Sprint and T-Mobile merger takes giant step toward approval

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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.

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 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.

Antitrust regulator hasn’t decided whether to approve T-Mobile and Sprint merger

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t-mobile
Date for completing the deal has been pushed back three months.
Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile and Sprint have pushed back the date for completing their proposed controversial merger to July 29. The reason? Because the U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Division chief says that he has not yet decided whether or not to approve the deal.

Previously, the deal was supposed to be completed this week. If it takes place, it will combine the no. 3 and no. 4 wireless providers in the United States.

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.

T-Mobile’s Phone BoothE is an unbelievable blast from the past

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T-Mobile CEO John Legere with the Phone BoothE.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere with the Phone BoothE.
Photo: T-Mobile

Sometimes old ideas still have some life in them. That’s apparently the thought behind the T-Mobile Phone BoothE, designed to give this carrier’s customers a space to make phone calls in peace and quiet.

As a bonus, Clark Kent once again has a place to quickly change into Superman.

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:

T-Mobile falls behind rivals in super-fast 5G

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T-Mobile 5G service
T-Mobile will start offering 5G service only after its biggest rivals do.
Photo: T-Mobile

Bad news for T-Mobile USA customers: this carrier has delayed the rollout of its faster 5G data service until some time after June of this year.

That’s going to put it behind its US rivals even as the first 5G phones are starting to appear.