carrier

Google snaps up IP from Softcard, strikes deal with carriers for Wallet

Google snaps up IP from Softcard, strikes deal with carriers for Wallet

Google Wallet is no Apple Pay, largely because Google can’t play the strong-arm game Apple does about what software is on their iPhone. Not long ago, Google Wallet was sidelined by carriers, as they intended to create their own mobile payment system. Known as Softcard, the app did much of what Google Wallet did, except it had the blessing of carriers. According to a new report, the line between Softcard and Google Wallet (as well as carriers) is blurring.

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Snowden: NSA/GCHQ have nearly everyone’s SIM card codes

Snowden: NSA/GCHQ have nearly everyone’s SIM card codes

Edward Snowden’s cache of information is unsettling, but necessary. Periodically, he’ll release a tidbit of info that either follows up on something that came before it, or is entirely new and equally shocking. Today, we get the latter of the two, as Snowden reveals how the NSA — in conjunction with the UK’s GCHQ — hacked Gemalto, a major SIM card manufacturer. According to Snowden, the NSA/GCHQ hack of Gemalto gave them secret passcodes to SIM cards around the world, bypassing your carrier altogether.

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T-Mobile has positive Q4 2014, CEO says they’re bigger than Sprint

T-Mobile has positive Q4 2014, CEO says they’re bigger than Sprint

T-Mobile’s Uncarrier approach might be welcome for consumers, but on a corporate level — it’s hit and miss. Quarterly earnings calls from T-Mobile typically result in customer gains, but overall net loss where it counts. In reporting their Q4 2014 results, T-Mobile gave us all reason to once again believe Uncarrier will work, as they’ve announced $101 million net profit. Taking into account their last overly positive quarter, Q2 2014, T-Mobile is in the black for 2014 to the tune of $247 million.

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Verizon reportedly not interested in more big spectrum purchases

Verizon reportedly not interested in more big spectrum purchases

The latest FCC auction saw Verizon walking away with over $10 billion in new spectrum, further cementing their mobile network as the best available in the United States. Others, like Sprint and T-Mobile, either didn’t make an effort, or didn’t try to acquire much spectrum. The playing field might get a bit more even next time around, though, as Verizon is now saying they’ve got no desire to snap up more spectrum, and will instead focus on making what they have the best it possibly can be.

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Sony’s Xperia E4 available for UK pre-orders

Sony’s Xperia E4 available for UK pre-orders

When it was announced, Sony’s Xperia E4 wasn’t quite what we were expecting from Sony. After announcing they’d be dedicating themselves to flagship offerings, a decidedly mid-range phone was a shock to the system. Still, the E4 will find favor with many smartphone users, and the low price point might have Sony’s latest in more hands than their flagship Xperia devices. With big promises like two-day battery life and a pretty respectable spec sheet, UK fans can now pre-order an Xperia E4 via Clove.

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AT&T finally gives BlackBerry’s Passport and Classic some shelf-space

AT&T finally gives BlackBerry’s Passport and Classic some shelf-space

The BlackBerry Passport and Classic are wildly popular, the Canadian company has continually insisted, and would be more so if carriers would only get onboard; now, they'll have a chance to prove it, courtesy of AT&T. After no small delay, both the Passport and its more regularly-shaped Classic sibling are headed to AT&T stores on February 20th, the operator has confirmed, not only offering a subsidized way of buying both phones in the US, but more importantly giving BlackBerry the opportunity to put its sales where its hype has been.

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Want to unlock your phone? Here’s what you need to know

Want to unlock your phone? Here’s what you need to know

Good news, smartphone users: today, unlocking your device via your carrier just got a whole lot easier. A new set of rules set forth by the CTIA (the governing body for carriers) sets today as the deadline for carriers to unlock phones at the behest of their customers. For most, that means you can walk into your carrier store and ask that your device be unlocked for service elsewhere. Still, your path for doing so might be a touch windy, so we’ll clarify things for you!

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Verizon adjusts data plans amidst growing competition

Verizon adjusts data plans amidst growing competition

The world of smartphones is becoming increasingly data hungry, and some carriers (we're looking at you, T-Mobile) are doing their best to serve up the tastiest dishes. Verizon, a long-standing wireless carrier staple, isn't such an attractive option any more, assuming you're more concerned about your data-to-price ratio than widespread coverage, and for those users in particular options like Cricket have been dangling increasingly attractive data-rich plans as incentive to switch.

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Verizon backpedals on ‘supercookies’, will allow users to opt-out

Verizon backpedals on ‘supercookies’, will allow users to opt-out

Do you know what a ‘supercookie’ is? It sounds delightful, but in this context, it’s really not. Verizon Wireless has been tracking users for (mostly) marketing purposes, and assigning customers special codes. Being tracked for marketing was opt-out, but those codes were not deletable or opt-out. Some began dubbing those codes ‘supercookies’ because marketers could still access them and pick through your web browsing activity (see? Supercookies can be bad!). Now, Verizon is reversing course, and will allow customers to opt-out of any kind of tracking.

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FTC issues $40 million fine to TracFone for false ‘unlimited data’ claim

FTC issues $40 million fine to TracFone for false ‘unlimited data’ claim

TracFone has been issued a $40 million fine today by the FTC, who have ruled on a complaint regarding ‘unlimited’ data. The carrier was selling ‘unlimited’ data plans to customers, but heavy throttling made those plans unusable at a certain point. Though this ruling is limited to TracFone, it sets a precedent moving forward. According to the FTC, TracFone broke a promise to its customers, and is guilty of throttling data speeds by as much as 90% for some users.

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