T-Mobile USA announced on Tuesday that it is now selling Square credit card systems in its retail stores. Square allows people to take payments by swiping a credit card through the Square dongle, which can be plugged into the end of a smartphone. “The success of our small business customers is important to us. Formerly ‘cash only’ small businesses can now simply and cost-effectively accept credit cards with their smartphone using Square, giving them an easy path to growth,” said Matt Millen, vice president of small and medium business sales at T-Mobile. “As these businesses evaluate their wireless needs, T-Mobile is committed to providing quality of service, cost savings and connectivity that are a requirement for their success.” T-Mobile will also offer direct support for the smartphone payment accessory. The company’s full press release follows after the break. More →
An internal document allegedly obtained from T-Mobile says the iPhone offers a “poor” customer experience on T-Mobile’s network. While it’s arguable that is a true statement since current iPhone models don’t support T-Mobile’s 1700MHz and 2100MHz 3G/4G bands and can only run on a second-generation EDGE network, there are now well over a million T-Mobile customers currently using unlocked iPhones on its network. The internal document instead asks customer service representatives to suggest customers buy T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ Android devices instead. We certainly understand where T-Mobile is coming from; obviously it wants to be able to control its customers’ experiences on its network. Plus, EDGE is far slower than the carrier’s HSPA+ network. As TMoNews points out, it’s more probable that customers find their data experience “limited” but not “poor,” given that some customers may argue that the iPhone itself offers a better hardware and software experience than several of T-Mobile’s 4G phones. More →
T-Mobile and AT&T have filed with the Federal Communications Commission to transfer $1 billion worth of AT&T’s AWS spectrum into T-Mobile USA’s ownership. AT&T previously promised the spectrum to Deutsche Telekom in the event that its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA failed. “This additional spectrum will help meet the growing demand for wireless broadband services,” Tom Sugrue, T-Mobile’s senior vice president for government affairs, told The Wall Street Journal. “We hope the FCC will move swiftly to approve the license assignments.” As The Wall Street Journal points out, T-Mobile desperately needs the spectrum in order to compete with Sprint, AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Each of those aforementioned carriers have already started to, or already have plans to, roll out faster 4G LTE networks this year. T-Mobile has not discussed any firm plans regarding how it will advance beyond its current HSPA+ network. More →
Nokia proved it was back in the smartphone game when it launched the Lumia 800 last year. But can its Lumia 710 gain the attention of U.S. consumers? Many would argue that Nokia should have decided to launch the Lumia 800 to make a bigger splash in a market that has long forgotten the Finnish smartphone maker. But the Lumia 710 is affordable — it only costs $50 with a new two-year contract — and it’s also powerful. It’s not as feature-rich as the Lumia 800, but can it still compete with other smartphones in its price range? My full review follows after the break.
LTE quickly became one of the most talked about wireless topics this year, but before 2011 it was a term most consumers probably had never heard of. A standard developed by the Third-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), long-term evolution (LTE) is a progression of UMTS/HSPA and GSM/EDGE networks. Just a year ago, 4G LTE wasn’t available to the general U.S. public and now, as we begin to enter 2012, a massive chunk of the U.S. population has access to it. 4G spread like a wildfire during 2011, so let’s take a look at some of this year’s LTE highlights. More →
T-Mobile USA and Motorola have both responded to a request for information on Carrier IQ from Senator Al Franken, and both firms admitted to using the software on their handsets. Carrier IQ’s wide-reaching existence was revealed earlier this month by a security expert who pointed out that the software could be used by phone makers and carriers to spy on mobile phone users. T-Mobile said the software is installed on devices owned by an estimated 450,000 customers but that it uses the “technical data solely to understand what is happening on the device and the network so that [T-Mobile] can more effectively and directly troubleshoot issues.” T-Mobile also admitted Carrier IQ comes pre-loaded on the Galaxy S II, the HTC Amaze, the Samsung Exhibit II 4G, the BlackBerry Bold 9900, the BlackBerry Curve 9360, the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and LG’s MyTouch, MyTouch Q and LG DoublePlay. There’s no word yet of T-Mobile will follow in Sprint’s footprints and disable the software’s functionality. Motorola also said it installs Carrier IQ software on its Admiral, Titanium, Bravo and Atrix 2 phones, but only because Sprint and AT&T ask it to. “As of the end of the third-quarter of 2011, we have sold a total of approximately 145,000 units of these models to our wireless carrier partners,” said Motorola government relations senior vice president Dale Stone. More →
AT&T is in such need of spectrum following the collapse of its planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA, that one analyst thinks the carrier may soon seek to acquire Dish Network. “Dish and AT&T aren’t direct competitors, and at the end of the day, the government wants to see spectrum used,” Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Christopher King told Bloomberg Tuesday. “It’s highly unlikely regulators would block two AT&T deals in row,” he added, noting that AT&T is “desperate for spectrum.” AT&T wasn’t the only company eyeing a deal with T-Mobile USA, however; Dish Network chief executive officer Joseph Clayton recently said that his company was interested in working with T-Mobile USA to create a national wireless network of its own. Read on for more. More →
Deutsche Telekom recently detailed the breakup terms AT&T agreed to following the deterioration of its planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. Deutsche Telekom will receive $3 billion in cash and T-Mobile USA will benefit from fresh AWS spectrum as well as a new 7-year 3G roaming deal with AT&T. “As part of the break-up fee, T-Mobile USA will receive a large package of AWS mobile spectrum in 128 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs), including 12 of the top 20 markets (Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore and Seattle),” Deutsche Telekom said in a statement. “The UMTS roaming agreement for the U.S. in T-Mobile USA’s favor has a term of over seven years and will allow the company to improve its footprint significantly among the U.S. population and offer its customers better broadband coverage for mobile communications services in the future.” The company also said that T-Mobile USA’s 3G network will grow from blanketing 230 million potential customers to covering 280 million people. Deutsche Telekom’s full press release follows below. More →
Dish Network is interested in partnering with T-Mobile USA should AT&T’s planned acquisition of the carrier fail to gain regulatory approval. Dish Network chief executive officer Joseph Clayton revealed the news during an interview with Bloomberg on Monday. Clayton believes Dish could combine its spectrum with T-Mobile’s existing network, giving it enough muscle to compete with Verizon Wireless and AT&T. “We’re not interested in making money on selling our spectrum,” Clayton told Bloomberg. “We want to use it to create a national wireless network, video, voice and data. We’ve got expertise in satellite-TV, and we will in satellite broadband. The voice part, we’ll need some help with.” Dish is among several companies that have expressed interest in purchasing assets from AT&T or T-Mobile, should the companies decide to divest assets in an effort to gain approval from U.S. regulators. More →
MetroPCS chief financial officer J. Braxton Carter recently said AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA is likely to fail. Carter’s comments were made during a UBS investor conference in New York City on Tuesday, during which he said the proposed merger is “almost kind of moot at this point given the intense opposition by the government.” MetroPCS was named as one of several U.S. wireless carriers originally interested in purchasing spectrum from AT&T and T-Mobile. AT&T recently pulled its merger application from the FCC to focus on a lawsuit that was levied against the proposed merger by the United States Justice Department. Hours after AT&T withdrew its application, the FCC released a 109-page report suggesting AT&T was not going to win the FCC’s blessing anyway. AT&T’s lawsuit with the DOJ is expected to go to trial in February of next year. More →
AT&T is reportedly considering a joint venture with T-Mobile USA parent company Deutsche Telekom instead of buying T-Mobile USA outright. Sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal said the plans are far from final, but such a deal could be looked at more closely now that AT&T is facing a number of roadblocks with its planned merger. AT&T recently withdrew its application from the FCC to acquire T-Mobile USA; the carrier will instead focus on a lawsuit brought against the merger by the Department of Justice, which is expected to begin in February. The FCC released a 109-page document that suggested it was not in favor of AT&T purchasing T-Mobile for a number of reasons, including an apparent failure on AT&T’s part to convince the FCC its T-Mobile USA acquisition would create new jobs.
Putting it simply, AT&T’s planned purchase of T-Mobile USA is beginning to sound like a game of chess (with a sprinkle of politics, of course). Public Knowledge and Media Access Project requested Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission release documents related to AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The two public policy groups argue that “the public deserves for the Commission’s determinations to see the light of day.” AT&T recently withdrew its acquisition application from the FCC to focus on a lawsuit brought against the merger by the Department of Justice. The organizations believe AT&T pulled its application so that it can “seek a favorable decision” in federal court and then use that ruling to win the FCC’s approval. Read on for more. More →
The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday granted AT&T permission to withdraw its application to purchase T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. Two public policy groups, Public Knowledge and Media Access Project asked the FCC to publish its documents relating to the deal and to prevent AT&T from rescinding its application, although it appears it’s too late for that to happen. AT&T announced its intention to withdraw its application to purchase T-Mobile USA on November 24th when it explained that it was going to instead focus on a lawsuit brought against it by the Department of Justice. That case is expected to kick off in February. Should AT&T win, it is likely the wireless carrier will re-file its application with the FCC and begin its acquisition process all over again. Public Knowledge and Media Access Project have argued that AT&T will have unfairly exhausted the resources of its competitors by the time it re-files for the merger.