Carriers

SoftBank’s plan to purchase 70% of Sprint for $20.1b confirmed

We heard all about SoftBank's desire to purchase a majority stake in Sprint last week, but today, the two companies confirmed the deal. SoftBank will pay out $20.1 billion to take control of a 70% share in Sprint, with $12.1 billion of that going to current Sprint shareholders as consideration for the buyout. The rest of the money - all $8 billion of it - will be given to Sprint as new capital.

FreedomPop’s free data service launches in “beta”

FreedomPop, the wireless data service that promises free 4G access, launched in a "public beta" of sorts today. FreedomPop users can access Clearwire Corporation's 4G WiMAX networks free of monthly charges and contracts, but there a couple of catches. First, the service isn't free right off the bat, as you'll need to buy either a USB router for $49 or a mobile hotspot for $89 from FreedomPop. Once you've purchased your peripheral of choice and are prepared to connect to the Internet, you'll be ready to take advantage of the free 500MB of data per month that FreedomPop has on offer.

Galaxy Note II announced for all major US carriers with quad-core in tow

Great news folks! We know many of you have been hoping that the newly announced Samsung Galaxy Note II phablet would be available from your carrier, and today we have all the details. Just like the Galaxy S III, the Galaxy Note II will be launching on all major US carriers. That means Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and the Now Network will all offer the 5.5-inch Jelly Bean powered smartphone.

AT&T Q2 2012 financial results see 5.1m smartphones sold

We've been getting a lot of excellent quarterly financial reports in lately. From Samsung and Qualcomm to Verizon and now AT&T, smartphones and tablets are making a lot of people filthy rich. AT&T sold a whopping 5.1 million smartphones in Q2 of its fiscal year, with 61.9% of its postpaid subscribers using a smartphone. That 61.9% figure jibes quite well with what we've been hearing from Nielsen lately, which says that in Q2, 2 out of every 3 people who purchased a phone went with a smartphone over a feature phone.

Google details carrier billing for Music, Movies, Books and more on Play Store

Carrier billing on the Android Market, now known as the Google Play Store isn't anything new. I've been able to bill app purchases directly to T-Mobile for a long, long time. Today though Google has issued an update regarding what all we can purchase and bill to carriers, and who all supports the system. If you're the type that hates giving out that credit card number (like my parents) this graph might be worth a second look.

European carriers say Nokia should go Android

If you've been following smartphone news from some non-Android sources, you probably know that Nokia's Lumia 900 has made quite the splash over on AT&T. But apparently it's not doing so hot across the pond: reports out of European cell carriers say that their retail staff can't make a case for other Lumia phones like the 710 and the 800. Why? It's the software, of course - Nokia's gone full Windows Phone 7 with their smartphone line, something that's a hard sell for European customers expecting Android.

Verizon upgrade fee isn’t as bad as it sounds

There is a lot of chatter and angry readers this afternoon regarding the news that Verizon will start charging a $30 upgrade fee for those looking to upgrade their smartphone. While I'm not a fan of the fee and don't like it one bit myself, it isn't as bad as it sounds and won't be going away either. I'll tell you why below.

Phones 4U New JUMP offers phone upgrades every 6 months

The popular Phones 4U in the UK have been running a trial since last year for a new smartphone trade in model called JUMP. This stands for "Just upgrade my Phone" and will be allowing customers to do just that. Upgrade their phones in as little as 6 months instead of the usual 1 or 2-year upgrade paths we've seen in the past.

AT&T claims you can keep your T-Mobile plan and rate after merger

If you are one of the many users over on T-Mobile that have been wondering what will happen during and after this AT&T-Mobile merger goes though (if it does), AT&T and T-Mobile have outlined a few more details to put users at ease. AT&T is now saying users will be able to keep their current rate and plan after the merger goes through, even after your contract expires from T-Mobile. This is great news for many of the long time T-Mo customers with amazing grandfathered-in plans like myself.