The Tech News Blog

February 23, 2015

T-Mobile, Samsung Tease Metal Galaxy S6

Galaxy S6 TeaserSamsung's "next big thing" is almost here, and T-Mobile is already signing up customers.

The carrier's new teaser site all but confirms the Galaxy S6 (with an image and "six appeal" slogan), promising more news on March 1. (Update: AT&T is now teasing it, too.)

Samsung, meanwhile, released a teaser photo on Instagram with #TheNextGalaxy hashtag, as well as a video (below), which seems to confirm reports that the phone will have a metal exterior.

Earlier this month, Samsung sent invitation to its Unpacked event, where it is expected to launch its next-gen flagship Galaxy smartphone.

The Korean tech giant has remained mum about specifics, but rumors suggest the Galaxy S6 will include a Quad HD, 2,560-by-1,440 display and the same IMX240 camera sensor used on the Galaxy Note 4. And, the front camera gets a bump to 5 megapixels, while Samsung will reportedly drop the 16GB storage option in favor of 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities.

January 15, 2015

T-Mobile Offers New ‘Simply Prepaid’ Plans

T-Mobile LTE T-Mobile today introduced new Simply Prepaid plans, which offer "unlimited" 4G LTE data, talk, and text, starting at $40 a month.

Customers can choose from three plans: unlimited data, talk, and text, plus 1GB of LTE data for $40; up to 3GB of LTE data for $50; and up to 5GB for $60 per month.

There is a catch, though. 4G LTE speeds will be restricted to 8Mbps (PCMag found that T-Mobile has an average download speed of 16.8Mbps) and when you use up your 4G LTE data, you'll be throttled to speeds of 128K.

Simply Prepaid users also can't take advantage of T-Mobile's Data Stash, Simple Global, or Music Freedom, or other services available via Simple Choice plans, which are about $10 per month more than Simply Prepaid options.

If that's not an issue, the new plans will be available online and in T-Mobile retail stores starting Jan. 25.

"We will never stop eliminating customer pain points," T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement. "The 1.2 million net new prepaid customers who joined T-Mobile last year already see that value, and we have no plans to stop there."

As Fierce Wireless noted, T-Mobile last year offered independent wireless dealers the chance to open "Simply Prepaid" retail stores, which sell devices and plans from T-Mobile's prepaid lineup.

In other T-Mobile news, the company on Wednesday earned a win in the U.S. Supreme Court over a Georgia town that refused the company's proposal for a cell phone tower.

September 11, 2014

T-Mobile Reveals iPhone 6, 6 Plus Pricing

iPhone 6

Wondering how much the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will set you back on T-Mobile? Look no further.

The self-proclaimed "un-carrier" on Thursday announced availability and pricing details for Apple's new handsets, which will be available starting Friday, Sept. 19. T-Mobile customers can pre-order the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus starting tomorrow.

TMo iPhone 6As for pricing, T-Mobile is offering the 16GB iPhone 6 for $0 down plus 24 equal monthly payments of $27.08 for a total of $649.92 over two years. The 64GB and 128GB models will also set you back $27.08 a month for two years, but you'll need to pay either $99.99 or $199.99 upfront, respectively.

August 25, 2014

T-Mobile Quadruples Data for $5 More a Month

Sprint and T-Mobile

Heads up, T-Mobile customers. If you're on the Simple Starter plan and often find yourself running out of data we have some good news. You can now quadruple your data limit to a full 2GB for just $5 more per month.

The self-proclaimed "un-carrier" announced the new option on Monday, hitting back at Sprint's new $60 unlimited plan, which offers unlimited talk, text and data for $60 per month.

First announced in April, T-Mobile's Simple Starter plan offers up to 500MB of 4G LTE data (plus unlimited talk and text) for $40 a month. The plan is geared toward value-conscious customers and small businesses looking for predictability and affordability.

The new $5 extra data option will be available beginning Sept. 3. And no, you still won't have to sign an annual service contract to take advantage of the offer. Even better — you also won't incur any domestic overage charges.

"People who use loads of data use T-Mobile," John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile, said in a statement. "And it's no wonder. The old guard telecoms punish people for using more data on their networks with crazy overage charges and fees. Get Verizon's $50 plan and use just one gig more data, and the price jumps to $65. It's crazy. At T-Mobile, we designed our network data-strong so our customers could use the hell out of it. And that's just what they're doing."

The new offer comes after Legere last week challenged subscribers to "save" their friends and colleagues from rival carriers. Whenever a T-Mobile Simple Choice user recruits a Sprint, AT&T, or Verizon customer, both will receive unlimited LTE data for a full year at no added charge. Those subscribers already surfing on unlimited LTE data will receive a $10 credit each month for 12 months.

August 21, 2014

T-Mobile Wants Customers to ‘Rescue’ Those on Rival Carriers

Sprint and T-Mobile

T-Mobile CEO John Legere today challenged subscribers to "save" their friends and colleagues from rival carriers.

Starting next week, whenever a T-Mobile Simple Choice user recruits a Sprint, AT&T or Verizon customer, both will receive unlimited LTE data for a full year at no added charge. Those subscribers already surfing on unlimited LTE data will receive a $10 credit each month for 12 months.

"It continues to amaze me to see the old carriers failing to listen to their customers—or reward them for their loyalty," Legere said in a statement. "That arrogance and indifference has defined the U.S. wireless industry for too long. We're changing all that. In fact, this entire Un-carrier consumer movement is built on the simple act of listening to customers."

The limited-time offer begins Friday, Aug. 29. T-Mobile customers can report their good deed online; you'll need your own phone number and that of your friend who's joining.

Report a successful rescue mission within 30 days of your friend's activation; the unlimited data or bill credit will begin in the same month. Users are limited to one $10 monthly credit or unlimited LTE offer per account. So don't think drafting 10 friends will earn you $100 per month.

Though the offer applies to recruits from all rival carriers, T-Mobile's press release focused primarily on Sprint, which has been in the news recently after a CEO swap and some new plans.

Today, in fact, Sprint announced the Sprint $60 Unlimited Plan, which offers unlimited talk, text and data for $60 per month - $20 cheaper than T-Mobile's plan. The plan kicks off on Aug. 22 for new and existing customers, who must buy a device through Sprint Easy Pay, pay full retail price, or bring their own phone to get the plan. The fine print notes that "other plans may receive prioritized bandwidth availability."

Sprint this week also ditched its "Framily" plans for a new $100 per month family plan for up to 10 lines through December 2015. It's only for new customers at the moment, though, who can share 20GB of data plus 2GB per device, and unlimited calling and texting.

T-Mobile's challenge comes days after a merger with Sprint fell through.

August 6, 2014

Report: Sprint to Drop T-Mobile Bid, CEO

Sprint and T-Mobile

It appears that T-Mobile will remain the un-carrier.

According to Bloomberg, which cited a person with knowledge of the matter, Sprint has pulled the plug on merger talks with T-Mobile - and its CEO.

Dan Hesse, who has been CEO since 2007, is reportedly being booted as Sprint's chief, and will be replaced by Marcelo Claure, founder of Brightstar Corp., Bloomberg said.

Neither company is talking, but the deal reportedly collapsed over money, as well as the chilly reception the deal was getting from regulators.

News of a possible Sprint/T-Mobile merger emerged late last year, and has been framed as a way for the nation's third and fourth largest carriers to compete against the top two: AT&T and Verizon.

July 31, 2014

T-Mobile Adds 1.5 Million Customers

T-Mobile LogoT-Mobile had a strong quarter, today reporting total revenue growth of 8 percent and the addition of 1.5 million new customers.

The service provider also reached a milestone 50 million customers in the second quarter.

"We have completely reversed T-Mobile's trajectory and started a revolution that is changing the rules in wireless," CEO John Legere said in a statement. "We are proud to be the fastest growing wireless company in America."

T-Mobile chalked its success up to recently launched services like T-Mobile Test Drive, which invites customers to try an Apple iPhone 5s on the Un-carrier network at no cost for seven days. Recently, it also added a Music Freedom feature for Simple Choice customers, which lets them stream tunes from popular services without draining 4G data.

Of course, more customers means more money: The number four U.S. mobile operator saw a 15.4 percent increase in revenue, reaching $7.2 billion in the second quarter. It also earned $391 million in the three months ending in June, compared to a $16 million loss a year earlier.

July 28, 2014

T-Mobile Targets AT&T With Data-Heavy Family Plan

T-Mobile CEO John Legere John Legere is not a fan of AT&T, and he's certainly not shy about it.

The outspoken T-Mobile CEO on Monday morning took to the company's blog to unveil a new family plan promotion, blasting AT&T and other rival carriers in the process. Under the new Simple Choice promotion, a family of four paying $100 a month can share up to 10GB of LTE data, with each person getting 2.5GB. Even better — there are no overage fees.

Currently, those in the Simple Choice plan get just 1GB of high-speed data per line. The promotion kicks off on July 30, and Legere says it's a way better deal than what you'll get on AT&T.

"Leaving my office last week, I pulled alongside a bus covered with yet another ad for AT&T's 'Best-Ever Pricing' for families," he wrote. "These ads are everywhere. AT&T's sinking some serious dough into marketing their latest-greatest family pricing, which strikes me as funny. Because their deal is no deal at all, and next to T-Mobile's Simple Choice Family Plan, AT&T's 'Best-Ever Pricing for Families' is a joke."

In comparison, AT&T's "Best-Ever" Mobile Share plan offers 10GB of monthly data for $160 a month.

"It infuriates me that they're selling this to hardworking families who could use that money for more important things," Legere wrote. "And they have the nerve to call it 'Best-Ever Pricing.' I just couldn't stand by without speaking up and calling them on their BS."

And while Legere specifically called out AT&T, he added that "Big Red and the Framily aren't any better," referring to Verizon and Sprint. Check out the chart below to see what he means.

T-Mobile's new family promotion will be available until September, and those who sign up can lock in the increased data allotment through 2016.

T-Mobile Simple Choice promotion

June 24, 2014

Sprint Counters T-Mobile’s ‘Test Drive’ With 30-Day Free Trial

Sprint Logo Sprint is firing back at T-Mobile's new "Test Drive" promotion with a pretty sweet offer of its own.

Those interested in Sprint service can now try it out risk free for 30 days, the carrier announced on Monday.

The promotion comes just days after T-Mobile began offering a free, one-week test drive of the iPhone 5s with no cost and no commitment.

"We believe customers will be delighted with the Sprint retail experience, our customer service, and the performance of America's newest network," Sprint Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse said in a statement, "so we're guaranteeing it."

The Sprint trial offer begins on June 27 and is available to new customers, select small businesses, and existing customers who activate a new line of service. If you aren't "completely satisfied" with your Sprint service within the first 30 days, the carrier will refund the cost of your device and wave all service and activation charges.

Other major carriers typically allow you to return your phone and cancel contracts within 14 days, but usually include a $35 re-stocking fee, unless the phone is unopened.

June 20, 2014

Report: Sprint Lines Up Financing for T-Mobile Deal

Sprint Logo Sprint has reportedly garnered the support of eight banks willing to finance a merger with T-Mobile, which would unite the third- and fourth-biggest U.S. mobile carriers.

According to Reuters, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group, Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup Inc., as well as Japanese banks Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, have all agreed to bankroll Sprint's proposed acquisition.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Reuters said the debt package is valued at more than $40 billion, plus a $20 billion bridge loan from Japan's Softbank, as well as the $20 billion to refinance T-Mobile's existing debt.

Sprint declined to comment on the report.

The long-rumored Sprint/T-Mobile merger made what seemed like a step forward in May, when Deutsche Telekom, which owns 67 percent of T-Mobile, agreed to sell the U.S. service provider to Softbank, which holds a majority stake in Sprint.