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.
AT&T signs deal with EE for 4G roaming in UK, will offer similar connection in early 2014
AT&T has signed a deal with Everything Everywhere in the United Kingdom, allowing the US carrier's subscribers access to the 4G network when visiting, in a similar deal to one between AT&T and Rogers in Canada. Though the pricing of the deal were not disclosed, Pocket Lint reports that EE customers will be able to get 4G speeds from AT&T's network in the US in the first half of 2014.
Number three carrier could gobble up number four
Sprint is working toward a bid to purchase T-Mobile, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal. The United States' third-largest wireless carrier is reportedly considering offering more than $20 billion for T-Mobile, which sits in fourth place but has been reinvigorated by a number of disruptive "UNcarrier" offerings. Those offerings have given T-Mobile a boost even as Sprint appears to have languished, with drops in subscriber totals and abysmal customer satisfaction ratings.
Technology allows multiplexing of LTE bands, faster downloads
Sprint announced it will begin delivery of the Samsung Galaxy S4 with the enhanced LTE Sprint Spark to its sales channels in the next few weeks. Sprint Spark allows tri-band devices, like the the S4, to support active hands-off mode between 800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz, and provide data session continuity as the devices move between spectrum bands.
Cross-carrier stolen phone database will connect with international versions
Work on a national stolen phone database covering AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless handsets has been completed, according to an announcement from CTIA. The wireless association revealed that the multi-carrier database has been implemented before its November 30th deadline, one which it hopes to connect to overseas carriers to protect against thefts worldwide.
Supplies finally catching up to demand
Roughly 90 percent of iPhone 5s models are back in stock at US Apple Stores, according to data collected by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Breaking figures down by carrier, the two biggest US providers -- AT&T and Verizon -- are showing 99 and 98 percent availability, respectively. The ratio shrinks to 72 percent for Sprint; unmentioned are figures for T-Mobile or SIM-free models.
Sprint now lowest rated carrier for satisfaction
Sprint, the United States' third-largest wireless carrier, came in last among the major carriers in the newest Consumer Reports survey of customer satisfaction. The Consumer Reports National Research Center polled 58,399 subscribers, and their responses indicated a precipitous drop for Sprint from last year, when it placed second among the major carriers. The overall leader among the major carriers was Verizon, which saw high marks for both data service and some aspects of customer support.
Will soon support older iPhones
Sprint-based wireless provider FreedomPop has announced that people with an existing Sprint phone can now activate a device on its service. The company offers extremely low-cost data plans, including a free tier with 500MB of data, 500 text messages, and 200 voice minutes. To get access, though, people previously had to pay $99 for an HTC Evo Design, a phone which is now largely obsolete.
Best Buy, Sprint deal provides free talk, text, data to student subscribers
Sprint has started a promotion for students buying any new smartphones in the carrier's range over the holiday shopping period. Customers buying a device under the My Way Student promotion through Best Buy will receive up to 12 months of free cellular service, which the company states will save students up to $70 per month in costs.
Price of Moto X lowered on carriers after Moto G launch
Following the launch of the low-cost Moto G, a number of carriers in the United States have started to lower their prices for the Moto X. While Republic Wireless offers the device off-contract, versions as part of a two-year commitment have received price cuts, with one offer seemingly being priced at $0.01.
Curved smartphone will supposedly hit American carriers
LG's curving G Flex smartphone will not be limited to its native South Korea for distribution, according to a new rumor. Reliable mobile industry leaker @evleaks tweeted on Wednesday that the new phone with a novel form factor has been "confirmed" to be bound for AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. No dates have been announced for the curved smartphone's arrival, but given @evleaks' history of pronouncements, it may be some time in the near future.
Moto X customization now on all major carriers
As many expected, the Moto Maker Moto X customization feature has now expanded from AT&T to include all four major American carriers. The Moto X site now shows Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile as carrier options, along with AT&T. The expansion of the feature to at least Verizon was anticipated by many, as the carrier accidentally leaked a page showing off the Motorola flagship and saying it could be customized. That page, though, was quickly taken down, and the feature was put back under wraps until its proper launch today.
Customized Moto X said to reach T-Mobile today, Sprint on 11th
Customized versions of the Moto X could be heading to the other carriers in the near future, according to reports. Leaked images said to be from Sprint allegedly show that the Moto Maker system will be available to customers in the near future, while another rumor claims that T-Mobile will also be receiving access to it soon.
System uses Sprint Wireless network for telephony
Sprint is deploying a system to make it simpler to cut the cord on traditional landlines. The new system, the Sprint Phone Connect System 1, offers homeowners and small business customers two cordless phones for $50 with a new line or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement. When bundled with the Sprint Phone Connect plan, customers get unlimited local and domestic long-distance calling while on the Sprint network for $20 per month.
Karma will add Sprint LTE to service, expanding coverage to 230 cities
Pay-as-you-go mobile Wi-Fi hotspot provider Karma is adding 4G LTE connectivity to its service. Using the Sprint 4G LTE network, customers will be able to use the shareable hotspot in more than 230 US cities once it is launched in the first half of 2014, expanding from its existing WiMAX-based coverage of 80 cities. Though the current hotspot will not be compatible with LTE network, Karma will be offering "steep discounts" on the replacement LTE device when it ships.
iPhone support still largely quiet
Ting -- an MNVO carrier launched just last year, and based on the Sprint network -- is now supporting the iPhone 4 and 4S, a report claims. Ting, Apple, and Sprint are said to have signed a deal for the arrangement, which is described as a "beta" in which Ting has to prove that it can support iPhone customers, and hold up Apple's brand reputation, partly through screening for lost or stolen devices showing up on its network. Sources say that Ting is "scared to make Sprint nervous," and that "Sprint is terrified to make Apple nervous," given that Sprint has a deal to sell the iPhone while Ting doesn't. Being able to sell the iPhone often involves strict demands from Apple, including minimum marketing budgets and unit purchases.
Offering available to four phones, five markets at launch
Telecom carrier Sprint has announced its new high-speed "Spark" wireless data service, bridging 800MHz, 1.9GHz, and 2.5GHz data bands. Boasting initial peak speed of 60Mbps, Sprint claims that compatible phones will eventually reach 1Gbps speed as the technology matures.
Sprint loses 313,000 customers, sells 1.4M iPhones in quarter
Sprint's first full-quarter earnings report after the completion of SoftBank's takeover and the acquisition of Clearwire gives it good news and bad news in equal measure, with the carrier's revenues rising to $7.3 billion compared to the $7.2 billion in the previous quarter. Operating losses at the company have shrunk to $398 million, an improvement on last quarter's $874 million loss, though it is still a greater loss than the $231 million in the same period last year.
Sprint 4G LTE network now covers 230 markets
Sprint on Tuesday announced the expansion of its 4G LTE service to 45 new markets across the United States. The addition of the new markets means that Sprint's 4G LTE service now covers 230 markets. In addition to adding 4G LTE in new markets, Sprint made a sizable expansion of its enhanced 3G service, improving signal strength, coverage, and call quality.
Smaller GS4 variant to hit Sprint, AT&T, Verizon
Samsung fans that are looking for a smaller smartphone experience will be able to purchase the Galaxy S4 mini on one of four major American carriers beginning in November. The 4.3-inch handset will be available on AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and USCellular. Samsung has not announced specific launch dates for the device on each carrier.
AT&T retains top spot among US carriers
Apple and the iPhone have topped JD Power's smartphone satisfaction study for the 10th time in five years, according to a newly-released chart. With a score of 856, the company beats out rivals like Nokia (840), Samsung (839), and and HTC (829). AT&T remains the US carrier with the most overall customer satisfaction, garnering a score of 843; trailing behind are Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Among iPhone users, though, Verizon is the top carrier.
S5 said to be rushed to market
Several Samsung leaks have pointed to alleged launch details for the company's current Galaxy S4 Mini handset and next-generation S5 flagship. Amid reports claiming Galaxy S4 sales have failed to meet internal goals, a report from the Korean site Naver suggests the Galaxy S5 is being hurried onto the market with an anticipated unveiling as early as January.
Black Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 due on Sprint in time for holidays
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 is heading to Sprint at the end of this week, While it is not the first carrier to offer the tablet on its network, it hopes to encourage users to join its network or gain second lines, by undercutting AT&T's $100 price to $50, when bought alongside a newline on a two-year agreement, and with an appropriate data plan.
HTC One gains Android 4.3 on Sprint, Verizon and AT&T to follow
Owners of the HTC One on Sprint in the United States will now be able to upgrade their device to Android 4.3. The operating system, having already appeared on unlocked versions, is said by Android Beat to be heading to other US carriers such as AT&T and Verizon by the end of October, at roughly the same time as updates for french carrier SFR's customers.
Sprint shipping Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear on October 4th
Sprint has joined AT&T and T-Mobile in offering the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch to its customers. Both will be available from the carrier starting from October 4th, with the Galaxy Note 3 priced at $350 with a two-year contract, as well as under Sprint's new One Up early-upgrade program. The Galaxy Gear, available separately, will cost $300.
Offers discounted price plan, yearly upgrades of smartphones
Sprint has joined Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile in offering customers a way to upgrade earlier. The Sprint One Up program, as leaked last weekend, will allow subscribers to upgrade their smartphone or mobile device once per year, with the carrier also providing a discounted price plan to accompany the new mobile phone upgrading scheme.
Carrier adopts aggressive recruitment stance
Sprint has introduced a special $100 discount for people buying phones and porting their number over from a rival network. The deal will also apply to Apple's new iPhones, coming September 20th. A 16GB iPhone 5c will be free on contract, and a 16GB 5s just $99. The iPhone 4S will also be an option, but free, like the technically superior 5c.
One Up slated to launch on September 20
Sprint will finally join the other three major U.S. carriers in offering its own early upgrade program, which will start this weekend. Cnet reported on Sunday that the new program, dubbed Sprint One Up, will allow customers to pick up a mobile phone with no money down and to pay for the device over the course of two years. It is slated to kick off on September 20.
Moto X flagship available for $100 on contract
Amazon is offering the standard black and white versions of the Moto X Sprint variant for just $100. Motorola's flagship handset was already predicted to hit $100, but Amazon appears to have jumped the gun slightly with the Sprint version. The $100 deal is contingent upon the commencement or renewal of a two-year contract with Sprint.
Demand less intense for \'budget\' iPhone
(Updated with other slippages) Supplies of the iPhone 5c -- which just went on sale this morning -- are mostly stable, checks show. While shipping times have grown to 1-2 weeks in Hong Kong, deliveries are still set for September 20th in all other launch regions. The closest exception to this is at Sprint in the US, which says that "some phones" will ship in up to 2 weeks, and that the yellow 32GB model is due in 3.
Multi-colored iPhone still set to ship on September 20th
Pre-orders have commenced for the multi-colored iPhone 5c through Apple's online store, with the four major US carriers also offering it at the same time. AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile are all selling the new smartphone, with customers in ten other countries also able to pre-order the iPhone 5c before its September 20th shipping date.
No preorders available for flagship iPhone 5s, hints at supply shortage
The first- and third-largest carriers in the US have confirmed that they will begin accepting preorders on the iPhone 5c, the more colorful and less expensive of the two new iPhone models Apple introduced on Tuesday, beginning at 12:01AM Pacific Time (3:01AM Eastern) on Friday, September 13. Verizon and Sprint have formally confirmed the times, while Apple, AT&T and fourth-place T-Mobile USA are expected to follow suit. The new iPhones are functionally similar to the iPhone 5, but cost $100 less at full price and start on contract at $99.
Best Buy to start selling metallic blue HTC One from September 15th
The blue version of the HTC One will be going on sale through Best Buy from September 15th. Identical to the normal model except for color, the "metallic blue" smartphone will be available on AT&T and Verizon, along with Sprint, though the retailer has yet to reveal per-carrier pricing. It is suggested by Engadget that it could cost as much as $700 off-contract through the retailer.
Moto X goes on sale through Sprint, $100 credit for number transfers
Sprint has started selling Motorola's flagship smartphone, the Moto X, on its network. Priced at $200 alongside a two-year contract, the carrier will be offering customers switching their number to Sprint a $100 instant credit off the up-front cost of the device. Though it is not launching with Moto Maker customizations, Sprint states that it will be available to its customers "in the coming months."
Blue-colored smartphone to join exclusive red model on carrier
After exclusively selling a red-cased version of the HTC One, Sprint could be preparing to launch a blue model on the network. A leaked roadmap from the carrier points towards the possible new color option, with the smartphone launch expected to take place on the 10th of September, the same day as a possible iPhone event.