Wi-Fi calling international update added to Samsung Galaxy S4 with Sprint Spark
Sprint is updating its Wi-Fi calling service so that it can be used abroad at no charge. The carrier is allowing users of specific smartphones compatible with the service to make calls over Wi-Fi instead of a local mobile phone network while roaming, with calls made to the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico provided at no extra charge, and without using any call allowances.
Unlimited plan follows on new family sharing plan, contrasts savings against T-Mobile
With the exit of Dan Hesse and the appointment of CEO Marcelo Claure earlier in the month, Sprint is kicking into a new gear with a clutch of new offerings. Following on a new family plan structure, including a $100 plan with up to 10 lines and 40 GB of data, Sprint announced a new single-line plan that offers unlimited text, talk and data for $60 per month. The new plan follows on previous reports that a similar plan was in the works for $50 a month.
One year of unlimited LTE data offered to both new T-Mobile customers and referrers
T-Mobile is ramping up its fight against Sprint, by attempting to coax subscribers to switch carrier. From August 29th, whenever a T-Mobile customer convinces another person to sign up to the carrier, both accounts will receive unlimited LTE data free for an entire year, or in the case of existing T-Mobile Simple Choice customers already having unlimited LTE, a $10 monthly credit for one year instead.
Sprint launches Sharp Aquos Crystal with slim bezel design
Sprint has confirmed it will carry the recently-announced Sharp Aquos Crystal smartphone on its network. Boasting a 5-inch 720p display with minimal bezel and mid-ranged specifications, Sprint will be selling the Aquos Crystal for $240 off-contract and $10 per month under Easy Pay, while the prepaid brand Boost and Virgin will both offer it for $150. Sprint did not advise of when the Aquos Crystal will be available, but the Japanese launch earlier this week points to a release on August 29th.
Limited-time plan offers up to 10 lines, bonus 2GB per line on promo 20GB plan
On top of a new single-line plan from Verizon today, Sprint has announced its new Family Share Pack, offering adjustable data caps to share across 10 lines in a single plan. Sprint's new plan also comes with a bonus for its 20GB tier, as the company is offering an additional 2GB per line on the plan as a part of its "new day for data" campaign.
Plans being tested involve changes to Sprint Framily, $50 unlimited plan
Sprint is allegedly testing a suite of price plans for potential launch in the near future, not long after Marcelo Claure took to the Chief Executive Officer position. The new plans being trialled are apparently aggressive, partly to fend off T-Mobile and to recoup its haemorrhaging customer base, with one plan said to offer unlimited voice, text, and data for $50 per month.
Obstacles in regulation are said to be the reason for Sprint's withdrawal
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that T-Mobile's possible purchase by Sprint may no longer be on the table. Sources tell the publication that Sprint's parent company, SoftBank, no longer believes that it would be able to convince regulators that the merger of the two companies would be favorable to the wireless industry. It's believed that officials had given enough of a signal that it would oppose any change in the current wireless market.
Financial results promising for Sprint, subscriber losses continue
Sprint has managed to return to profitability in its latest quarterly financial results, after earning a net income of $23 million for the period, something the carrier claims is the best performance in "almost seven years." Despite the financial success, the carrier is continuing from the last quarter's 595,000 customer reduction, with the further net loss of 220,000 customers.
LivePro projector can act as LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for eight devices
Sprint is launching a new device on its network later this week that combines three items in one. The ZTE-produced Sprint LivePro is a miniature portable projector, which aside from being able to project an image between 10 inches and 10 feet in size, also functions as an LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and is capable of charging up a smartphone or tablet using its 5,000mAh battery.
Free subscription to MapMyFitness MVP included with Galaxy S5 Sport
Sprint has unveiled its own version of Samsung's hard-wearing Galaxy S5 Active it launched last month. The Galaxy S5 Sport is an outdoor-friendly variant of the Galaxy S5, with a textured body to aid grip, hardware keys on the front, and IP67 water and dust resistance, with Sprint loading the Spark LTE-enabled smartphone with a number of apps aimed at helping the user keep fit.
Carrier deploys LTE in 28 new markets, Framily Wall offers private social media
During an event in Chicago today, Sprint announced an expansion to its LTE and Spark market offerings. An additional 28 LTE markets were added to Sprint's growing coverage, as well as launching Spark in three new areas. The carrier also unveiled a new private and secure social media space for customers, called Sprint Framily Wall in a joint effort with Family & Co.
Guarantee begins June 27 for new customers activating a new line of service
At Sprint's Happy Connecting event in Chicago, the company made a number of announcements, including a 30-day risk-free trial of the network. Building upon the expansion of LTE and Sprint Spark, the carrier is looking to give customers a satisfaction guarantee on its services. With a mobile data network that is witnessing a large expansion and overhaul of 3G services, Sprint is displaying faith in its network to customers.
Companies agree on $40 stock price, $1 billion payout if deal doesn't pass regulation
Cellular carriers Sprint and T-Mobile have agreed upon an outline for a proposed merger that would see Sprint acquiring its rival company for around $32 billion. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Sprint would pay about $40 a share for T-Mobile. The deal would further consolidate the cellular marketplace, reducing the number of large carriers to three if the merger is able to pass federal regulation.
Few details issued on the Chicago event, could be wireless network upgrades
Invitations were sent out today from Sprint indicating that the company is getting ready to make some kind of announcement later this month. Details on the event are extremely limited, but if the picture attached the invitation is any indication, new information on Sprint's network should be expected. The event kicks off in Chicago on June 23.
Deutsche Telekom may have agreed with Softbank's terms of the deal
Reports are circulating that Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company, has agreed to a proposed deal to sell the US wireless carrier to SoftBank. The deal would combine SoftBank's Sprint, with T-Mobile, merging the third and fourth largest US carriers into a single company with more than 103 million subscribers. Terms of the rumored deal are not yet known.
Fine, two-year agreement for calling customers on Do Not Call list
Sprint has agreed to pay the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) $7.5 million in fines, as part of a settlement over Do Not Call registry violations. The fine stems from an investigation into whether the carrier failed to "honor consumer requests to opt out of phone and text marketing communications," and is the largest Do Not Call settlement the FCC has ever reached.
Deutsche Telekom seeking $1 billion golden parachute, exec safety
Like the toll paid by AT&T following its unsuccessful bid to purchase T-Mobile, majority shareholder Deutsche Telekom is seeking a breakup fee of $1 billion if the proposed merger with Sprint falls apart for whatever reason. Additionally, as part of the merger talks, the German parent company is demanding that some of T-Mobile's management executives not be ousted following a merger.
Top 5 percent of users will be throttled on congested areas of Sprint network
Sprint will begin to throttle the highest bandwidth users in some markets, in order to improve its data network for other users. Starting in June, the top 5 percent of prepaid and post-paid customers in congested areas will see their browsing speeds culled, with customers of Boost Mobile and Virgin also facing similar bandwidth restrictions in congested regions.
Offer to be made while regulatory agencies wrestle with Comcast merger
Sources familiar with the matter claim that Sprint has approached sources of funding for a T-Mobile buy previously rumored in December. Sprint executives Joe Euteneuer and Greg Block met with a half dozen banks to prepare financing agreements before Sprint signals that it is ready to make an offer. A deal to acquire the US telecom provider is expected during the early summer.
Framily subscribers gain six-month Spotify Premium trial, discounted subscription
After publishing its financial results, Sprint has revealed it is providing subscribers of its Framily plan free music streaming through Spotify, as well as launching an exclusive version of the HTC One M8. In a similar manner to how AT&T offers its customers access to Beats Music, the carrier will be offering all of its customers a free six-month trial of Spotify Premium.
Quarterly results show Sprint Framily has 3M subscribers
Sprint has lost more than half a million subscribers and prepaid customers in the last three months, it has revealed in its latest quarterly financial report. Despite the reduction in customers, the company still managed to achieve a consolidated operating income of $420 million in the quarter, which the carrier claims is its best performance in over seven years, though it is still operating at a loss.
CDMA iPhone 4, 4s to also be supported on FreedomPop network
Alternative telecom FreedomPop has announced that it is now selling the iPhone 5 (not the 5s or 5c, just the original iPhone 5 from 2012) and offering a free wireless plan with 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages and 500MB of data per month, the first time the Sprint MVNO has carried the iPhone. It will also support the CDMA versions of the iPhone 4 and 4S on its 3G network going forward, and has launched a new iOS app that offers free voice, text and voicemail to all iOS users on other carriers.
Samsung follows close behind
Apple has topped a 2014 JD Power ranking of customer satisfaction among US smartphone owners. Each smartphone maker is scored according to metrics for performance, physical design, features, and ease of use, and relative to each of the four major US carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Apple is in first place with all four carriers, but trailed closely by Samsung.
WhatsApp reaches 500M monthly active users,700M photos shared daily
WhatsApp has hit a milestone of half a billion active users, the messaging service has announced. The 500 million-user figure is 50 million more than it reported in February, when it also announced it was being acquired by Facebook for a total of $19 billion in cash and shares, with the service now seeing 700 million photographs and 100 million videos being shared between users every day.
Sprint-Spotify tie-up could include discounted Framily group access
Sprint customers may soon be receiving a discount on Spotify, as part of a deal between the two companies, according to a report. An announcement by the carrier, allegedly scheduled to take place on April 29 in New York alongside its expected HD Voice launch, will apparently see Sprint customers receiving free trials of Spotify Premium, with some carrier subscribers potentially qualifying for Spotify discounts.
Early termination fee payment, phone trade-in bonuses in Sprint promotion
Following the lead of similar promotions by T-Mobile and AT&T, Sprint is looking to poach customers to its network, by paying up to $650 per line. The carrier will provide customers switching their number to Sprint from another network and signs up for its Framily plan with two bonuses, in order to help pay for the cost of transferring to the service.
Revamped HTC One M8 knocks Galaxy S4 from second at Verizon
The iPhone -- specifically, the iPhone 5s -- has been the top seller at all four major US carriers since its introduction, a trend that continued in March according to figures compiled by Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley. The year-old Samsung Galaxy S4 took second place among three of the four carriers, though it was knocked out of second at Verizon by the new HTC One M8. The S4 took third at Verizon, with the company's Note 3 phablet taking third at AT&T and Sprint, while the LG G2 took third at T-Mobile.
Sprint event asks for attendees to 'hear it for yourself'
Sprint has sent out invitations to an event in New York, asking members of the press to "hear it for yourself." Though the invitation does not specifically mention what exactly will be demonstrated, the April 29th event is likely to be a formal unveiling of Sprint's delayed HD Voice service, and an announcement about the high-quality audio call's national launch.
High-quality voice calls heading to Sprint subscribers this summer
Sprint will be launching its delayed HD Voice on compatible smartphones in the majority of markets across the United States this summer, the head of the carrier has revealed. CEO Dan Hesse revealed during a keynote talk at Oracle Industry Connect that the high-quality voice service will roll out for subscribers throughout the country "around the first of July."
Units are still locked to Virgin Mobile, cannot be legally unlocked
Sprint subsidiary Virgin Mobile, which sells CDMA iPhone models without an obligation to a monthly contract, is running a sale on both the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, with the 16GB 5c starting at $315, with the 32GB at $385. The iPhone 5s is available for $385 (16GB), $455 (32GB) or $525 (64GB). There is a catch to the offer: the iPhones are all locked to Virgin Mobile, and the carrier doesn't unlock the phones. Under current US law, it is illegal to unlock a carrier-locked smartphone without the company's blessing.
Samsung Galaxy S5 pre-orders similar to other carriers
Following the unveiling of pre-order plans by a number of other carriers, Sprint and RadioShack have both revealed how they will sell the Samsung Galaxy S5. RadioShack will start accepting pre-orders from March 21st, while Sprint has opened up its pre-orders for the smartphone today, and will be offering the new Samsung smart watch range as well.
Total of 330 technical consultants will lose jobs at Sprint
Sprint is closing a number of its stores and repair centers, in an effort to reduce its expenditure. Part of cuts revealed by Sprint in January, the SoftBank-owned carrier laid off a total of 330 technical consultants, shutting down 150 service and repair centers in the process, as well as closing 55 stores deemed to be performing under expectations.
Prepaid service relaunch accompanied by Sprint Money Express
Sprint will offer its customers a revamped third prepaid mobile phone service, alongside existing brands Boost Mobile and Virgin. Sprint Prepaid will apparently offer a similar service to what customers receive under its existing contract plans, with most options offering unlimited talk and text, and while there is a plan to provide unlimited data, it does come with some potential deal-breakers.
Deal likely to be halted by US regulators, but effort will be made anyhow
In a television interview with PBS's Charlie Rose, Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son declared that he was interested in buying T-Mobile. Citing "steps and details" that have yet to be negotiated, the executive claimed that he "would like to have the real fight, OK? Not the pseudo fight, the real fight" with competitors AT&T and Verizon.
Sprint alleged to have overcharged for illegal equipment install
Wireless carrier Sprint is being sued by the US government for overcharging for its services in cellphone surveillance. Allegedly, the carrier submitted $21 million above and beyond its actual expenses (which it is entitled to). The government, however, is seeking triple damages -- $63 million -- as the violation by the carrier is charged to have been a willing and blatant violation of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), the law that allows Sprint to be reimbursed for reasonable expenses associated with data collection.
Age of device likely overriding concern
Sprint-based MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) Ting will start supporting unlocked iPhone 5 units on its network by next week, sources say. The carrier's iPhone support has so far been limited to the iPhone 4 and 4S; iPhone 5 support has allegedly been held up by Sprint, which often avoids allowing phones on MVNOs until they're a generation or more behind. Because the iPhone 5s and 5c have been available for several months already, the iPhone 5 has reportedly been given the go-ahead.
Two Android devices work with Sprint Wi-Fi service, more expected later in 2014
Sprint is following in the footsteps of T-Mobile, by allowing customers to make calls over Wi-Fi. The service will let users make and receive calls and texts through their registered Sprint number through the network connection when the device is not able to connect to the Sprint cellular network itself, allowing customers to use their phones at home and at work in signal blackspots.
Sprint claims 53.9M subscribers, 5.6M smartphone sales
Sprint's latest quarterly results show it has suffered a loss of $1.04 billion, an improvement on last year's $1.32 billion loss, under its second quarter of ownership by SoftBank. Revenue from the carrier enjoyed a year-on-year increase from $9 billion to $9.14 billion in the fourth quarter, also up from its third-quarter results, giving it a full-year revenue of $35.5 billion.
Obama initiative valued at about $750 million
US President Barack Obama is today announcing commitments from several US corporations towards connecting more students to high-speed Internet, says the Associated Press. In all, about $750 million has been pledged; Apple is offering $100 million in iPads, computers, and other tools, while Verizon is providing the same amount in straight cash and in-kind contributions. AT&T and Sprint are offering free Internet access; Microsoft is promising copies of Windows at discounted rates, and 12 million free copies of Microsoft Office.
KitKat update for Android starts North American roll-out
Owners of the HTC One in Canada have started to receive the Android 4.2.2 update to their devices, despite it only entering carrier testing late last week. At the same time as Canada's rollout, the Android KitKat update for Sprint subscribers has been made available to download, though as a "customer initiated request" rather than a pushed update.
Four firms singled out for supporting educational high-speed Internet deployment
[Updated with Apple statement] As part of his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama thanked four tech firms -- including Apple, Microsoft, Verizon and Sprint -- for their involvement and support of his and the FCC's ConnectED high-tech initiative, which aims to level the playing field for poorer districts by providing high-speed Internet access to all of America's schools and students. Obama described the participation as a "down payment" on connecting schools and students over the next three years.
ZTE Optik 2 3G tablet available online through Sprint
Sprint has revealed the 3G tablet ZTE Optik 2, now available online for purchase. The tablet has a 7-inch touchscreen display, and runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Featuring a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB RAM and 8GB of storage, the Optik 2 possesses a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus, video recording and flash, and a front-facing camera that enables video chat.
Chrome for iOS to add malware protection to mobile version
Google has announced its latest update of Chrome for iOS, featuring Safe Browsing malware protection akin to what is available for the desktop application. Chrome can now provide warnings when the user is about to visit a potentially dangerous site.
Easy Pay launched same week as Sprint shutters One Up plans
Sprint has launched a new offer that allows customers to upgrade mid-contract, just days after shuttering its existing One Up plans. Billed as a "limited time" offer, Easy Pay will let existing eligible Sprint subscribers upgrade to a new phone, with an initial down payment for the handset accompanied 24 monthly payments for the remainder of the device's cost.
Boost Mobile to offer Moto G, its first Motorola product since 2011
Boost Mobile, the pre-paid Sprint imprint, has announced the release of Motorola's Moto G through its nationwide retail stores and online. The first Motorola product offered by Boost Mobile since 2011, the 3G budget smartphone has a 4.5-inch HD screen made with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, and possesses a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor.
Sprint customers redirected from One Up to Framily plans
Sprint has withdrawn its One Up early upgrade plan in the United States, less than four months after it launched. The plan, which competed against similar offerings from T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T, was retired on the 9th of January, allowed customers to pay for a device over 24 monthly installments, with the option of allowing devices to be traded in 12 months into the contract and replaced by a new device.
Framily plan puts cost per person on sliding scale
Sprint has made several announcements, beginning with the introduction of its "Framily" plan. The offer -- which becomes available January 10th -- lets up to 10 people, not necessarily relatives, join a group in which each extra person joining lowers the cost for everyone else. For a single person the fee is $55 per month for 1GB of data and unlimited talk and text. Each additional subscriber lowers the cost by $5 a month, although that ceases after the seventh customer, at which stage each person is paying $25.
Softbank's Son said to approach banks for funding.
Sprint appears to be actively moving toward making a bid for T-Mobile next year, as Masayoshi Son – head of Softbank, which bought Sprint this year – is said to be courting banks to finance a potential acquisition. This according to Bloomberg, which cited sources familiar with Son's plans in saying that he is looking for roughly $20 billion to finance a T-Mobile buy. Son is said to have consulted with six banks, including Deutsche Bank AG, JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse, Mizuho Bank, and Goldman Sachs.
Report claims discussions occurring between Dish, Deutsche Telekom
Dish Network is still considering an attempt to acquire T-Mobile sometime next year, according to a report. Despite its failure to secure Sprint in the last year, the satellite TV service is still looking towards owning a carrier and offering cellular service, with the potential acquisition attempt seemingly setting up Dish for another battle with Softbank.
Home broadband service will use 2.5GHz Sprint LTE spectrum
Dish is working with Sprint to develop a fixed wireless home broadband service for areas underserved by normal wire-based broadband, the company has announced. Using Sprint's 4G LTE network, the service will use the 2.5GHz bands Sprint acquired from Clearwire, with Dish installing either an indoor or ruggedized outdoor router with high-gain antennas at the customer's location.