The Tech News Blog

April 1, 2014

T-Mobile Provides Fastest LTE in U.S.

Sprint LTE

Who has the fastest LTE service in the U.S.? According to new data from OpenSignal, T-Mobile takes the crown.

The un-carrier provides average LTE speeds of 11.5 Mbps, OpenSignal said, followed by AT&T at 9.1 Mbps. Verizon came in third with 7.8 Mbps, while Sprint was last at 4.3 Mbps.

But when it comes to consistent LTE coverage - or how long a device will stay connected to LTE without dropping down to lower speeds - Verizon is the victor, providing LTE coverage about 83.2 percent of the time. AT&T is second with 70.6 percent, followed by T-Mobile at 61.1 percent and Sprint at 56.5 percent.

February 5, 2014

AT&T Ends $450 T-Mobile Poaching Promotion

Switch to AT&TLess than a month after launching a promotion to lure customers away from T-Mobile with the promise of up to $450 in cash and discounts, AT&T has abruptly ended the offer.

"We can confirm that promotion is over," an AT&T spokeswoman said in an email to PCMag. The promotion, which began on Jan. 3, was a limited-time offer, and officially ended on Jan. 31.

While it lasted, T-Mobile customers who switched to AT&T could trade in their smartphone for a credit worth up to $250, which could be used for AT&T products and services. As part of the deal, former T-Mobile customers could also nab $200 per line when they purchased an AT&T device at full retail price, or activated an existing device, and selected the carrier's early upgrade Next plan.

T-Mobile was, of course, not impressed by the move. In a statement last month, the company's outspoken CEO John Legere called the promotion "a desperate move by AT&T on the heels of what must have been a terrible Q4 and holiday for them."

He seems more pleased now that the deal has ended. Legere took to Twitter this week to poke fun at AT&T and its CEO Randall Stephenson for ending the offer so abruptly.

January 9, 2014

T-Mobile Offers to Pay Everyone Else’s Termination Fees

T-Mobile Logo

LAS VEGAS—What would it take for you to switch to T-Mobile? How about $350? In a typically bombastic press conference today, T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere unveiled "Contract Freedom," a plan that will pay up to $350 in early termination fees per line for up to five lines ported over from other wireless carriers. Switchers will also need to trade in their old phones, for a credit of up to $300 more.

"Anybody who wants to switch now can," he said.

T-Mobile's ETF-paying strategy comes on the heels of an AT&T attack plan to win back customers who have switched to T-Mobile; this year the smaller carrier gained 4.4 million subscribers, Legere said. AT&T's "Switcher Promo" gives T-Mobile customers who come over to AT&T a $200 bill credit, plus up to $250 in trade-in value for their old phones.

"If AT&T customers come over to this plan and it doesn't work, they'll pay you to come back - it's beautiful," Legere said. "AT&T has given us almost like a no-fault guarantee. Come over, try the network, and these pricks will pay you back if it doesn't work."

T-Mobile's "UnCarrier" plans have been successful, Legere said. In the fourth quarter of 2013, the company added 869,000 postpaid subscribers and 112,000 prepaid subscribers, with a total of 4.4 million net new subscribers joining T-Mobile this year.

"That's a turnaround in one year. That has made us the fastest growing wireless company in the U.S. We are either going to take over this whole industry or these bastards are going to change ... I'm going to love watching the peckers scream and cry," he said. Yes, he actually said that.

January 3, 2014

AT&T Offers Up to $450 to Switch From T-Mobile

Switch to AT&T

The battle between AT&T and T-Mobile is heating up, with AT&T offering T-Mobile customers several hundred dollars to switch carriers.

Starting today, T-Mobile customers who switch to AT&T can trade in their smartphones and get up to $250 that can be used on AT&T products and services. They can nab an additional $200 per line when they switch to AT&T and select an AT&T early upgrade Next plan, buy a device at full retail price, or activate a device they already own.

Trade-in values will vary depending on the current state of your device, but "most popular smartphones will qualify for a value of $250," AT&T said.

According to an AT&T website, making the switch and pocketing your cash is a four-step process. First shop for a smartphone and select an AT&T Mobile Share Value plan. Before checkout, enter your existing T-Mobile number and transfer it to AT&T. Then, visit and follow the steps to trade in your current smartphone for an AT&T Promotion Card worth up to $250. When the switch is done, you can get that extra $200 if you stick with AT&T for three months.

December 13, 2013

Report: Sprint Considering Bid for T-Mobile

Sprint Logo

If you thought we'd end 2013 without another major tech rumor, you were wrong. Late on Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint is preparing a bid for rival wireless carrier T-Mobile.

But don't expect this to become a reality by year's end. According to the Journal, citing the usual "people familiar with the matter," Sprint is looking into whether the acquisition would run into regulatory hurdles, so a bid probably won't happen until the first half of 2014.

If it did, it could be worth about $20 billion depending on the deal's terms.

A T-Mobile spokesman declined to comment, while Sprint said "we do not comment on rumor or speculation."

This is not the first time T-Mobile has garnered interest from a rival carrier. On an otherwise quiet Sunday afternoon in March 2011, AT&T surprised the tech community when it announced plans to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion. AT&T argued that the purchase would help stop the spectrum crunch and spur the companies' deployment of 4G service.

The deal, however, was met with massive backlash, particularly from Sprint, which countered that the deal would lead to a duopoly, with AT&T and Verizon controlling the wireless industry, and likely lead to job cuts and price hikes.

November 5, 2013

T-Mobile Snags 1M Customers, Explains Free Tablet Data Confusion

T-Mobile logo

T-Mobile's "un-carrier" approach helped the mobile firm add more than 1 million customers during the quarter, which ended with a total 45 million users and $6.69 billion in revenue.

The "un-carrier" strategy ditched traditional wireless contracts in March in favor of a one-time down payment and monthly payments.

"T-Mobile's Un-carrier approach is resonating with customers," CEO John Legere said in a statement, adding that "we are fixing the things that drive customers crazy."

In July, T-Mobile also unveiled its "Jump" trade-in program, allowing for early device upgrades. The carrier has since garnered more than 2.2 million Jump enrollments, T-Mobile said today.

But one area in which T-Mobile hasn't yet excelled is tablets. Recently, though, the carrier added the Apple iPad to its lineup, the last major U.S. carrier to do so. In an effort to attract tablet customers, the carrier announced that it would offer 200MB of free monthly tablet data to all customers for the life of their device.

The "free" part of the deal, however, caused confusion for some. Over the weekend, CNET reported that those who opt to finance the purchase of their tablet will be required to sign up for a service plan, which starts at $20 per month.

October 22, 2013

New iPads Coming to T-Mobile With 200MB Free Monthly Data

iPad AirSelf-proclaimed "uncarrier" T-Mobile is officially adding Apple's iPads to its lineup.

"Yep! Proud to be launching iPad Air and new iPad mini! But how? Uncarrier way of course! #Disruption #Uncarrier #StayTuned" T-Mobile CEO John Legere tweeted Tuesday.

This is the first time T-Mobile will offer support for cellular versions of the iPad. To celebrate the occasion and get a leg-up on competitors, T-Mobile is planning to offer a pretty sweet deal.

According to Apple's website, T-Mobile will offer the new iPads with 200MB of free monthly data — a deal you won't get on Verizon Wireless, AT&T, or Sprint. The carrier is also offering two other more standard data packages — 2.5GB per month for $30 and 4.5GB for $40.

Rival AT&T just announced plans to offer a 250MB day pass for $5, but customers can also sign up for monthly plans, which range from $14.99 for 250MB to a 5GB pass for $50. Sprint offers 1GB of data for $14.99, while Verizon sells the same for $20, to start. Tablets can also be added to shared data plans from Verizon or AT&T.

The carriers will begin selling the iPad Air on Nov. 1, with the iPad mini with Retina display coming later in the month. The 3G iPad 2 will remain on the market, with data available from AT&T or Verizon, though it gets a price drop to $299.

October 9, 2013

T-Mobile Drops Overseas Data, Text Roaming Charges in 100+ Countries

T-Mobile logo

T-Mobile today announced that it will drop international data and text roaming charges in more than 100 countries, allowing U.S. customers to update Facebook, check Google Maps, or send an email while traveling without incurring a massive roaming bill.

The company said it wants to tear down borders, and to drive this home, it has secured international pop star Shakira as its newest spokesperson.

The carrier also said that its 4G LTE network is now nationwide, covering more than 200 million people in 233 metro areas across the U.S.

With the new roaming plan, though, those who subscribe to a T-Mobile Simple Choice plan will be able to travel to dozens of countries without worrying about racking up a huge bill. It kicks off on Oct. 31, and does not require any sort of signup. Customers will automatically have coverage.

Free data and texting is valid in more than 100 countries, including Spain, Mexico, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Greece, New Zealand, Taiwan, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Russia, Japan, and more. See the full list below.

"This is pretty much every country people travel to," T-Mobile CEO John Legere said during a Wednesday press briefing. "This covers 98-99 percent of where they go. It's [harder to] find out which ones it doesn't cover."

September 26, 2013

T-Mobile to Stop Stocking BlackBerry in Retail Stores

BlackBerry Unveils Bigger, Better Z30

T-Mobile will stop stocking BlackBerry smartphones for sale at its retail stores in the coming days and will instead ship them to consumers at their request, the carrier said Wednesday.

The fourth biggest wireless carrier in the U.S. decided to stop stocking BlackBerry phones because they "have not been high demand devices for consumers," Reuters reported.

BlackBerry earlier this week announced plans to sell its business to a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, which will take the troubled phone maker private in a $4.7 billion deal.

Reuters quoted T-Mobile executive vice president for corporate services David Carey as saying that "keeping [BlackBerry] stock in the retail distribution system was inefficient." The carrier will, however, continue to "display and sell [BlackBerry phones] in the store for those consumers who would like to see one," he added.

A T-Mobile spokesperson confirmed the basic details of the Reuters report, sending PCMag the following statement:

"T-Mobile continues to support the BlackBerry platform. Customers can buy BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 devices in T-Mobile retail stores, online at, and through B-to-B sales channels. The T-Mobile retail channel is moving toward fulfillment via direct ship for BlackBerry devices, rather than in-store inventory. A customer will still see a phone on the shelf. If inventory is not available in the store, the device can be ordered."

September 16, 2013

AT&T, T-Mobile Begin Samsung Galaxy Gear Pre-Orders This Week

Samsung Galaxy Gear

AT&T announced today that it will begin taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch beginning tomorrow, while T-Mobile will follow suit on Wednesday.

Pricing was not released, though the gadget is expected to retail for $299. Verizon has alreadybeen accepting pre-orders for a bundle that includes the Galaxy Note 3 phablet and the Galaxy Gear for $600 with a two-year contract.

"Receive texts on your wrist? Yes, please. @SamsungMobileUS #GalaxyGear pre-orders start tomorrow," AT&T tweeted this morning. For now, you can sign up on AT&T's website to receive an alert when pre-orders formally begin.

The Galaxy Note 3 is already available for pre-order via AT&T starting at $299.99 with a two-year contract, with an expected ship date of Oct. 1.

T-Mobile, meanwhile, said today that Galaxy Gear and Galaxy Note 3 pre-orders will begin on Sept. 18. Under the provider's "un-carrier" plan, the Galaxy Note 3 will cost $199.99 down with 24 monthly payments of $21. Both devices will be in stores on Oct. 2, though they might ship before that, T-Mobile said.