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Google’s Project Fi: what we do (and don’t) know

Google’s Project Fi: what we do (and don’t) know

With news breaking that Google is likely working on some sort of MVNO service for Nexus handsets, we’ve got as many new questions as we had old curiosities. Is Google sidestepping carriers and bringing a network direct to customers? Yes and no. While ‘Project Fi’ definitely tells us Google has something going on, we don’t get a lot of the gritty details. We won’t until Google wants us to know about it, either. Still, we wonder if this might just be the coolest thing to come from Google I/O this year.

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Leaked app hints at Google’s “Project Fi” MVNO plans

Leaked app hints at Google’s “Project Fi” MVNO plans

Remember talk about Google's plans to take on mobile carriers? While the initial furor of speculation seems to have died down a bit, it seems that things are still proceeding as planned for Google, with an expected public announcement at the upcoming I/O 2015. A new leak has revealed some possible details about the service that would give consumers reasons to be hyped and carriers cause to worry. Aside from free calls and texts inside the US, Project Fi will only charge users based on data they actually consumed and even credit unused ones at the end of the month.

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Net Neutrality under fire as big telcos start shouting

Net Neutrality under fire as big telcos start shouting

Net neutrality may have been settled by the FCC, but bang on time for the proposed rules being published a group of broadband bigwigs have fired back with a lawsuit. The Federal Communications Commission first revealed it wanted to classify the internet as a utility back in February, following that up with the 400 page rulebook that, among other things, outlined exactly what expectations users could have. Now, with those rules officially proposed, telecoms firms are firing back with all legal barrels.

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Sprint announces free international messaging, data plan

Sprint announces free international messaging, data plan

Acting in quick response to rival T-Mobile, US mobile carrier Sprint has announced a new plan that allows users free unlimited text messages and 2G data while roaming internationally. Dubbed International Value Roaming, Sprint's new offering doesn't include voice calls, and is limited to a decent number of countries. Phone calls will be priced at $0.20 per minute. This is in comparison to T-Mobile, which offers the same service in more than 120 countries, and with slightly faster data speeds.

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iPhone spreads WiFi calling in iOS 8.3 to more carriers

iPhone spreads WiFi calling in iOS 8.3 to more carriers

Apple's release of iOS 8.3 yesterday may have initially wowed with a whole bunch of new emojis, but it's the spread of WiFi calling that could have longer-term appeal for iPhone users. Until now only supported on T-Mobile USA, the functionality means that even when you have no carrier network connection, an iPhone on WiFi will still be able to make voice calls. That is, assuming you're with one of the carriers for whom iOS 8.3 activated the tech this week.

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Samsung’s inescapable S6 app bloat fuels the microSD fire

Samsung’s inescapable S6 app bloat fuels the microSD fire

Samsung may have a potential smartphone hit on its hands with the Galaxy S6, but the specter of inescapable apps still casts a pall over TouchWiz. The new flagship - and its curved Galaxy S6 edge sibling - see Samsung's Android skin brought more in line with Google's Material Design than ever before, but there's still a headache involved, especially if you've opted for the smallest memory variant. That's because, while Samsung has apparently done its best to pre-populate the S6 with the sort of apps the company believes most users will want, there's not much room to be rid of them if you don't agree.

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Google in talks with overseas mobile networks to eliminate international roaming

Google in talks with overseas mobile networks to eliminate international roaming

According to new report, Google is said to be involved in negotiations with a number of overseas mobile networks, including the owner of the UK's Three, to allow US subscribers to make calls at domestic rates while traveling. While Google has yet to launch its own much discussed network in the US, the elimination of traditional international roaming fees would certainly be one feature to separate themselves from the existing mobile giants. The only company named in the report is Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa, which has networks in a number of countries other than the UK.

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Cricket Wireless partners with Amazon for BYOD kit

Cricket Wireless partners with Amazon for BYOD kit

Cricket has announced a new partnership with Amazon that will open up the carrier to those who prefer to bring their own device. Under the partnership, Cricket Wireless has introduced a Bring Your Own Device Universal SIM Card Activation Kit; it is being offered through Amazon which, presumably, is hoping consumers will pick up a new tablet or smartphone while on the retailer's site. As you'd expect, the SIM activation kit includes all the things one needs to activate a smartphone on the carrier's network, including adapters to make sure the SIM card fits any particular phone.

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Three buys O2 in $15bn+ UK carrier deal

Three buys O2 in $15bn+ UK carrier deal

Three has acquired UK carrier O2 in a deal worth over $15bn, as the fiercely competitive British mobile segment continues to condense. The culmination of "exclusive negotiations" that began earlier this year, the deal will leave the combined carriers as the largest - in terms of subscribers, at least - in the UK, though regulatory approval is yet to be gained and could take some time. However, even in the short-term there are still plenty of unanswered questions.

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T-Mobile ready to offer you an ‘Uncontract’ to lock-in rates, plans

T-Mobile ready to offer you an ‘Uncontract’ to lock-in rates, plans

Uncarrier 9 might have taken dead aim at business, but T-Mobile isn’t stopping there. Though their business aim was impressive, T-Mobile is still keeping an eye on the consumer market. If you’re stuck in a payment plan with another carrier, T-Mobile will buy you out. They call it ‘Carrier Freedom’, and it’s pretty stellar. The carrier will cover up to $650 per phone (up to ten lines) so you can get out of your pay-per-month or lease plan with another carrier.

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