Sprint’s already been very vocal about its opposition to AT&T’s planned purchase of T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom, but on Tuesday the carrier officially asked the Federal Communications Commission to step in and block the purchase. In its 377-page filing, Sprint argued that the acquisition would make AT&T the nation’s largest carrier with a total of 118 million subscribers and a 43% grip on the postpaid market. The carrier added that Verizon and AT&T would earn 78% of all wireless revenues and the “Twin Bell” duopoly would have an 82% grasp of the postpaid market, making it difficult for other carriers such as Sprint to compete. AT&T, meanwhile, has argued that the acquisition will create jobs, will not stifle competition, and will help deliver high-speed wireless broadband to 97% of U.S. residents. More →
T-Mobile on Monday introduced several new postpaid and prepaid plans headlined by a variety of throttled unlimited options that cater to a wide range of data-hungry smartphone users. The new individual unlimited plans start at $59.99 for unlimited nationwide voice calling and unlimited text messaging, and then become incrementally more expensive when unlimited data is added. Users can opt for unlimited data with 200MB of “high-speed” data for an extra $10 each month for a total of $69.99, 2GB of high-speed data for a total of $79.99, 5GB of high-speed data for $89.99, or 10GB of high-speed data for $119.99 each month. Once the high-speed data ceiling on one of the aforementioned plans is reached in a single month, data speeds will be reduced significantly — or “throttled” — until a new billing period begins. T-Mobile revamped several other postpaid plans and added two new prepaid options as well, and the details can be found in the press release below or on the carrier’s site. More →
The first-quarter financial figures for Verizon Wireless were not all that surprising. The nation’s largest wireless carrier was widely expected to post strong quarterly results, and it did. Verizon Wireless saw its churn rate fall year-over-year to 1.01 for postpaid customers and 1.33 overall. The company’s data revenues were up 22.3% from the same period last year, fueled by 1.8 million net additions, 2.2 million new iPhone activations, 260,000 HTC ThunderBolt activations, and 32% of retail postpaid customers using smartphones. Verizon Wireless now has 104 million total connections on its network, which represents a 6.1% increase year-over-year. If you are interested in reading the entire Verizon Communications release, it is waiting for you after the break.
Update: Although not included in the Q1 press release, the company’s conference call presentation indicates that 2.2 million iPhone 4s were activated during the three month period. Title updated to reflect this new information. More →
Via a press release today, AT&T announced that it will be offering two, Android-based LG handsets in both the prepaid and postpaid variety. The postpaid Phoenix and prepaid Thrive both sport a 600MHz processor, 3.2-inch touchscreen display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, aGPS, 3.2 megapixel rear-facing camera, microSD card slot, and 7.2Mbps HSDPA radio. Both smartphones, which run Froyo (Android 2.2) will be available on April 17th with the Phoenix retailing for $49.99 with a signed two-year agreement and the Thrive retailing for $179.99 contract-free. Prepaid customs that purchase a Thrive must sign-up for one of three new, prepaid data-plan offerings also announced: $25 for 500MB, $15 for 100MB, or $5 for 10MB. The full press release is after the break. More →
Via a quick press release, AT&T has announced two, new postpaid data plans available to its tablet users. The new offerings closely match the prepaid options currently being offered, with a slight twist. “The new plans can be added to customers’ existing monthly wireless statements, offering the simplicity of a single monthly bill,” writes AT&T. Postpaid customers will be billed at an overage rate of $10 per gigabyte — prepaid customers have to buy an additional 2GB allotment when they exceed their quota ($12.50 per gigabyte). The company is also offering some incentive to jump on the postpaid bandwagon, “For a limited time, customers who activate a new postpaid $25/2 GB plan will receive the first month free.” Both the postpaid and prepaid options are on a month-to-month basis, no contract required. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Listen up T-Mobile tetherers, we’ve just been sent in some intel that indicates America’s fourth largest carrier will begin to offer/charge for tethering on November 3rd. The Tethering and Wi-Fi Sharing Add-On, which will have a monthly cost of $14.99, will allow customers to use their smartphones as a tethered modem or Wi-Fi hotspot. Starting on 11/3, in order to legally share your device’s internet connection on T-Mobile, you’ll need: a 3G or HSPA+ capable device, an unlimited web plan of $19.95 or higher, and the $14.99 tethering add-on. The offering will be available to both postpaid and Flex Pay customers who meet the above requirements. Hit the jump to check out the full memo and let us know what you think.
Thanks, K! More →
Just one day after we scooped fresh product shots of Virgin Mobile USA’s first mobile broadband device, the Novatel Wireless MC760, the company has announced the availability of its contract-free Broadband2Go service. Touted as a 3G nationwide wireless Internet service, the MVNO’s new offering is sure to pique the interest of infrequent travelers and light mobile broadband users who simply can’t justify a $60 per month service for sporadic usage. Out of the gate, the pricing structure is a bit different than we had believed back when we first broke news of the coming broadband offering. Users will be able to purchase Broadband2Go Top-Up cards in the following denominations:
- $10 — 100MB usable for 10 days
- $20 — 250MB usable for 30 days
- $40 — 600MB usable for 30 days
- $60 — 1GB usable for 30 days
On the surface these options appear to be a bit pricey but again, postpaid options from other carriers can cost $720 per year or more. For users who only need mobile broadband access a few months out of each year, spending a total of $60, $120 or even $180 for Top-Up cards that will get them through a full year translates into massive savings.
Sprint’s Boost Mobile will launch a new “Monthly Unlimited” plan that includes unlimited minutes, unlimited text messaging, wireless Web and PTT services for $50 per month. The new low cost plan severely undercuts pretty much every competitive unlimited offering and is expected to snag consumers who are looking for a low cost alternative. Even though it runs on the slower iDEN network, the extremely low price point should definitely be attractive to budget minded consumers who use their phones primarily for voice and texting. The new plan is expected to be available starting January 22nd and will launch with new phones including a candy bar and a rumored but not yet confirmed unnamed smartphone. Our only request? Please Boost Mobile ad team – and we can’t stress this enough – leave Mickey Avalon out of the new commercials…