AT&T will begin to throttle data speeds during the first week of October, 9to5 Mac reported on Thursday. The carrier could move to throttle the data speeds of its biggest data users in an effort to ensure network stability for its first LTE devices, which are expected to launch later this year. It remains unclear how low AT&T will knock the throughput down to, but 9to5 Mac says Virgin currently forces data hogs down to 256Kbps until the next billing cycle after they use more than 2.5GB. T-Mobile also throttles its data speeds after users go over their monthly 5GB “unlimited” cap. The move should actually be beneficial for most AT&T customers looking for stable performance and will only affect those who use much more data than the average customer according to the report. More →
T-Mobile announced new “Value” plans for customers who sign up for service and pay the full price of a new phone or bring their own device. Beginning on July 24th, customers will have the option of paying for a new device at an unsubsidized cost upfront or in monthly installments. T-Mobile’s cheapest Value plan is a $39 monthly option that provides 500 minutes and unlimited texting, but the carrier will also offer 2GB, 5GB, and 10GB data packages. Family lines will start at $49.99 per line, and customers will have the option of signing up for “value” mobile broadband plans, too. The new plans will be particularly attractive to customers who take hand-me-down phones from friends, but there’s a small catch. It’s typically attractive to buy a phone at full price to avoid being locked into a two-year agreement. If you sign up for a Value plan, however, you’ll still be locked into a contract. T-Mobile’s current “Even More” plans will be rebranded “Classic” when the Value options make their debut. Read on for the full press release from T-Mobile. More →
Amazon updates Cloud Drive and Cloud Player with unlimited music space, free storage for Amazon MP3s, iPad web player
Moments ago Amazon announced that it has made a number of enhancements to its Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player services. First — for a limited time — anyone who signs up will get unlimited space for music. That includes users who signs up for the minimum $20/year 20GB plan. Second, Amazon has announced that Cloud Drive customers can now store all MP3s purchased from the Amazon MP3 music store for free — that includes those that were bought before Amazon launched the Cloud Drive and Cloud Player services, and your tunes don’t count against the overall storage count. Finally, Amazon announced that its Cloud Player for Web is now available on the iPad, and that it’s been optimized for use with the Safari browser. Simply visit http://www.amazon.com/cloudplayer from your iPad to get started. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Verizon has confirmed to FierceWireless that it will move to tiered data plans on July 7th, and the new plans are in line with earlier reports for the most part. If you’re worried about losing your existing unlimited plan, fear not; only new customers will be required to subscribe to one of three new data plans: $30 for 2GB of data per month, $50 for 5GB, or $80 for 10GB. Verizon Wireless will then charge $10 per GB of data past the monthly allotment. Mobile hotspot users will need to start paying a monthly fee starting on July 7th, too. Current 4G hotspot owners will be charged $30 for unlimited use and new customers will have to pay $20 per 2GB of data consumed. The good news? Verizon confirmed that existing customers can upgrade on or after July 7th and still hang on to their unlimited data plans — for now, at least. More →
On Tuesday AT&T officially announced that its customers can now sign up for a $50 unlimited GoPhone plan that includes unlimited text, talk, and web for $50 per month. AT&T’s GoPhone option does not require a contract and it also allows customers to text Mexico, Canada, and 100 other countries at no additional cost. AT&T’s new pricing is a considerable drop from the original $60 per month GoPhone option, which just provided unlimited talk and text.Read on for the full release. More →
Sony’s Music Unlimited service powered by Qriocity is now available for Android smartphones. The service originally made its debut in Europe back in December 2010 and launched in the United States this past January. The Music Unlimited for Android app comes with a 30-day free trial, granting users access to more than 7 million songs that can be synced from a PC. After the 30-day trial users will have to plop down $3.99 or $9.99 per month for the basic or full blown premium services, respectively. As you may assume, the service requires that you create a Qriocity account, or use an existing account. That has us a bit wary to give the app a whirl ourselves, given Sony’s recent massive security breach — although, to its credit, the firm did say that it’s ramping up security its measures. Music Unlimited is available for phones running Android 2.1 to 2.3.3 from the Android Market now. More →
T-Mobile USA introduced two new 4G prepaid plans on Tuesday. These plans are in addition to the new prepaid options the carrier announced on May 23rd. One costs $50 per month and provides unlimited text, talk, and 100MB of data. The second offers 5GB of data, and unlimited talk and text for $70 per month. As usual, any subscriber that surpasses the data allotment will see their data speeds drop considerably until the next billing cycle begins. Hit the break for T-Mobile’s press release. 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 →
Last week a screenshot leaked suggested T-Mobile would reintroduce free unlimited Wi-Fi calls beginning on May 11th. That day passed without an announcement, but on Monday GigaOm obtained a confirmation from a T-Mobile representative that confirms customers can now place unlimited Wi-Fi calls without consuming their monthly minute allotment. Here’s what the T-Mobile rep had to say:
T-Mobile is excited to expand our Wi-Fi Calling feature, a unique and valuable service T-Mobile has been offering customers for over three years. Starting today, T-Mobile customers can add Free Wi-Fi Calling to their rate plan – at no additional charge – to place calls over Wi-Fi without deducting from their allotment of minutes. This new feature is available at T-Mobile retail stores to all customers on Even More and Even More Plus Postpaid rate plans who have Wi-Fi Calling capable handsets.
GigaOm says the feature is available on Android devices that have the pre-installed Smart Wi-Fi application, which suggests that this feature isn’t available for T-Mobile users looking for unlimited calling on UMA-equipped BlackBerry smartphones — at least for the time being. More →
We recently had a chance to speak with Sprint’s Vice President of Product Development, Fared Adib, about Sprint’s upcoming devices, product strategy, and a whole lot more. Interested in Sprint’s thoughts on unlimited versus capped or throttled data? Wondering about Sprint’s plans for product differentiation in 2011 and beyond? Curious to know if Sprint will offer RIM’s new BlackBerry Bold 9930? Hit the break for our full in-depth interview with one of the industry’s driving forces of innovation.
BGR Interview is a series of interviews and conversations with executives, influencers, tastemakers and innovators, covering the mobile and consumer electronics industries. More →
According to a leaked internal screenshot obtained by TmoNews, T-Mobile USA may reintroduce its free unlimited Wi-Fi calling option on May 11th. T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi calling feature is currently free on phones that support UMA, however, placing a call over Wi-Fi still consumes your monthly minute allotment. Soon those calls may not consume your minutes at all. T-Mobile could alert consumers with supported phones as soon as Wednesday, and the option will be available to customers signed up for T-Mobile’s Even More, Even More Plus, and 4G Do More plans according to the report. More →
Shazam and eBay have teamed up to offer Android users a nice freebie. From now until January 1, 2012, Android Shazam users can enjoy unlimited song tagging without having to buy Shazam Encore. “This is the first exclusive App sponsorship deal agreed by eBay anywhere in the world, and the first time Shazam has selected a partner to provide free services to their customers,” reads the press release. The company’s self-titled, free application gives users the ability to tag up to five songs each month, after which Shazam Encore must be purchased. “In addition, we’re pleased to offer Android Shazamers access to the Shazam Friends social feature, allowing them to share their music discoveries with their Facebook friends and family while discovering exciting new music and content themselves in a continuously updating feed.” The full press release is after the break.
Trying to save a few bucks for your summer vacation? Today, Verizon Wireless officially launched “Unleashed,” the carrier’s own unlimited prepaid service. A spokesperson told Fierce Wireless that the service is available in parts of Florida and Southern California, to start. Customers can choose between four different plans — including daily and by-the-minute — but the most attractive offering is a $50 monthly option that provides unlimited calling, texting, and web browsing. There are only three feature phones available from Unleashed right now, including the LG Accolade ($39.99), the LG Cosmos ($99.99), and the Pantech Caper ($79.99). By contrast, Boost Mobile, which offers a similar $50 monthly unlimited plan, has 18 different phones including a few that are powered by Android. If you’re looking to save some cold hard cash without sacrificing cell phone minutes or text messages — or Verizon’s coverage — then Unleashed should do the trick. More →