zBoost sent over their ZB545 signal booster, which improves signal reception for CDMA and GSM 3G. For folks who can’t make calls or use data indoors, is this the right product to fix connection woes? Let’s test it out!
Rumors have been swirling that Google would launch their own phone service, and today we have official confirmation on their plans.
Instead of building their own towers, Google will lease their connection on partner networks, Sprint and T-Mobile at launch. This makes Google an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), and brings them the advantage of not having to build out a competing network. The trick to Project Fi will be in delivering consumers a seamless transition between data and calls over Wi-Fi and on partner networks.
In subscribing to Fi, you will automatically be connected to the best possible network in your area. If Sprint has the best connection, your phone will connect to that network. Move to an area that’s rich for T-Mobile, you’ll jump ship to the UnCarrier. The consumer no longer has to mess with coverage maps or swapping SIM cards.
Pricing seems reasonable for an MVNO. There’s a base $20 a month fee for unlimited Talk and Text, with coverage for 120+ countries. Data costs $10 per GB. Want 4GB of LTE data, that will cost you $40. As the service moves between different carriers, it’s not very easy to do rollover data, instead Google is opting for cash back. If you pay for 4GB, but only use 2GB, you will receive a bill credit for $20.
Project Fi will start as an invite only service, and will only be compatible with the Nexus 6 at launch. It’s unclear how Google will move forward with other handset manufacturers, or what the certifications process for Fi compatible handsets will resemble.
You can request an invite at https://fi.google.com/about/
If you’re shopping Big Red, or looking to re-up your plan (and you’re not on “unlimited” data), VZW has a limited time offer which might be a smart buy for you.
For a limited time, if you sign up for a More Everything plan with at least one gigabyte of monthly data, you’ll receive one extra gigabyte of data per month free for two years. A single line plan with one gig of data will run you $80 a month.
More Everything plans come with unlimited talk and international text, Hotspot, 25GB of Cloud Storage, NFL Mobile app, and a few other nice features.
You can read Verizon’s full press release below.
The truly unlimited party is almost over.
Via a press release, Verizon Wireless announced they will expand their “Network Optimization Policies” to include people on 4G LTE networks. Previously, only 3G “subscribers with unlimited data plans whose data usage is in the top 5 percent of all data users” were targeted. As more consumers are moving to LTE, now any heavy user will be affected.
Starting in October 2014, Verizon Wireless will extend its network optimization policy to the data users who: fall within the top 5 percent of data users on our network, have fulfilled their minimum contractual commitment, and are on unlimited plans using a 4G LTE device. They may experience slower data speeds when using certain high bandwidth applications, such as streaming high-definition video or during real-time, online gaming, and only when connecting to a cell site when it is experiencing heavy demand. (Note: Does not currently apply to government or business accounts that have signed a major account agreement.)
Of course, VZW would appreciate you not hammering their 4G network with HD Netflix streaming, but chances are pretty good they’re already throttling that anyway…
As we push more data intensive services to our phones and tablets, will a move like this change your usage or behavior? Will this make you more likely to consider changing providers when it comes time to sign a new contract? Leave us a comment, and you can read the full press release below.
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.