Amazon constructs physical book store in Seattle
Amazon has opened up its first physical book store today, in what can be best described as an unusual decision by the primarily-digital online retailer. It has built its brick-and-mortar store in University Village, Seattle, where it will provide real copies of books to customers, alongside gadgets including the Fire TV, Echo, Kindle eBook readers, and the Fire tablet range, with Amazon using its digital strength for stock selection.
Roaming charges in EU will be capped from April 2016
The European Union's crusade against roaming charges has received crucial support from the European Parliament, after being given the all-clear, at the same time as new net neutrality measures. Proposals to scrap roaming charges completely across the continent have been approved by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in a vote, and though they won't be removed completely until mid-2017, consumers in the region can expect to start feeling the effects of changes in the law from April next year.
Says Apple Music subscriber numbers are a 'long term' issue
In an extended interview with the London Evening Standard mostly about the just-concluded Apple Music Festival, Apple's SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue let slip that the company is investigating trying to "fix" the problem of international data roaming charges for iPhone users, and come up with a solution that would benefit consumers without alienating profit-oriented phone carriers. The focus of the conversation, the festival, also revealed that Apple is playing a long game with its Apple Music service.
Sprint adds 33 more countries to Open World roaming service
Sprint has expanded its Open World roaming scheme to cover 33 more countries. First introduced in August, the scheme now offers free texting, discounted calls from $0.20 per minute, and high-speed data for $30 per gigabyte in more than 50 countries. The new list of countries included in Open World include France, Barbados, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Gibraltar, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Tonga, with customers able to add it to their service for free via the Sprint website or their local store.
Deal puts end to roaming charges in European Union by June 2017
Europe is one step closer to ending mobile phone roaming charges throughout the continent, after the European Parliament agreed on new rules to forbid them once and for all. According to the deal, agreed to last night in the final days of Latvia's European Union Council presidency, roaming charges as a whole in the region will be scrapped in the next two years, with the agreement also -- surprisingly -- including stricter net neutrality rules that would apply across the continent.
Sprint increases list of countries included in International Value Roaming plan to 22
Sprint is adding more countries to its International Value Roaming plan, providing free data at 2G speeds and unlimited text messaging in a total of 22 countries. The carrier has added service in Colombia, Denmark, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Paraguay, and Sweden, with travelers in these countries able to upgrade their data to 3G speeds by acquiring roaming data passes.
Sprint International Value Roaming includes unlimited free texts, 2G data
Sprint has introduced a new International Value Roaming option that will provide free texts and 2G data to subscribers visiting a list of countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, and Mexico, with calls in the countries priced at $0.20 per minute. Along with the new add-on, which can be included with a number of plans at no extra charge, travelers can acquire International Speed Data Roaming Passes, providing connections at 3G speeds. The three passes consist of 100MB of data at $15 for one day, 200MB at $25 for seven days, and 500MB of data for $50 for two weeks.
Wi-Fi calling international update added to Samsung Galaxy S4 with Sprint Spark
Sprint is updating its Wi-Fi calling service so that it can be used abroad at no charge. The carrier is allowing users of specific smartphones compatible with the service to make calls over Wi-Fi instead of a local mobile phone network while roaming, with calls made to the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico provided at no extra charge, and without using any call allowances.
Nine non-EU countries included in new Vodafone roaming scheme
British carrier Vodafone has launched a new add-on for its customers, allowing them to use their allowances abroad. Similar to an offer by rival carrier Three, Vodafone WorldTraveller lets Pay Monthly subscribers roam in a number of countries and use any remaining monthly data, text, or voice minute balance as if they're still located in the United Kingdom.
Roaming changes mandated by European Commission affects call, text, data costs
In a repeat of similar moves last year, mobile phone users in Europe will soon be able to use their smartphones in other countries on the continent at a lower cost. From July 1, roaming caps introduced by the European Commission will see the cost of calls and text messages reduced, with the high note being the reduction of maximum data charges from last year's cap of 45 euro cents ($0.61) per megabyte to 20 cents ($0.27) before tax, a decrease of 55.5 percent.
Connected Continent reforms accepted by European Parliament
The European Parliament has voted in favor of reforms to change the way roaming by European carriers is handled, bringing the continent one step closer to eradicating roaming charges. Forming part of a larger "Connected Continent" collection of changes, the vote by law makers also approves new rules to define and protect net neutrality on European connections.
Carrier promotes global data packages
AT&T has announced that its customers can take advantage of LTE roaming while traveling in Canada. The service is one of the first to enable LTE connectivity for US travelers as they head across northern borders, through a roaming agreement with Canadian carrier Rogers Communications.
Three removes roaming charges for UK users in US, Indonesia, Macau, Sri Lanka
British carrier Three has expanded its Feel At Home scheme to four more countries. Subscribers visiting the United States, Indonesia, Macau, and Sri Lanka will be able to use their call, text, and data allowances in the same way they already do at home, without any extra roaming charges. The carrier also advised that it would be rolling out its 4G service to customers throughout the winter, and aims to have all subscribers with a 4G-capable device able to use its 4G network by the end of the first quarter of 2014.
Proposals to end European roaming charges to be published next week
Proposals to make European roaming charges illegal have surfaced again, in the form of a leaked draft of legislation. The 93-page document promises to introduce "measures to gradually end mobile roaming surcharges" in the region, and to "guarantee common high levels of consumer protection across the union," in the European Commission's (EC) ongoing battle with mobile carriers on the continent.
Further European roaming charge cuts due next year
A drop in roaming charges mandated by the European Commission has taken place today, lowering prices for Europeans traveling within the continent. The new rules cut the maximum price EU-based carriers can charge their customers per megabyte of data transfer from 70 euro cents ($0.91) down to 45 cents ($0.59), with a further drop scheduled in July 2014 to push it down to 20 cents ($0.26).
Proposals to help create single European mobile market
The European Commission (EC) has voted to scrap mobile charges caused through roaming in 2014. The vote, held by a group of 27 European Commissioners on Tuesday, fast-tracks the proposal to ban the extra charges on calls, texts, and data, with a view to having it implemented by carrier by the beginning of July next year.
Patent-pending technology uses cloud, no extra software
Voyager Mobile is preparing to offer a new international service, promising that users on the plan "won't pay a penny of roaming charges." Called Project Global Voyager, the service uses “patent-pending global wireless technology” that allows a mobile phone to be used internationally, without any per-minute roaming charges being applied to the account.
Lower roaming charges also include data roaming charge protection
The European Commission has agreed on a new set of mobile roaming rules in an effort to lower phone bills. The new regulations, effective from July, will lower the maximum roaming charges to €0.29 ($0.36) per minute for outgoing calls, or €0.08 ($0.10) per minute to receive calls. The changes are part of a continued battle between the European Union and phone networks over high roaming rates for the continent, with further reductions lined up in the future.
Surcharge on calls to be 'nearly zero' by 2016
The European Commission has released a statement that would virtually eliminate roaming charges for voice calls in the European Union by 2015. The plan will be presented next week. Under rules set to expire next year, roaming charges are capped at €0.35 ($0.51) for calls made abroad and €0.11 ($0.16) for calls received. Text messages also have the 11 cent surcharge added.