Google has inked deals with Sprint and T-Mobile to become a wireless carrier according to unnamed sources. Google is preparing to sell mobile phone plans directly to customers and manage their calls and mobile data over a cellular network, according to three people with knowledge of the plans. The new service is expected run on Sprint and T-Mobile’s networks. The project goes under the codename “Nova”. The service is said to launch next fall.
Posts tagged ‘T-Mobile US’
T-Mobile has agreed to spend at least $90 million in refunds to customers wrongfully billed for spam messages aka cramming. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has filed a lawsuit against the Un-carrier in July alleging it of profited millions of dollars from the practice. T-Mobile has agreed to settle the case by paying complete refunds to all clients who received unlawful charges for what carriers contact premium SMS, largely texts containing horoscopes, flirting tips and celebrity gossip, at times amounting to $9.99 a month. T-Mobile has to notify all clients eligible for refunds, including former shoppers who have switched to other carriers, and to inform them about the refund process in a “clear and conspicuous way.” The Un-carrier will also need to have to demand the express consent of buyers before sending them premium SMS and educate them how to block third-party solutions if they want not to receive any of them in the future.
The FTC has also reached a related settlement with AT&T to pay a total of $105 million in refunds and fines for the same practice. Earlier this week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that a companion consumer bureau called the Consumer Economic Protection Bureau has filed a lawsuit against Sprint also for cramming.
Sprint Corp has stopped its bid to acquire U.S. carrier T-Mobile U.S. Inc after regulatory resistance showed no signs of lightning up, despite months of lobbying.
The move is a rare setback for Sprint’s Japanese parent SoftBank Corp whose billionaire founder Masayoshi Son had seen the acquisition as key to taking on U.S. market leaders AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc .
Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. carrier, and T-Mobile the No. 4 U.S. carrier have not ruled out consolidation in the future. Sources say that a deal is unlikely to be approved at this time. U.S. regulators have insisted that they want to keep the number of major wireless carriers at four. French telecom firm, Iliad made a lower bid than Sprint but is in talks with U.S. cable and satellite companies to offer a better deal.
AT&T Inc customers will be able to upgrade their phones once a year instead of waiting two years. AT&T is defending itself against challenges from T-Mobile US . AT&T’s latest offering, does not require upfront device fees, comes as the No. 2 U.S. mobile provider strives to regain the market share it has been losing to market leader Verizon Wireless, and to fight back against tougher competition from smaller rivals like fourth-ranked T-Mobile US. AT&T’s offer, soon to be available on July 26, appeared to be a direct response to T-Mobile’s announcement last week that its customers can now upgrade smartphones as often as twice a year. AT&T will charge customers $15 to $50 per month, depending on the device, on top of monthly service fees under the new offering, which does not require a long-term service contract. By excluding upfront device fees in its plan, AT&T is hoping to compete with T-Mobile US, which still requires an upfront payment. T-Mobile US Chief Marketing Officer Mark Sievert says the monthly phone installments is a “trick” to get more money out of customers because it is not changing its monthly service fees. “If you’re going to charge separately for the phone like they’re doing then you need to reduce the price of the service. Otherwise you’re paying twice for the same phone.” According to data reported a Wall Street Journal article, Americans are upgrading their devices less often as innovation slows and current smartphones are more than adequate for their needs.