Tag - Three
UK carrier Three has launched a new contract-free plan, which provides customers with 200MB of data per month. The Pay-As-You-Go Data Reward SIM costs £10 ($15) and is preloaded with 1GB of data usable for 30 days. After registering, users will receive 200MB of LTE data per month, even if they do not top up regularly, though the SIM will be deactivated if it isn't used for six months.
Three has become the first carrier in the United Kingdom to start selling the Apple Watch directly to consumers. Beating major competing carriers such as Vodafone, O2, and EE, Three is now offering the Apple-produced smartphone in 41 of its stores across the country, though for the moment the Hutchison Whampoa subsidiary does not appear to have the popular wearable device available to purchase from its own online store.
The owner of British carrier O2 has agreed to sell the company to Hutchison Whampoa, the result of negotiations between the two owners which started in January. Telefonica, the owner of O2, has confirmed it will be handing over the carrier for £10.25 billion ($1.53 billion), with the deal still to receive regulatory approval before it can close completely.
An update to the Amazon Echo has added more options for music playback. Recode reports the Internet-connected speaker now offers voice control for Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora, when the Echo is paired with a device that has the required apps installed. Improved responsiveness, question accuracy, and more voice commands have also been touted for the device, which has yet to have a wider release outside of its invitation-only testing.
Telefonica, owner of British carrier O2, and Hutchison Whampoa, the parent company of competitor Three, have confirmed they are in talks over a potential acquisition, following earlier reports. The two have entered "exclusive negotiations," which could see O2 change hands for an estimated £10.25 billion ($15.4 billion) if discussions between the executive teams succeed.
British carrier O2 may be the latest target for acquisition by another telecommunications company. Hutchison Whampoa, the company behind competitor Three, is apparently said to be in early-stage talks to take over O2 from current owner Telefonica, with a report claiming it could change hands for as much as £9 billion ($13.6 billion) if the discussions are fruitful.
A suggestion by the British government has prompted carriers to improve their mobile networks. EE, O2, Vodafone, and Three have all agreed to collectively invest at least £5 billion ($7.8 billion) into a program to improve their mobile networks across the United Kingdom, in order to avoid being forced to implement a proposed "National Roaming" scheme.
British carrier Three is starting to offer same-day delivery for smartphone orders, within central London, saving customers from going to a store. The trial will allow customers to order a Samsung Galaxy S5 or the iPhone 6 from the carrier from Monday to Friday between 7am and 3pm at "selected London postcodes," reports Engadget, with customers paying £15 ($23.50) for the privilege.
British carrier Three is following the lead of other carriers in the country, by offering free Wi-Fi on the London Underground. The Next Web reports the carrier will be working with Virgin Media, the company that set up the original Wi-Fi network for the 2012 Olympic Games, to provide customers free access to the Wi-Fi network in 137 stations without buying a Wi-Fi pass. Three hopes to open up the network to its customers by the end of this month.
Pebble has released a firmware update for the Pebble smartwatch and Pebble Steel. Version 2.2 now allows users to re-order items on the launcher menu from the watch itself, without requiring the companion smartphone app. The device can also control the volume of songs playing on the smartphone, a feature which will require iOS users to update their app.