Samsung Galaxy S6, iPhone 6s among supported devices
Earlier today, wireless carrier Sprint activated its implementation of the LTE Advanced network, which the company calls LTE Plus. The new network delivers speed in some markets around 100 megabits per second in 77 of Sprint's larger markets, such as the Baltimore, Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, and New Orleans metropolitan areas.
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.
Sprint subscribers able to make calls on other iOS devices using Wi-Fi Calling
The upgrade to iOS 9.1 brought more than bug fixes for iPhone owners subscribed to Sprint, with a major alteration to the carrier's existing Wi-Fi Calling service adding more functionality. The carrier has enabled an enhanced version that offers Continuity-style features for calls, namely the ability to make and receive phone calls on another Apple product using the same Apple ID, including the Apple Watch, iPads, and Macs.
Bandwidth abusers on Sprint to be given lower network priority in congested areas
Sprint is updating its policy to limit the connection speeds of high-bandwidth subscribers it believes is abusing the service, within weeks of revealing it is increasing the cost of unlimited data plans. A new Quality of Service (QoS) practice will now apply to unlimited data plans, throttling the connection of customers using more than 23GB of data on their devices in a month, though only in cases where the network in a market is congested.
Sprint increases Direct 2 You coverage to 27 metropolitan areas
Sprint is expanding its Direct 2 You personalized delivery program to cover customers in more cities, bringing the total number of metropolitan areas it now delivers smartphones within to 27. The new areas now serviced by Direct 2 You representatives are Charlotte, N.C., Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Salt Lake City, with more cities expected to join the list next year.
Sprint increasing price of unlimited single-line plan from $60 to $70
Sprint is preparing to increase the cost of its unlimited plan for a single line. While it is currently priced at $60 per month for unlimited calls, texts, and data, the carrier will be raising the plan's monthly charge to $70 from October 16 for new customers. Existing customers on the plan will continue to pay the $60 monthly rate, with Sprint advising they can also activate a new phone and remain on the same $60 Unlimited Plan, as long as they still meet the plan requirements and are either purchasing or financing a phone.
Hearing impaired Sprint customers impacted by 911 faults
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined Sprint close to $1.2 million for issues that prevented people with hearing difficulties from calling the emergency services. Sprint and a number of connected companies were accused of failing to connect a telephone relay service (TRS), used by hard of hearing customers to contact other people, to 911 for long periods of time varying between five weeks and ten months, with the fine settling the FCC investigation.
Trade in iPhone 6 to get iPhone 6s Plus on Sprint iPhone Forever for $5 per month
Sprint is calling out T-Mobile and it's recently-announced iPhone trade-in promotion, by offering a seemingly cheaper alternative. While T-Mobile is offering customers an iPhone 6s upgrade for as little as $5 per month when they trade in their old iPhone 6 via Jump On Demand, Sprint is providing the same thing under its iPhone Forever lease plan, but with customers able to get the smartphone for $1 per month, or $5 per month for the iPhone 6s Plus.
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.
Free wireless service, contract buyout offered by Sprint to DirecTV subscribers
Sprint is attacking AT&T and "celebrating" its competitor's merger with DirecTV, by offering existing DirecTV customers free service for a year if they switch carriers to Sprint. Starting from today and running until September 30, existing customers of the satellite TV service can activate new lines on Sprint and get 12 months of service with no monthly fee, including unlimited talk, unlimited text, and 2GB of data per line per month.
Samsung Test Drive promotion for iPhone users runs out of smartphones
Samsung has temporarily put its smartphone test drive promotion for US-based iPhone users on hold, after running out of devices. Launched on Friday, the scheme offered iPhone owners the ability to try out the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge, and Galaxy S6 Edge+ with cellular service for a 30-day period at a cost of $1. Cult of Android reports the South Korean electronics producer ran out of smartphones within a few hours due to "overwhelming demand," though since the program will be run until the end of this year, Samsung asks interested parties to keep checking back for when it can make more Galaxy smartphones available.
Move intended to combat AT&T Next, T-Mobile Simple Choice
Sprint has debuted the 'iPhone forever" plan, giving users on the plan the ability to upgrade to the latest iPhone at any time while on the plan. Starting today, new and upgrade eligible Sprint customers can get an iPhone for $22 per month. Anytime customers don't have the latest iPhone, they are eligible to upgrade by bringing the older iPhone into a Sprint store, and upgrading on the spot.
Pebble Time Steel production begins, shipments to backers starting this month
Pebble has revealed it is beginning production of the Pebble Time Steel smartwatch this week, with the first devices expected to start shipping to backers in the last week of this month, two months after the standard Pebble Time went through the same process. Steel version backers are supposed to receive a leather band and a matching metal version, but due to limited initial supply, Pebble will be including both bands where possible, with some backers getting their steel bands at a later time than the watch itself.
Online complaints prompts backtracking by Sprint over bandwidth policy
Sprint has backtracked on its decision to limit the bandwidth of video streams in a recently launched plan, following online complaints. The All-In plan, launched just yesterday, will no longer have the video-specific rule in play, which prevented subscribers from watching streaming video at higher bit rates than 600kbps, with the carrier having to find other ways to prevent its network from being heavily used.
Video throttling restriction included in $80 Sprint unlimited data plan
Sprint has launched a new price plan today that it hopes will make the cost of the service simpler to subscribers signing up to it. At the same time, the carrier has also come under fire for including a policy in the "All-In" plan's small print, limiting the amount of data transferred for specific types of network traffic, a move which some may consider to be against the basic principles of net neutrality.
Spring expands Direct 2 You deliveries to four new markets
Sprint is bringing its Direct 2 You home delivery and set-up service to two new markets. The latest major expansion of the service, Sprint will now be delivering smartphones and transferring files and user settings between old and new devices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver. This brings the total number of cities covered by Direct 2 You to 28, with it expected to roll out to more locations throughout the rest of this year.
Sprint prepares to roll out Direct 2 You smartphone deliveries to more markets
Sprint is expanding the availability of its Direct 2 You personal smartphone delivery service into more markets. Subscribers in Miami and Chicago will join Kanas City users in being able to order smartphones and have a Sprint employee deliver it, set the device up, transfer data, and provide initial training for the phone from June 1. As part of a wider rollout, the service will also be available some other markets in early June, including New York City, San Francisco, and Denver.
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.
Unauthorized third-party charges cost Verizon, Sprint dearly
Sprint and Verizon have agreed to pay a fine from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for adding unwanted third-party charges to phone bills, a practice also known as "Cramming." The two carriers have agreed to pay $158 million to settle the charges, with Verizon paying the higher amount of $90 million, while Sprint will be charged $68 million.
Amazon Instant Video iOS app adds HD video, cellular streaming
Amazon Instant Video now allows iOS users to watch HD content. Version 3.0 of the app upgrades the available resolution from standard definition to HD for both TV shows and movies. The same update adds cellular streaming to the app for the first time, as well as new mobile data usage settings, and also introduces streaming of content to an Apple TV using AirPlay.
New program has Sprint representatives offering in-home guidance for new smartphone purchases
Sprint is starting a new program which aims to bring the retail experience to the customer's doorstep. Direct 2 You is best described as a mix between home delivery and visiting a Sprint store, with carrier representatives not only delivering orders to customers directly, but also taking the time to offer initial usage support as well as migrating customer data between devices.
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.
Proposal to rescue majority of 1,740 RadioShack stores approved by bankruptcy court
A plan to co-brand the majority of remaining RadioShack stores with Sprint has been approved by a US bankruptcy court. The approval will give the carrier a large number of extra outlets, with its brand appearing on the signage of a number of the 1,740 remaining RadioShack locations, as part of a wider plan to try and keep the stores open and to safeguard approximately 7,500 jobs.
Sprint offers to pay entire early termination fee, remaining handset payments
Sprint is offering to pay all the early termination fees and remaining smartphone installment plan payments for customers switching to the carrier. Extending the previous offer where it provided up to $350 towards the cost of the early termination fee, the new offer does not have an upper limit, but does require customers to port their number, buy a new smartphone at full retail or under its payment plans, submit their current devices for return, and provide Sprint with a bill showing the refundable charges within 60 days of activation.
Verizon installing 400 small cells to improve San Francisco LTE coverage
Verizon subscribers in San Francisco will be seeing improvements in 4G service in some areas before the end of the year, thanks to a new project to install small cells. Typically used in high-demand locations and previously used in New York and Chicago, GigaOM reports that 400 LTE-equipped transmitters will be added to utility and light poles in the SOMA, Financial District, Market Street, and North Beach neighborhoods as part of the project, with the miniature masts said to cover a radius of 250 to 500 feet each, smaller than macro cells usually used.
Move could be temporary, with iPhone 6 permission coming from Sprint
While other Sprint mobile network resellers -- such as Ting and Straight Talk -- are preparing to finally be allowed to offer the latest iPhone 6 models, one company appears to have gone in the opposite direction. Virgin Mobile USA, which has continually had inventory issues with its current offerings of iPhone 5/5c/5s models since the launch of the iPhone 6, has now removed all mention of Apple products from its online storefront -- though this could be a temporary measure.
Up to 1,750 RadioShack stores to be co-branded Sprint, according to filing
Electronics retailer RadioShack has applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Following a week of speculation, the troubled company filed its papers earlier today, and confirmed plans to sell off a large proportion of its stores to Sprint and Standard General, one which will provide the carrier with a considerable boost to its overall outlet count.
Online retail behemoth may take the opportunity to showcase products, facilitate pickup
Last month, Electronista reported on the financial woes of venerable electronics retailer RadioShack. The 94-year-old company was facing the possibility of going bankrupt this month unless a solution was found. As the deadline nears, it appears that Sprint is interested in taking over a sizable chunk of their stores -- but they may face competition from Amazon, which has allegedly expressed interest in some of the company's stores as showcase and pickup locations.
Combined leasing plan saves $17 on equivalent separate schemes
Sprint is offering its customers the option of switching over to iOS devices wholesale, with a promotional bundle that leases just Apple products. The carrier is putting together its current iPhone for Life and iPad for Life schemes into one single leasing plan, which will let users have both an iPhone and an iPad all on the same mobile plan for $100 per month.
Negotiations could lead to rebranding of half Radioshack stores, shuttering of remainder
RadioShack may be preparing to close its chain of electronics stores, according to a report. The troubled retail chain, which revealed it was close to bankruptcy last month, is said to be in discussions to sell approximately half of its store leases to Sprint, shuttering the rest and effectively ending the 94-year-old company's life as a brick-and-mortar retailer.
Sprint offers T-Mobile customers $200 minimum trade-ins for switching
Sprint is refocusing its trade-in offer directly against main rival T-Mobile. Running until April 9, Sprint will offer T-Mobile customers a minimum instant trade-in value of $200 for their smartphone if they transfer their number over. Sprint is also allowing the offer to work alongside another promotion, granting up to $350 per line to cover early termination fees or installment billing balances.
Nokia Lumia 635 goes on sale through Sprint
Sprint has started to sell the Nokia-branded Lumia 635, the first on the network running Windows Phone 8.1. Equipped with a Snapdragon 1.2GHz quad-core processor accompanied by 512MB of RAM, a rear 5-megapixel camera, and a 4.5-inch 480x854 display, the Lumia 635 is being sold on Sprint for $7 per month over 24 months under Easy Pay, or a full price of $168.
Potential fine of up to $105 million by FCC the latest in a crackdown on 'cramming'
Mobile phone service provider Sprint could be facing a fine of as high as $105 million or other disciplinary actions from the FCC after a study by the agency concluded that the carrier was willfully participating in a practice called "cramming," in which users are often tricked into signing up for "premium" services (such as ringtones or special messages) from a third-party, which then adds monthly charges to the user's bill. Like AT&T and T-Mobile before it, Sprint has run afoul of authorities for taking a cut of these scams, and thus having an incentive to allow them to continue, despite customer complaints.
Options still missing from Apple online orders
People wanting to take advantage of Sprint's Easy Pay or iPhone for Life financing and leasing options should soon be able to do it at an Apple Store, a report says. Training is currently said to be underway, and some stores may in fact be ready to process the plans today. Neither option is available through Apple's website, but previously shoppers angling for an iPhone or iPad purchase under one of the two plans had to order from a Sprint company store or reseller.
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.
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.
No down payments, but tied to two-year leases
US carrier Sprint has announced new "iPad for Life" plans for people wanting to buy a 4G-equipped iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3. All of the plans have no down payments, unlike similar T-Mobile offerings, but still require people to pay monthly fees over the course of a two-year lease. Those fees vary based on device storage. A 16GB Air 2 is $20 a month, for example, whereas 64GB is $24, and 128GB is $28. For the Mini 3, those fees are $17, $21, and $25, respectively.
Reduced revenue causes $192M operating loss for Sprint
Sprint's fortunes have suffered in the last quarter, the carrier's latest financial results advise. A loss in postpaid subscribers and reduced revenue in the period has led the company to an operating loss of $192 million for the quarter, with the carrier also announcing it is getting rid of 2,000 employees, as part of an effort to make $1.5 billion in annual cost reductions.
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.
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.
Shorter leasing period, iPhone 5S inclusion in Sprint plan
Sprint is making changes to its iPhone for Life rental plan, just over a month after launch. The carrier is adjusting the plan to allow customers the ability to lease an iPhone and upgrade it after 12 months, though the existing 24-month period between upgrades will continue to be offered to users at a lower cost compared to the new plan option.
New Sprint Family Share Pack offers double data of similarly-priced Verizon plan
Sprint is attempting to beat Verizon and AT&T by offering more data to customers on a low-cost subscription. In a continuation of earlier "double data" promotional plans, Sprint has introduced a new $20 Family Share Pack which is claimed to offer double the data of similarly-priced plans from Verizon, and three times the data of similar plans from AT&T.
All models contract-free
Sprint-owned Boost Mobile has announced it will begin selling the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on Friday, October 17. Since Boost is a prepaid carrier, buyers will have to pay for a contract-free device -- but the company is slashing $100 off the price of each model. A 16GB iPhone 6 will therefore cost $549, for example, and an equivalent iPhone 6 Plus will be $649. The 64GB and 128GB options will also be available.
WiMax network ceasing operation on November 6, 2015
A definitive date for the shutdown of Sprint's WiMax service has been confirmed by the carrier, following a leak of an internal newsletter. As leaked and confirmed, the WiMax network will cease operation on or around the 6th of November next year, with the leak also revealing more detailed information about how Sprint is handling the shutdown.
Layoffs to be completed by the end of October according to Sprint SEC filing
More changes are coming for the third-ranked wireless carrier in the United States, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC filing indicates that Sprint has started a workforce reduction plan that affects an undisclosed number of workers. While the number of layoffs coming when CEO Marcelo Claure was brought aboard earlier in the year wasn't stated, he did inform employees that the cost-cutting measures were an inevitability.
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.
Claimed offer from SoftBank to buy animation studio may be worth $3.4B
Japanese carrier SoftBank is still on the hunt for acquisitions in the United States, following its earlier failed attempt to merge T-Mobile with Sprint, a report claims. The company is said to be in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation, a studio behind film franchises including Shrek and Kung-Fu Panda, with the deal claimed to be worth somewhere in the region of $3.4 billion.
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.
Karma Go uses Sprint LTE network, refines device design from predecessor
Data-focused virtual carrier Karma has unveiled an upgraded version of its portable Wi-Fi hotspot. Just as it promised late last year, the Karma Go is a compact device which replaces its existing WiMax connection with one using Sprint's LTE network, a move which should provide customers with a larger coverage area to use the hotspot within.
Company offering 'iPhone for Life' endless upgrade promotion
New Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure on Monday tweeted that the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus this past weekend was the "most successful iPhone launch in our history," in a note thanking Sprint employees for their help. The announcement comes on the heels of Apple's news that it had sold 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units over the course of the opening weekend, a new record for the company, and Sprint's recent announcement of a special iPhone-centric lease promotion.