Verizon 5G goes live in Chicago and Minneapolis

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5G
The Galaxy S10 5G is one of the only 5G-ready phones announced.
Photo: Samsung

Verizon’s rollout of 5G mobile data service is finally underway in the U.S. after nearly a year of hype about the technology.

Certain parts of Chicago and Minneapolis are the first two places Verizon customers will find 5G coverage, though it is fairly limited. At least 30 cities are expected to get Verizon 5G by the end of the year, but getting on the network isn’t so simple.

AT&T’s ‘5G E’ speeds are slower than LTE on other networks

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No matter what your AT&T iPhone says, everyone else says “5G E” is 4G.
No matter what your AT&T iPhone says, everyone else says “5G E” is 4G.
Photo: Cult of Mac/@Siddavarapu

Customers on AT&T’s ‘5G E’ networks aren’t getting the huge speed gains promised by one of the nation’s largest carriers.

In an attempt to get a headstart on the 5G wave, AT&T has renamed a large portion of its 4G network to ‘5G E.’ The carrier calls it 5G Evolution and says its the first step towards the 20Gbps speeds promised by 5G, but a recent study found that AT&T’s 5G E network is actually slower than LTE Advanced speeds on other carriers.

Look at how mediocre AT&T’s speeds are:

All you need to track any phone’s location is a small bribe

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Apple Maps reservation OpenTable
Your phone company constantly tracks your location, and that information is for sale.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

It’s not hard to get learn the location of almost any phone, according to a new report. All that’s required is some cash and the right contacts in a web of companies with access to the geolocation data collected by mobile phone companies.

Sprint admits its 4G LTE coverage is terrible

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act-now-to-avoid-sprints-10-unlimited-data-price-jump-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201402sprint-sign-jpg
The Sprint 4G coverage area is far smaller than its rival's. Something the carrier itself admits.
Photo: Sprint

Any iPhone user who wants wide access to 4G LTE should avoid Sprint like the plague. The carrier reportedly produced a series of maps comparing its coverage area to those of its top three competitors, and Sprint loses by a wide margin in all of them.

But the company’s management hasn’t lost their minds. There’s a good reason why this wireless service provider is going out of its way to look terrible.

Why T-Mobile and Sprint customers should get a 2018 iPhone

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iPhone Xs
New technologies just for T-Mobile and Sprint didn't get as much attention as they deserve.
Photo: Apple

There is a lot for everyone to like in the 2018 iPhone models. But T-Mobile and Sprint customers have additional reasons to upgrade to the latest iOS devices: they’re the first to support some of these carriers’ wireless technologies.

This means the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR will perform better on both networks than any of their predecessors.

iPhone Upgrade Program welcomes T-Mobile customers online

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iPhone X on its box
iPhone X finally hits Apple's refurbished section.
Photo: Apple

T-Mobile customers can now sign up to the iPhone Upgrade Program online — just in time for Apple’s big 2018 upgrades.

Online enrollment was previously available to those on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, while T-Mobile subscribers were forced to visit their local Apple Store. The process will be a little easier for those looking to buy a new iPhone this fall.

Sprint made your iPhone’s unlimited plan worse, or more expensive

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act-now-to-avoid-sprints-10-unlimited-data-price-jump-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201402sprint-sign-jpg
Sprint unlimited plans were just revamped. Prices were raised or features were cut. But the news isn't all bad.
Photo: Sprint

Sprint has renamed and changed some of the features of its unlimited data plan. iPhone users now have a choice between paying more or getting less.  

It’s not all bad news. There’s 50 percent more tethering data in a new top-tier plan, and the TIDAL music streaming service has been added.

T-Mobile, Sprint launch campaign for megamerger approval

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t-mobile
T-Mobile CEO John Legere is talking really fast convincing the FCC and the public that the proposed merger with Sprint should go through.
Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile and Sprint promised the FCC today that their proposed merger will lower costs for consumers and create more jobs. They also launched a website laying out the advantages of the New T-Mobile to the general public, including millions of iPhone users.

Combining the third and fourth largest U.S. carriers is a controversial idea. Megamergers typically lead to higher costs for consumers and significant layoffs, not the opposite. It’s up to the two companies to convince the FCC that things will be different this time.

Sprint and T-Mobile come together in controversial merger

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t-mobile
T-Mobile CEO John Legere will head the merged Sprint and T-Mobile. Assuming the Feds let the deal go through, of course
Photo: T-Mobile

Do you get your iPhone service from Sprint? Not for much longer. The third and fourth largest U.S. carriers just announced they’re merging. But the plan to join Sprint and T-Mobile is already drawing significant criticism.

The combined company will be called T-Mobile, and will be headed by John Legere, T-Mobile’s current CEO. That’s assuming the $59 billion deal gets approved by government regulators.