#95 And The Internet Gets Fooled

It’s April 1st and all the Fools are out and about today. To what level of crazy did some companies take it today? Let’s find out along with some of the latest tech news!

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Sprint Will Merge with T-Mobile

Sprint And T-Mobile Merger For A 5G Powerhouse

Sprint and T-Mobile will merge to create a 5G powerhouse. After several years of on and off talks, it is now official that the merger will be realized. The deal could, however, face serious regulatory challenges.

Reason For The Merger

The ostensible reason for the merger is, if you ask the networks, all about 5G. T-Mobile’s John Legere will serve as CEO. Mike Sievert will continue operating as COO. Sprint chief Marcelo Claure will serve on the Board of Directors, alongside Masayoshi Son, CEO of Sprint’s parent company’ SoftBank.

What Is 5G

The two networks claim they can roll out a “broad and deep” 5G network faster if they do it together rather than by themselves. They head off concerns about reduced competitions by claiming that the 5G landscape involves not just mobile. 5G is becoming useful for fixed broadband. So the unified Sprint and T-Mobile will ostensibly compete against cable providers.

The two have wide swaths of wireless spectrum that only sometimes overlaps. You could see more comprehensive coverage. There is no question that the 5G’s gigabit-class bandwidth and low lag make it more a viable option for fixed internet access.

Replacing broadband is the focus of the first 5G deployment, not with upgrading your smartphones.
The deal should close not later than the first half of 2019 if regulators clear it. The problem is with the big “IF”. The current US government is anti-regulation. It has not been exactly kind to telecom related mergers. We cannot ignore the past when officials shot down AT&T’s attempt to buy T-Mobile back in 2011. T-Mobile and Sprint maintained that their unified company will produce more jobs. But large companies always claim this. Regulators will want proof that the combined company will not slash thousands of jobs in the name of eliminating overhead.

Effect Of The Deal

The deal would, unfortunately, reduce the US to just three major cell carriers. A merger could create a company on the same scale as AT&T and Verizon, forcing the incumbents of more competitive pricing, that is, assuming that sprint and T-Mobile will not use the merger as an opportunity to rest their laurels.

T-Mobile Warns User of Phone Hijacking Scam

T-Mobile is sending a mass text warning to users regarding phone hijacking scam

T-mobile users are expected to receive text warnings in regards to the “industry-wide” phone hijacking scam. Hackers and cybercriminals are targeting people’s phone numbers to use for any kind of scams. Like for example, using those information to access their bank and social media accounts.

If you’re from the United States and a T-mobile subscriber, you may have received messages that is somewhat alarming. But it’s actually a great way to warn people not to engage in such activities to prevent from hacking incidents.

These alerts are actually from legitimate T-mobile company.

They confirmed it to Motherboard on Monday. A company representative said that T-mobile is messaging its “entire post-paid customer base”. But some may have yet to receive it due to a lot of subscribers and can’t be done all at once.

“Phone number port out scam” is a vague term but it refers to a relatively simple and dangerous hack. The process here is that, the attacker will call T-mobile or even other cell phone provider. Or some may go to a store and impersonates the target victim. He will request for a new SIM card for the victim’s phone number. The same process works also by porting the phone number to another provider. It will give the attacker access to the victim’s phone number.

Once the provider issues a new SIM card to the hacker, he will have the opportunity to access the victim’s account. All information and account that are linked to the number will be accessed. Once the hacker has already controlled the phone number, he can actually change the passwords of the accounts. It’s actually very easy, they can simply ask the bank for a new password or a reset link via text. This attack has also been called “SIM hijacking”.

These scams have been around for quite some time now. And a lot of people have already been a victim of it. It’s very alarming and providers may not be able to protect you enough. The thing you can do here is not to link any important accounts on your phone number. That’s the safest way not to become a victim of this heinous act.

AT&T has more iPhone users, Verizon has more Android users

Subscribers from different telcos in the United States have varied opinions when it comes to choosing a smartphone. Although when we speak about operating systems, Google’s Android clearly leads the way with a 52.2% share to the 33.4% share by Apple.

But according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, who surveyed consumers that bought smartphones between June and August of this year, iPhone is more popular when clients choose AT&T.

At the same time, Verizon Wireless clients chose Android smartphones more frequent than that of the iOS device. Android smartphone has a slim lead from iPhone in Sprint and the Android is clearly the runaway winner in T-Mobile (which doesn’t carry the iPhone).

AT&T has been pushing  iOS or iPhone sales for years now and Verizon has been pushing Android handsets from their stores.

According to CIRP co-founder Michael Levin, as told to AllThingsD, “AT&T has clearly benefited from their early iPhone exclusivity. iPhones still account for more than half of their activations. Android makes up about a third, followed by a very small number of BlackBerrys and basic phones. Verizon has a more diversified operating system base. Android phones account for about half of activations there, iPhones about a quarter. They also activate a surprising number of basic phones.”

Image Source: phonedog.com

iPhone 5 said to be the first device to carry the nano-SIM card

The approved new standard for SIM cards to be used by future devices across all manufacturers is the nano-SIM originally being pushed by Apple earlier this year.

With the advent of the impending release of the rumored iPhone 5, a German T-Mobile retailer was reported to have been released a letter coming from their corporate division that gives a hint on details of this nano-SIM that would be available sometime in the future and dubbed as “the latest generation of smartphones.”

Although the nano-SIM is still a speculation, analysts believe that the September 12 media event of Apple will be focused on the release of their new iPhone device which presumably is the first smartphone to be carrying the nano-SIM.

The reported letter coming from T-Mobile corporate division didn’t mention the iPhone 5 or the Apple media event.

These are excerpts of the letter:

“Dear partners: You will receive today a new generation of SIM cards for the latest generation of smartphones that come in the near future on the market.”

“Sort your SIM card please first not in their cards in hand and give it not out to customers. We will inform you shortly about how to proceed.”

So if you read between the lines and the timely release of this letter, we are sure to see a new device coming out soon.

This further legitimizes the much anticipated release of the iPhone 5.

Image Source: cultofmac.com

T-Mobile offers $100 Concord smartphone

Yesterday, TechNewsGadget reported that T-Mobile is going to offer a “truly unlimited” data plan for heavy data munchers.

Today, T-Mobile has announced that together with their “truly unlimited” plan offing, the company is also set to release a $100 smartphone to complement their unlimited data offer.

T-Mobile said that they are going to offer the Concord.

The Concord is a re-branded 2010 Android smartphone that is produced by Chinese tech firm ZTE.

Though not as flashy as other smartphones in the market like the Galaxy S III and the iPhone 4S, the Concord is a great piece of device that works well for an affordable price.

The Concord has a 2 megapixel rear facing camera with an Android 3.2 Gingerbread operating system .

The best part about it is that it doesn’t require a contract for consumers.

The new unlimited plan by T-Mobile is one way of luring customers to check out their services, since AT&T and Verizon Wireless have pulled out their unlimited services.

With the addition of this $100 smartphone sale, it is a good combination for the telcom.

The Concord will be available at Walmart with a no-contract Walmart Family Mobile plan.

It will also be sold at Target beginning August 26.

Image Source: techhog.com

T-Mobile to offer “truly unlimited” 4G data to clientele

T-Mobile is going to go against the tide joining Sprint, as the company announced that they will be offering unlimited data service to their customers.

Unlike AT&T and Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile has decided to offer a “truly unlimited” 4G data plan that has “no data caps, speed limits or bill shock.”

You will be charged an extra $20 to your text plan and $30 when bundled together with your voice and text plan. The total bill for an unlimited plan which includes unlimited voice, text and 4G data could cost you as much as $89.99.

This is cheaper compared to AT&T’s 20 GB data plan. The latter charges you $200 per month when you add it to your unlimited text and voice calls. Sprint on the other hand is offering an unlimited data plan with unlimited text and calls for $110.

T-Mobile is hoping that this new unlimited data plan could further boost the number of their subscribers. They are currently lagging behind market leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

4G LTE technology is coming to T-Mobile next year so be sure to include this in your decision before you sign up for this service.

This new unlimited 4G data plan will be available to US consumers beginning September 5.

Image Source: tmonews.com

AT&T cuts the price of the Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate

Want to own a smartphone but are afraid to buy one, due to skyrocketing prices of this device?

Don’t fret! There are a number of affordable solutions out there for you and one is the Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate.

Exclusively distributed by AT&T, the company dropped the price of the Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate from $49.99 to $29.99 for a two year lock in period.

The Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate is packed with features that are similar to T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G.

The Exhilarate features a decent 5 MP camera with a gorgeous 4-inch Super AMOLED display.

Shooting video with the Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate could be a great experience for the owne,r as the smartphone shoots in 720p HD video. This results to crisp and colorful videos devoid of blockiness and choppiness that you’d normally find in videos produced by lower echelon smartphones.

The Samsung exhilarate comes with a 2.5 GB of onboard storage which is expandable to 32 GB using a microSD card.

Unfortunately, if you’re a fan of Android Ice Cream Sandwich or a Jelly Bean OS, the Exhilarate may not be the smartphone for you as analysts are not expecting for it to have an OS upgrade.

But if you just want to own a smartphone that is not heavy on the pocket, then you can pick up the Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate.

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Sprint and T-Mobile to sell Samsung Galaxy S III starting June 21st

South Korean electronics mogul Samsung Electronics Co. announced last Monday that their flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S III, will be available in the United States through 5 wireless carriers.

AT%T Inc., T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel Corp. and US Cellular, a regional carrier, will be giving their subscribers the ability to own the Galaxy S III, which is touted to be an “iPhone killer”.

Two companies will start selling the smartphone on the 21st of June. These two are T-Mobile and Sprint. The latter’s version comes with a 16GB memory and will cost the buyer $200 on a two year contract.

The other telco’s haven’t publicized their planned released dates, but Samsung said that these 3 will be announcing it anytime soon.

The carriers will be selling the Galaxy S III with different specs. It is reported that different telco’s will have a model adapted to their network.

The Galaxy S III runs on Android’s software and has the latest Ice Cream Sandwich or Android 4.0 preloaded on it. It is good to note that the S III is lighter and thinner than the iPhone.

The S III is already sold in many countries. It went on sale in Middle East and Europe last week.

Are you willing to sell your iPhone for a Galaxy S III? Hit the comments bar!

Image Source: careace.com

Who really has the fastest speed?

The four major Telco’s in the US boasts of 4G technology. May it be WiMAX, HSPA+ and each claims that they are the most reliable, fastest, best and biggest network.

Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile better get their facts right as PCWorld created a study to find out who the fastest service is. According to “2012 Mobile Speed Test”, AT&T’s 4G LTE technology has the fastest download speed. While Verizon’s 4G LTE provided the fastest upload speed.

T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 21 on the other hand was the fastest 3G service and the latter’s HSPA+ 32 service is at par with AT&T and Verizon’s 4G technology. Sprint was way beyond the three’s service.

The test were done in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Washington DC.

PCWorld gave a summary of fastest service provider/s by the City:

Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC (3G: T-Mobile/4G: AT&T)

Chicago, Dallas (3G: AT&T/4G: AT&T)

Denver, New Orleans, San Jose (3G: T-Mobile/4G: Verizon)

According to VP Editorial Director Steve Fox, “Our annual speed study is an important part of what we do at PCWorld. Along with the annual speed study, we also publish a yearly e-booklet that contains wireless speed faqs. Many consumers look to us for an unbiased, independent, empirical assessment of the wireless technology and services being offered in the US today.”

Image Source: lmcdesign.co.uk