Tag - Alltel
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has temporarily stopped an informal 180-day approval clock on the AT&T purchase of Alltel's retail operations. The FCC claims to have no information on how AT&T will migrate the Alltel customer base to its network "despite several Commission staff follow-up conversations about the importance of transitioning prepaid customers."
AT&T has made an agreement with Atlantic Tele-Network Incorporated to acquire its rural wireless business. The purchase of Alltel will cost AT&T $780 million, but it will net the carrier a number of wireless properties, retail locations, network equipment, an extra 585,000 existing subscribers, and also wireless licenses.
Regional wireless providers US Cellular and Alltel have teamed up with Walmart on an upcoming launch of a new no-contract service. Called U Prepaid, it will be available in nearly 500 Walmart stores in 18 states. The service will focus on offering simple and easy-to-understand service plans.
Verizon has stopped activating Alltel phones on its network, effective yesterday. Alltel customers who haven't already moved their legacy phones over to Verizon's wireless service won't be able to do so. Anyone with an inactive Alltel phone will have to buy a Verizon phone, although they may get one free on a contract.
Sprint's HTC Evo Design 4G has had more of its details firmed up in a leak of a ROM update utility (RUU) on Wednesday. Known to be the Kingdom, it should have the 540x960 display of higher-end HTC phones but a a four-inch display that should produce a much sharper image. What Android and Me saw was almost a sequel to the Droid Incredible 2 as it had a faster 1.2GHz single-core Snapdragon and Android 2.3.4, but it would go to a lower resolution five-megapixel camera and keep the 768MB of RAM.
LG's Optimus Black is now known to be coming to virtually every US CDMA carrier after FCC listings gave its plans away. A core LS855 model is headed to Sprint, while AS855, US855, and VM855 should reach Alltel, US Cellular, and Virgin. In every case, the chief updates are the expected switchovers to CDMA and EVDO for phone calls and 3G.
Following its buyout of rural Verizon and Alltel assets, AT&T has announced it will begin offering cellphone service to residents of Montana. The region was previously served by Alltel and those 150,000 subscribers will get a rebranded service. They will also get the choice to buy AT&T's portfolio of services and devices, including the iPhone 4.
Alltel confirmed it would become the first carrier to use the HTC Merge and has given out its first launch details. Pre-orders should start March 28 for the Android slider, which will ship for $125 on a contract. Alltel hasn't said whether the phone will come customized for the network.
HTC chose the unusual timing of a Friday after Mobile world Congress to formally launch the Merge. The long in progress Android 2.2 slider is HTC's first Android phone to have both CDMA and GSM, giving it the option both of reaching many carriers in North America and of letting CDMA subscribers roam in other parts of the world. A 3.8-inch, 480x800 screen and a five-megapixel camera with 720p video put it safely in the mid-range of the phone mix.
The Samsung Gem Android phone has now been claimed by provider Alltel. The device ships with Android 2.1 and sports a 3.2-inch touchscreen along with a relatively quick 800MHz procssor. A 3.2-megapixel camera on the back keeps in line with the budget focus, although the Wi-Fi carries hotspot support for sharing.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R