mobile broadband

The cheapest phone plans with the most data (2016)

The cheapest phone plans with the most data (2016)

Let's face it: phones plans aren't really phone plans so much as they are mobile Internet plans. Not many people care about how many texts or minutes they get anymore (it's almost always unlimited anyway), not when WhatsApp and Messenger and Skype and a slew of other apps exist with the same functionality and a better user experience. Long gone are the days of truly unlimited mobile data, though, and in their wake we're left ever-hunting for the best ratio between cost and high speed data.

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FCC unveils “Nutrition labels” for broadband connections

FCC unveils “Nutrition labels” for broadband connections

When you pick up a box of cereal, or any other food item, you can quickly and easily find out what you're getting by looking at the side. Thanks to a handy nutrition label, you'll find things like calories, sugars, and vitamins per serving, and a full list of ingredients. Now wouldn't it be great if everything you bought had a similar label? Well, it turns out that the FCC would like your broadband service to come with exactly that.

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Cheaper broadband the key in $9.25 FCC Lifeline subsidy change

Cheaper broadband the key in $9.25 FCC Lifeline subsidy change

The FCC has proposed the biggest changes to the Lifeline program since its creation, paving the way for more affordable broadband for low-income families. Lifeline was established in 1985 as a way to assist those below 135-percent of the poverty line with getting voice call service, initially through landline subsidies but, as cellphones became more mainstream, wireless options too.

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Karma Neverstop replaced with Pulse tiered data plans

Karma Neverstop replaced with Pulse tiered data plans

Karma has announced that is is pulling Neverstop, allowing present customers to keep enjoying it until their billing cycle ends, but stopping further renewals after that (as well as new signups). It is replacing Neverstop with a new service called Pulse, but the move isn't terribly surprising — Karma announced some pretty big changes to Neverstop last month that throttled users after they reached a 15GB data cap.

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FreedomPop’s new global hotspot works in 25 countries

FreedomPop’s new global hotspot works in 25 countries

FreedomPop has announced a new global hotspot that offers free mobile data in many places around the world, launching first for users in the United States and UK. The hotspot works in 25 countries, including France, Germany, Spain, and other European countries. If all goes as planned, though, FreedomPop will expand the global hotspot’s coverage to include countries in Asia and Latin America, bringing the total to more than 40 regions globally.

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Google’s Project Fi adds support for data-only devices

Google’s Project Fi adds support for data-only devices

Google has announced that Project Fi, its mobile service, will cover more than just your Nexus smartphone. With this new update, Project Fi adds support for data-only devices like your tablet; you’ll need to pick up one of its data-only SIMs to get it (availability is rolling out gradually). Google is going with a simple pricing structure, a flat rate of $10 for every gigabyte.

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Samsung Electronics and LG U+ partner to develop 5G tech

Samsung Electronics and LG U+ partner to develop 5G tech

Earlier this week we talked about how the ITU has defined 5G technology for the mobile space. The ITU defined 5G networks as having data speeds of at least 20 Gbps. Samsung Electronics and Korean telecommunications carrier LG U+ have now announced that they will team up to jointly develop 5G technology. Korean carrier KT has already announced that it plans to show off 5G networks during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games to be held in Korea.

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Federal broadband subsidies for the poor approved by the FCC

Federal broadband subsidies for the poor approved by the FCC

This week was an important week in rule making for the FCC, not only did the FCC clarify an 1991 ruling that makes it easier for carriers to block spam texts and robocalls, it has also voted to allow the federal government to give a broadband subsidy to the poor. Under the plan proposed by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, the Lifeline program currently used to provide phone service to the poor could be used to pay for internet service as well.

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TripMode for OS X guards your mobile data usage

TripMode for OS X guards your mobile data usage

With the speeds you get on 4G LTE networks, it’s easy to forget to keep your data use in check while tethering. One thing turns into another, then you realize you’ve burned through half your data in a single day. There are mobile data alerts and limits that can be set on smartphones (though, of course, one might be using a dedicated hotspot device instead), but that's not ideal -- what's better is blocking unnecessary data use when needed, something TripMode for OS X does automatically.

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AT&T unveils new 7GB mobile share data plan

AT&T unveils new 7GB mobile share data plan

We've seen a few different carriers introduce new data plans in recent times. Cricket, AT&T's prepaid carrier, introduced a new plan recently in addition to boosting the data available on some of its existing plans. Verizon followed soon after with its own data tweaking, and now there's AT&T, which is etching its own spot with a new 7GB data sharing plan. The plan is limited and won't be around for long, but while available it is offering 7GB of data to be shared across three lines.

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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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FCC wants ‘broadband’ to be 25Mbps down/3Mbps up

FCC wants ‘broadband’ to be 25Mbps down/3Mbps up

I think we can all agree that a 4Mbps download is not ‘broadband’ Internet, at least as most would define it. That’s how the FCC currently sees broadband, but FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler agrees with us, and wants to reclassify what broadband actually is. He feels (probably correctly) that ‘broadband’ is more like 25Mbps down. As for upload, he’d like the current definition of 1Mbps to be upped to 3Mbps. In a report, the FCC is also troubled by broadband rollout, especially in rural areas.

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