It has long been a practice of wireless carriers to "lock" cell phones and other devices they sell to customers, so the customer can't leave them for another carrier. The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a bill that will outlaw that practice.
Legislation for the "Unlocking Consumer Choice Act" passed the Senate last week. President Obama will need to sign it into law, which he looks forward to: "The bill congress passed today is another step toward giving ordinary Americans more
A recent report accused Apple and wireless carriers of purposely slowing down data speeds on iOS devices. The controversy revolved around so-called "throttle coding" in carrier files used for network provisioning. The site AnandTech has now published a thorough report explaining why this is not the case.
Not only does Apple have no incentive to limit data speeds on iOS devices, but traffic is better managed on the network as opposed to locally on individual iPhones. AnandTech also throws cold water on the concept that installing modified carrier files can "magically" increase data speeds on iOS. Basically, nothing on Apple's mobile devices prevents the iPhone or iPad from utilizing whatever is provided by the cellular network.
Mobile carrier AT&T is set to launch a new pre-paid cellular service named "All In One" on June 15th. The company plans to test the new plans in Florida and Texas before rolling out the program nationally. For those who don't like contracts and are looking for a more affordable data plan option on their mobile devices, AT&T will provide a competitive option.
Data tiers come in at $35 for feature phones, $50 for 2GB of smartphone data, or $70 for 5GB of smartphone data. All plans include unlimited voice and texting as part of the package. These new offerings are separate from AT&T's current pre-paid service known as GoPhone, which comes in at $65 per month with only 1GB of data and unlimited voice and texting
Apple has released an iPhone 5 carrier update that will bring Verizon settings from version 13.0 to 13.1. The update comes as reports have surfaced that some iPhone 5 users' cellular data plans were ringing up data usage despite being connected to Wi-Fi.
Installing the carrier update should fix the issue, and Verizon has announced it will not charge for any incorrectly clocked cellular data. Normally connecting to a Wi-Fi network ensures that no cellular network data is used. The update can easily be installed directly on your Verizon iPhone 5.
T-Mobile may not be an official Apple partner, but the company is making serious moves to increase the amount of iPhones used on its network. According to a leaked flyer obtained by TMONews, the carrier is preparing to launch a "Bring Your iPhone to T-Mobile" campaign.
The flyer shows how much money AT&T customers will save if they bring their unlocked iPhones to T-Mobile. The carrier's move comes after AT&T's Mobile Share Plan / FaceTime controversy, and right before Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 5 in Spetmeber. iOS 6 will add 3G cellular calling to the popular FaceTime feature on the iPhone 4S and later models, and AT&T has announced that its subscribers will need a Mobile Share data plan to use the 3G service. T-Mobile hopes AT&T's unpopular FaceTime policy will convince some AT&T subscribers to switch carriers, but that's not all T-Mobile has up its sleeve.
Old iPhone lovers, your vintage smartphone circa 2007 will be limited to Wi-Fi only in less than five years. AT&T Mobility plans to take the 2G (EDGE) data network offline by January 1, 2017 which will leave original iPhone users without a cellular data connection.
Currently 12 percent of AT&T customers with data contracts have devices limited to EDGE, which amounts to 8.4 million subscribers. Before panic sets in, AT&T has explained they will help customers transition to more modern devices ahead of the switch. The company needs as much spectrum as possible to support newer, faster networks including 3G and LTE.
Cricket Wireless has launched the first pre-paid iPhone in the U.S. this weekend. Circket is offering a 16GB no contract iPhone 4S for $500, and an 8GB iPhone 4 for $400. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon offer the 16GB iPhone 4S for $200 with a two year agreement. A pre-paid Cricket iPhone also comes with a $55 unlimited calling and text messaging plan with 2.3GB of data.
A Cricket representative told CNET that the phone is available at their retail stores and select dealers. The rep also claimed that they are experiencing "brisk" customer activity.
Cricket covers around 60 million Americans compared to AT&T' and Verizon's 300 million.
Sprint is looking to sell as many iPhones as possible thanks to its deal with Apple. Now the company is moving to offer a pre-paid iPhone to customers through its Virgin Mobile brand in the US. The iPhone will be available on the carrier starting on July 1.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of news that carriers Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless will offer pre-paid iPhones starting this summer. Cricket will be the first carrier to sell a pre-paid iPhone with no contract in the US. The company plans to begin offering the device along with a $150 subsidy on June 22.
Wireless carrier Cricket has announced it will be offering two iPhone models pre-paid with no contract starting on June 22. The iPhone 4 or the iPhone 4S will be available subsidized for $400 and $500 respectively. This pricing is $150 cheaper than buying a no-commitment iPhone 4S from Apple.
Besides no contract, Cricket offers the advantage of an unlimited talk, text and data plan for only $55 per month. This undercuts all of the major carriers, although Cricket will throttle data speeds when customers exceed 2.3 GB during the billing period.
The SIM card in your iPhone is about to get smaller. The nano-SIM standard was just approved by the European Telecommunications Institute (ETSI), shaving 40 percent off the size of current micro-SIM cards. The new standard will increase the amount of space available in mobile devices for other components.
Apple's proposed nano-SIM card is pictured above from The Verge, inside the outline of a standard SIM card. The nano-SIM that was approved has the same dimensions as Apple's proposed card, coming in at just 12.3 x 8.8 x 0.67mm. The function of the SIM card will remain unchanged, and the new design can be packaged for backwards compatibility in older devices.