Carriers

T-Mobile to upgrade 2G network to 4G LTE, takes on Verizon

T-Mobile isn't slowing down when it comes to its network upgrade.

The upstart wireless carrier said on Thursday that it plans to add 4G LTE to its slower 2G network, adding coverage and speed to additional customers. The company also reiterated its intent to use the wireless spectrum it is acquiring from Verizon to further expand its coverage later this year.

Oddly enough, T-Mobile also said it was taking legal action against Verizon in an effort to get it to stop using its network coverage map in its advertising, which T-Mobile argues is "cherry-picking" a single technology (… Read more

U.S. Cellular may push cheaper data plans this month

U.S. Cellular will soon offer customers more data options, according to a leaked company document picked up by Droid Life.

Set to take effect on March 13, U.S. Cellular's shared plans could provide a bigger buckets of data for the same price. The $40 plan reportedly bumps data from 300MB up to 1GB while the $50 option doubles the 1GB pool to 2GB.

On the higher end of the spectrum, the $60 plan increases from 2GB to 3GB. U.S. Cellular will also introduce an entry-level plan with 300MB of data for $15 per month.

If true, … Read more

Sony tempts Xperia smartphone owners with snazzy themes

Love your new Xperia phone's waterproof design but not so much its software UI? Apparently Sony feels your pain. The company has been at it again, touting the virtues of its Xperia Theme Android skins. First announced as part of Sony's Xperia phone upgrade to Android 4.3, the device maker used its official blog today to drum up buzz around the Xperia Theme engine. … Read more

The one real problem with Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless has attracted a lot of attention in recent months by offering one of the most attractive smartphone deals ever: a $299 Motorola Moto X and no-contract service for as little as $5 monthly.

I've been using the phone and service for over a month now, and just a couple weeks ago I professed that despite a few little quirks, I had no qualms about recommending both.

I now have a qualm.

Republic doesn't currently support short codes, which is something you've probably never heard of and therefore don't consider a big deal. That was … Read more

Sprint approves KitKat update for more Samsung smartphones

Sprint on Wednesday confirmed plans to issue Android 4.4.2 updates to a number of Samsung Galaxy devices.

According to a post on the carrier's blog, the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Mega, and Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 are in line to receive KitKat updates. As a result, the mobile gadgets called out will benefit from features such as enhanced messaging options and a more intuitive interface. In addition to the standard fare of OS features, the lock screen will be updated to allow for quick access to cameras.

While Sprint did not … Read more

Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile to carry Samsung Galaxy S5

Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile have thrown their names into the Samsung Galaxy S5 hat.

The two prepaid Sprint brands on Friday announced intentions to carry the flagship device in the second quarter of the year. Neither carrier was ready to disclose a price or specific date; however, the handset will be compatible with Sprint's Spark LTE network.

Historically, high profile devices such as the Galaxy S series take a few months to trickle down to the prepaid brands. But, given the early press announcement, we might be optimistic that the Galaxy S5 bucks the trend and arrives in … Read more

Sony finally puts full weight behind Xperia phones

BARCELONA, Spain -- You would think Sony's mobile executives would be even a little nervous.

After all, for more than the past year, they have been touting one unique feature for a premium smartphone: the ability to withstand dust particles and be dunked underwater.

So there must have been some cause for concern when Samsung said its flagship Galaxy S5 -- unveiled just hours after Sony's own flagship phone and tablet announcement -- would also be resistant to water and dust, right?

Not really.

"We started the waterproof trend," Ravi Nookala, head of Sony's US … Read more

To avoid Android pitfalls, Mozilla shoulders Firefox OS update burden

BARCELONA, Spain -- Mozilla will take over some responsibility for issuing Firefox OS updates that carriers today have, a move that could help users avoid the fate of Android phone owners saddled with older operating system versions.

"We are pushing that envelope," Chief Technology Officer Brendan Eich told CNET. "We think we can get people on Wi-Fi upgrading through Mozilla."

That would mean a person could step into an Internet cafe then update the software as soon as Mozilla releases a new version or security fix, rather than waiting for a handset maker to build, test, … Read more