Tags ‘carrier’

Sprint users affected by LTE connectivity bug following iOS 9.3, fix coming soon [Update]

[Update: Sprint says the issue has been resolved as of today and apologizes for the convenience.]

While Apple has fixed a few issues relating to iOS 9.3 with a subsequent iOS 9.3.1 update, there’s still at least one bug plaguing Sprint users that appears to be out of Apple’s hands. According to a handful of Sprint users across Twitter and Reddit, they have been unable to connect to LTE data following the iOS 9.3 update and are forced to use only 3G data. Today, however, Sprint acknowledged the issue and confirmed that it is working on a fix.

more…


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, carrier, iOS 9.3, iPhone, Sprint, update

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Chance Miller

March 31st

Apple

Mac

Apple launches iPhone ‘Trade Up With Installments’ plan from $15/mo, yet another way to buy a new iPhone in the US

IPhone-lineup-2016

Apple is today rolling out another new way to buy an iPhone at an Apple Store, a combination of its existing iPhone Upgrade Program and trade-in offers. Right now, on the normal iPhone Upgrade Program, customers can pay about $32 a month for a brand new iPhone 6s on a two-year agreement with an annual trade-in option.

What the ‘Trade Up With Installments’ offers is a reduction of that monthly fee, in exchange for a trade-in of your existing smartphone. For example, you can trade in your current iPhone 6 to get a new iPhone 6s with a 2-year payment plan of $15/mo. What’s interesting is that you can trade in an Android device, not just iPhones — Apple will give up to $300 in trade-in value for Android handsets.

Exact pricing varies based on the age of the device being traded in and the new phone you are looking to buy. Moving from one iPhone generation to another works out to a monthly price of about $15 for 24 months, but moving from an iPhone 4 to a 128 GB iPhone 6s Plus will result in a $35.37 monthly bill, via USA Today.

You can trade in an iPhone dating back as far back to the iPhone 4. You’ll pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 a month for each step up in model, with the interest-free term again lasting for 24 months.

For example, if you step up from an iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5S, you’ll pay $14.58 a month for 24 months. If you move from an iPhone 6 to a 6S, the monthly tab is $14.54. To take the most extreme example, to move from the iPhone 4 to the largest-capacity (128 GB) iPhone 6S Plus, you’ll pay $35.37 a month.

Effectively, the new program is an interest-free loan with credit handled by Citizens Bank. It’s an alternative option to the existing iPhone Upgrade Program and trade-in Apple Store credit opportunities the company offers at its stores. On Apple’s most recent earnings call, Tim Cook said that 60% of the install base prior to iPhone 6 has still yet to upgrade … this new plan seems like a targeted move on incentivizing some of this existing user base to upgrade.

For now, the Trade Up With Installments plan is only available at Apple Retail Stores in the United States. In most cases, buying an iPhone outright is still the cheapest way of buying a new device in the long run, but many iOS customers are unable (or simply do not want) to pay >$650 as a lump sum at once. Hence, Apple and carriers now offer a plethora of interest-free-loan smartphone payment plans just like this one.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, buying an iPhone, carrier, ihpoen subsidy, iOS, iPhone, iPhone 6s, payment plan

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Benjamin Mayo

February 18th

Apple

Mac

T-Mobile’s UnCarrier X: Unlimited video streaming, double data w/ Simple Choice

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As was widely rumored, T-Mobile has today announced at their UnCarrier X event that customers can now stream unlimited video from certain services without impacting their data caps. The new program is called Binge On (not all too different than the company’s previously-launched Music Freedom in principle), and the list of compatible services includes many favorites like ESPN, Netflix, HBO Now, and more. The company also announced new Simple Choice plans…

Here’s the full list of supported services:

Crackle, Encore, ESPN, Fox Sports, Fox Sports Go, HBO Now, HBO Go, Hulu, MLB, Movieplex, NBC Sports, Netflix, Sling TV, Sling Box, SHOWTIME, STARZ, T-Mobile TV, Univision Deportes, Ustream, Vessel, Vevo, VUD

While this sounds great, it’s worth noting that T-Mobile is going to stream the video to you what it says is “DVD quality or better” (480p+), made more efficient with a proprietary compression technology. Any streaming service could theoretically join the program — as long as they meet T-Mobile’s requirements. The absence of YouTube is notable, though it could be around the corner considering that it will definitely be high-demand.

Also announced today, T-Mobile is giving Simple Choice customers double the data through what it’s calling Simple Choice Amped. Those on 1 GB, 3 GB, and 5 GB high-speed data plans will now have 2 GB, 6 GB, and 10 GB of data.

Here’s the gist:

Simple Choice customers still start with one line at just $50 a month for unlimited data, talk and text on T-Mobile’s nationwide 4G LTE network. But you’ll now get a full 2GB of 4G LTE data—twice the previous amount—on each line. As before, customers can still add a second line for $30 a month−but now with 2GB of 4G LTE data. Additional lines up to 12 are still only $10 per month—but each now come with 2GB of 4G LTE data.

Rounding it off, T-Mobile says that if everyone on a family plan gets additional data, Family Match will give everyone on the plan double the data across all lines. Finally, as a “celebration” of today’s announcements, T-Mobile is making the fourth line on a family plan free. This means that, for a “limited time,” a family can get four lines for $120 with 6 GB each.

Both Binge On and the new Simple Choice plan are effective starting Sunday for consumers on new plans and Binge On will roll-out to all T-Mobile users starting Thursday, November 19.

Abner Li contributed to this report.

T-Mobile Unleashes Mobile Video with Binge On™

Video now streams free at T-Mobile for HBO, Hulu, Netflix, SHOWTIME, Sling TV, STARZ subscribers without using up their high-speed data – 24 total services included initially with more to come
Biggest-ever update to Simple Choice doubles your data at no extra cost when everyone in the family gets extra data

Los Angeles, California — November 10, 2015 — At an event held today in the entertainment capital of the world, T-Mobile [NASDAQ: TMUS] announced its landmark 10th Un-carrier move and responded directly to Americans’ surging demand for mobile entertainment by—of all things—unleashing mobile video. Beginning this Sunday, video streams free at T-Mobile for subscribers of HBO, Hulu, Netflix, SHOWTIME, Sling TV, STARZ, WatchESPN and more—with more streaming services on the way—without ever burning up customers’ high-speed data. And it’s available to all current and new Simple Choice customers on qualifying plans—at absolutely no extra cost.

On top of that, the Un-carrier today also amped up its flagship Simple Choice plan—in the biggest update to Simple Choice ever—by doubling the data at every level and cutting the cost of extra gigs. On top of that, families can now get twice as much high-speed data as before—at no extra cost— when everyone gets extra 4G LTE data. And that’s all on the nation’s fastest 4G LTE network, now reaching 302 million Americans and counting.

Taken together, today’s moves give Un-carrier customers far more data that lasts far longer – prompting T-Mobile President and CEO, John Legere to declare today “Data Day” – the day the company took its Un-carrier movement to the next level.

“Un-carrier X marks the next step in this revolution, and it is massive,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “Today, we’re not only doubling your data in Simple Choice, we’re making your data work a lot harder for you! With Binge On, video streams free from 24 streaming services to start, and more to come! Only T-Mobile would find a way for customers to watch unlimited HBO, Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV and more…without eating into their LTE data, while the Duopoly is squeezing consumers with overage fees and over-buying! T-Mobile is un-leashing entertainment and giving customers exactly what they want!”

Binge On − Watch your shows, not your data
With Binge On, video now streams free for viewers and subscribers of Crackle, Encore, ESPN, Fox Sports, Fox Sports Go, HBO Now, HBO Go, Hulu, MLB, Movieplex, NBC Sports, Netflix, Sling TV, Sling Box, SHOWTIME, STARZ, T-Mobile TV, Univision Deportes, Ustream, Vessel, Vevo, VUDU—with more streaming services on the way—without ever touching their 4G LTE data on Simple Choice plans with extra data. T-Mobile is also including Verizon’s Go90 and AT&T’s DirecTV streaming services in Binge On, so even the Duopoly’s video services stream without fear of overages.

Binge On is open to any streaming video provider who meets the technical requirements, which are available online at http://www.t-mobile.com/bingeon. And it’s completely free for video streaming providers to join.

“With Binge On, no one pays—not the customers, not the video streaming services—and everyone wins,” said Legere.

Powered by new technology built in to T-Mobile’s network, Binge On optimizes video for mobile screens, minimizing data consumption while still delivering DVD or better quality (e.g. 480p or better). That means more reliable streaming for services that stream free with Binge On, and for almost all other video, it means T-Mobile Simple Choice customers can watch up to three times more video from their data plan. And, as always, T-Mobile has put customers in total control with a switch to activate or deactivate Binge On for each line in their My T-Mobile account.  Binge On is all about customer choice.

In addition, T-Mobile is celebrating the launch of Binge On with an exclusive offer of 30% off a full year’s subscription to Sling TV’s “Best of Live TV” package available to all Simple Choice customers. And those T-Mobile customers with Unlimited smartphone LTE get a free streaming movie rental every single month in 2016 with Binge On.

With mobile video now the #1 way Americans use smartphone data, Binge On is the Un-carrier’s answer to what today’s customers clearly want most from wireless. Customers are using nearly two-and-a-half times more of their wireless data for mobile video in the last two years. But that’s nothing compared to where we’re headed. According to forecasts, mobile video usage is poised to surge more than 400% by 2020.

The old carriers are trying to exploit this trend − and their customers − to line their pockets. For carrier customers, the surge in wireless video has translated directly into an unprecedented surge in overages. Together, the carriers are projected to rake in a record $2.4 billion this year from overage penalties—up a staggering 60% from $1.5 billion just last year. Roughly one quarter of AT&T and Verizon customers say they’ve been hit by overages in the last 6 months – that’s twice as many Verizon customers getting billed for overages compared to just two years ago. Worse still, the carriers’ overages scare customers into buying more data each month than they need—only so Verizon and ATT can repossess it after 30 or 60 days. American wireless customers waste an estimated $45 billion annually overbuying wireless data they don’t use.

With T-Mobile, on the other hand, Binge On now unleashes customers to watch what they want, when they want and on any device they want—without watching their data.

Simple Choice − Now with double the data
With this explosion in data usage, a few gigs is just not enough anymore. So, in the biggest update ever to the company’s wildly popular Simple Choice plan, T-Mobile is giving families and businesses what they want most by doubling their high-speed 4G LTE data when everyone gets extra data.

Simple Choice customers still start with one line at just $50 a month for unlimited data, talk and text on T-Mobile’s nationwide 4G LTE network. But you’ll now get a full 2GB of 4G LTE data—twice the previous amount—on each line. As before, customers can still add a second line for $30 a month−but now with 2GB of 4G LTE data. Additional lines up to 12 are still only $10 per month—but each now come with 2GB of 4G LTE data.

Of course, Simple Choice customers can add even more 4G LTE data. And now, when everyone in the family gets extra 4G LTE data, families can save even more with T-Mobile’s new Family Match. Everyone will get twice as much data as before at absolutely no extra cost. They can add an extra 4GB of 4G LTE data (on top of the 2GB included), including mobile hotspot data, for just $10 more a month on each line, up to a total of 10GB per line. For families who’d rather customize their data by line, extra data is just $15 a month for each 4GB—compared to $20 a month for 4GB before—a savings of 25% per GB of high-speed data vs. before.

While the Duopoly continues to punish customers on their legacy unlimited LTE plans, the Un-carrier announced it is doubling down on Unlimited Smartphone LTE data by doubling the amount of tethered data included from 7GB to 14GB. And with Binge On, streaming video from participating services won’t eat into that tethered data.

For businesses, the pain is even worse. Nearly two-thirds of small businesses (63%) say they’re now being charged overages, and more than half (52%) of small business limit their employees’ smartphone usage to prevent overages. With the Duopoly, giving employees a smartphone is like creating an open-ended tab where employees can run up insane overages the company has no choice but to pay. With the new Simple Choice plan unveiled today, businesses get double the LTE data at no extra cost at T-Mobile, up to a thousand employees. An average small business with T-Mobile can save 40% compared to AT&T and a full 50% compared to Verizon for similar services.

And, as always, Simple Choice customers have no annual service contracts, no domestic overages and no sharing, and they get all the Un-carrier value the company keeps pouring into the plan – from Simple Global, Music Freedom and Data Stash to Mobile Without Borders, Wi-Fi Un-leashed and Binge On.

To celebrate today’s news, T-Mobile is making the fourth line free. Now, for a limited time, a family of four can get four lines for $120 with 6GB per person (24GB total) – no sharing – at just $30 per line. That’s an incredible four times the high-speed data you get at Verizon who’ll charge you $20 more, and almost five times the data at AT&T where you’ll pay $30 more—$150 for just 5GB your whole family’s gotta share. And now with Binge On, T-Mobile customers don’t just get 6GB each, they get unlimited video streaming from popular sites as well.

Binge On and the new Simple Choice plan will be available starting Sunday, November 15. Existing T-Mobile customers will get Binge On starting Thursday, November 19. For more information on Binge On, see http://www.t-mobile.com/bingeon. For more information on Simple Choice, see http://www.t-mobile.com/SimpleChoiceplan or for Simple Choice for business, see:
www.t-mobile.com/BusinessSimpleChoicePlan.


Filed under: General Tagged: Android, Apple, carrier, Google, iPhone, T-Mobile, uncarrier x

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Stephen Hall

November 10th

Apple

Mac

UnCool: 15M T-Mobile customers affected by Experian data breach that included Social Security numbers, more

screen-shot-2015-09-22-at-7-45-35-pm

T-Mobile has confirmed this evening that as many as 15 million of its customers have been affected by a data breach. As the company is quick to point out, however, the breach did not occur on its servers, but rather its credit partner’s, Experian.

While Experian and T-Mobile both confirm that no credit card or banking information was compromised in the breach, a variety of other sensitive information was. Customer names, addresses, birthdates, Social Security numbers, and ID numbers were all leaked as part of the attack.

The attack affects approximately 15 million people who required a credit check when signing up for device financing through T-Mobile. Perhaps most notably, however, the vulnerability was open for more than two years, from September 1, 2013 though September 16, 2015.

T-Mobile says that it is offering two years of free credit monitoring to anyone who fears they could have been affected by the breach. T-Mobile CEO John Legere wrote in an open letter on the carrier’s website that he is “incredibly angry about this data breach” and that T-Mobile will be reevaluating its relationship with Experian.

T-Mobile CEO on Experian’s Data Breach

I’ve always said that part of being the Un-carrier means telling it like it is. Whether it’s good news or bad, I’m going to be direct, transparent and honest.

We have been notified by Experian, a vendor that processes our credit applications, that they have experienced a data breach. The investigation is ongoing, but what we know right now is that the hacker acquired the records of approximately 15 million people, including new applicants requiring a credit check for service or device financing from September 1, 2013 through September 16, 2015. These records include information such as name, address and birthdate as well as encrypted fields with Social Security number and ID number (such as driver’s license or passport number), and additional information used in T-Mobile’s own credit assessment. Experian has determined that this encryption may have been compromised. We are working with Experian to take protective steps for all of these consumers as quickly as possible.

Obviously I am incredibly angry about this data breach and we will institute a thorough review of our relationship with Experian, but right now my top concern and first focus is assisting any and all consumers affected. I take our customer and prospective customer privacy VERY seriously. This is no small issue for us. I do want to assure our customers that neither T-Mobile’s systems nor network were part of this intrusion and this did not involve any payment card numbers or bank account information.

Experian has assured us that they have taken aggressive steps to improve the protection of their system and of our data.

Anyone concerned that they may have been impacted by Experian’s data breach can sign up for two years of FREE credit monitoring and identity resolution services at www.protectmyID.com/securityincident. Additionally, Experian issued a press release that you can read here, and you can view their Q&A at Experian.com/T-MobileFacts.

T-Mobile’s team is also here and ready to help you in any way we can. We have posted our own Q&A here to keep you as informed as possible throughout this issue.

At T-Mobile, privacy and security is of utmost importance, so I will stay very close to this issue and I will do everything possible to continue to earn your trust every day.


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: breach, carrier, Data, T-Mobile

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Chance Miller

October 1st

Apple

Mac

Sprint rumored to begin selling Apple Watch in stores alongside iPhone 6s on September 25

Apple Watch X Large Sun 16-9

The retail availability of Apple Watch has been gradually expanding since its initial release back in April and now it looks like another avenue for purchasing the device will soon emerge. According to images of an internal Sprint stock screen obtained by 9to5Mac, Sprint will begin to sell Apple Watch in its retail locations on Friday, September 25th.

According to the stock screens, Sprint will offer the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch in the Sport variant and Stainless Steel. The pricing is in line with what Apple and Best Buy offer the variants for. For $349.99, the carrier will offer Apple Watch Sport in 38mm, while the 42mm model will run $399.99. For $549.99, Sprint will sell the 38mm Apple Watch in either Stainless Steel or the recently announced Space Black Stainless Steel model with a black Sport band. The 42mm model of both of those variants will cost $599.99 from Sprint.

Sprint will also sell a variety of accessories and standalone bands for Apple Watch, although they all appear to be third-party and not made by Apple. The carrier will offer watchbands made by CaseMate, as well as accessories from Mophie and various other manufacturers.

A September 25th Apple Watch rollout to more retailers makes perfect sense. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, of course, launch the same day from carriers, Apple, and other retailers. At this point, it’s unclear if any other carriers besides Sprint will begin offering Apple Watch on September 25th. Although, it seems likely that other carriers will also take on selling Apple Watch seeing that they sell competing smartwatches from companies like Samsung.

The retail presence of Apple Watch has been growing gradually recently. The device recently went on sale in stores and online from Best Buy in the U.S. and Canada. The device is also now available through Australian retailers such as FNAC and MYER. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the company will continue to expand the device’s retail availability as the holiday season nears.


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple, Apple watch, carrier, Sprint

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Chance Miller

September 17th

Apple

Mac

AT&T won’t throttle unlimited data in congestion until users hit 22GB, an over 4x increase

screen-shot-2015-07-24-at-5-31-59-pm

AT&T today has revealed a slight change to how it is handling throttling users grandfathered into unlimited data plans. Up until today, AT&T has throttled unlimited data users when they hit 5GB of usage and are in a congested area. As a reader has pointed out to us this evening, however, the carrier has updated its website with a new policy for throttling those on an unlimited data plans…

Starting today, users on an unlimited data plan will only be throttled when they go over 22GB of data usage and are in a congested area. This means that users will get more than 4 times the amount of data than the previously received. Should users surpass the 22GB in a billing period, they’ll only be throttled when in congested areas like heavy populated cities and events. In all other situations, users will receive unthrottled, unlimited data.

To provide the best possible user experience for all of our customers, AT&T has established certain network management practices.

In line with common industry standards, our network management practices assure that our network resources are used for the benefit of all our mobile broadband customers especially during periods when network demand exceeds available network resources (also known as “congestion”).

As you would expect, these network management practices have continued to evolve over time to benefit our customers and take advantage of the billions we have spent to expand and augment our networks. As a result of this evolution, we recently revised our practices such that Unlimited Data Plan smartphone customers can now use 22GB of high-speed data during a billing period before becoming subject to network management practices that might result in reduced data speeds and increased latency.

AT&T has long been criticized for its unlimited data plans not being “truly unlimited,” but with today’s change, customers now receive a significant amount more of data. Of course, the carrier no longer offers unlimited data plans, so today’s change only applies to those who are grandfathered into the plan. Nevertheless, it’s a welcoming, if not overdue, change for those users.

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Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: AT&T, carrier, Data

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Chance Miller

September 16th

Apple

Mac

Verizon launches program to activate non-Verizon iPhones and Nexus 6s to its network

verizon building

Verizon has recently started allowing customers to bring non-Verizon devices its network and will activate them. The program officially began this week and Verizon confirmed to 9to5Mac that it applies to the iPhone, as well as Google’s Nexus 6. Verizon notes, however, that the devices must be unlocked prior to being activated on its network.

Potential customers can see if their Nexus 6 or iPhone is compatible with the program by heading to this webpage. First you must enter your device ID, such as an ESN, IMEI, or MEID, and then you will be taken to a webpage that prompts you to input your SIM ID number or to purchase a new SIM card from a Verizon store. Once you do that, Verizon will show you the plans for which your device is eligible and allow you to activate it.

Verizon’s likely end-goal by allowing other carrier’s devices to be activated on its network is to get users onto its network and ensure that all of their future device purchases are of Verizon-branded variants. Not having to buy a new device obviously makes the idea of switching to Verizon a lot more appealing to most users.

Earlier this month, Verizon killed device subsidies and launched a new, simpler line of data plans. Instead of having the cost of their device subsidized, Verizon users now must pay for their smartphones in monthly installments or purchase them outright. If you were to bring a non-Verizon device to the carrier as part of this new program, you would fall into the latter category and would only have to pay for service every month.

You can check to see if your device is eligible to be activated on Verizon’s network here.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, carrier, Google, iOS, iPhone, nexus 6, Verizon

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Chance Miller

August 25th

Apple

Mac

T-Mobile officially becomes #3 US carrier, Sprint CEO says company ‘now focused on customers, not rankings’

T-Mobile_US_Retail_Store_in_Waterbury,_CT.jpg (2592×1936) 2015-08-04 12-36-06

In case you didn’t notice (which is basically no one at this point, thanks to the more-than-loud John Legere), T-Mobile has tried to be as disruptive as possible over the last couple years. And now, Sprint, which has long been the third-largest mobile carrier in the United States, is admitting defeat. It seems T-Mobile’s tactics are working, and Sprint’s first fiscal quarter report released today shows that its 56.8 million subscribers are just shy of the 58.9 million that T-Mobile reported it had last month.

Legere took to Twitter earlier this morning to celebrate the news, although the company has been unofficially claiming its spot as the third largest carrier in the US for quite some time now. “Now that it’s official,” Legere says, “how about we focus on why T-Mobile is succeeding?” And it seems that Legere firmly believes that the company’s successes are largely thanks to its “un-carrier” revamps to the company’s services — evidence that the carrier is actually “listening to customers” unlike its competitors.

Marcelo Claure, Sprint’s CEO, replied to Legere, saying that the company deserves credit and respect for what it has accomplished. He goes on to congratulate Legere and suggests that Sprint has heard from customers and will be changing its ways. “Now focused on customers not rankings,” the CEO said:

In all, it seems as if T-Mobile is doing at least some things right. A couple of weeks ago, the company announced that it was introducing a new platform called “Advanced Messaging” which brings many of the features commonly found in most modern messaging apps. And just last week, T-Mobile announced that it was adding Apple Music to its Music Freedom offerings, as well as offering the next iPhone (which hasn’t been announced) for free to anyone who buys an iPhone 6 through Jump on Demand over the next couple of months.


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: Apple, carrier, iPhone, Sprint, T-Mobile

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Stephen Hall

August 4th

Apple

Mac

Telstra offering 12 months free of Apple Music, suggests carrier billing support

telstra-apple-music

Telstra, the largest carrier in Australia, has today launched a new webpage on which it reveals an exclusive offering related to Apple Music. The carrier is offering new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus customers, across both 12 month and 24 month contracts, a free year of Apple Music on its Go Mobile plans. This offering is the first of its kind for Apple Music, and also hints at a another first: carrier billing.

AT&T and Beats partnered up early on to offer carrier billing, as well as exclusive family plan pricing, but shortly following Apple’s acquisition of Beats, the partnership with AT&T disintegrated. With carrier billing, Telstra will be able to bill customers directly for Apple Music following the 12 months of free service. This also means that the charge would appear on the user’s Telstra bill, not on any iTunes receipts.

While Telstra has yet to fully confirm that it will offer carrier billing with Apple Music, a note from the terms and conditions of its 12 month free offer implies such:

If you sign up and agree to T&Cs to put Apple Music on your Telstra account this will roll on to a paying subscription at the end of the trial / free period unless you cancel it. You will receive an SMS 3 days prior to rolling over to a paid subscription.

Another piece of evidence supporting Telstra’s plans to fully integrate Apple Music into its repertoire comes in a new login prompt Appel Music presents when you redeem the 12 months of free service. “Your Apple Music membership with Telstra will be linked to your Apple ID, allowing you to listen on your other devices,” the prompt reads.

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 9.26.46 PM

Apple has already partnered with T-Mobile in the United States to offer uncapped streaming via the carrier as part of tis Music Freedom program. In Australia, Telstra previously had a deal with MOG for an extended free trial and subsequent carrier billing. Spotify offers carrier billing via Sprint in the United States, as well.

Carrier billing would open an even larger market for Apple’s new music streaming service, especially if it expands outside of Australia. It seems likely that Apple is at least making efforts behind the scenes to do so, but nothing is yet confirmed.

Thanks, Beau! 


Filed under: Apple Music Tagged: Apple, Apple Music, carrier, Telstra

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Chance Miller

August 4th

Apple

Mac

Would you replace your cell carrier with an Apple MVNO? You might soon be able to

apple-sim

Following the iCloud voicemail transcription news from earlier today, Business Insider is reporting that Apple may actually be following Google’s Project Fi  into the “becoming a carrier” field.

Sources close to Apple say that the company is privately trialling an MVNO service in the US, but is also currently in talks with telecoms companies in Europe about bringing the service there too.

MVNO or Mobile Virtual Network Operator  is a wireless communications services provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which the MVNO provides services to its customers. Google’s Project Fi uses Sprint and T-Mobile’s infrastructure and combines them to become a “super-carrier”.

Apple of course announced the so far iPad-limited Apple SIM last year which allows you to choose between a handful of network carriers for iPad data on a month to month basis.

Three weeks ago, the UK-based FT reported that Apple and Samsung were in talks with carriers to launch “e-SIM” cards and and Apple MVNO service might be an evolution of that.

The idea behind the talks is a universal standard for embedded SIM cards (“e-SIM”) that are built into the phone and not user accessible. These subscriber identity modules would allow customers to sign up for service on any network they wanted, then allow them to switch at any time (obviously with some limitations placed by the carriers).

Apple isn’t the only smartphone manufacturer in these discussions. Samsung is also reported to be part of the talks, meaning this tech could become a real standard across iPhone and Android devices, unlike Apple’s current SIM which is locked specifically to the company’s hardware.

Apple has a long history of flirting with the MVNO business with an insider revealing that Steve Jobs wanted Apple to become a carrier before the release of the iPhone (if only!). Telecom vet and former CTIA chairman John Stanton had worked with Jobs on the project…

Stanton, chairman of venture capital firm Trilogy Partners, said he spent a fair amount of time with Jobs between 2005 and 2007. “He wanted to replace carriers,” Stanton said of Jobs, the Apple founder and CEO who died Oct. 5 after a battle with cancer. “He and I spent a lot of time talking about whether synthetically you could create a carrier using Wi-Fi spectrum. That was part of his vision.”

Apple, for its part has patented the MVNO process that others have taken and then re-upped on that patent.

 

patent-080410-1Analysts have also long thought that Apple was planning to enter the carrier business. Here are main points from a sideshow revealed in 2012.

  • Apple will in the near future begin providing cellular service, data, voice and roaming, directly to its customers.
  • Apple will begin by offering mobile data plans bundled with iPads (vs. current practice of selling GSM iPads with AT&T data and CDMA iPads with Verizon data plans).
  • Apple will then offer iPhone customers activation, data and international roaming plans through the iTunes Store.
  • Apple will provide voice, data and messaging plans directly to its iPhone customers, on an ala carte basis as an alternative to their current mobile operator and then as wireless service provider directly to customers.
  • Google, while behind Apple in technology, distribution and back-office capabilities, will nevertheless follow in lock-step behind Apple and provide wireless data services directly to its Google Tablet customers.

Virgin, a Sprint MVNO was dropped from carrying the iPhone after the holidays but was brought back in the fold this week.  Would you want to replace your carrier with Apple? You might be able to.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, carrier, MVNO

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Seth Weintraub

August 3rd

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