I got a nice little surprise on my drive into the office today. While stopped at a red light, I looked at my Evo 4G LTE that I have mounted on my dash, and the 4G icon was on! I quickly opened up the Speedtest.net app and ran a quick test while still stopped at the light. Hit the break to see the results:
As Softbank’s deep pockets have suddenly opened up a new challenger to Verizon & AT&T, it’s only natural for Sprint & Softbank to make an official statement confirming the major news. In a press release unveiled this morning, Softbank announced it will acquire Sprint Nextel for a whopping $20.1 billion ($12.1 billion in cash consideration & $8 billion in capital). The major highlight of this is the deal is the fact this will give Softbank a 70% stake of Sprint and 30% ownership, effectively giving it full control over the Now Network. The hope of this deal is Softbank will effectively give Sprint a better platform to use in rolling out not just its LTE network, but an LTE network with a significantly better structure than its competitors. Here’s Sprint CEO Dan Heese:
“This is a transformative transaction for Sprint that creates immediate value for our stockholders, while providing an opportunity to participate in the future growth of a stronger, better capitalized Sprint going forward. Our management team is excited to work with SoftBank to learn from their successful deployment of LTE in Japan as we build out our advanced LTE network, improve the customer experience and continue the turnaround of our operations.”
Of course all of this will be pending regulatory approval– so hopefully we won’t see some sort of mishap like we’d seen before. Hit the break for the full presser.
Today Sprint has unveiled a whopping 22 new LTE enabled cities. These cities are:
- San Francisco, CA, San Mateo-Redwood City, CA
- Cape Coral-Ft Meyers, FL
- Dyersburg-Union City-Martin, TN
- Emporia, KS
- Fort Wayne, IN
- Greenwood, MS
- Joplin, MO
- Kokomo, IN
- Lafayette/West Lafayette, IN
- Lexington Park, MD
- Marion, IN
- Napa, CA
- Naples-Marco Island, FL
- Ottawa-Streator, IL
- Punta Gorda, FL
- Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA
- Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
- Sebring, FL
- South Bend-Mishawaka, IN
- Terre Haute, IN
- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA
- Warsaw, IN
Anyone living in any of these cities notice LTE speeds on their LTE enabled device yet? If so, let us know what speeds you’re getting!
The Samsung Galaxy S III is the hottest Android phone right now, and I know a lot you are looking to pick one up before the holidays. Well here’s your chance to grab a Black Friday like deal without dealing with the crowds. For one day, this Sunday, Best Buy will have the Galaxy S III on sale for $99. That’s this Sunday, October 14 and only that day. We actually could have posted this yesterday, but I was awaiting information from Best Buy PR as to which carriers and if upgrades were accepted. They told me that only the Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint version will be on sale and the good news is that upgrades are allowed as long as your are eligible and willing to sign the new 2-year agreement. I’m not sure why T-Mobile is left out of this one, but you can certainly head to your local Best Buy or Best Buy Mobile store this Sunday to see if this information is wrong. You will have your choice of Pebble Blue or Marble White. Unfortunately the AT&T Garnett Red is not included. Let us know if you pick one up.
Most Android users know there is nothing better than a nice software update. For some, OTA updates are like Santa coming to your house, but with just one present. Luckily Sprint is rolling out small updates for both the Samsung Epic 4G Touch, and the ZTE Fury.
Starting off with the Epic 4G Touch, the software has been updated to version S:D710.10S.FI27 which carries a few fixes and bug tweaks. There is nothing major, but here is what you should notice:
- Ability to edit internal out of office message on Email
- VPN access over 3G fix
- MMS send/receive over 3G fix
And to tag along, the ZTE Fury is getting some new software also. Upon installation, you will see that it’s version N850V1.0.0B14 in the phone’s settings, and it provides only a few tweaks just like the Epic 4G Touch update. The fixes include:
- Speaker phone improvements
- Battery consumption improvements
- Updated Network Option settings
Sprint has announced the addition of four new devices to its 4G LTE portfolio. They indicate the devices will be available for customers to order sometime this fall. The devices include:
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 able to access both Sprint’s 3G and 4G LTE networks, the 10.1-inch tablet boasts a 1.5GHz dual-core processor running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich;
- LG Optimus G running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor running a 4.7-inch HD display;
- LG Mach, an entry level QWERTY slider device capable of full HD video recording and playback;
- Plug-in-Connect, a tri-mode USB device that users can plug into their computers to enjoy broadband wireless connectivity.
Buyers of these new devices will have to sign up for a Sprint Everything Data plan. Hit the break to read the full press release from Sprint about these new options for their customers. » Read the rest
In this age when people hardly ever remember new numbers longer than the time it takes to put it in a phone, Sprint has started a service to change that. StarStar Me will allow subscribers to assign a new dial code to their phone that starts with two star signs and then a name or number, **SARAH in the picture. This service costs $2.99 and also provides “custom text messages when they’re busy, as well as a unique way to share links to their blog, website or social media accounts.” There is an app available now to accompany the service that helps manage calls and automate text messages. Hit the break for the full press release.
Yesterday, things looked all but certain for a merger to occur between T-Mobile and MetroPCS according to an announcement from Deutshe Telekom AG. One day later though the situation may have changed. Reports indicate Sprint may be in the process of preparing a rival proposal to acquire MetroPCS. Analysts believe Sprint and MetroPCS would be a good fit because their networks are compatible. Supposedly Sprint is crunching numbers and have their advisors reviewing a potential merger. » Read the rest
LG has announced that its flagship Optimus G handset will be hitting US store shelves in both Sprint and AT&T flavors later this year. This would inevitably make the Optimus G the most powerful smartphone to arrive in America. Both handsets will sport the exact same specs, sans the camera sizes. While Sprint will be receiving the 13-megapixel model, which the company claims will offer “the world’s best image quality”, AT&T is opting for a more modest 8-megapixel shooter. Both 16GB and 32GB models will be available, and the device will come pre-loaded with a 16GB MicroSD card.
Other specs include:
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 True HD IPS Display (with Zerogap Touch)
- 1.5-GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor
- 2,100mAh battery
- 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera
- 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0
Pricing and availability haven’t been revealed just yet, though you can expect announcements from individual carriers to come in the future. Until then, hit the break to read the official press release. » Read the rest
Over the weekend we reported on some listings in the FCC database for Samsung Galaxy Note II devices for AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. Missing from the list were Sprint and U.S. Cellular versions despite a previous announcement that these carriers would also get the device. Potential Sprint buyers of the device can catch a little breath as they continue their wait as filings for the Sprint version have now surfaced at the FCC. Going by model number SPH-L900, the Samsung device includes Sprint compatible radio bands.
In addition to the Sprint version of the Galaxy Note II, two other Samsung devices surfaced, both of them 4G LTE compatible 10.1-inch tablets. The devices have model numbers SPH-P500 and SPH-i915 and are believed to be Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 models for Sprint and Verizon.