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The Ultra High-Speed Internet Race Is On
April 17, 2014
Want to watch a new tech race? Keep your eyes on the new 1 Gbps ultra high-speed Internet race. Over the next few years, it will become one of the hottest races around. So who will the leaders be? Today, entrants like Google, AT&T, C Spire and CenturyLink already have started their race for the gold. First, it's important to understand this race, so let's pull back the camera.
T-Mobile Ditches 'Greedy, Predatory' Overage Fees
April 14, 2014
T-Mobile has decided to end overage fees for its mobile customers. The company is abolishing overage charges for customers on every consumer plan, and its chief executive, John Legere, has laid down the gauntlet to AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to kill off such charges as well. Twenty million Americans saw punitive overage charges on their bills in 2013.
Which Wireless Network Is Best for You?
April 10, 2014
Every couple of years, it's time to buy a new wireless phone -- and every couple of years, we go through the same decision-making process. What should be the most important part of that process? The answer is not in the advertising. It's not about choosing a phone. Rather, it's choosing the right network -- and there is a difference between major carriers. Which is best for you?
T-Mobile Kisses Up to BlackBerry Customers
April 04, 2014
After racking up a number of successes, T-Mobile clearly made a misstep earlier this year, when it promoted Apple's iPhone 5 to its BlackBerry customers. BlackBerry this week announced it would not renew T-Mobile's license to sell its products, which expires at the end of April. Now T-Mobile is now scrambling to keep its BlackBerry customers with an offer of a $100 credit.
Net Neutrality Wins Tough Battle in European Parliament
April 03, 2014
The European Parliament on Thursday approved new Net neutrality rules. Net neutrality, both in the EU and in the U.S., refers to the concept of requiring ISPs to treat all traffic the same regardless of its source. In Europe, that means ISPs such as Vodafone or Deutsche Telekom can't deliver content from competitive providers of, say, online videos, via slower pipes or make them pay more.
T-Mobile Won't Have BlackBerry to Kick Around Any More
April 03, 2014
BlackBerry has decided to part ways with T-Mobile. "BlackBerry has had a positive relationship with T-Mobile for many years," said CEO John Chen. "Regretfully, at this time, our strategies are not complementary and we must act in the best interest of our BlackBerry customers." BlackBerry hopes to work with T-Mobile when the two parties have common business goals once again, Chen added.
Telecom Customer Service: The Wrong Things Stay the Same
March 27, 2014
I started writing about service as a magazine editor back in the last century -- well, 1996, if you want to be specific -- but it might as well have been in the days of hula hoops and big fins on Fords. Service practices for telephone companies -- and for all utilities -- were still rudimentary, and they weren't getting any better. The telecom act of 1996 opened up competition.
NSA Lifts Middle Finger to Middle Kingdom
March 24, 2014
Oh, there have been some good National Security Agency revelations. Like the one about the NSA tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone. Or the one about the NSA planting agents inside World of Warcraft, or impersonating Facebook in a global quest to spread malware. Delicious as all those stories are, however, last weekend's NSA bombshell may take the cake.
Alibaba Takes Tango for a Whirl
March 21, 2014
Alibaba is putting some skin in the mobile-messaging game with a $215 million investment in Tango; the companies announced the funding on Thursday. Mobile messaging apps are hot. Facebook recently scooped up WhatsApp for $19 billion, and Japanese e-commerce titan Rakuten recently acquired Viber for $900 million. Tango is a cross-platform app -- Android, iOS, Windows Phone, PC and Mac.
China to Test Drone's Smog-Clearing Powers
March 07, 2014
China is taking its chemical war with smog to another level. Government agencies in China hope a newly designed drone can help mitigate air pollution. The airborne vehicle will spray chemicals that freeze pollutants, thereby knocking them to the ground. This tack begs whether it is advisable to have pollution snowing on people from above -- but hey, at least the sky won't be so unsightly.
Sprint Softbank's Jockeying for the Inside Track
March 06, 2014
What is going on with Sprint Softbank? What will the company look like when it finally emerges from its cocoon? Who else will it merge with? Where will it be based? There has been quite a bit of transformational work going on. Sprint and Softbank won U.S. government approval after months of vigorous debate and got together last summer. It once seemed doubtful the merger would happen, yet it did.
Comcast-Netflix Deal: Watershed Moment for Web Content
February 27, 2014
The Comcast Netflix deal represents a completely new and refreshing direction for the industry. It clears away much confusion and illuminates a clearer path for growth for all companies in the battle. This deal represents a watershed moment for Web content providers. Congratulations to both Comcast and Netflix on reaching this agreement. It may indeed jump-start the next wave of change.
White House Leaps Onto NSA Surveillance Merry-Go-Round
February 26, 2014
The U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence reportedly have submitted four proposals to reform the National Security Agency's phone surveillance program. The recommendations come well before the March 28 deadline set by President Obama. Three deal with having the data stored by some other organization, and the fourth calls for scrapping the program.
Heavy Hitters Go to Bat for WiFi
February 14, 2014
A group of 18 organizations on Thursday announced the formation of WifiForward, a coalition that aims to persuade policymakers to open more unlicensed wireless spectrum for use by WiFi-enabled devices. Members include the American Library Association, the ARRIS Group, Best Buy, Comcast, the Consumer Electronics Association, Google, Microsoft and Time Warner Cable.
Cable TV's Chilly Customer Relationships
February 13, 2014
Quality and reliability problems have been increasing with the new digital services from the cable television industry. I am a customer of both Comcast and Time Warner Cable and have noticed the issues, and it's safe to assume other cable-TV providers are having similar problems. This may cause further harm to the cable TV industry. Can it fix what is broken in time?
The New Wireless Wave: Prices Falling, Cloud Rising
February 06, 2014
I get a kick out of reading the media coverage of news events in the wireless sector. Sometimes reporters understand what is happening -- sometimes they don't. AT&T Mobility just reduced the price of its Mobile Share Value Plan. Many wrote about it, but few really understood the issues involved. This is more about a broad industry shift than a single company's strategy.
AT&T Gives Icy Appraisal of Russia's Anti-Gay Laws
February 05, 2014
Joining athletes and activists, AT&T has rebuked Russia's less-than-progressive stance on homosexuality ahead of this month's Sochi Winter Games. AT&T, the U.S.'s second-largest wireless character, penned a blog post -- titled, "A Time for Pride and Equality" -- in which it declared its "pride in America and everything for which it stands."
Sprint Chairman Goes Knocking at FCC's Door
February 03, 2014
Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son reportedly was scheduled to meet with the FCC on Monday to discuss a possible purchase of T-Mobile, although the DoJ already has signaled its opposition. Both U.S. government bodies would have to approve of a merger, but they would view it from different perspectives. Son is CEO of Japan's Softbank, which purchased 78 percent of Sprint last July.
AT&T's Gently Simmering Vodafone Ambitions
January 30, 2014
AT&T just said it would not bid for Vodafone -- at least not within the next six months. Over the years, we have seen the wireless and telecom sectors change dramatically in wave after wave of mergers and acquisitions. As U.S. carriers look for new areas of growth, will they start looking to expand overseas? I think so -- and not just AT&T, but Verizon as well, and then others.
T-Mobile Gives Customers No-fee Checking
January 23, 2014
T-Mobile USA on Wednesday launched Mobile Money, a money management application for smartphones that is meant to be used in conjunction with a reloadable T-Mobile Visa Prepaid Card. There is no charge for activation, monthly maintenance, in-network ATM withdrawals, or for replacing lost or stolen cards. There are also no minimum balance requirements.

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