wireless posts on CNET

wireless

Cheap ZTE Sonata 4G is slightly off-key

For just $80 off-contract, you might be able to look past the ZTE Sonata 4G's chunky design, so-so screen quality, and underwhelming camera. Overall, the unassuming Android phone -- sold on AT&T's prepaid Aio Wireless network -- gives you decent value when you consider its strong 4G network speeds and reliable call performance.

Still, a little more money can pocket you a better phone, like Aio's Motorola Moto G for $149.99. And, if you can't budge from the $80 mark, but can change carriers, we'd still take MetroPCS' LG Optimus F6 with … Read more

If at first you don't succeed, try the new wireless USB

The computing industry wants to make it easier to back up your data and sync your smartphone without having to rely on an actual cable.

Specifically, the standards body behind the USB standard is trying a second time to introduce a wireless variation of the connection technology to devices like PCs, phones, and cameras.

USB has been wildly successful, spreading from every computer, printer, and digital camera to mobile phones, TVs, cars, and programmable Lego controllers. In contrast, a standard called Wireless USB that hit the market in 2007 was wildly unsuccessful.

Now the USB Implementers Forum is trying again … Read more

AT&T completes $1.2B acquisition of Leap Wireless

AT&T announced late Thursday that it had completed its $1.2 billion acquisition of prepaid wireless provider Leap Wireless and the Cricket brand.

The deal, announced last July, was granted approval earlier Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission. Because the US Justice Department did not raise any antitrust objections, the carrier closed the deal Thursday afternoon after receiving the FCC's blessing.

While the FCC said it had concerns about the deal's impact on competition, the commission said those concerns were mitigated by AT&T's plans to deploy LTE service on used Leap spectrum and … Read more

AT&T wins FCC approval of $1.2B deal for Leap Wireless

AT&T's $1.2 billion acquisition of prepaid wireless provider Leap Wireless and the Cricket brand won the approval of the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday.

The deal, announced last July, now needs only the approval of the US Justice Department to be completed. The wireless giant has agreed to pay $15 a share in cash for Leap's wireless network, which covers about 96 million people in 35 states.

While the FCC said it had concerns about the deal's impact on competition, the commission said those concerns were mitigated by AT&T's plans to … Read more

Republic Wireless rolling out KitKat for Moto X, reactivations for older devices

Big day for Republic Wireless. First, the company announced plans to offer the Moto G smartphone on its low-cost, no-contract service.

Now, Republic is rolling out a highly anticipated update: Android 4.4 (KitKat) for the Moto X. That will bring the handset alongside Motorola's own, unlocked version of the Moto X, which has been receiving KitKat updates via the major carriers during the past month.

Republic's Moto X runs on the Sprint network. Although company reps couldn't say exactly when users would receive the update, which will be pushed out over the air, the timetable appears … Read more

Moto G coming to Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless made waves late last year with its $299 Moto X smartphone and dirt-cheap no-contract service plans. Now the company plans to lower the cost of entry with a less expensive handset.

Starting in April, Republic will offer the Motorola Moto G (8GB) for $149 and Moto G (16GB) for $179. These replace the company's previous entry-level phone, the decidedly outdated Defy XT.

Motorola first unveiled the Moto G in December, offering it as an affordable alternative to the popular Moto X. With a starting price of $179, the unlocked phone was initially available in US and global … Read more

SoftBank chief eyes 'massive price war' with Verizon, AT&T

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has officially put a target on the backs of AT&T and Verizon.

Speaking to Charlie Rose in an interview Monday, Son said that he'd "like to have the real fight" for mobile supremacy, adding that if he can get to that point, he would enter into "a more massive price war."

SoftBank, which acquired a controlling stake in Sprint last year, is reportedly mulling a merger with T-Mobile USA to create a more competitive alternative to the big two of AT&T and Verizon. But Son's comments … Read more

How to manage Wi-Fi networks in OS X

Chances are that if you use a modern Mac system, especially a portable system, you will regularly be accessing at least one Wi-Fi network for connecting to the Web, email, and other on-line services.

If you use your system at more than one location, then you might regularly log in to multiple Wi-Fi hotspots, be they private ones such as those at work, or public ones at cafes. Sometimes, at conventions or large workplaces, you might find yourself switching between different hotspots, depending on the signal strength available.

When you make these various connections, you may find various problems with … Read more

SoftBank targets broadband to justify T-Mobile buyout -- report

Fast mobile connection speeds, coupled with a strong third wireless carrier, could help improve US competition, not hurt it, SoftBank's CEO plans to argue in Washington this week.

SoftBank CEO and Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son will speak to policymakers on Tuesday and argue that if wireless carriers grow in size and invest in faster, more reliable data service, competition in the US home broadband market would intensify, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people who claim to have knowledge of Son's plans.

Son won't specifically lobby for a Sprint-T-Mobile merger, the report claimed, but the subtext of that … 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