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Sprint begins Marshmallow rollout for HTC One M9

Posted by wicked February - 6 - 2016 - Saturday Comments Off

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Sprint customers with the HTC One M9, your time has come. Sprint announced Friday that One M9 users can get the Android 6.0, also known as Marshmallow, update.

An announcement on Sprint’s support page cautions that the rollout could take several days to be delivered, but users should expect it soon. One M9 users can check for the update by going to Settings, followed by System Updates. From there, head to HTC software update and click Check Now.

As we previously reported, users of the LG G4 on T-Mobile recently began receiving the Android 6.0 update over the air.

Source: Sprint

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AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Hit FCC

Posted by Kellex February - 4 - 2016 - Thursday Comments Off

Once Samsung announce the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge in Barcelona on February 21, the world will be anxiously awaiting their arrival for purchase at local retailers and carriers. Early reports suggest that March 11 could be the day that Samsung’s new flagships arrive in stores, but before that happens, we need to see pieces fall into place – like each stop off at the FCC for approval. Today, that happened.

According to FCC documents for Samsung devices under model numbers SM-G930 and SM-G935, we should be all set for launch. As a reminder, the Galaxy S7 is SM-G930 and the S7 Edge is SM-G935. The FCC IDs for each are A3LSMG930US and A3LSMG935US, respectively. 

The documents show us the general shape of each, along with the fact that each will have an FCC ID planted on their lower backsides. Why Samsung didn’t go the software FCC ID route is beyond me, but they didn’t.

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Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 9.52.00 AM

The documents are giving us confirmation on device models as well, showing specific model numbers for each carrier variant. The different carrier numbers are as follows:  SM-G930A (AT&T), SM-G930V (Verizon), SM-G930P (Sprint), SM-G930T (T-Mobile), and SM-G930R4 (US Cellular).

The filing for each is for a general Galaxy S7/S7 Edge model of A3LSMG930US/A3LSMG935US, with each carrier model included. I don’t know if that means we are looking at a single Galaxy S7/S7 Edge unit that works universally everywhere, but that carriers will choose to limit, or what. The nice thing is, we have all of the information for all carrier variants together.

For example, here is a look at the supported LTE bands, for those curious. The documents included show LTE band 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 25, 26, 30, and 41. I don’t know where AT&T’s band 17 is, as it doesn’t appear in any document at this time.

galaxy s7 lte bands

The rest of the documents don’t offer any other details that we didn’t already know or expect. With that said, there is a test report that mentions a micro SD card and a battery model that we are looking into at the moment.

If you feel like diving through some FCC docs, we have links below.

Via:  FCC [2] | TimesNews

AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Hit FCC is a post from: Droid Life

Question of the Day: What’s Keeping You With Your Current Wireless Carrier?

Posted by Kellex February - 2 - 2016 - Tuesday Comments Off

Every time we share news about a wireless carrier (whether it be good or bad), the comment section fills up with conversations about which is the best or why this one is better than that one or why they are all terrible. We typically get a bunch of, “Glad I left them when I did!” comments, as well.

Because of those almost-always-entertaining conversations, our question of the day will be to ask you what it is that’s keeping you with your current wireless carrier. You all seem to have very specific, well-informed (or at least passionate) reasons for sticking with one over another, so this is your opportunity to share it all in one place.

Is it all about network? Is it price-related? Does one carrier have better phone choices over another? Do you just hate this carrier less than the rest? Feel free to drop those thoughts below.

Question of the Day: What’s Keeping You With Your Current Wireless Carrier? is a post from: Droid Life

Are you on the fastest LTE network in the U.S.?

Posted by wicked February - 2 - 2016 - Tuesday Comments Off

LG Optimus G Pro aa 5 4g lte 1600

If data is king, data speeds are the Galactic Emperor. Following the analogy, weak or patchy network connections are the thermal exhaust port through which an upstart young Rebel pilot could successfully fire two proton torpedoes, leading to a chain reaction that could blow up the entire U.S….carrier…system. OK, I may have gotten a little carried away there, but suffice to say LTE speeds are critical. A new report has revealed the fastest LTE network in the U.S.: are you on it?

OpenSignal has posted its most recent State of Mobile Networks: USA report, covering Q4, 2015, and the results are a little mixed. On the positive side, U.S. LTE networks get an A grade for coverage, ranking among the most extensive in the world. But when the report turns to the speed of those networks, things take a turn for the worse, with OpenSignal claiming the “U.S. finds itself falling short”.


LG Optimus G Pro aa 5 4g lte 1600See also: What is LTE? Everything you need to know27

The fastest LTE network in the U.S. is…

So which carrier has the fastest LTE network? T-Mobile, by a hair’s breadth, defeating Verizon at 4G download speeds by less than a third of a MB/sec. T-Mobile scored download speeds of 12.26 MB/sec compared to Verizon’s 11.98 MB/sec. When we switch to 3G download speeds, T-Mobile is way ahead, with 3.48 MB/sec compared to Verizon’s paltry 0.66 MB/sec (AT&T took second spot with 2.22 MB/sec).

US_LTE_network_speeds OpenSignal

But Verizon still comes out on top in terms of coverage. Verizon has the best LTE coverage in the U.S., with Big Red customers assured of a 4G connection 86.73% of the time. In second place (but trending downwards from previous months) AT&T customers were guaranteed a solid connection 82.63% of the time, while T-Mobile was right behind at 81.23%.

Even the fastest 4G network speed in the U.S. – T-Mobile’s 12.26 MB/sec – is below the global average.

While these figures may sound pretty good to you, the coverage percentage is the only number that’s worth getting excited about. The problem with U.S. carrier data speeds is that they average out at just 9.9 MB/sec, well and truly below the international average of 13.5 MB/sec. Even the fastest 4G network speed in the U.S. – T-Mobile’s 12.26 MB/sec – is below the global average.

OpenSignal_4g_speeds_regional_results Open Signal

OpenSignal takes this as an opportunity to call out American carriers, claiming the U.S. is “no longer pushing mobile technology boundaries like it used to”, putting the industry in the same league as Argentina, a country that only rolled out its first LTE network a year ago.

Are you happy with your LTE data speeds? Would you have picked T-Mobile as the fastest?

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Sprint HTC One M8 units are now receiving Android 6.0

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2016 - Saturday Comments Off

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An OTA update containing Google’s latest Android 6.0 (excluding the minor Android 6.0.1 update) is now rolling out to Sprint HTC One M8 units.

Millions of Android users are still waiting to get their hands on the latest software from Google. Subscribers of Sprint who have HTC’s 2014 One M8 flagship will be happy to know that the update is rolling out to everyone as of this moment. The confirmation came from Mo Versi, HTC’s VP of product management, who announced the plans on Twitter yesterday evening.

The Android 6.0 update will bring you all of the latest features from Google. These include the new Now on Tap capability, doze, simplified app permissions, and lots lots more. Google has received a majority of good feedback regarding its latest update since it launched back in May of last year.

When you receive the update, you’ll want to ensure that you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network to avoid data overages. Since it’s a big update, it will take some time to download and install. It’s also recommended that you charge your One M8 to at least 50% prior to installing the software. The update is rolling out in waves like it normally does, so if you don’t get the update today, or tomorrow, don’t be discouraged. If you haven’t received the notification to update yet, try going into settings under ‘About phone’ and then ‘check for new software updates’, this may speed up the process. Happy updating!

Source: Mo Versi (Twitter)

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sprint_logo_wall_signFourth quarter results are in, and it looks like Sprint’s aggressive marketing and price slashing has paid off. The carrier still posted a loss, but its postpaid subscriber additions and customer retention are both on the up and up.

Total revenue for Sprint was $8.1 billion, which was slightly lower than analyst expectations. However, Sprint only had an operating loss of $197 million, which is an enormous improvement over the $2.4 billion lost this time last year.

Much of this was floated by Sprint’s aggressive marketing moves to capture more postpaid customers, and it paid off. The carrier added 366,000 postpaid subscribers, compared to losing 205,000 last year. That’s a swing of over 500,000, so not bad at all. Churn was at 1.64 percent, which isn’t a record number for Sprint, but it’s very close.

It’s not all good news, though, as Sprint’s total net additions were actually lower this year than the previous year’s quarter. We saw Spring add nearly a million customers in 2014, while not even breaking the 500,000 mark this time around.

Sprint still has a long road ahead, especially if it plans on competing at the high-end with Verizon and AT&T, but this quarter is proof that they’re moving in the right direction.

source: Sprint

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Boost Mobile will cut $5 of your bill in exchange of home-screen ads

Posted by wicked January - 26 - 2016 - Tuesday Comments Off

operating-hours Operating Hours

Looking to save a little more money on your Boost prepaid service? If you are willing to be subjected to some ads, than Boost has your back. Working with a company called Unlockd, Sprint-owned Boost Mobile will give its subscribers the option of downloading a new app called “Boost Dealz”, which knocks off $5 a month on your bill in exchange for the time you spend looking at ads.

So how do the ads work? When you unlock your phone you’ll be presented with a homescreen ad that you can click on to visit for more details, or you can simply hit the “Like” or “Dislike” button and the ad will then go away.


boost_mobile_720wSee also: Best Boost Mobile phones (November 2015)16

It’s unclear if ads will be presented each and every time that you unlock your phone, but expect them to show up frequently, if not every time you unlock your device. If you find the ads too intrusive, you can always delete the app, though you’ll lose out on the $5 discount going forward.

While not everyone is going to like the idea of surrendering their homescreen to occasional ads, there are many folks that won’t mind, as long as they are getting paid for it. Arguably a lockscreen ad (like found with Amazon’s Kindle series) would be better, but such implementation would likely require Boost to have more control over the OS/skin on the phone.

For Sprint, it’s a nice experiment that allows them to explore more passive ways of generating income from their subscribers without just jacking up the fees like many carriers are apt to do. What do you think, if you could save $5 on your carrier of choice – would you go along with this kind of incentive?

Next – Best prepaid carriers

2,500 Sprint employees are laid-off to save costs

Posted by wicked January - 26 - 2016 - Tuesday Comments Off

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We recently reported that Sprint was going to cut costs of $1 billion dollars by switching to new towers as well as a few other things. Now it looks like one of those other things is laying off 2,500 people.

Hopefully customers don’t need any care because that is the area where most of the cuts are from. At least they waited until after the holidays, but Sprint has cut 2,500 jobs across six customer care centres including 574 cuts from its Kansas headquarters. Call centres in Virginia, New Mexico, Tennessee and Texas have been shut down. However, Sprint said they notified everyone last week in an email.

Sprint also said that more and more customers are using the Sprint Zone app or going online for their customer service needs, and these jobs were no longer needed. They did, however, make sure to layoff everyone before January 30th because after that date their severance packages would be reduced.

The reason for the cuts are mainly to save costs. Investors have been worried Sprint is spending way too much money trying to acquire customers and upgrade its network.

Source: Reuters

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Sprint gets ballsy in latest ad

Posted by wicked January - 24 - 2016 - Sunday Comments Off

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Based on the major wireless carrier ads that are running during this afternoon’s NFL game, it takes some balls to compete in the market. The latest carrier to jump in the mix is Sprint which released their own version of ads currently running by Verizon and Sprint.

The marketing team games between the carriers started with Verizon when they decided to launch an ad campaign that used the imagery of different balls rolling down a ramp to demonstrate some points that Verizon wanted to make about their network.

T-Mobile took exception to some of the claims and launched their own ad using balls going down a ramp to point out issues with Verizon’s claims. T-Mobile leader John Legere also launched the coyly named #BallBusterChallenge to demonstrate T-Mobile’s superiority to Verizon.

In the new spot that was released this weekend, Sprint joins the train of rolling balls with a claim that their LTE network is faster than any of the other carriers. In the ad, Sprint says this is because they have been building the network of the future. Sprint also renews their campaign to offer data plans that are half the cost of the plan a customer may be porting over from with a competitor.

You can check out Sprint’s new spot below if you have not already seen it playing during a game on TV.

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

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Nextbit delays CDMA model of the Robin

Posted by wicked January - 22 - 2016 - Friday Comments Off

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Nextbit proudly announced earlier this month that its first phone, the cloud-powered Robin, would begin shipping to Kickstarter backers on February 16. Backers that were not among the first wave on Kickstarter were told to expect their Robin ship near the end of February; however, Nextbit didn’t provide any status of the CDMA model beyond saying they have been “working on a date.” It was originally believed that this model, destined for a carrier like Verizon, would come in February or March, but Nextbit is disappointed to clarify that neither month is possible.

The CDMA model of the Robin will likely ship in the second quarter of 2016 following the delay.

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Simply put, Nextbit just wasn’t prepared to released a CDMA model of the Robin when it was developing the phone. The company only realized there was a demand for it when Verizon and Sprint customers were very vocal on the Kickstarter page.

Here’s the full rundown from Nextbit:

You want the future to be here already. You want your Robin today. We feel the same way. We know CDMA backers want to know when their Robins will arrive. We wanted to wait until we could give you an exact date, but we can’t wait anymore.

The CDMA Robin wasn’t in development until we saw your response on Kickstarter, and we got a little carried away in the excitement of the campaign. When we estimated we would deliver CDMA Robin in February, we were being optimistic. Now that we’ve gone through development and are working out the testing schedule, we think April is more realistic. We don’t know exactly when in April as there are still a number of factors outside our control. We will keep you up to date, as we get more and more information.

No one should be furious and angry with Nextbit for delaying the CDMA model because it only followed the well-thought-out GSM model’s launch on Kickstarter just two weeks later. Having something that was previously unplanned ship two months after the original isn’t a big deal. Whatever delayed it is out of Nextbit’s control, too. So let’s not get all fussy. Nextbit is building its very first phone and plans to ship within 8 months of going live on Kickstarter. We can definitely cut the company some slack as most ambitious campaigns on Kickstarter ship about 9 months after they debut.

Source: Nextbit (Kickstarter)

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