Upgrade from 4Mbps definition in 2011 keeps 1Mbps upstream minimum
Over the objections of carriers and cable companies, the FCC on Friday voted to change the definition of the term "broadband" to require a minimum speed of 10 megabits (one megabit equals one-eighth of a megabyte) per second (Mbps) download speed -- an upgrade from the previous definition of 4Mbps -- while keeping the old definition's requirement of at least 1Mbps upload. Although the US is far behind many other countries in typical broadband speed (and US customers pay more for the slower speed that typical prices in many other places), AT&T and Verizon, along with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, argued that 4Mbps was sufficient for consumers.
US' leading carriers seeing increased competition from T-Mobile, Sprint
In the telecom industry, "churn" is the rate at which subscribers jump from one service to another, and it appears to be increasing with 4G cellphone subscribers during the present quarter. So much so that both AT&T and Verizon have indicated to investors that their margins may be "impacted" in Q4 by the loss of subscribers, and the promotional efforts it will take to lure them back from rivals such as T-Mobile and Sprint.
Testing taking place in areas of Manhattan, Cleveland
Verizon has started the process of expanding the bandwidth of its LTE networks, at the expense of 3G, according to a report. The carrier is apparently testing out spectrum in the 1980-1990MHz range typically used by its CDMA and 3G EV-DO networks for LTE purposes, with parts of Cleveland and Manhattan allegedly being the main locations for Verizon's 4G experimentation.
Promotion from Sprint aims to pull AT&T, Verizon subscribers away with low-cost plans
Sprint is stepping up its efforts to pull customers away from other carriers after its double data promotion ended, by offering to halve their bills instead. The aggressive promotion offers to provide customers on AT&T and Verizon a subscription at half the cost of its competitors, while still providing unlimited voice minutes, unlimited texts, and an equivalent amount of data to their old plan.
Wheeler believes lawsuits inevitable, regardless of result of discussion
US Federal Communications Commission head Tom Wheeler said that there is a specific reason why the regulatory group is taking its time with the net neutrality discussion. Speaking at a meeting on Friday, the chairman said that caution was prudent, and that the agency needs to "make sure that we understand what is going on here." Referring to Verizon, AT&T, and the other major Internet providers, he added that "the big dogs are going to sue regardless of what comes out."
Both providers have come under heavy fire for possible Wiretap Act violations
Under enormous pressure after reports showed that some wireless providers were installing "super cookies" on user's devices designed to track their online movements, AT&T has ceased the practice. The carrier released a brief statement earlier this week about how the tracking mechanism was a limited-time test, and has "been phased off" the company's wireless network. Competitor Verizon continues the practice, however, and is showing no signs of stopping.
Customers now need to pay up to $70 more to leave Verizon contracts
Verizon has changed its customer agreement, making it more expensive to leave a mobile contract early. The early termination fee (ETF) associated with ending a contract before the two-year period is up has been adjusted, forcing new customers to pay between $60 and $70 more than existing customers would be charged to leave at the same point in the term.
Verizon general counsel wants 18-year-old pro-ISP law to dictate policy
The ISP that started the entire net neutrality debate with a court win, Verizon, is threatening legal action should the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implement Title II oversight of the telecommunications industry. Following claims that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is considering a hybrid approach to net neutrality and ISP regulation, Verizon is threatening counter-suits, claiming that doing so "fairly guarantees litigation" by multiple ISPs.
Engineers working on routing HD voice calls over LTE between different carriers
Verizon and AT&T are working together to allow Voice over LTE (VoLTE) calls to function normally between mobile phone users on different carriers. Current systems allow for the high definition calls to take place between users on the same carrier, switching to current technologies when calling another phone network, but the two major carriers aim to put an end to the loss of call quality in the future.
Curved face Android Wear smartwatch gets $5 price plan on T-Mobile
Samsung's Gear S will be going on sale in the United States at the start of next month, with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon all carrying the Android Wear smartwatch. The carriers are also varying the way they host the standalone smartwatch on their network, with T-Mobile introducing a new plan specifically for wearable devices.
'Limited time promotion' sees Verizon, Netflix coexisting
Surprisingly given the public animosity between the two companies, Verizon has begun offering a year of video streaming service Netflix to some of its new customers. Customers who sign up for FiOS Internet and television bundles in the immediate vicinity of New York City are being offered the deal. Packages including a year of Netflix start at $80 a month and include a free year of Netflix.
Latest Droid iteration has flagship specifications, claimed 48-hour battery
Verizon is bringing another Droid smartphone to its network, with the introduction of the endurance-focused Droid Turbo. The Motorola-produced smartphone boasts a high battery life, with its 3,900mAh battery claimed to last for up to 48 hours of average usage from a single charge, a feature boosted by the Motorola Turbo Charger's ability to provide up to eight hours of power to the phone after just 15 minutes of charging.
Legere explains how each carrier approaches the use of the iPad SIM card
In light of the news that AT&T is locking down the Apple SIM card if used in its network, T-Mobile CEO comment on the complex relationship between carriers and the SIM. Legere issued a "tweetstorm" explaining how each of the four major carriers in the United States approaches the technology differently.
Continued growth in wireless boosting dropping wired profits
Cellular carrier Verizon today reported double-digit, year-over-year percentage growth in reported and adjusted earnings per share for the 10th time in the past 11 quarters. Verizon reported $0.89 in earnings per share in third-quarter 2014, compared with $0.78 per share in third-quarter 2013. Total revenues for the company were $21.8 billion in third-quarter 2014, up seven percent year over year.
New device payment plan to cost more if phone replaced in a year, starts October 16
Verizon's Edge program that allows customers to finance a new device, spreading the cost over the course of 20 months, is receiving some changes soon. Under the terms of the Edge program, users will now have to pay a greater portion of a phone's cost before upgrading, while the payment period is extended. The new terms are said to start on October 16.
Exclusive version of Xperia Z3 heading to Verizon alongside Sony SmartWatch 3
Two more Sony devices will be added to Verizon's mobile device roster later this month, the carrier has revealed. A repackaged version of the Xperia Z3 will be going on sale, a smartphone called the Xperia Z3v, while the company's Android Wear device, the SmartWatch 3, will also be heading to the carrier's stores in due course.
Device accidentally sent by Verizon, seller claims
A seller on eBay is auctioning what is claimed to be a functioning, 64GB iPhone 6 prototype. The person says that they were accidentally sent the device when renewing their contract with Verizon. The unit is running test software, rather than iOS 8, and lacks FCC markings or even a model number. Another point of interest is the Lightning port, which is surrounded by a red lip not present on finished iPhones.
Users will be refunded for remaining time on October 10
Redbox and Verizon's collaborative effort for online video streaming, Redbox Instant, is shutting down. October 7 marks the service's last day, with refunds issued to current customers on October 10. Any kiosk credits owed may be used before 11:59PM local time on October 7. Unaffected by the change is the actual Redbox service, which will continue as before.
Carrier drops policy on LTE data speed limits on day it was set to be implemented
Verizon had a change of heart on its implementation of "network optimization" that would result in slower 4G LTE speeds for account holders with unlimited data. Initially, the carrier announced a change in policy that was said only to impact the "top five percent" of unlimited plan users, as the company would manage their data speeds in order to optimize speeds in the area for others.
Verizon matches AT&T data promotion, Sprint increases data cap more
AT&T's recent promotional offer to double the data caps on its Mobile Share Value plans seems to have struck a nerve with other carriers. Both Verizon and Sprint have announced their own data-doubling promotions just a few days after AT&T -- and while Verizon appears to match AT&T's allowances and prices, Sprint has opted to go further, by redoubling the caps.
Stand-alone LG smartwatch rumor resurfaces in FCC listings
A rumored smartwatch from LG with a built-in SIM card is heading to Verizon, an FCC listing has revealed. A device described as a "Smartwatch + CDMA" is shown in filed documents, strongly suggesting the smartwatch will have the capability to connect to a carrier directly without requiring the use of a nearby smartphone's data connection, similar to competitor Samsung's Gear S.
Verizon release comes three days after AT&T pre-orders started shipping
Verizon Wireless customers waiting to buy the second generation of Motorola's Moto X smartphone don't need to wait very long, as the wireless company says the phone is coming tomorrow. Those wanting to customize their version of the Moto X will be happy to hear that Verizon is selling phones customized through Moto Maker in both 16GB and 32GB capacities.
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon to carry 3G-enabled Gear S
Samsung has confirmed it will be releasing the Gear S smartwatch in the United States. Launched last month, the standalone smartwatch with a curved two-inch 360x480 Super AMOLED display will be heading to AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon sometime this fall, though the manufacturer has yet to confirm exactly when it will be available.
CDMA phones unable to mix voice and data, but had higher voice quality
Beginning today, Verizon customers across the US who buy the new iPhone 6 models or one of a pair of other smartphones that support Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) will finally be able to do something AT&T has bragged about for years: simultaneously talk on the phone and use data for applications. The process will only work on a handful of phones that support VoLTE, but Verizon iPhone 6 buyers are reporting that it is on by default or easily activated in their new purchases.
United Kingdom gains Note 4 one week earlier than United States
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is being made available for pre-order in the United States tomorrow, with shipments expected to start on October 17th, though AT&T plans to ship the smartphone earlier on October 14th. In the United Kingdom, pre-orders also begin tomorrow, though the stylus-equipped phablet will be on sale from October 10th.
Verizon in discussions with content provider for online TV service
Verizon will be introducing an Internet TV service sometime in early 2015, CEO Lowell McAdam has revealed. The service, which will provide a pay-TV service over the Internet, could potentially be more flexible to its subscribers than existing cable offerings, with the CEO hinting that customers may be able to pick and choose the channels they receive.
Includes Apple, major carriers
[Updated with in-store pickup news] In the US, online preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will begin at 12:01AM Pacific time Friday morning. While Apple has yet to announce an exact hour, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon all have, and traditionally Apple has opened up preorders at the same time. Other vendors, like T-Mobile, are referencing a broad September 12 window.
Company failed to inform users of opt-out option for six years
Verizon has agreed to a $7.4 million dollar fine, payable to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a result of not informing customers that they could "opt out" of Verizon marketing efforts tailored with gleaned user information. The fine, the largest of its kind, is assessed in parallel with the requirement that the company tell customers in every mailed bill that they can prevent the company from using data for advertising and marketing purposes.
Verizon, T-Mobile upgrade support only being piloted at retail
Apple's US online store is now offering iPhone shoppers the chance to purchase a device via an AT&T Next upgrade plan, instead of just choosing a two-year contract or going unlocked. Previously, people on a Next plan had to upgrade through AT&T itself. Apple's site provides a chart illustrating the differences between the 12- and 18-month Next plans and going with a regular contract.
5s, 16GB 5c still in plentiful numbers
Verizon is deliberately letting its remaining 32GB iPhone 5c inventory run dry, a source tells AppleInsider. The carrier has allegedly "retired" the model, as it prepares for Apple to launch new iPhones next month. The Verizon online store is in fact already out of the 32GB 5c in all colors except for blue. Every 16GB model is still in stock, as are all editions of the iPhone 5s.
Verizon VoLTE service includes switching between HD Voice, video calling
Verizon Wireless is gearing up to roll out its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service over its cellular network. Its planned service will be going live over the next few weeks, with the higher-quality HD Voice calling accompanied by a simplified video calling service built directly into the phone dialer, allowing users to seamlessly switch between voice-only and video calls.
New store has to deal with complexities of multiple carriers, hardware vendors
[/strong]Updated with Verizon statement[/strong] Verizon is allegedly in discussions with other carriers and Android device manufacturers to launch its own app store. According to sources familiar with the matter, the carrier is building up the store, similar to the shuttered V Cast, as a response to reductions in revenue-sharing arrangements with Google through the Google Play store. Verizon has since denied the claims, without providing much information about the report.
Independent tester finds that Verizon beats out all other carriers for first half of 2014
A new study of wireless carriers for the first half emerged today, putting Verizon at the top of the pile in five categories, marking it as the best overall carrier in the United States. Market research firm RootMetrics announced its findings, showing that Verizon was the best carrier in reliability, speed, data performance and call performance.
Windows Phone version of HTC One M8 uses same specifications as Android original
HTC has launched the Windows Phone version of its One M8 flagship at an event in New York. The HTC One (M8) for Windows is a metal-clad smartphone with the same specifications as the Android original, including an identical five-inch 1080p display, quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of expandable storage.
New More Everything comes with $15 overage charges, requires new activation or upgrade
US cellular provider Verizon announced a revised offering today in an attempt to be competitive with data in the mobile market. Under the new plan, Verizon customers will be getting a discounted rate for a single-line account, while gaining an additional 1GB of data per month for two years, along with unlimited talk and text for a single phone line.
Enquiry expands as throttling 'expands to a business issue' rather than technical hurdle
The FCC has decided to expand its investigation into Verizon's recently-announced changes in "unlimited" data for subscribers into a full review of the entire US cellular industries network management policies, with a particular focus on "throttling" policies and how they are implemented, particularly for customers still on an "unlimited" data plan. The agency is even questioning carriers about why it would need throttling policies on more-efficient LTE networks at all.
Company claims all the other wireless carriers do so, so it should as well
Verizon is the first mobile provider that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has queried about Internet speed slowdown for certain customers on an "unlimited" data plan. In a response filed with the FCC yesterday, the wireless company explained its rationale for reneging on its "unlimited" promise, and noted that a user needs to consume 4.7GB of mobile data per month to be put in the class of users that it would throttle, for what it claims is a need to protect the experience of the rest of its customers on the network.
Agency asks for interconnection agreements for understanding, regulation depends on discovery
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking into six additional Internet service providers (ISP) and content providers over interconnecting and peering agreements, according to reports. An official spoke to Ars Technica after it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking information on the Netflix peering deals with Verizon and Comcast. The news comes after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced in June that the agency would be investigating such agreements.
Rugged Kyocera Brigadier has sapphire glass display, dust and water resistance
Verizon has quietly launched two smartphones on its network, with both available to buy today. The LG G Vista is a previously-rumored 5.7-inch smartphone with a qHD resolution, while the Kyocera Brigadier is a ruggedized smartphone with a 4.5-inch 720p display, a screen which is unusually protected by a front panel made from sapphire glass.
Letter from Chairman Wheeler asks Verizon to justify its network management
Last week, one of the largest mobile carriers in the United States announced it would begin throttling some unlimited accounts that access 4G LTE. Verizon stated that it would begin the effort in October, but it would be limited to only the top five percent of data users on unlimited plans. While the slowdown won't have an effect on all LTE customers, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler believes that the new policy is running afoul of several regulations.
Program expected to be operational in time for next iPhone arrival
Traditionally, iPhones bought from Apple Stores come in two varieties: locked to an individual carrier with a two-year contract, or completely unlocked but at full retail price. Last month, the company began allowing sales of iPhones on pre-paid plans, and now appears to be poised to allow Apple Store sales of iPhones to existing (and eligible) AT&T Next, Verizon Edge, T-Mobile Jump, and possibly Sprint EasyPay customers, who have the freedom to upgrade their phones more often in exchange for a slightly higher monthly charge.
Report claims three judges in FISA Court bought Verizon stock in the last year
Judges sitting on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) may not be entirely impartial, according to a report. A number of judges on FISA Court allegedly own stock in Verizon, one of the companies subject to NSA bulk surveillance orders issued by the court, with the report suggesting this could be considered as unethical behavior by judges in an important role.
Larger but lower-resolution screen touted for LG G Vista compared to G3
A large-screened mid-ranged smartphone from LG is on the way to Verizon, according to reportedly leaked documents. Claimed to be called the LG G Vista, the smartphone appears to combine the specifications of the G3 Beat unveiled earlier this month with a device slightly bigger than the current flagship G3, albeit without the "Quad HD" display.
'Network optimization' should only hurt 5 percent of LTE userbase
Starting October 1, Verizon will begin throttling some of its "unlimited" LTE users, according to an official announcement. The carrier promises that only five percent of that group -- those using 4.7GB or more per month -- will be affected, and "only in places and at times when the network is experiencing high demand." Unlimited 3G access has been throttled in a similar manner for some time.
Initial trial of bloatware removal from LG G3 could become permanent option
Verizon is said to be testing out an option to remove pre-installed applications from smartphones. Starting with the LG G3, the carrier will apparently give the option to remove "bloatware" apps which are either already installed beforehand or added to the smartphone as part of the initial activation process, a feature which could help users free up storage capacity.
Groups unified, refute Verizon's net neutrality stance allegedly helping them
Verizon's claims that the US Federal Communications Commission's new net neutrality rules would hurt the disabled and blind have come under fire by those Verizon claims to be looking out for. In a filing with the FCC, several disability advocacy organizations clearly disagree that Verizon is looking out for the best interests of the disabled, and request that "in no case should accessibility considerations form a basis for permitting paid prioritization more broadly, and the Commission should reject any overture to the contrary."
Despite lack of expansion, FiOS driving wired gains
Verizon Communications has released its second quarter 2014 financial results. The company reports its sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit percentage growth in operating income and earnings per share, with $31.5 billion in revenue, a 5.7 percent increase from a year ago, with income of $7.7 billion, a 17.2 percent increase from the year-ago quarter.
Free upload speed upgrades on Verizon FiOS over next few months
Verizon is updating its bandwidth tiers for FiOS, by giving customers higher uploading speeds. Starting from today onward for new and existing Verizon FiOS residential customers, the Internet provider will be upgrading lines at no extra charge, with subscribers being able to upload data at approximately the same speed as they are paying to download content.
Verizon congestion fix claimed to be cheap, simple, completed in five minutes
The ongoing feud between Netflix and Verizon has stepped up, with a transit provider weighing in over Verizon's connection congestion claims. Level 3 claims the high utilization of the connection between Verizon and itself is Verizon's fault, as the Internet service provider is actively refusing to upgrade its connections at the point of the apparent congestion.
Plans start at $45 per month for contract free unlimited talk and modest data
Verizon announced on Tuesday that it will start offering LTE "4G" support to customers of its prepaid division, Allset, starting on Thursday, July 17. New customers can bring their own LTE-capable devices or purchase a handset through Verizon. The spin-off division supports any device that can use Verizon's CDMA-based network, and offers unlimited talk and text with 500MB of data for $45 per month, contract-free. Those who set up autopay will gain another 500MB of data per month for a total of 1GB.