Sprint adds 20 LTE markets, expects to cover 250M people by midyear

Sprint has expanded its LTE network as it attempts to catch up to AT&T and Verizon.

The company said Monday that it has expanded its LTE service by 20 markets to 402. Sprint's LTE service is now available in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Omaha, Neb., and Peoria, Ill., among others.

Sprint has been investing heavily in building out its LTE network and expects to be able to cover 250 million Americans by the middle of 2014. Verizon covers more than 300 million people with its LTE network; AT&T covers nearly 280 million people.

In addition … Read more

T-Mobile's tech chief: I want to decimate Verizon's map ad campaign

T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless have an increasingly complicated relationship.

The two companies are in the middle of closing a deal in which T-Mobile would get valuable wireless spectrum for $3.3 billion, a move that would aid its ability to offer coverage in rural and less populated regions of the country. Yet that isn't stopping T-Mobile from directing its sights at Verizon.

The latest attack: questioning the validity of Verizon's long-running campaign featuring coverage maps of all four carriers (of which Verizon, unsurprisingly, comes out looking far better than its competitors).

"I want to decimate that ad … Read more

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

Verizon CFO: Abandoning subsidies would be a mistake

Verizon has dipped its toes in the installment plan option with its Edge program, but the carrier's CFO sees the subsidy model as still the safer option.

In a presentation Monday at a Deutsche Bank conference, Verizon Communications Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo talked about the intricacies of offering customers subsidized phones versus those paid off via an installment plan. Verizon's Edge program does give subscribers the ability to pay off the full price of a mobile device in installments. Launched last July, Edge follows pricing options similar to those found in AT&T's Next and … Read more

Verizon touts nationwide wireless test to claim it's still no. 1

Verizon Wireless is trying to quell its competitors' claims that they offer better performing wireless networks than it does with results of a new study published by RootMetrics.

On Wednesday, Big Red highlighted findings from a recent RootMetrics nationwide wireless test, which shows that Verizon dominated in five out of six categories that were tested by the wireless analytics company during the last half of 2013.

Specifically the test looked at network reliability, call completion and quality, text message service, and data speeds. Overall Verizon ranked No. 1 nationally with AT&T following as a close second. Sprint and … Read more

Verizon revamps prepaid wireless offer with new AllSet plans

Good news for the Verizon faithful.

Verizon Wireless has simplified its prepaid pricing options and made the offer more flexible.

Instead of offering different tiers of service, Verizon now offers prepaid smartphone customers a single $45 a month plan that comes with unlimited voice minutes and text messaging plus 500MB of data. Customers who want more than 500MB of data can add it a la carte.

And customers who add 1GB or more of data per month get to use their unused data until it's gone or up to three months, whichever comes first.

The AllSet prepaid plan allows … Read more

BlackBerry CEO: We're readying another flagship to win over new customers

BARCELONA, Spain -- John Chen was at a recent charity event when an announcer unexpectedly called out his name and introduced him as the man who was taking over BlackBerry.

Almost immediately, several attendees pulled their BlackBerry Bolds and began holding them up. At that point, he realized he couldn't keep sitting, and stood up and said a few words of encouragement and to keep the faith.

"There are some moments that are really great," Chen told CNET in an interview. "This is why there's quite a bit of good chance for us to turn … Read more

Isis CEO: Foundation is here for mobile payments

BARCELONA, Spain -- When Michael Abbott took the job as chief executive of mobile payments venture Isis, his mother demanded that he make the service easy enough for her to use.

After giving it a go during last year's trials, she put her stamp of approval on the service, Abbott said during his keynote address during the Mobile World Congress trade show on Tuesday.

Indeed, Abbott believes the pieces are set for the broader adoption of mobile payments, or the ability to pay for goods and services with your phone.

"I believe a foundation is in place," … Read more

AT&T follows Verizon, offers free global texts with Mobile Share

BARCELONA, Spain -- The next battleground for carriers is shaping up to be international calling and text messages.

AT&T is the latest to fire a shot, saying Tuesday that it would throw in free international text messages from the US to the world for anyone signed up with a Mobile Share data plan. Current members will get the benefit too.

In addition, AT&T introduced a new World Connect Value plan that allows members to make phone calls to more than 35 countries for 1 cent per minute. The plan limits calls to only 1,000 minutes … Read more

Verizon closes Vodafone deal for total control of Verizon Wireless

As expected, Verizon Communications completed its buyout of Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless Friday.

The company paid $130 billion to buy Vodafone's 45 percent holdings in the company.

In an internal memo sent to Verizon employees, CEO Lowell McAdam tried to inspire his troops as the competition in the wireless market heats up. He said that some changes will be coming to the company as a result of the buyout. These change will "better position us to take advantage of all our capabilities to serve the customer better and create the enduring growth company that can lead … Read more