Carriers agree to make unlocking phones easier

Getting a phone unlocked from a carrier can be a very frustrating process. I've unlocked three phones with AT&T this year and each instance was just as frustrating as the previous case. Now, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular have jointly agreed to new policies that should make unlocking a phone easier and more fair if a customer has no financial ties to the device. Here are the new guidelines, set to go into...

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AT&T lowers prices for customers who buy a phone or don’t have a contract

AT&T is cutting a deal for customers who have unsubsidized smartphones on its network. The carrier previously charged subscribers the same price regardless if they had a contract or paid full price for a phone. Beginning Sunday, December 8, AT&T will lower the price for customers who are not on contract or bring their own devices to the network. It has also lowered the price on some data packages, so it's possible for some...

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Vodafone Wallet and SmartPass will bring phone-based NFC payments to Europe soon

Most of the news concerning pay with your phone initiatives has been for NFC solutions available only in the US, like Google Wallet and Isis, but mobile phone payments in Europe got a big boost today from one of the continent’s biggest operators. Vodafone joined the wave of companies working to process NFC payments with the launch of its Vodafone Wallet and SmartPass service. Vodafone customers who download the app onto a compatible...

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British regulators already preparing for 5G networks in UK

Ofcom, the agency that regulates telecommunications in the UK, has announced plans for how it will address future demands for high-capacity mobile networks. Though most UK operators just began implementing 4G service this year, the agency is already preparing for more 4G and 5G networks. Here’s how: In order to increase data by 25 times between now and 2030, Ofcom plans to auction licenses to 2.3 and 3.4 GHz bands used by the Ministry...

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Sprint and Best Buy offer students a free year of service

Sprint and Best Buy have announced a partnership that will offer students in the US 12 months of service at no cost. Does the deal sound too good to be true? Well, it should, because there is a small catch. Students who visit a Best Buy retail store can request the My Way Student Promotion and receive 12 months of free service that includes unlimited talk and text. The plans require that the customer purchase a phone, and it limits...

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Coming Soon: Carriers Auto Unlocking Your Phone for you?

One of the things that make the US smartphone market so great and so maddening at the same time are carriers. They are great because they allow you buy an expensive device by giving you HUGE subsides on devices. They are maddening because the price you pay for those devices leaves you stuck in a two year contract and even worse stuck with a phone locked to that carrier. Well it looks like the FCC is looking to change that.  The newly...

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