As wireless carriers have developed 4G LTE networks over the last few years, one of the doors that has been opened is the move to using data networks for voice traffic. Pushing voice traffic over data networks is nothing new, but traditionally the technology has been confined to Wi-Fi connected devices or those physically connected to a network, like a PC hooked up to a wired LAN. The improvements to wireless networks, in particular LTE technologies, make it possible to move that same voice traffic to the cellular spectrums. We are already seeing the major wireless carriers start this transition, like Verizon’s implementation of Advanced Calling. A side effect of this change in how wireless is used for voice calls is that other companies may be able to start to offer voice service using Wi-Fi and possibly challenge the traditional carriers. We have already seen word starting to get out about how Google may implement this in conjunction with traditional carriers as an MVNO and now word is getting out that Cablevision is preparing to jump in to the market with their own solution.
Sprint is offering a pretty great deal for potential customers that are willing to switch over from T-Mobile to Sprint’s network. Customers can trade in a T-Mobile device and get at least $200 for it, which should cover the price of a new phone through Sprint.
This trade-in offer can be used with Sprint’s buyout program, so Sprint will pay out up to $350 to cover terminating T-Mobile service. Using both of these offers, it’s possible to get upwards of $550 to jump over to Sprint.
Just yesterday rumors started swirling about Google finally getting the mobile network market by partnering with either Sprint or T-Mobile. Less than 24 hours later, it looks like Google has closed a deal with Sprint and will soon begin offering a wireless service to compete with the other major carriers.
According to an insider, Masayoshi Son, president of Sprint’s parent company Softbank, was the key player in getting talks going between the two companies. The deal will function like most other MNVO deals, with Google paying Sprint for capacity, then Google will sell the service to customers.
It has often been rumored that Google will eventually get into the wireless mobile game, and it looks like that dream will come true. As part of something codenamed Nova, Google won’t be starting their own service, but will instead opt to be an MVNO for Sprint and T-Mobile.
If you’re not familiar with what an MVNO is, it’s a mobile virtual network operator, or basically a re-seller of another carrier’s service. For example, Ting is a Sprint MVNO and Straight Talk is the same for both T-Mobile and AT&T. You can now add Google to the mix.
Bringing home a new device can be expensive. Whether it is paying the full retail price or even signing a contract, a fair amount of money is required. Fortunately, carriers are starting to do what they can to spread costs for customers. The Sprint Lease program provides customers with a new device without any money being paid upfront. Instead, the lease lasts for twenty-four months and customers have a choice to make at the end of it. They can extend the lease with the current device, purchase the current device outright, sign a new lease with a different device, or walk away from Sprint altogether.
Late last year, the program launched with two Samsung devices. Now, another Samsung device as well as one from LG are joining the Sprint Lease program. Leasing the Galaxy Note 4 will cost $25 per month and the LG G3 has a monthly charge of $15. Two devices with impressive specifications will relatively low monthly payments. Not too bad considering the benefits of the Sprint Lease program.
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RadioShack is nearly one hundred years old, but that does not mean it is guaranteed to hit the milestone. The last few years have been especially difficult for the electronics retailer and now it seems that a bankruptcy filing is on the way. To combat bankruptcy and gain some cash, RadioShack is working to sell some of its stores to Sprint. The carrier, who has also had its fair share of troubles recently, would be able to expand with the takeover of many leases belonging to RadioShack. Sprint has been very open about expanding through retail stores; therefore, it is not shocking to hear of interest in RadioShack locations.
It has generally been viewed as a positive development that the Nexus 6 is available on all major U.S. carriers and a simple swap of a SIM card is all that is needed for users to switch networks if they are in a position to do so. That doesn’t come without some risk though and Sprint customers seem to be suffering the ill effects at the moment as several Nexus 6 owners are having trouble receiving calls.
Hot on the heals of US Cellular, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, Verizon has now joined the party to launch the curved variant of Samsung’s flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note Edge, in the United States.
The handset will set you back $399.99 on any of Big Red’s two-year plans or $799.99 unlocked. You can also bag yourself one for $33.33 per month if you happen to be a member of the carrier’s Edge program.
Everyone is sick of the data caps that cell phone companies have imposed on us. It’s one thing to cap data, but it’s another to over charge for services rendered. I have been saying all long that Google will fix this mess and they are already making steps toward it.
They are lobbying with regulators to free up vacant spectrum that is not only low cost, but useless to the U.S. carriers. They would like to see as much as 150 megahertz of specturm around the 3.5 gigahertz band. The idea is to leave it open to anyone without a license, but set aside some of it for companies to use exclusively.
At its CES 2015 press conference, the G Flex 2 made its worldwide debut for LG. Consumers in the United States are curious to know which carriers intend to offer the handset. Two carriers have stepped forward quickly to confirm that the G Flex 2 will be available on their networks. Both Sprint and AT&T will release the G Flex 2 in the first quarter of 2015. To bring some spice to the handset, Sprint will have an exclusive Volcano Red color.
Pricing and a specific release date have yet to be provided.
Hit the break for the full press releases. Click here for our full CES 2015 coverage.