AT&T and T-Mobile join forces to fight robocalls and scammers

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spam-call
Suck it, spammers!
Photo: Icons8/Unsplash

AT&T and T-Mobile today confirmed an unlikely partnership for a wonderful cause. The rival carriers are joining forces to fight robocalls and scammers.

Both will deliver the FCC-recommended STIR/SHAKEN standards to digitally validate calls across their networks. It will make it easier for customers to filter out unwanted calls.

Apple lobbying for new ‘very low power’ Wi-Fi tech

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home Wi-Fi
This could open up new possibilities for Wi-Fi devices.
Photo: Alan Levine/Flickr

Apple joined forces with a number of other tech companies to lobby the Federal Communications Commission for a new Wi-Fi band.

The proposed 6 GHz band would open up new types of short-range connectivity for portable Very Low Power (VLP) devices. It could prove useful for everything from mobile augmented reality devices to high-speed tethering with smartphones, laptops and tablets.

Sprint and T-Mobile merger takes giant step toward approval [Updated]

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Ajit Pai
FCC chairman Ajit Pai says its OK for there to be three nationwide carriers instead of four.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Your iPhone may soon have one less option for wireless service. The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has signed off on the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. This is a significant step toward the third and fourth largest U.S. carriers becoming one.

Update: An unconfirmed report indicates that the Justice Department might nix this merger.

U.S. carriers are no longer sharing customer location data

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Significant Locations
Your location data is no longer up for grabs.
Photo: Cult of Mac

U.S. carriers have (mostly) put an end to the practice of selling customer location data to third-parties, a new report reveals.

This dodgy practice was previously carried out by giants including T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. They passed on this data to middlemen, which then sold the information to other companies without getting the necessary permission from users.

FCC bans China Mobile from US

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The FCC is currently shut down.
The FCC put a big stop sign in front of a Chinese telecommunications giant.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

China Mobile is blocked from offering phone service in the United States. The Federal Communications Commission just unanimously voted to prevent this company, which is owned by the Chinese government, from expanding to the U.S.

FCC tries to confirm carriers stopped selling phone location data

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Apple Maps reservation OpenTable
You can’t escape your phone company tracking you, but the FCC can make them stop selling the information.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The CEOs of the big four US wireless carriers were asked by an FCC commissioner whether they’ve stopped selling their customers’ real-time location data, as they had promised to do.

Published reports in recent months indicated that the locations of Americans were being sold without their permission of even knowledge.

FCC wants to ban China Mobile from US

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Ajit Pai
FCC chairman Ajit Pai isn’t down with China Mobile coming to the US.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The largest mobile phone network operator in the world will likely be banned from doing business in the USA.

China Mobile, which has over 900 million subscribers in mainland China, has been blocked from offering services in the United States, according to the latest proposal by the Federal Communications Commission.

Feds test nationwide emergency alert system today

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FEMA and the FCC will send Americans a pair of emergency alerts today.
FEMA and the FCC will send Americans a pair of emergency alerts today.
Photo: FEMA

Your iPhone could send out a pair of alerts this afternoon, but they aren’t ones you’ve set yourself. Instead, they’re from the U.S. government, and both are test messages.

The goal is to try out a pair of systems set up to notify the public of emergencies. Again, these are only tests.