It sounds like a nightmare: You’re driving along, maybe whistling along to the radio, when suddenly the music changes and starts blasting, the car begins honking and won’t stop and the transmission cuts out. Nightmarish though that may sound, it could be a reality for drivers, after a team of hackers showed they’re able to get control of a vehicle from miles away.
Not one to sit around and sulk after ditching its $45 billion bid to buy Time Warner Cable – or let a rival cable company beat it to the altar – the Lords of Kabletown are reportedly making eyes with the wireless industry, flirting with the idea of buying T-Mobile. [More]
While major wireless carriers are investing billions of dollars in LTE services, a Los Angeles-based tech company is aiming to capture some of their customers by offering unlimited access to millions of WiFi hotspots across the U.S. for as little as $5 a month. While that might seem like a deal you just can’t pass up, the new service likely isn’t an attainable alternative just yet. [More]
Look up from your screen. Did you forget there’s a real world out there, with sights and sounds and people who aren’t yammering away at you via any of the plethora of apps for mobile devices? One café in Canada wants to remind customers of what it’s like to live in a wireless-free world. A wireless-less world? [More]
For the last couple years, some in the wireless industry have been pushing for providers of data-heavy content to subsidize users’ wireless plans in order to guarantee that subscribers don’t hit their monthly usage caps. Apparently, ESPN is mulling over whether it wants to go that route, but we really hope they don’t. [More]
Almost a year after the FCC and DOJ came running up the aisle of the AT&T/T-Mobile wedding, offering up numerous reasons why the couple should not be wed, T-Mobile is already updating its OKcupid profile and going out on coffee dates with a younger, less-experienced beau: MetroPCS.
A couple weeks ago, details were announced about the Wireless Consumer Usage Notification Guidelines, which give wireless providers one year to roll out a system that lets customers know when they are nearing or over their allotted data, text, voice or international roaming limits. But our cohorts at Consumers Union are urging these companies to not wait until the last minute.
Say “sayonara” to another unlimited mobile plan, Virgin is adding a 5GB cap and throttle to its $40 “Unlimited Broadband2Go” MiFi plan. After you surpass the threshold in a month, your transfer speeds will get reduced to 256 kbps or lower for the rest of the month. The changes go into effect Feb 15. Happy Valentines Day.
Verizon has confirmed the information in the leaked slide we reported on two weeks ago. They’re ending their “New Every Two” policy. New customers after Jan 16 won’t get the credit, and current customers won’t get the credit after their next contract renewal.
A PC Mag reporter tested out Verizons’ new 4G LTE Network and maxed out at 21 Mbps in his home test. Of course, no one else is on the network right now, which hits streets December 5th, but that’s a pretty sweet rate for shoveling data through the air (in America at least). Verizon is also keeping your monthly cap pretty darn low, and expensive.
Yesterday, Walmart announced that starting next week it will offer a new wireless plan under its own brand, but running on T-Mobile’s network. The rates are good compared to national carriers: $45 per month for unlimited texting and minutes, and $25 per month for each additional line. There’s also no contract, and you pay the bill at the end of each month instead of loading up a pre-pay account. It’s one of the better family-style deals available, except for one thing: the data plans are actually more expensive than AT&T or T-Mobile.
If you’re having trouble getting a signal on your smartphone, the White House feels your pain. The Obama administration has endorsed an FCC plan to nearly double the bandwidth available for wireless devices by freeing up additional wireless spectrum. But don’t expect blazing speeds or better signals overnight. The plan will take several years to implement, require congressional approval, and is tied to a bandwidth auction to get the carriers to pay for the right to use the spectrum.
AT&T has officially delivered on the threats made by its consumer business director Ralph de la Vega last December: it’s switching to usage-based pricing on data plans for smartphones and the iPad. Starting Monday, all new AT&T customers who buy an iPad, iPhone, Blackberry or other smartphone and purchase the necessary data plan will have two options: $25 for 2 gigabytes, or $15 for 200 megabytes.
Lastmonth, InformationWeek filed a Freedom of Information request with the FCC and the FTC for complaints made about the iPhone in the past year. Although the breakdown of complaints is interesting, what I found most striking was that in a nation of over 11 million iPhone owners, less than 600 complaints were filed in the past 14 months*, and some of those were for other Apple products. If you have a legitimate grievance with a company, you might have a much better chance of being heard by the FCC or FTC than you think.
A man in New Mexico is suing Verizon Wireless over a series of harassing phone calls made by Verizon bill collectors last year. The man, Al Burrows, says the calls were concerning a relative’s unpaid cellphone bill. When he hung up on one of them, the disconnected Verizon rep called back, said she knew where Burrows lived, and added, “I am gonna blow your mother fucking house up.”
The president and a vice-president for CTIA, a lobbying organization for the wireless industry, spoke recently with CNET about why they think the FCC should leave their members alone. The vice-president, Chris Guttman-McCabe, is a lawyer and as such his answers are useless. President Steve Largent, however, actually has a couple of candid moments during the interview.