verizon Wireless testing Sprint-like, $70, 450-minute, unlimited plan

It looks like America’s largest cellular carrier, Verizon Wireless, will be taking a page out of the playbook of the nation’s third largest provider, Sprint. We’ve received multiple tips indicating that customers in select markets are starting to receive an email offer from Big Red hawking a $69.99 monthly plan that closely resembles Sprint’s $69.99 Everything Data plan.

The aforementioned data plan will allot users 450 monthly minutes, unlimited messaging, unlimited data, and unlimited Verizon mobile-to-mobile minutes. A family share plan (for 2 lines) will retail for $139.99 and provide 1400 anytime minutes, unlimited messaging, unlimited data, and unlimited Verizon mobile-to-mobile minutes; additional lines can be added for $19.99. Both plans require a 1-year contract renewal and you can only take advantage of the promotion by calling the number listed in the email.

Sprint still has a proverbial leg-up on Verizon as their Everything Data plans all include unlimited, carrier agnostic, mobile-to-mobile calling minutes.

Still, if you’re a Big Red customer, and purchased all this new plan offers independently, it would retail for roughly $90 — $39.99 for 450 minutes, $19.99 for unlimited text messaging, and $29.99 for smartphone data. Hit the jump to see the full advert and let us know what you think More →

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U.S. Cellular touts new smartphone plan as ‘best value in wireless’

By on November 3, 2010 at 3:33 AM.

U.S. Cellular touts new smartphone plan as ‘best value in wireless’

Yesterday, regional wireless provider U.S. Cellular announced a new smartphone plan that they are touting as “the best value in wireless.” The new “Primary Plus Plan” offers smartphone customers 5GB of data, unlimited text, picture, and video messaging, free GPS navigation, and 450 voice minutes with free incoming minutes for a modest $69.99 per month. The plan is aimed at customers considering their first smartphone and those who currently have an intelligentphone but are frustrated by their monthly bill. The offering is part of U.S. Cellular’s Belief Project which launched on October 1st. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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T-Mobile officially launches 200MB data plan, tethering plan

By on November 1, 2010 at 10:27 AM.

T-Mobile officially launches 200MB data plan, tethering plan

Following up on an exclusive from last week, T-Mobile has officially announced two new data offerings for its smartphone customers: a 200MB data plan and a tethering add-on.

The new, 200MB data plan option will cost smartphone owners $15 per month and require no contract extension. If you happen to be a satisfied T-Mo customer, and want to save yourself $60 per year, you can re-ink a new two-year agreement which will bring the offering down to $10 per month; the company will continue to offer its unlimited data plan for $30.

Next up is Magenta’s new “Tethering and Wi-Fi Sharing” plan. The add-on, which will retail for $15 per month, will allow “select smartphones” to “function as wireless modems for connecting devices, such as laptops, tablets and netbooks to the Internet through the T-Mobile network.” The tethering plan can be added to the $30, unlimited data-plan only. More →

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Verizon makes $15 data plan official, testing unlimited mobile-to-mobile in some markets

By on October 29, 2010 at 7:22 AM.

Verizon makes $15 data plan official, testing unlimited mobile-to-mobile in some markets

There have been rumors floating around the internet about Verizon Wireless offering a second, “tiered” data plan, and that rumor was confirmed today. America’s largest wireless provider will begin offering a $15 monthly data plan to 3G smartphone users that offers 150MB data allowance. The carrier will bill overages at $15 per 150MB and the $30, unlimited data plan will remain unchanged.

Also hot off the rumor wagon, Engadget is reporting that Verizon is testing calling plans with unlimited, any-mobile-to-mobile minutes — a la Sprint — in select markets across Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The plans range from $60 all the way up to $130 — offering between 450 and 2000 minutes — and include unlimited text messaging. The unlimited mobile-to-mobile offerings are available until the end of 2010 at which point, we assume, Verizon will either expand or cancel the plans depending on demand. More →

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Bell Canada to charge $10 tariff for HSPA+ access?

By on October 18, 2010 at 8:31 AM.

Bell Canada to charge $10 tariff for HSPA+ access?

We’re not sure if we should blame U.S. wireless carrier Sprint for coming up with this idea, or Bell Canada for running with it. BGR has just obtained a memo that indicates Bell customers will have to fork over a $10 per month premium for access to the company’s HSPA+ wireless network. The memo seems to indicate that the first set of devices to succumb to this fate will be a “Turbo Stick” and “Turbo Hub”; the memo is vague enough (mentioning “high speed devices”) that it could include smartphones. This may be the unfortunate reality we’re all going to have to deal with as carriers go to 4G; or in this case “4G.” If you’re a Bell customer, feel free to sound off and let us know what you think.

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