Carriers are leaving HTC without support worldwide

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The HTC 10 was officially announced earlier today, and so far at least, the reception has been quite positive. While it’s a little early to say that HTC has the ball out of the park with its latest flagship, it’s definitely off to a good start. Unfortunately, it seems like the carriers in both the UK and the U.S. aren’t quite on the same page, with two major carriers confirming that they won’t offer the HTC 10 (specifications here) and others seemingly non-committal. Read more

India’s smartphone market crosses 1 billion subscriber mark

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During 2015 we saw a variety of smartphone manufacturers take steps to tap into the Indian market, one of the fastest growing on the globe. Those steps appear to be justified as the year ends on a report from India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority indicating the number of mobile-phone subscribers has topped 1 billion. India joins China as the only two countries to reach that plateau. Read more

New laws for unlocking phones go into effect February 11th

Unlocked_DeviceSIM unlocking phones is something that comes up in the legal world every so often, with the most recent event making it completely legal to unlock your device. Like any other law, though, the fine print changes, and on February 11th there will be some slightly tweaked rules to go by when getting your smart device unlocked to use on other networks.

Most of the rules generally stay the same, but some of the details have been altered to keep up with the changing landscape of buying phones. When purchasing a subsidized phone, if you sign a 2-year contract for your device and it’s paid off, your carrier is still legally obligated to unlock the phone for you. This now extends to installment plans, too. Prepaid phones are similar, but the carrier has up to a year to unlock the device. Read more

FTC rules that throttled data plans no longer count as unlimited data

tracfoneThe FTC has ruled against TracFone in a case involving their “unlimited data,” forcing the prepaid company to pay out $40 million to customers that were mislead about just how unlimited TracFone’s data actually is. Like tons of other carriers, TracFone offers an unlimited data plan that’s throttled after a certain cap is hit. The FTC isn’t particularly fond of those kinds of plans, which they’ve mentioned in the past.

According to the FTC, data speeds were slowed down between 1 and 3 GB and were sometimes completely cut off once customers hit the 5 GB limit. The FTC might have been more lenient if TracFone wasn’t cutting data off completely and just sticking to throttling, but it’s a tough call knowing that the FTC dislikes throttled data plans anyway. Read more

AT&T Brings Back Rollover – for Data

For years, AT&T offered rollover minutes on its mobile plans, going back all the way to the days of AirTouch and Cingular Wireless. (Remember Cingular?! They were awesome. I loved that orange jumping jack guy.) But with minutes ceasing to be valuable currency in the mobile space in recent years, Rollover disappeared.

Now AT&T, taking its cues from GSM rival T-Mobile,  is resurrecting the Rollover concept, but in a form more fitting these modern times. AT&T Mobile Share customers will now be automatically enrolled in a monthly Rollover of data, and it rolls over across an entire shared account. It’s a nice bone to throw customers concerned about overages and should assuage billing fears associated with said overages.

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Carriers recommend Samsung devices more than Apple and its iPhone

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The role of an employee in a carrier’s retail store is quite easy. They are there to sell a device. So they have some options as to what devices are the best for a particular consumer. New research conducted by Kantar Worldpanel shows that United States carriers are more inclined to recommend a Samsung device rather than an iPhone from Apple. Read more

U.S. Senate reports that companies are cramming customer bills with obscene charges

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A new study conducted by the United States Senate Commerce Committee found that owners of mobile phones have been wrongly overcharged with bills. This is from cramming, which is the application of unauthorized charges masked by services such as ringtones. The report published by Congress shows that carriers in the United States are keeping roughly 30-40% of revenue. And the carriers are not even the ones doing the actual cramming. In many cases, it is a third party running these services. This is all at the literal expense of customers. Read more