Items tagged with carrier

Researchers at Purdue University and the University of Iowa have just exposed a list of LTE vulnerabilities that could create quite a headache for carriers (and consumers) if not fixed soon. Using a framework the researchers call LTEInspector, eight of the ten new vulnerabilities were tested as working on a testbed with SIMs from 4 different carriers. Vodafone cellular tower in Germany (Flickr: Vodafone Medien) There are many possibilities of the chaos these vulnerabilities could create, but one brought to the forefront would let an attacker spoof the location of a customer, even without the appropriate credentials. In the list (which can be seen below, and was grabbed from the research... Read more...
If you had to pay any overage fees to your carrier this year, you'll hopefully find some solace in the fact that you weren't alone. In fact, the amount of money the big carriers make from overages is staggering: $600 million. This information comes from a recent study conducted by NerdWallet, which doesn't just analyze the amount of money people are paying for their phone usage, but whether or not opting for a "protection plan" of sorts is even worth it. Both AT&T and Verizon offer plans that don't charge overages, but instead throttles the speed of the data after the limit has been reached. According to this study, because those plans have other buried surcharges and other fees, the end... Read more...
It's hard to argue that one of the best things on planet Earth is pizza. Many people are up for eating pizza regardless of the time of day, and regardless of what flavor it is. Pizza is just amazing, and it holds the power to shut down entire promotional deals - as Domino's is finding out. Via its T-Mobile Tuesdays app, which rewards customers for their patronage, this week's deal proved to be a bit too much for dough spinners. To help its customers get their munch on, T-Mobile worked out a deal where its customers could get a free pizza pie, a deal which seems totally normal. But when the terms of the deal are not worked out properly, and you bring a mammoth fanbase in like T-Mobile has, it... Read more...
For a handful of reasons, AT&T would like to make a dent - even if it's a tiny one - in the Android-dominated smartphone market. It wants to accomplish this feat even if it means having to use an Android alternative that's actually based on Android. That's where CyanogenMod comes in, a mobile OS that's skyrocketed in popularity over the years due to its "clean slate" and optimized design. Consumers like it because it's fast and clean; vendors like it because they have more control over their software packages. If you're getting a hint that AT&T's ultimate goal here is to use a version of Android that will allow it to add as much bloat to a device... Read more...
A new T-Mobile leak has just hit the Web, and unlike most leaks, it won’t take long to figure out if this one is true or not. That's because the leak reflects an announcement that could take place tomorrow, where T-Mobile unveils plans that off data-only service for smartphones. It's an interesting move, and one that T-Mobile says is all about continuing its mission to give customers mobile "freedom". If a data-only package sounds a bit restrictive, consider this: a lot of people nowadays don't use the cellular service on their phone as much as data, and if the data package is "good enough", it'd allow people to make calls through VoIP services like Google Hangouts... Read more...
If you're one of those rare folks that happen to have an unlimited plan without any caveats, you're in a very enviable situation. It's clear that most carriers don't want to offer unlimited packages at all, and if they do, they typically raise the price enough over time to encourage subscribers hop over to a metered package. And then we have those carriers that like to call packages "unlimited" when they're anything but. Are we ever going to live in a world where unlimited mobile data doesn't seem like such a luxury? Not if Verizon Chief Financial Officer Francis Shammo has anything to do with it. He's gone on record to say, "I've been pretty public saying the unlimited model does not work in... Read more...
We've sure come a long way since cell phones exploded in popularity. It used to invoke a great feeling to hold out that flip-phone and admire its sheer awesomeness. Today? Most would laugh at those older devices. Now, we have super advanced smartphones that can do everything from take great pictures to play videos to check your heart rate. And, as if that wasn't enough, we've since piled on tablets, smartwatches, and many other smart devices or wearables. With so much personal fragmentation like this, it can be a bit frustrating that if someone calls you, and you happen to be nowhere near your phone, you're not going to know about it. Wouldn't it be nice to leave the house for a jog and be able... Read more...
There's a lot to like about Google's new Project Fi mobile service, but as we now learn, there are some important caveats to bear in mind if you're a hardcore Google Voice user. According to a reddit user, Google has begun sending out invites to Project Fi, and while the entire process appears to be straight-forward, a possible roadblock comes to us in the form of a Google Voice decision screen: If you happen to prefer your Google Voice phone number over your current mobile one, you'll be able to adopt it at this page. Afterwards, Google will transfer some data from your Voice account over to Fi, including voicemail greeting, voicemails, texts, and history. The caveat comes next: by moving to... Read more...
At the Mobile World Congress in early March, Google made its intention of tip-toeing into the mobile carrier market known. For many, the mere prospect is exciting - after all, we see what Google has done for home Internet, with Google Fiber. By entering this market carefully, Google is merely testing the waters, but that doesn't mean that its impact can't be profound. Here's a good example of what I mean: the company will be trying to make roaming charges a thing of the past. Anyone who travels outside of their home country should realize how huge that is. I learned the hard way many years ago about just how painful roaming charges are when crossing the border; I came home with a $400 phone bill.... Read more...
In late October, we wrote about a suit that was filed against AT&T by the Federal Trade Commission involving the company's sketchy practices with its 'unlimited' packages. Now, an even more relevant agency, the Federal Communications Commission, is getting on the action, as it toys with the idea of fining AT&T for violating government rules for Internet service. This comes hot-on-the-heels of AT&T's move last week to discredit the FTC's right to take action against it, referring to parts of the FTC Act to back up its opinion. Given the timing, it seems unlikely that it was that move last week that spurred the FCC on to investigate things, but as... Read more...
Another day, another security revelation. This time, it comes from researchers in Germany, who've exposed some serious vulnerabilities in the SS7 set of protocols that cellular carriers use to perform many basic functions. At the core, SS7 (or signaling system #7) is used to keep people connected, moving them from tower to tower when necessary, but it's also used for services like call forwarding and SMS.After the NSA's dastardly deeds were exposed last summer by Edward Snowden, Germany has been at the top of its game to keep track of how communications are handled, and monitored. You see, it doesn't matter that a mobile carrier can promise to keep our... Read more...
It seems that the high profit margins AT&T has enjoyed all this time as a mobile carrier hasn't been enough: The company has just been handed a massive fine by the FTC for its part in 'cramming'. Cramming is the act of adding unauthorized charges to a bill; in this case, that happened by way of unsolicited text messages. These messages included anything from horoscopes to love tips, so if you're an AT&T customer and were on the receiving end of these, take note. AT&T's total fine is $105 million; $80 million will go towards paying customers back, $20 million will go towards penalties in each state, and the other $5 million will go to the FTC itself as a fine. FTC chairwoman Edith... Read more...
Many suspected that Sprint would be left for dead years ago, but in 2007, a CEO named Dan Hesse stepped in and made a number of moves that ended up reviving Sprint. While the company never quite thrived the way that its primary rivals did, Sprint embraced 4G (albeit with WiMAX at first), pursued unlimited data, ushered in innovative payment options, and made itself respectable once more. Those moves weren't enough to keep Hesse from being replaced this month, though. After a proposed Sprint merger with T-Mobile fell through (which would've likely seen T-Mobile CEO John Legere take over as CEO), Sprint and its parent Softbank decided to install a new CEO anyway. That man is Marcelo Claure, and... Read more...
We aren't entirely surprised that most CEOs aren't as outspoken as T-Mobile's CEO, but the more John Legere speaks, the more we wish that he'd give lessons in whatever spare time he has. Facing a media blitz regarding bill cramming -- a practice whereby major carriers shoved "Premium SMS" services into bills from 2009 to 2013 -- Legere has come out in defense of his company. In a raw, unfiltered post on T-Mobile's site, the CEO straight up admits that politics are rubbish at times, and he explains what exactly went on, and is going on, in regard to cramming. Essentially, he admits that the T-Mobile that existed prior to his onboarding participated with the other carriers in offering Premium SMS... Read more...
Those rumors of Sprint buying T-Mobile? At first blush, it was easy to brush it off as nothing more than a passing whisper, but now, evidence is beginning to mount. Japanese telecomunications company SoftBank is reportedly looking to close a deal "soon" that would see it purchasing T-Mobile. While SoftBank's roots are in Japan, it already owns a sizable stake of Sprint in the United States. SoftBank would then further its grasp on the U.S. market, and if things go to plan, it looks as if SoftBank will pay upwards of $19 billion for the carrier. The process won't be easy. Regulators already spiked the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger from a few years ago, and SoftBank will no doubt face a lot... Read more...
This is one of those stories that seems a little too good to be true, but given the fact that T-Mobile has tried hard to disrupt the business of other US mobile carriers, there is some hope. Over the past year, T-Mobile has rolled-out some interesting features, such as free international data roaming and the ability to upgrade your smartphone earlier, and while those are nice, the next program would take the cake. According to the source, T-Mobile is planning to unveil a program at next month's CES that would allow consumers to switch over to T-Mobile even if they're currently locked into a contract with another. How it would get around this is borderline mind-blowing: It'd cover your early... Read more...
For many, hopping onto an LTE network feels like the future. It's so vastly superior to older 3G networks that the difference in speed is astounding, but as technology goes, good enough never truly is. LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) is already being tested in some parts of the world, making a beeline for developed nations whose mobile data users can't get enough. This week, Telsta (an Australian carrier) and Ericsson (an equipment provider) worked together in order to help a live network approach 300Mbps. And we're talking about a mobile network here, not a wireline network. The feat was accomplished using Ericsson's LTE-A software, as Telstra "combined 20 MHz of 1800-MHz spectrum with 20 MHz of 2.6-GHz... Read more...
Earlier this month, T-Mobile drastically shook up the wireless market yet again. In the latest of its almost-too-good-to-be-true moves in a bid to become known as the Uncarrier, the company announced that it would be giving tablet users 200MB of free data per month for life. During the initial start-up process, however, a number of to-be customers were dinged for activations, and questions began to arise. In atypical fashion, T-Mobile has issued a detailed statement that clearly lays out what went wrong, and what you can expect going forward. Bottom line? "Anybody who wants to use a tablet on T-Mobile's 4G LTE network gets 200MB free data for as long as you own the device, whether you pay for... Read more...
A lot of companies in the technology realm make a lot of promises, but few live up to their claims. T-Mobile is not one of those companies. After changing its stance and coming out as the "Uncarrier," T-Mobile has made one groundbreaking move after another. First, by enabling phone swaps every six months in its JUMP program; next, by making international roaming free; and now, it's giving any user who snaps up a T-Mobile tablet free LTE data every single month. Yes, free. For years, tablets sold through carriers have been terrible deals. You usually have to buy an expensive data plan, perhaps even on contract, that you won't use all that often if you also have a phone. T-Mobile recognizes that,... Read more...
Well, this is... odd. T-Mobile's newly-installed CEO has been quite the character, going off in press events and calling rival carriers all sorts of crazy names. He's off the walls, and in an industry that's as suited as they come, it's quite refreshing. But, strangely enough, he isn't beyond the lawsuit. T-Mobile, which was all set to merge with AT&T just years ago, is now suing the nation's most popular GSM carrier. AT&T recently launched a prepaid brand under the "Aio" label, and according to T-Mobile, it didn't pay up before using T-Mobile's classic "magenta" color. Yes, it has that hue trademarked. The suit claims that AT&T chose the color in order to steal away and confuse T-Mobile... Read more...
For many Time Warner Cable subscribers, we're going into yet another weekend where CBS is unavailable. Due to stalled negotiations over subscription rates, TWC and CBS have yet to come to terms on what it'll take to get the network back on-air. So, in order to prevent TWC customers from fleeing elsewhere (particularly as the NFL regular season nears its start), the operator is taking extreme measures: it's handing out free antennas. That's right: with CBS blacked-out via cable services, TWC is hoping that its customers lean on over-the-air network waves to capture signal. Time Warner Cable has a limited quantity of basic indoor antennas available to pick up, for free, for customers at our TWC... Read more...
There's no denying that talking has taken a back seat to data usage and texting in the United States, with carriers far and wide offering up unlimited minutes like they're candy, while charging an arm and a leg for a small pool of data. Such is the world of supply and demand. That said, those who are situated in a different country from their family members still face challenges, particularly on the mobile front. Ultra Mobile, a prepaid mobile provider serving international communities across the United States, today unveiled Ultra Zero in an effort to lend a hand. The feature enables Ultra Mobile subscribers to make international calls to Canada, China, Mexico, Singapore, and the United Kingdom... Read more...
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