Tags ‘verizon wireless’

T-Mobile launches competitive new Family Plan, offering $30/per 10GB line

JohnLegere_2015-Jul-14

T-Mobile’s Uncarrier Amped moves are still going strong. Just days after announcing its cross-border ‘Mobile Without Borders’ plan, the magenta carrier has unveiled a brand new family plan.

With the new plan, two customers can get 10GB per line for $100 per month. Each additional line is then $20 per person, each with 10GB data allowance. As a special offer, T-Mobile is also giving customers a fourth line for free. Between now and Labor day, customers will be able to sign up to four lines with 10GB data on each, for $120 per month.

As it has done several times in recent months, T-Mobile is aiming its marketing directly at Verizon customers. In a short comparison table, T-Mobile pits its own plans against similar family plans on ‘Big Red’. It’s no surprise to see that being on #TeamMagenta can save some cash.

As with all Simple Choice plans, customers who sign up get access to all the other benefits of being a T-Mobile subscriber. You’ll get the new ‘Mobile without Borders’ feature, no overages, international data and texting, Music Freedom, Wi-Fi calling and texting as well as Data Stash.Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 14.51.06

John Legere is quick to point out that Verizon’s supposed $80 plan — which gives 4 lines a shared pot of 10GB — actually costs $140 when you include “data access fees”.

“It’s no surprise Verizon’s spent what looks to be over $100 million in just two months promoting an $80 data plan with 10GB everyone has to share. The catch is, it’s not actually an $80 plan. You can’t actually use any of that data until you pay additional ‘line access’ fees for data you’ve already bought,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “So, when they say $80, they actually charge a family of four at least $140. And that’s to share 10GB. Leave it to Verizon to push a plan that gives you a pile of data you can’t use unless you fork over more in hidden fees.”

Although it’s a great deal compared to Verizon, it still doesn’t seem quite as good as T-Mobile’s previous 2 for $100 deal which offered two lines of the highest Simple Choice tier with unlimited 4G LTE data. That said, getting four lines for $120 and having 10GB on each line sounds awesome. Especially when you think it’s only $20 more than the older 4 for $100 deal which only gave users 2.5GB each, 10GB total.

Along with the previous two Uncarrier Amped moves, T-Mobile is strengthening its value proposition and has become even more attractive to customers than it already was. The cool carrier just got a lot cooler.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: 4G, family plan, LTE (telecommunication), T-Mobile, United States, Verizon Communications, Verizon Wireless

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Cam Bunton

July 14th

Apple

Mac

Verizon’s early termination fee is now up to $70 more expensive for new customers

Verizon

Verizon Wireless has updated its customer agreement with new conditions related to early termination fees. Effective today, new customers that purchase a device on contract will be required to pay a full $350 early termination fee during the first seven months of the contract if it is broken. The fee is reduced by $10 per month between months 8-18, $20 per month between months 19-23 and $60 in the final month of the contract term…

Verizon previously reduced the $350 early termination fee (ETF) by $10 per month for each full month of a contract that was honored, meaning that its delay in reducing the fee until the eighth month makes opting out of a contract up to $70 more expensive for customers. Verizon’s new ETF policy does not apply to customers that purchased a device on contract prior to November 14th.

Verizon Customer Agreement via Droid Life:

“If you cancel a line of Service, or if we cancel it for good cause, during its contract term, you’ll have to pay an early termination fee. If your contract term results from your purchase of an advanced device on or after November 14, 2014, your early termination fee will be $350, which will decline by: $10 per month in months 8–18, $20 per month in months 19–23, and $60 in the final month of your contract term.”

The new ETFs apply only to the purchase of “advanced devices,” including the iPhone.


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: $350, Customer Agreement, early termination fee, ETF, Month, Verizon, Verizon Wireless

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Joe Rossignol

November 14th

Apple

Mac

Verizon rolling out VoLTE in ‘coming months’, could bolster iOS 8 FaceTime

iphonevolte

Verizon Wireless is officially joining in on this year’s major new cellular network technology: Voice over LTE, or “VoLTE.” VoLTE allows voice calls on compatible smartphones to be made over the previously-data only LTE network technology. This allows for higher-quality, better sounding (“HD Voice”) phone calls to be placed. The rollout will occur “later this year”, or “in the coming months” depending on which part of the press release you believe:

The next evolution in wireless calling will be available for Verizon Wireless customers in the next few months. VoLTE – or Voice over LTE – is slated to roll out on Verizon’s nationwide network later this year. Choosing a national rollout on the nation’s largest 4G LTE network, Verizon can deliver a seamless customer experience for high-quality calling and other features. From the beginning, Verizon’s VoLTE service will offer an HD Voice experience, using the AMR-wideband standard, the accepted industry norm for this service. This solution provides the best voice quality available now and allows for future interoperability with others using the standard.

Verizon is not the first U.S. carrier to jump on the VoLTE bandwagon. Less than a week ago, AT&T announced that it will begin rolling out VoLTE in select markets this month and more markets later this year. Other major U.S. carriers Sprint and T-Mobile already have VoLTE/HD Voice support.

So, why is this important? Because sources say that Apple is developing integration for VoLTE into the next-generation iPhone and iOS 8, which are both expected to be released this fall.

Another significant addition being considered for iOS 8 and the next-generation iPhone is voice-over-LTE support (VoLTE), according to carrier sources. Currently, when an LTE-capable iPhone needs to make a phone call, the actual call is placed over last generation networks such as 3G. With VoLTE, calls will be transmitted over the same type of network that LTE data is processed through, and this can allow for benefits such as improved call quality.

That means that iPhone users will start getting even higher quality calls depending on their network of choice. Verizon also teases some video chat related VoLTE features, and sources say that FaceTime’s backend is due for a significant update alongside the iPhone 6 and iOS 8, so perhaps all of these enhancements will work together:

Verizon’s VoLTE will also offer video calling options, including making and receiving video calls directly from contact lists. As part of the VoLTE video calling experience, customers have the ability to change their calls instantly from voice-only to voice and video. The rollout also sets the stage for future enhancements through Rich Communications Services (RCS), which enable things like including large file transfer, more robust group messaging, and more location sharing.

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Mark Gurman

May 20th

Apple

Mac

AT&T announces rollout of voice-over-LTE ahead of likely iPhone 6/iOS 8 integration this fall

United States-based carrier AT&T today officially announced its rollout of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) calls. The VoLTE rollout comes in tandem with AT&T HD Voice launch, which provides better sounding phone calls. Starting on May 23rd, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin will be the initially supported markets for these features, but AT&T says to expect a more complete rollout as time goes on:

Beginning May 23, AT&Ti is introducing High Definition (HD) Voiceii on an all-IP, Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) network in select markets. At AT&T, you won’t have to choose between faster data speeds and crystal clear conversations. HD Voice customers can simultaneously talk while surfing the Web at 4G LTE speeds, all on the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE networkiii – it’s the best of both worlds.

AT&T touts the features as being supported by Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Mini, but some of Apple’s products should also be able to support HD Voice. Back in 2012, Apple announced that the iPhone 5 would have HD Voice calling on supported carriers, so it is likely that iPhone users in the AT&T/HD-Voice-supported markets will be able to get better sounding calls. But what about voice-over-LTE support?

While the iPhone’s chipset can support calling over LTE, the iOS software does not actually have the ability to make calls over LTE networks. According to people briefed on Apple’s plans, this may change this fall with iOS 8 and the iPhone 6. As we reported a few weeks ago:

Another significant addition being considered for iOS 8 and the next-generation iPhone is voice-over-LTE support (VoLTE), according to carrier sources. Currently, when an LTE-capable iPhone needs to make a phone call, the actual call is placed over last generation networks such as 3G. With VoLTE, calls will be transmitted over the same type of network that LTE data is processed through, and this can allow for benefits such as improved call quality.

Of course, carrier support is needed for this functionality, and some countries around the world have carriers that have already rolled out support for VoLTE. For those in the United States, T-Mobile’s network (thanks to its agreement with Metro PCS) supports VoLTE while Verizon Wireless and AT&T are actively testing the functionality for a rollout later this year. Of course, it’s plausible that iOS 8 support for VoLTE will be pushed back if enough carriers are unable to meet the rollout timeframe.

Besides AT&T, major Japanese carrier (and close Apple partner) DoCoMo announced that it will begin supporting voice-over-LTE calling in June. As for other U.S. carriers, Verizon Wireless is actively testing voice-over-LTE functionality, and T-Mobile already supports it. T-Mobile also supports HD Voice functionality for the iPhone, as does Sprint, while the other major U.S. carriers are also actively testing support.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: 4G, Apple, AT&T, iPhone, LTE, United States, Verizon Wireless, Wideband audio

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Mark Gurman

May 15th

Apple

Mac

Verizon no longer the gold standard for mobile data?

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Verizon Wireless, once the gold standard for LTE, has admitted that it is struggling to keep up with demand in the big cities – with some users being dropped down to slower 3G speeds. The carrier’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said yesterday:

There are certain pockets where we’re absolutely going to experience that down tick from the LTE network down to 3G because of capacity constraints … 

Verizon moved into LTE ahead of other carriers, and now has the largest network with the greatest number of LTE customers. This partly explains why the company is struggling: one third of its customers are using LTE devices, but they account for almost two-thirds of the carrier’s total data usage.

verizon

Informal tests by the WSJ across three locations showed that while Verizon wasn’t the fastest in any of them, its consistent performance did put it in second place – and it lost out to AT&T only because of the massive difference in speed recorded in NYC.

Verizon Wireless came in second, averaging 16.7 mbps, well above its promised range of 5 to 12 mbps. Verizon wasn’t No. 1 in any of the test locations, but it was the most consistent performer, clustering between 15 and 18.6 mbps.

Oddly, Verizon said it was taken by surprise by the growth in video traffic from LTE users, when mobile video has always been advertised as one of the key benefits of the faster data standard. The company did, however, say that it expects the issues to be short-lived.

“By the end of this year you are going to see all those issues dissipate,” Shammo said. “And then going into next year we will be ahead of the curve again.”

Via WSJ and CNET


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: 3G, 4G, AT&T, CNET, LTE, LTE carriers, LTE speeds, New York City, Verizon, Verizon Communications, Verizon Wireless

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Ben Lovejoy

November 13th

Apple

Mac

iOS 7 How-to: Blocking FaceTime calls, Phone calls, and iMessages

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Sarah Guarino

September 19th

Apple

Mac

iOS 7 How-to: Blocking FaceTime calls, Phone calls, and iMessages

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Sarah Guarino

September 19th

Apple

Mac

Higher-capacity iPhone 5 seeing shortages as Verizon blocks Sept. 18-22nd vacations

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Mark Gurman

August 30th

Apple

Mac

Higher-capacity iPhone 5 seeing shortages as Verizon blocks Sept. 18-22nd vacations

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Mark Gurman

August 30th

Apple

Mac

Verizon Joins The Early Phone Upgrading Wars With New ‘Edge’ Program

verizon

Verizon CFO Fran Shammo confirmed during the company’s quarterly earnings call that Verizon Wireless was working on a new, more frequent phone upgrading scheme called Edge, but didn’t elaborate much. As it happens, that was because Verizon’s Wireless arm was just about to pull back the curtain on the program ahead of its August 25 launch.

Here’s the skinny: if you’re on one of VZW’s Share Everything plans and skip the annual contracts in favor of a month-to-month deal, Verizon will split the full retail price of that phone over 24 months. Want to ditch that phone for a new one? That’s just fine as long as it’s been at least six months since you got it and you’ve paid off 50% of the device’s cost.

Let’s say for the sake of argument that you’re eyeing up an iPhone and plan to upgrade your phone as soon as you have the option. Verizon sells the 16GB iPhone 5 for $649 sans contract, which works out to a monthly payment of about $27 over 24 months, but in order to upgrade as early as possible you’ll have to shell out $325 in that first six months — or $54 each month if you decide to pay in equal installments — on top of whatever (probably pricey) share plan costs you’ve chosen to deal with.

If all that sounds familiar, well, I can’t blame you. T-Mobile CEO John Legere revealed the JUMP early upgrade program for T-Mobile customers earlier this month, under which customers could effectively pay $10 a month in exchange for the ability to swap phones twice a year provided their devices were in good shape. Then AT&T rolled out a similar program called Next (seriously, what’s with these four letter names”) just a few days ago that’s actually a bit worse — customers who take that route will see the full cost of a device split over 20 months, which means you’ll have paid $384 by the time you first get to upgrade.

Throw in the fact that neither Verizon nor AT&T are offering price breaks on plans to offset the built-in subsidy costs (after all, you’re agreeing to pay full price for the phone over time instead of getting it much cheaper up-front with a traditional 2 year contract) and it becomes clear that avid upgraders should think carefully before embracing either of these options.


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Chris Velazco

July 18th

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