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Android Q will offer carriers more power to lock down phones

Android Q will offer carriers more power to lock down phones

If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed in decades, from “dumb” feature phones to smartphones, is that carriers always try to lock customers into their service. In addition to contracts, carriers also tend to lock their phones so you can’t use any other network’s SIM on them within that period. Of course, platform makers do their share in enabling this business practice and it seems that the next Android release, Android Q, will give carriers even more control in that regard.

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Verizon will start blocking spam calls for free this year

Verizon will start blocking spam calls for free this year

For a lot of us, spam calls and robocalls have gone from being an occasional annoyance to a frequent problem. Some carriers are attempting to do something about that, and today Verizon is hopping on that train. The company announced today that it will soon make its spam and robocall protection tools free for all of its customers to use (as long as they have a phone that supports these features).

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T-Mobile, Verizon take shots at AT&T’s bogus 5G logo

T-Mobile, Verizon take shots at AT&T’s bogus 5G logo

Yesterday, AT&T began rolling out an update to some Android phones that replaced the "LTE" icon users typically see with a new icon that shows "5G E." The problem, of course, is that customers aren't really tapping into AT&T's 5G network - instead, they're simply getting a 4G LTE connection that has been bolstered by things like 4x4 MIMO, three-way carrier aggregation, and 256 QAM.

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Those ridiculous AT&T ‘5G E’ icons are arriving on phones

Those ridiculous AT&T ‘5G E’ icons are arriving on phones

AT&T's 5G network may have gone live in a handful of locations, but don't be fooled if you see a 5G icon on your Samsung or LG smartphone: you don't actually have true 5G. The carrier has begun updating a handful of Android smartphones with its fairly misleading "5G E" symbol, which AT&T insists is a perfectly reasonable indicator that you're in "5G Evolution" coverage.

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You may not have actual AT&T 5G, but at least you’ll have an icon

You may not have actual AT&T 5G, but at least you’ll have an icon

AT&T may only have a handful of places where you'll be able to access 5G in 2019, but that isn't going to prevent the carrier from showing a 5G status icon on phones, it has confirmed. True 5G service is expected to kick off commercially in twelve cities across the US from today, AT&T said earlier this month, but users outside of those locations may still think they're getting fifth-generation connectivity.

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AT&T 5G launch detailed: Pricing, coverage, and the device you’ll use

AT&T 5G launch detailed: Pricing, coverage, and the device you’ll use

AT&T has a launch date for its 5G network in the US, as well as confirming just how much the first 5G devices will cost - and how much you'll have to pay for data. The carrier is one of several currently locked into a race to light up 5G networks, promising significantly faster data speeds as well as a cut in latency and other improvements.

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AT&T will carry Samsung’s mystery 5G smartphone too

AT&T will carry Samsung’s mystery 5G smartphone too

Yesterday, Verizon announced that it's working with Samsung to develop a 5G smartphone. Details, obviously, were hard to come by, but both companies said that the phone will be on shelves sometime in the first half of the year. Considering that all four carriers are planning to begin rolling out their mobile 5G networks by the end of this year or early next year, that would make this device one of the first 5G phones on the market.

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Welcome to the 5G wars

Welcome to the 5G wars

5G is here. Almost. Sort-of. That's the message from Qualcomm, which kicked off its annual Snapdragon Summit with an unsurprising focus on how next-generation networks will shape the wireless world as we know it - as well as its own fortunes in the decade ahead.

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Verizon 5G smartphone details: Samsung onboard

Verizon 5G smartphone details: Samsung onboard

Samsung and Verizon today announced that they've teamed up to launch one of the first 5G smartphones. Specific details are still fairly slim at this point, but the clear goal is to get a smartphone capable of leveraging 5G's enhanced capabilities on shelves as early as possible. Such a move would have obvious benefits for both companies, which explains why they're working together on this initiative.

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Google Fi new full phone list: iPhone works, Androids too

Google Fi new full phone list: iPhone works, Androids too

As of this article's release, Google Fi is compatible with the iPhone - not all iPhones, but some of the newest of the new. This update comes not long after Google's opened their gates to compatibility with a large number of devices outside the devices they sell from their own stock. "Fi works on this iPhone," the message read, "but it's in beta."

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Project Fi enhanced network rolls into beta: Here’s what it does

Project Fi enhanced network rolls into beta: Here’s what it does

Today, Google announced some improvements coming to Project Fi, all in the name of bringing users "the best connection." Obviously, that comment suggests that Google is attempting to bolster network speeds, but having a quality connection requires more than simply having a fast one. Google has also made some improvements to security, so this is a more holistic approach to improving connections hosted on its network.

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Verizon Prepaid plans upgraded: Auto Pay discount, extra lines, more

Verizon Prepaid plans upgraded: Auto Pay discount, extra lines, more

Verizon has updated its prepaid plans, throwing in a discount for Auto Pay customers, along with adding more data and lines. The new Verizon Prepaid range reflects just how competitive the segment has become in recent years, with what once was an afterthought compared to postpaid plans now being increasingly popular among multi-device users.

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