Carriers Could Force 3G/LTE iPhones and iPads To Use Wi-Fi To Conserve Spectrum

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As mobile data traffic continues to explode, carriers may need to shift 3G/4G data to available Wi-Fi networks.
As mobile data traffic continues to explode, carriers may need to shift 3G/4G data to available Wi-Fi networks.

The wireless spectrum crunch is forcing most mobile carriers to consider options to address a future in which there simply isn’t enough frequency available to easily meet the ever-growing demand for 3G and LTE connections. One idea that has been floated is developing systems that can offload mobile data onto Wi-Fi networks.

That idea isn’t new. In fact most iPhone and 3G/LTE iPad users tend to offload data service to home or public Wi-Fi networks. Doing so has clear advantages to consumers in that it helps avoid any overage fees and it can provide a faster connection in some circumstances.

Dealing with limited spectrum resources, however, carriers have been forced to consider ways of offloading data themselves rather than waiting and hoping that users to take action on their own.

Sprint Promises To Not Charge For FaceTime Over 3G, AT&T And Verizon Keeping Quiet

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It was recently discovered that AT&T will likely charge for FaceTime over 3G when iOS 6 launches for the public this fall. Users could previously only use Apple’s FaceTime when connected to a WiFi network, but iOS 6 (now in its third developer beta) will allow for FaceTime over both WiFi and a cellular connection.

Sprint, the nation’s third largest carrier, now says that it will not charge its customers for FaceTime over 3G in iOS 6. Both AT&T and Verizon still refuse to give any details.

No One Wants To Save $1000 By Buying A Virgin Mobile iPhone

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iPhoneOnVirgin

We’ve gone on record saying that getting your next iPhone through Virgin Mobile is the smartest and most value-conscious decision you can make when it comes to choosing carriers. In fact, over two years, you can save well over $1000 by choosing Virgin Mobile to be your iPhone carrier-of-choice over the likes of Verizon or AT&T.

There’s just one catch: you have to pony up $649 up front for the full, unsubsidized price of an iPhone 4S. And unfortunately, that large initial expenditure seems to have been enough to keep customers away, at least on launch day.

Why Everyone Should Seriously Consider Making Cricket Their Next iPhone Carrier

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You can save over $500 in the first two years by getting your next iPhone from Cricket.
You can save over $500 in the first two years by getting your next iPhone from Cricket.

Owning an iPhone is a great thing, but the plans sure aren’t. Favoring the carriers more than the consumer, up until now, if you wanted to use an iPhone in the United States, you had to sign yourself up to have your bank account drained for nearly $100 a month for the next twenty-four months.

Last week’s announcement that Cricket Wireless was entering the iPhone game radically changes the carrier landscape in the United States, at least as far as we customers are concerned. The prepaid carrier isn’t some regional oddjob: they service $7 million customers in all fifty states. For $55 a month, you get unlimited voice, unlimited data, unlimited texts… and no contract. The only rub? You have to lay out $500 for the iPhone up front.

It’s worth it. I decided to sit down with my calculator and figure out how much users can save if they get their next iPhone through Cricket instead of one of AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. The answer? A LOT. Here’s the data.

Global LTE Fragmentation Is A Big Problem For Apple

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LTE frequency bands are largely region-specific
LTE frequency bands are largely region-specific

Apple has faced some challenges already when it comes to LTE on the new iPad and it looks like there will be more challenges to come as nearly 60% of mobile carriers worldwide expect to launch LTE service over the next 18 months.

To date, the new iPad only works with LTE systems in North America, a fact that has forced Apple to change the name of LTE iPads. While a new study confirms that LTE will become a global standard for high-speed mobile broadband, it also notes that various regions and countries are focusing on deploying LTE with varying bands of radio spectrum. That could mean devices will need to be designed for specific markets and that international data roaming using LTE will be problematic and potentially impossible.

Verizon Will Kill Your Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plan When You Switch To 4G LTE

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Not altruism: this is why Verizon wanted LTE on the iPhone.
Kiss unlimited data goodbye on Verizon.

Bad news for grandfathered unlimited data subscriber on Verizon: the nation’s largest carrier will kill unlimited data once and for all when subscribers switch over to 4G LTE data plans.

Starting in mid-summer, when you buy a LTE handset and switch over to 4G data, Verizon will make you buy one of its new data share plans. Switching plans will end your grandfathered unlimited plan.

Despite Financial Losses, iPhone Nets Sprint 660,000 New Customers

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iPhone sales net Sprint 660,00 new customers
iPhone sales net Sprint 660,00 new customers.

 

While Apple announced another record-breaking quarter yesterday, U.S. mobile carrier Sprint reported a significant net loss of $863 million – nearly twice the loss that it reported for the same quarter last year. iPhone sales, however, helped increase Sprint’s overall subscriber base – making this the eighth consecutive quarter where the company reported overall growth.

AT&T Will Unlock iPhones For Deployed Military Personnel Who Are Still In Contract

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AT&T will unlock in-contract iPhones for deployed service men so that the handset can be used with other carriers abroad.
AT&T will unlock in-contract iPhones for deployed service men so that the handset can be used with other carriers abroad.

AT&T finally began unlocking iPhones for customers whose contracts had now expired over the weekend, allowing the device to be used with other SIM-cards from GSM carriers. But for deployed military personnel, the carrier will unlock iPhones still tied to a contract so that they can be used with others carriers abroad.

Carriers May Soon Revolt Against The iPhone [Analyst]

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Conventional wisdom on Wall Street has it that eventually (and possibly as soon as the end of this year) Apple’s stock price will reach over $1000 a share, largely fueled by the iPhone. But one Wall Street analyst isn’t nearly so optimistic. In fact, BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyck is downgrading his recommendation on Apple stock from “Buy” to “Neutral…” and his reasons actually make a lot of sense.