With the major carriers making a sudden move in the last month to jump big time into the unlimited data plan market, you may be wondering how prepaid wireless carriers will respond to these moves. Cricket Wireless is one of those carriers feeling the heat and today announced a new feature to try to keep users from jumping back over to the traditional carriers. Cricket’s new Stream More feature employs some video compression technology to help users stretch their data allotment while enjoying streaming content.
AT&T announced its own unlimited data plan to compete with new offerings from Verizon and Sprint as well as an improved offering from T-Mobile; however, it wasn’t very good. But now, AT&T is upgrading its unlimited plan, and it’s at least brought it up to par alongside unlimited offerings from other carriers.
Five major U.S. carriers have already revealed that, yes, they will be selling the new LG G6 within the next few months. While none provided a release date, they all appear to agree that the phone will be offered to customers beginning this spring. It follows the same distribution order as last year where South Korea, LG’s home country, gets the flagship before other markets.
T-Mobile’s star has been ascending the last few years. Most people are familiar by now with the unconventional business strategies that T-Mobile, led by their CEO John Legere, has been implementing via their Un-carrier campaign. Backing those efforts to attract and retain customers is a corresponding set of moves by T-Mobile to make improvements to their network speeds and capacity. Today the carrier announced the pending launch of LTE-U capability on the T-Mobile LTE network.
Companies are about to introduce their 2017 flagship; therefore, carriers are seeking to unload inventory of existing devices. Right now, T-Mobile is running a sale on three very good Samsung and LG phones in which you pay hundreds of dollars less than usual.
Add another device to the list of Android 7.0 Nougat smartphones as AT&T has released the update for the LG G5. Owners of the device will have to be content with just getting Android 7.0 and not Android 7.1, but they will get the bulk of the improvements that Google makes available via Nougat. The release comes on the heels of AT&T starting to update the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge with Android 7.0 Nougat.
Google announced late last week that they are upgrading the text messaging service available to Android users in Europe and Asia through the addition of RCS service to users on the Telenor network. RCS stands for Rich Communications Services and is widely considered an upgrade to the traditional SMS platform that has powered text messaging for years. Through the partnership with Telenor, over 214 million users in European and Asian countries on the Telenor network will get access to features available via RCS.
Google’s been hard at work bringing Project Fi up to snuff with the other carriers, and they’re ready to check another feature off the list. They currently don’t offer the crisp VoLTE service that major carriers do, but according to Google, they’re testing it out with a few customers before getting ready to roll it out to everyone.
Good news for T-Mobile Galaxy S7 owners; your Android 7.0 Nougat update is rolling out right now. That means you’re getting treated to all of the new things that Google introduced with Nougat, plus Samsung’s tweaks, and hopefully none of the diminished battery life.
There’s a big wave of change moving through the wireless industry right now. Carriers are adjusting and creating a better value to stay competitive and draw new customers. The networks, though, are ultimately what it comes down to. If coverage isn’t good or LTE speeds are sluggish, no one is going to stick around or even choose that carrier. It explains why carriers heavily emphasize their networks in advertisements.
OpenSignal, an outside firm that monitors the carriers’ networks throughout the nation, recently completed its study of LTE availability and LTE speed.