Potential fine of up to $105 million by FCC the latest in a crackdown on 'cramming'
Mobile phone service provider Sprint could be facing a fine of as high as $105 million or other disciplinary actions from the FCC after a study by the agency concluded that the carrier was willfully participating in a practice called "cramming," in which users are often tricked into signing up for "premium" services (such as ringtones or special messages) from a third-party, which then adds monthly charges to the user's bill. Like AT&T and T-Mobile before it, Sprint has run afoul of authorities for taking a cut of these scams, and thus having an incentive to allow them to continue, despite customer complaints.
Options still missing from Apple online orders
People wanting to take advantage of Sprint's Easy Pay or iPhone for Life financing and leasing options should soon be able to do it at an Apple Store, a report says. Training is currently said to be underway, and some stores may in fact be ready to process the plans today. Neither option is available through Apple's website, but previously shoppers angling for an iPhone or iPad purchase under one of the two plans had to order from a Sprint company store or reseller.
US' leading carriers seeing increased competition from T-Mobile, Sprint
In the telecom industry, "churn" is the rate at which subscribers jump from one service to another, and it appears to be increasing with 4G cellphone subscribers during the present quarter. So much so that both AT&T and Verizon have indicated to investors that their margins may be "impacted" in Q4 by the loss of subscribers, and the promotional efforts it will take to lure them back from rivals such as T-Mobile and Sprint.
Promotion from Sprint aims to pull AT&T, Verizon subscribers away with low-cost plans
Sprint is stepping up its efforts to pull customers away from other carriers after its double data promotion ended, by offering to halve their bills instead. The aggressive promotion offers to provide customers on AT&T and Verizon a subscription at half the cost of its competitors, while still providing unlimited voice minutes, unlimited texts, and an equivalent amount of data to their old plan.
No down payments, but tied to two-year leases
US carrier Sprint has announced new "iPad for Life" plans for people wanting to buy a 4G-equipped iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3. All of the plans have no down payments, unlike similar T-Mobile offerings, but still require people to pay monthly fees over the course of a two-year lease. Those fees vary based on device storage. A 16GB Air 2 is $20 a month, for example, whereas 64GB is $24, and 128GB is $28. For the Mini 3, those fees are $17, $21, and $25, respectively.
Reduced revenue causes $192M operating loss for Sprint
Sprint's fortunes have suffered in the last quarter, the carrier's latest financial results advise. A loss in postpaid subscribers and reduced revenue in the period has led the company to an operating loss of $192 million for the quarter, with the carrier also announcing it is getting rid of 2,000 employees, as part of an effort to make $1.5 billion in annual cost reductions.
Curved face Android Wear smartwatch gets $5 price plan on T-Mobile
Samsung's Gear S will be going on sale in the United States at the start of next month, with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon all carrying the Android Wear smartwatch. The carriers are also varying the way they host the standalone smartwatch on their network, with T-Mobile introducing a new plan specifically for wearable devices.
Legere explains how each carrier approaches the use of the iPad SIM card
In light of the news that AT&T is locking down the Apple SIM card if used in its network, T-Mobile CEO comment on the complex relationship between carriers and the SIM. Legere issued a "tweetstorm" explaining how each of the four major carriers in the United States approaches the technology differently.
Shorter leasing period, iPhone 5S inclusion in Sprint plan
Sprint is making changes to its iPhone for Life rental plan, just over a month after launch. The carrier is adjusting the plan to allow customers the ability to lease an iPhone and upgrade it after 12 months, though the existing 24-month period between upgrades will continue to be offered to users at a lower cost compared to the new plan option.
New Sprint Family Share Pack offers double data of similarly-priced Verizon plan
Sprint is attempting to beat Verizon and AT&T by offering more data to customers on a low-cost subscription. In a continuation of earlier "double data" promotional plans, Sprint has introduced a new $20 Family Share Pack which is claimed to offer double the data of similarly-priced plans from Verizon, and three times the data of similar plans from AT&T.
All models contract-free
Sprint-owned Boost Mobile has announced it will begin selling the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on Friday, October 17. Since Boost is a prepaid carrier, buyers will have to pay for a contract-free device -- but the company is slashing $100 off the price of each model. A 16GB iPhone 6 will therefore cost $549, for example, and an equivalent iPhone 6 Plus will be $649. The 64GB and 128GB options will also be available.
WiMax network ceasing operation on November 6, 2015
A definitive date for the shutdown of Sprint's WiMax service has been confirmed by the carrier, following a leak of an internal newsletter. As leaked and confirmed, the WiMax network will cease operation on or around the 6th of November next year, with the leak also revealing more detailed information about how Sprint is handling the shutdown.
Layoffs to be completed by the end of October according to Sprint SEC filing
More changes are coming for the third-ranked wireless carrier in the United States, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC filing indicates that Sprint has started a workforce reduction plan that affects an undisclosed number of workers. While the number of layoffs coming when CEO Marcelo Claure was brought aboard earlier in the year wasn't stated, he did inform employees that the cost-cutting measures were an inevitability.
Verizon matches AT&T data promotion, Sprint increases data cap more
AT&T's recent promotional offer to double the data caps on its Mobile Share Value plans seems to have struck a nerve with other carriers. Both Verizon and Sprint have announced their own data-doubling promotions just a few days after AT&T -- and while Verizon appears to match AT&T's allowances and prices, Sprint has opted to go further, by redoubling the caps.
Claimed offer from SoftBank to buy animation studio may be worth $3.4B
Japanese carrier SoftBank is still on the hunt for acquisitions in the United States, following its earlier failed attempt to merge T-Mobile with Sprint, a report claims. The company is said to be in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation, a studio behind film franchises including Shrek and Kung-Fu Panda, with the deal claimed to be worth somewhere in the region of $3.4 billion.
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon to carry 3G-enabled Gear S
Samsung has confirmed it will be releasing the Gear S smartwatch in the United States. Launched last month, the standalone smartwatch with a curved two-inch 360x480 Super AMOLED display will be heading to AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon sometime this fall, though the manufacturer has yet to confirm exactly when it will be available.
Karma Go uses Sprint LTE network, refines device design from predecessor
Data-focused virtual carrier Karma has unveiled an upgraded version of its portable Wi-Fi hotspot. Just as it promised late last year, the Karma Go is a compact device which replaces its existing WiMax connection with one using Sprint's LTE network, a move which should provide customers with a larger coverage area to use the hotspot within.
Company offering 'iPhone for Life' endless upgrade promotion
New Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure on Monday tweeted that the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus this past weekend was the "most successful iPhone launch in our history," in a note thanking Sprint employees for their help. The announcement comes on the heels of Apple's news that it had sold 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units over the course of the opening weekend, a new record for the company, and Sprint's recent announcement of a special iPhone-centric lease promotion.
New prepaid plans start at $35 with unlimited voice, text and 1GB of data
Today, a new series of tiered offerings for prepaid cellular plans were announced by Sprint. Inspired by the changing needs of wireless consumers and the need to be competitive against AT&T and Verizon, Sprint is offering plans in a different way than was announce earlier in the year. Plans have been simplified to three different base plans, giving consumers the amount of data they need.
Includes Apple, major carriers
[Updated with in-store pickup news] In the US, online preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will begin at 12:01AM Pacific time Friday morning. While Apple has yet to announce an exact hour, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon all have, and traditionally Apple has opened up preorders at the same time. Other vendors, like T-Mobile, are referencing a broad September 12 window.
Sprint adds 15 more carriers to Rural Roaming Preferred Provider program
Sprint has expanded the area its LTE service operates in, by working with smaller carriers. The company has increased the number of carriers included within its Rural Roaming Preferred Provider program by 15, with the program's 27 carriers expanding Sprint's service in 27 states, over 565,000 square miles, and to more than 38 million people.
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."