wireless carriers

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Netflix Has Kept a Mobile Video Secret for 5 Years

It's been throttling video for AT&T and Verizon customers

(Newser) - Notice Netflix isn't as pretty on your smartphone as on your TV? Don't blame your wireless carrier. Netflix says it caps its video streams at 600 kilobits per second—meaning videos are shown at a lower quality—on many carrier networks, including AT&T and Verizon, to prevent... More »

T-Mobile: Join and We'll Pay Your Termination Fees

New users can get up to $650 in credit

(Newser) - Wireless carriers know it can be a pricey headache to switch from one provider to another—and T-Mobile is hoping to get a leg up on its competitors by covering those costs, the New York Times reports. Engadget explains the process, for which customers of AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint... More »

NSA Able to Decode Most Calls, Texts Worldwide

Washington Post unveils latest Snowden material

(Newser) - The NSA is capable of breaking the encryption used on most phone calls and text messages worldwide, the latest Edward Snowden leak shows, though it's not certain how often the agency actually does it. Under US law, the NSA can't eavesdrop on citizens' conversations without a court order.... More »

Your Cell Carrier Is Tracking You, Hawking Your Data

Data collection by carriers like Verizon raises privacy concerns

(Newser) - Just when you thought you couldn't hate cell phone carriers more, they outdo themselves. Turns out, some phone companies are now tracking our locations, movements, and web-browsing habits, and selling the data to marketing companies and other businesses. They say they aren't selling information on individual users, but... More »

T-Mobile Eliminates Contracts

But company's new wireless plan also nixes phone subsidies

(Newser) - T-Mobile is ditching a once-inescapable part of wireless life: the contract. The company had been offering contract-free plans as an option alongside two-year contracts, CNET reports; now, according to the T-Mobile website , contract plans are a thing of the past. An example of a new plan: For $50 a month,... More »

Verizon Scraps $2 Fee

'Convenience' charge dies a quick death amid outcry

(Newser) - About that new $2 "convenience fee" for Verizon Wireless customers: Never mind. The company backtracked quickly today and scrapped its plan to charge customers who make one-time payments online or by phone, reports the Wall Street Journal . Online petitions in protest sprang up immediately , and federal regulators said they... More »

Customers Not Happy About Verizon's New $2 Fee

Complaints flood Twitter

(Newser) - Will outraged consumers convince Verizon to backtrack on its newest fee , just as they did with Bank of America ? Perhaps: The New York Times notes that yesterday's announcement of the $2 fee, which will be levied against customers who make one-time bill payments using a credit or debit... More »

Verizon to Charge $2 for One-Off Payments

Subscribers get a new 'convenience fee'

(Newser) - For those complaining that their cellphone bill is just too darn cheap: Verizon Wireless, the country's largest cellphone company, is introducing a $2 fee for every payment subscribers make over the phone or online with their credit cards. The company says this "convenience fee" will be introduced Jan.... More »

AT&T, T-Mobile Withdraw Merger Bid (for Now)

They yank application from FCC but haven't given up on the deal

(Newser) - AT&T and T-Mobile have unexpectedly withdrawn their merger application from FCC consideration. While the move hints at trouble for the $39 billion deal, the companies say they’re not giving up, Politico reports. Instead, they’ll focus on getting approval from the Justice Department—either by winning an antitrust... More »

How Wireless Companies Rip You Off

...and what the FCC can do about it

(Newser) - Wireless carriers call for minimum regulations on their industry, claiming their market is competitive. But with consumers bound by two-year contracts, it’s easy for companies like Verizon and AT&T to take advantage. It’s time for the FCC to get serious about protecting wireless users, the editors of... More »

Justice Dept. Sues to Block AT&T's Bid to Buy T-Mobile

Says combining No. 2 and No. 4 carrier would raise prices

(Newser) - AT&T tried to sugarcoat its $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA by announcing this morning that it would, as a result of the merger, return 5,000 call-center jobs to US shores. But it still wasn't sweet enough for the Justice Department, which has filed suit to... More »

Verizon Ditching Unlimited Data Plans

New customers to be offered only tiered plans

(Newser) - Verizon is becoming the latest carrier to scrap unlimited data plans in favor of tiered ones. As of tomorrow, new Verizon customers will be offered options ranging from $30 for 2 GB per month to $80 for 10 GB per month, Fierce Wireless reports. Existing customers will be allowed to... More »

AT&T, T-Mobile Merger Bad News for Consumers

The consensus: 'Ma Bell is back'

(Newser) - Reactions to the surprise AT&T-T-mobile merger are pouring in, and, not surprisingly, most conclude this isn't a good thing for consumers:
  • The Bell telephone system—"aka AT&T"—was broken up in 1984 to increase competition, and the US telecommunications market was deregulated in 1996, again to
... More »

AT&T to Buy T-Mobile for $39B

Deal will combine the No. 2 and No. 4 wireless carriers in US

(Newser) - AT&T says it will buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $39 billion. The deal will combine the second-largest wireless carrier in the US with the fourth, notes the Wall Street Journal , which adds that it comes on the heels of AT&T's loss... More »

Introducing the Planet's Worst Cell Phone

Everything about the 'truly dreadful' Samsung Craft is a 'nightmare'

(Newser) - MetroPCS is a cell phone carrier known mostly for its low cost—so when it announced plans to offer 4G coverage, for a cheaper price than most other carriers charge for 3G, and introduced a 4G phone, it "sounded too good to be true" to Farhad Manjoo. "And,... More »

AT&T's Network Is Worst in US: Consumer Reports

It's not just dead last in general—last in every city, almost every category

(Newser) - AT&T may claim to have the largest and fastest wireless network … but it also has the worst one, according to the latest Consumer Reports survey. When it comes to wireless providers, AT&T ranked dead last in general—as well as in every city. Last year, it came... More »

Today's 4G Isn't Actually 4G

Gizmodo: It's just 'marketing' noise; the real thing awaits

(Newser) - The big US carriers are making a lot of noise about their 4G networks, but Matt Buchanan of Gizmodo points out a wee problem: "None of these networks are actually 4G. Not by a long shot." There's technical standards for these things, and what's out there now or... More »

FCC Battles Cell Phone 'Bill Shock'

Haiti volunteer hit with $30K in roaming charges

(Newser) - A FEMA worker supporting the earthquake relief effort in Haiti was hit with a $30,000 bill for roaming charges when she arrived back in the US. Federal regulators say this kind of cell phone "bill shock" is all too common, and they hope to curb it with regulations... More »

The Loveless Marriage of AT&T, Apple

AT&T faces network problems, customer wrath

(Newser) - AT&T and Apple are stuck in a "loveless celebrity marriage," publicly praising each other while they bicker constantly behind the scenes. The dysfunctional relationship sets the stage for the industry as phone manufacturers design phones that suck ever-more bandwidth, while strained wireless carriers try to crack down... More »

Verizon to Nab iPhone in January: Report

Timing coincides with network upgrade, which could make this zillionth prediction credible

(Newser) - Verizon customers will at long last be able to buy iPhones in January of next year, according to an anonymously sourced report on Bloomberg . The move could “dramatically increase” iPhone sales, notes one analyst. “It's hard to ignore the quality issues that AT&T has faced,” he... More »

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