Sprint Sends Letter to FCC in Support of Title II Reclassification

sprint logoMaybe a surprising way to wrap a week full of Net Neutrality news, but the country’s fourth place carrier yesterday sent a letter to the FCC explaining its position on reclassifying the internet as a common utility under Title II.

They’re stance? It probably wont affect their products and services much.

Now to be sure, the letter does support a “light touch” regulation, where the FCC through forbearance might opt out of regulating certain aspects of the wireless industry, and give “mobile carriers the flexibility to manage our networks and to differentiate our services in the market”.

Of course, drawing that regulation line is a sticky subject between Title II supporters and opponents. Still it’s refreshing to see a carrier buck current industry trends to point out that it’s entirely likely reclassification might have only a small impact on the way broadband business is currently handled, and drawing on the history of the wireless industry, would probably be a positive move for the industry in allowing more competition.

When first launched, the mobile market was a licensed duopoly. This system was a failure, resulting in slow deployment, high prices and little innovation. In 1993, Congress revised the Telecommunications Act to allow new carriers, including Sprint, to enter the market. This competition resulted in tremendous investment in the wireless industry, broader deployment, greater innovation, and falling prices. It is absolutely true that this explosion of growth occurred under a light touch regulatory regime. Some net neutrality debaters appear to have forgotten, however, that this light touch regulatory regime emanated from Title II common carrier regulation, including Sections 201, 202 and 208 of the Communications Act.

Well done Lil’ Yellow. You can read the whole letter from Sprint’s Chief Technology Officer, Stephen Bye here (PDF Download).

AT&T to Acquire Wireless Provider Iusacell in Mexico

LogoIusacell.3The second largest carrier in the United States is making a move to acquire Mexico’s Grupo Iusacell SA for $2.5 Billion, expanding their customer network by 8 million subscribers and pushing farther into Latin America.

The deal will include covering $800 Million of Iusacell debt, and should make Mexico’s third largest more competitive, especially as Mexico is building out more middle class services for consumers.

“Our acquisition of Iusacell is a direct result of the reforms put in place by President Peña Nieto to encourage more competition and more investment in Mexico. Those reforms together with the country’s strong economic outlook, growing population and growing middle class make Mexico an attractive place to invest,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “Iusacell gives us a unique opportunity to create the first-ever North American Mobile Service area covering over 400 million consumers and businesses in Mexico and the United States. It won’t matter which country you’re in or which country you’re calling – it will all be one network, one customer experience.”

Full PR is below. Continue reading “AT&T to Acquire Wireless Provider Iusacell in Mexico”

All New & Existing AT&T Customers: Add a Line of Service, Receive $100 Credit

ATT logoWhelp it doesn’t get more straightforward than this.

Now through the end of March, for each new smartphone, tablet, mobile hotspot, or wireless home phone you add, you get $100. New customers or existing, add something new to your plan and AT&T will drop off a C-Note.

Between all the various credits and plans, our carriers are getting really creative with ways to entice customers to begin or continue service. This latest move from Big Blue looks like it’s targeted at combating some of the recent gains made by T-Mobile in the PR arena.

If you’re an AT&T customer, does this help sweeten the deal? Are you looking to add a tablet or another line to your account? Drop a comment below!

Full Press Release:

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AT&T Next early phone upgrades now available to all customers!

ATT logoIt has been fun recently watching cell phone carriers do a little more sparring for our business.

AT&T’s version of the fast phone upgrade is now available to all customers, even those already signed on to a two year contract. NEXT allows users to swap to a newer phone for $0 down after being in good standing for six months.

To see if you’re eligible dial *NEW# from your phone, and it’ll check your upgrade-ability. If you’re a phone junky who always wants to have the latest and greatest, AT&T might be making this process easier for you to stay bleeding edge.

Full PR below! Continue reading “AT&T Next early phone upgrades now available to all customers!”

AT&T Offers $450 to T-Mobile Customers Looking to Switch

ATT logoThe carrier wars are already heating up for 2014. After failing to acquire T-Mobile, and being forced to dump cash into their coffers, looks like AT&T is getting a little tired of competing against their own money.

Taking a direct shot at Lil’ Magenta, AT&T announced today that T-Mo customers switching to AT&T, and trading in their old phones, would receive up to a $450 credit per line on their accounts. The credit is designed to ease the sting of paying a termination fee for those increasingly few on contract, or to offset the cost of a new phone or tablet.

This looks like an early warning shot from AT&T, as we’ve been hearing rumors of T-Mobile offering a similar “Switch to us” credit. Maybe AT&T got tired of T-Mo beating them to the punch on things like faster phone upgrades, and “zero down” phone subsidies.

It’s fun when companies get frisky. Full PR after the jump.

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Sprint debuts Samsung Galaxy S4 with support for Sprint Spark enhanced LTE

sprint_galaxy_s4Sprint has been working on improving their network through their Network Vision initiative, consolidating and removing outdated legacy technologies so they can push forward with faster and more powerful connections. Sprint Spark is the next stage of their LTE network. To over simplify, cannibalizing the old Nextel 800MHz spectrum and slapping LTE on it. Part of Sprint’s network woes in the past, their LTE was broadcast over higher frequency bands with poor building penetration. Moving LTE to 800MHz should mean much better connections for customers indoors and farther away from their towers.

Sprint currently offers limited Spark connection in five cities: LA, New York, Chicago, Tampa, and Miami. They will be adding an additional 100 markets to this list over the next three years. Network consolidation takes a little time apparently. Spark aims to deliver up to 50Mbps connections, and there’s the potential for it to support up to 2Gbps in the future.

Of course, what good is new network connectivity if your phone can’t use it? 

In the “coming weeks” a new version of the GS4 will be made available with tri-band support for Sprint’s various LTE channels, and it will be able to hand off connection between those bands with little or no interruption to the user. As far as the customer is concerned, it’s just a normal GS4, but with faster data in select markets. Whenever it’s actually made available, it’ll drop for $200 on a two year contract.

Hit the jump for the full PR!

Continue reading “Sprint debuts Samsung Galaxy S4 with support for Sprint Spark enhanced LTE”

AT&T selling Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet for $399 on contract

lumia 2520 20Well lookee here. You might be able to score a deal on the tablet I named best of the year for Windows 8.

Just like the post title says, you can pick up a Nokia Lumia 2520 on Big Blue for $399 with a two year agreement. That’s about $100 off the regular price. Not a bad deal if you were looking to save a little green this holiday season. The deal gets better however, if you were looking to pick up a Lumia smartphone too. Grabbing a Lumia 1520, 1020, or 925 will drop the price of the 2520 down to $199. That’s a pretty decent chunk of change if you were looking at shopping both.

You can check out our hands on video of the Lumia 1520 and 2520, or hit the jump for more details on AT&T promotion.

Continue reading “AT&T selling Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet for $399 on contract”

T-Mobile selling 16GB Nexus 5 for $449. Should you buy it?

Nexus 5Google’s newest pure Android phone is officially a part of the T-Mo roster.

Lil’ Magenta is listing the new Nexus 5 for $449 if you want to buy it outright through the carrier. If you’re buying the phone upfront though, it might make more sense to buy it direct from Google Play where the handset will cost $100 less.

Why you MIGHT want to buy it through T-Mo is if you’re looking to subsidize and pay for it over time. A  down payment of $41.99 is required, but then your monthly payments are only $17 over two years. I’s certainly an option, but if you can afford to buy it outright, that’s the better deal.

Full PR after the jump.

Continue reading “T-Mobile selling 16GB Nexus 5 for $449. Should you buy it?”