LG has confirmed the US launch plans for the LG G Flex, with the curved smartphone set to launch later this quarter. The phone will be offered on AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Sprint, the first curved handset to hit US shelves (unless Samsung can sneak in first with its Galaxy Round, of course).
Chevrolet has detailed its "Connected by OnStar" 4G intentions for 2014, confirming which of the cars in its range will be first to get AT&T LTE as standard, and we went hands-on with some of the first apps for the new connected car platform. First announced back at Mobile World Congress 2013, the scheme will see 4G connectivity no longer the preserve of luxury vehicles alone, with GM choosing a spread of cars from the cheapest Spark through to the feistiest Corvette Stingray to be among the first models to go online. It's not just turning a car into a mobile hotspot, either; Chevrolet aims to use the technology to demystify the whole vehicle ownership experience.
Reports surfaced last month that T-Mobile had a plan to convert subscribers from other carriers. That plan involved paying some of the early termination fees for new subscribers to T-Mobile that ditched their current carrier. A source claimed that T-Mobile planned to pay up to $350 in credit to cover the early termination fees charged by other carriers for converts.
AT&T has been awarded a patent that would let the company track subscriber browsing behavior, assign them a "reputation score", and then block "high-risk" subscribers from being able to access file-sharing services. The patent is called "Methods, devices and computer program products for regulating network activity using a subscriber scoring system". In other words, the blocking system could rely on tracking software installed on subscriber computers. The patent was spotted by TorrentFreak and relayed by Gigaom.
A lot of technology companies, social networks, and wireless carriers are under fire from consumer advocacy groups for selling or sharing private consumer data on phone calls and online habits with the federal government. A group of consumer advocacy firms led by a company called Public Knowledge filed a petition this week with the FCC. The petition hopes to get the FCC to say that AT&T violated a privacy rule in the Communications Act.
AT&T is offering to trade permission to track internet browsing in return for a cut on DSL subscription fees, infuriating privacy advocates in the process. The offer, part of AT&T's gigabit fiber broadband rollout, offers potential subscribers "AT&T Internet Preferences" as part of their U-Verse with GigaPower service, which allows the company to dig into individual browsing information - such as searches and webpages visited - so that it can tailor adverts and offers accordingly.
Mobile phone users in the US tend to hate being tied to a two year contract, but many really appreciate the massive subsidies they get on new smartphones with that contract. You can buy the latest smartphones outright and not have a contract, but the price is several times that of the subsidized cost. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson says that these big subsidies can’t continue.
The major US telecoms delivered at minimum 1.1 million cell phone records to law enforcement at all levels of government in 2012. The records include voicemail and text content. The telecoms earned $26 million from the transactions. Many of the fulfilled information requests legally required no warrant, no subpoena, and no probable cause. These and other irresistible revelations come compliments of US Sen. Edward Markey, whose voluminous correspondence with the involved telecoms revealed the information. They include US Cellular, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA, Leap Wireless/Cricket Communications, MetroPCS, Verizon, AT&T and C Spire Wireless.
AT&T has announced a new wireless calling plan that may be more affordable for wireless users. The new plans are called the AT&T Mobile Share Value plan and will be available starting on December 8. AT&T designed the new plans to offer savings to subscribers and offer no annual contract options.
AT&T ForHealth has launched a wearable medical alert device called EverThere. The device attaches via a lanyard, clip or watchband. It detects if and when the wearer falls, and automatically alerts an emergency dispatch center. The device became available today.