Sprint To Roll Out 4G LTE Network To 100 Cities Over Coming Months

Sprint To Roll Out 4G LTE Network To 100 Cities Over Coming Months

While Sprint may be a distant third place in the wireless wars, the folks in yellow are not going down without a fight. Earlier today, the company announced a plan to roll out a new 4G LTE network in more than 100 cities during the near future. [More]

FCC To Test Mobile Broadband Speeds… In Due Time

FCC To Test Mobile Broadband Speeds… In Due Time

For two years now, the Federal Communications Commission has been looking at terrestrial broadband services to see which DSL/cable/fiber/string-and-cans providers are actually delivering the speeds they promise. So it only makes sense for the FCC to start looking at just how quickly U.S. consumers are able to download data over mobile networks. Unfortunately, the federal government still moves at the speed of a crappy dial-up line. [More]

See All The Pink On This Map? Those Are The 19 Million Americans Without Broadband Access

See All The Pink On This Map? Those Are The 19 Million Americans Without Broadband Access

The Federal Communications Commission (or as we insiders like to call it, the FCC) has released its annual report on the state of broadband deployment in these here United States and while there is improvement in getting to the point where all Americans at least have the ability to access broadband Internet, you can see there is still quite a bit of pink on that map. [More]

The Worst Cities In The U.S. For Mobile Phone Reception Might Make You Want To Move

The Worst Cities In The U.S. For Mobile Phone Reception Might Make You Want To Move

How many times have you been visiting a city away from home and had this conversation with a local?: “I have the worst reception here!” “Oh, what do you have?” “[Here’s where you say which mobile carrier you use] and it’s getting a crap signal.” “I have [one that works awesome in this particular town], so that sucks for you.” It’s one of those things where some lucky locals find out their calls won’t be dropped and their mobile networks will actually connect, but once you leave your hometown, all bets are off. So which cities have the worst cell phone reception? [More]

Verizon’s Deal To Buy Spectrum From Cable Companies Could Mean Fewer Cable Options For Consumers

Verizon’s Deal To Buy Spectrum From Cable Companies Could Mean Fewer Cable Options For Consumers

It seems like it’s been oh, about eight months since Verizon Wireless announced its proposal to buy billions of dollars worth of wireless spectrum from cable companies who aren’t using it anyway. At first glance, it seems like a not-horrible idea, as Verizon Wireless doesn’t compete directly with the likes of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. But with regulators nearing a decision on the deal, several high-profile folks have come forward to voice their concerns about how Verizon might be sacrificing the growth of its FiOS business in favor of its wireless network. [More]

T-Mobile Ends Roaming Near My House, Leaves Me With No Service, Shrugs

T-Mobile Ends Roaming Near My House, Leaves Me With No Service, Shrugs

Matt is a longtime T-Mobile customer. He’s been with them for about seven years, and never really had any problems. Then he spent the Fourth of July weekend at his second home in Michigan, and noticed that he had no phone reception. No bars. Nothing. Normally the T-Mobile phones would switch over and roam on the AT&T network while in the country. He learned that the companies’ roaming agreement in parts of the Midwest ended earlier this year, and that he wouldn’t have any coverage at his second home. Well, okay, that’s a valid reason to get out of his contract, isn’t it? Only if he could get T-Mobile to get back to him. [More]

Virgin Mobile, Sprint, And The Phantom Voicemail

Virgin Mobile, Sprint, And The Phantom Voicemail

Brian is haunted. No matter what he does, a phantom voicemail is always there on his Virgin Mobile phone. Notifying him of its existence every fifteen minutes, without actually existing. Making his phone vibrate and give audio alerts. Providing him with constant reminders of something that isn’t there. It’s incredibly frustrating, and all Virgin Mobile can do is bounce him back and forth between them and Sprint. [More]

FTC: Wireless Customers Should Be Able To Block All Third-Party Charges To Phone Bill

FTC: Wireless Customers Should Be Able To Block All Third-Party Charges To Phone Bill

While the FCC has recently enacted rule changes that make it more difficult for predatory third-party businesses to cram unwanted and unauthorized charges on consumers’ landline phone bills, it is still in the process of considering what to do about bill-cramming for wireless customers. For what it’s worth, the folks at the Federal Trade Commission have chimed in with their suggestion: Wireless providers should be required to give customers the option to block all third-party charges from their bills. [More]

Cell Phone Carriers Responded To 1.3 Million Requests For Subscriber Info From Law Enforcement Last Year

Cell Phone Carriers Responded To 1.3 Million Requests For Subscriber Info From Law Enforcement Last Year

For the first time ever, cellphone carriers are publicly reporting just how many demands for subscriber information they responded to from law enforcement agencies. Last year they had 1.3 million requests for info on text messages, caller locations and other information related to investigations. [More]

T-Mobile Backtracks On That Whole “Too Bad Your House Burned To The Ground” Thing

T-Mobile Backtracks On That Whole “Too Bad Your House Burned To The Ground” Thing

Last week, we told you about the woman in Texas who lost her house to a wildfire, and whose T-Mobile phone wouldn’t work when she relocated to a new town. At the time, T-Mobile was refusing to waive her early termination fee, instead suggesting that she just give the phone to a friend or relative for the duration of the contract. Perhaps it was the patriotic spirit of the holiday, but it looks like T-Mobile has had a change of heart. [More]

Best Buy Layoffs Larger Than Expected; 1,700 Additional Employees To Get The Axe

Best Buy Layoffs Larger Than Expected; 1,700 Additional Employees To Get The Axe

UPDATE: Yet another Best Buy tipster has come forward to share details and confirm/clarify information regarding the recent staffing changes. [More]

If ‘Share Everything’ Is The Future Of Mobile Plans, Then Count Me Out

If ‘Share Everything’ Is The Future Of Mobile Plans, Then Count Me Out

Terry currently has a Nexus 4G from Verizon which is less than a year old. But he’s already looking to the future of mobile plans, and for longtime Verizon customers like him, that means a choice. He can pay full retail price for his next phone, or surrender his beloved unlimited data plan and switch to one of Verizon’s new “share everything” plans. He doesn’t like either option, and will have to leave Verizon. [More]

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Virgin Mobile Needs Non-Customer’s Personal Information To Stop Spamming her

Someone signed up for Virgin Mobile, and used Shadee’s e-mail address by accident. She doesn’t particularly want someone else’s phone bills, so she contacted Virgin Mobile asking to have the problem resolved. They answered with a demand for her personal information: name, mailing address, and her phone number. Why do they need all of this information when she wants to get off their mailing list, not on it? So she reached out and posted on Virgin Mobile’s Facebook wall. The interactions that followed prove that while companies can assign staff to social media, it can’t make them actually listen to consumers. [More]

New Legislation Asks FCC To Create Anti-Cramming Rules For Wireless Bills

New Legislation Asks FCC To Create Anti-Cramming Rules For Wireless Bills

While recent action by the FCC created rules intended to curb the practice of “cramming” unauthorized third-party charges on consumers’ landline phone bills, it did nothing to stop the same from happening for wireless customers. Today, Senator Jay Rockefeller IV introduced legislation that would end the practice and direct the FCC to create rules covering wireless customers. [More]

Perhaps The 8th And 9th Replacement Phones We Send You Won’t Be Defective

Perhaps The 8th And 9th Replacement Phones We Send You Won’t Be Defective

Garland and her husband have the same Android smartphone from Virgin Mobile, the Motorola Triumph. It’s supposed to be a pretty nice phone, and wasn’t cheap, but both of their phones had some issues. So get a warranty replacement and be on your way, right? Only it wasn’t just one replacement. Garland is now about to receive her fourth replacement phone, and her husband his third. That’s a total of seven defective phones so far. The phones suffer from a variety of problems, ranging from random reboots to poor reception to–worst of all–not recharging at all for no clear reason. They’d like Virgin to perhaps consider sending them a different, less crappy phone next time. They won’t. [More]

Wireless Companies Hope To Cash In By Pushing Everyone Into Unlimited Voice Plans

Wireless Companies Hope To Cash In By Pushing Everyone Into Unlimited Voice Plans

Since the iPhone ushered in the smartphone era in 2007, the average wireless subscriber is making fewer and shorter voice calls — resulting in a nearly 20% drop in average monthly minutes. But rather than give consumers the option to dial-down to smaller-tier voice plans, the titans of wireless are looking to give everyone an unlimited amount of talk. [More]

Is It Time For Wireless Companies To Offer Data-Only Plans?

Is It Time For Wireless Companies To Offer Data-Only Plans?

When was the last time you saw someone under the age of 21 willingly make a phone call when texting or e-mailing was an option? And reports show that free messaging apps are growing in popularity. So at what point will society just give up on voice and text services and go data-only? [More]

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You Must Pay Your T-Mobile Bill In Person, In Cash, Forever

If I’ve learned anything from reading readers’ letters, it’s that I should never get divorced. Or married. Or die. All of these seemingly routine life changes confuse companies so badly that you’d think they had never happened before. But Jake, a longtime T-Mobile customer, has been cast into a special consumer hell after his divorce. His ex canceled the credit card he had used to set up automatic payments, and reversed his payments to the phone company. So they charge him the balance on his next bill, he pays it, and all is well, right? I mean, he’s a 7-year customer with no late payments. It’s not like he’s a credit risk or anything. Except….he is now. And he has to pay his T-Mobile bills in cash, in person, for the remainder of his contract. [More]