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Google in talks for free International roaming for Android phones

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Google is always looking for ways to boost the usage of its products among consumers globally. For that, the company is in talks with Hutchinson Whampoa to work on a deal that will eliminate the international roaming costs for Android phones.

Google wishes to disrupt the US mobile market with its own network and deals with other networks to offer better, affordable options for the Android phone users. The idea is to have a uniform rate for calls, texts, and mobile data irrespective of the region. Read more »

AT&T offering $100 bill credit for the Galaxy Alpha on Next program

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AT&T has launched a new limited-time offer that will net you a $100 bill credit on every purchase of a Samsung Galaxy Alpha. However, as with any offer, there are some caveats: the offer is limited only to online orders, and you need to purchase the device through the carrier’s Next program.

For those who aren’t aware, the AT&T Next program allows you to purchase a device with no down payment and then pay for it in monthly installments ranging from $15 to $50 per month depending on the device. Read more »

Google Fiber heading to more US cities this week

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Google is all set to offer its ultra-high speed Google Fiber broadband service in several new metro areas soon, according to a Wall Street Journal report. These areas include Atlanta, Nashville, the North Carolina cities of Raleigh-Durham, as well as Charlotte.

As per the report, the Mountain View, California-based company has already sent invitations to local media in the cities to attend events this week, details of which are still under wraps. While events in Atlanta and Nashville are scheduled for today, those in Raleigh and Charlotte are planned for tomorrow, and Durham the day after. Read more »

T-Mobile launches Score! program for device discounts

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T-Mobile launched a brand new program for discounts on popular smartphones. Dubbed Score!, the plan gives subscribers the opportunity to pick up a new device at a special price every year.

Score! is available for both prepaid and postpaid T-Mobile customers. Read more »

Three UK owner Hutchison Whampoa reportedly in talks to acquire O2 UK

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Hutchison Whampoa, which owns British carrier Three UK, is considering a purchase of Telefonica’s O2 UK for around 9 billion pounds ($13.6 billion), according to a report from The Sunday Times, which also notes that talks are at an early stage, and nothing is yet confirmed.

A deal makes sense for both companies given that Hutchison is looking to expand in Europe, while Telefonica is in need of cash to help pay down its debts. The latter even came close to selling O2 UK to BT last year, but the deal didn’t go through as the telecommunications giant eventually agreed to acquire EE. Read more »

Airtel backpedals on its decision to charge VoIP calls separately

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Just a few days after announcing that it will begin charging for voice calls made over its 2G or 3G network, India’s leading cellphone carrier Airtel has temporarily rolled back the change in the wake of an upcoming consultation paper from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) relating to services offered by Over The Top (OTT) players.

“In view of the news reports that a consultation paper will be issued shortly by TRAI on issues relating to services offered by OTT players including VoIP, we have decided not to implement our proposed launch of VoIP packs,” Airtel said, adding that the company is hopeful that stakeholders’ interest as well as the sector’s viability will be taken into consideration during the consultation. Read more »

Bharti Airtel details VoIP plans for India [Update: TRAI is okay with this]

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A couple of days back, Bharti Airtel suddenly changed its stance on VoIP calls made on its 2G and 3G network in India. From including it as part of the customer’s existing data plan, the company announced that VoIP calls will be charged separately.

The company has now announced a dedicated data plan for VoIP calls. For INR 75 ($1.18) you get 75MB, which can turn out to be pretty expensive if you do a lot of VoIP calls over 3G connection. Not to mention, this is in addition to the standard data plan you will need for everything else. Read more »

Minnesota ISP is now fastest in the world, offers speeds 10 times faster than Google Fiber

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Some residents of Minneapolis, Minnesota will soon have access to superfast Internet, thanks to US Internet, which has recently announced that it will offer a mind-boggling 10Gbps broadband speed to both residential and small-business owners in the city. Just to give you an idea, this is 10 times the speed of Google Fiber, which is currently available in Kansas City; Provo, Utah; and Austin, Texas.

“The launch of our 10 Gbps Internet service will make Minneapolis the first city in the world to receive access to the Internet at speeds never before experienced in our country, or any other country for that matter,” U.S. Internet CEO Joe Caldwell said in a statement. The service will be available for $400/month — there’s also a $99 installation fee. Read more »

AT&T customer records compromised

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AT&T mobility customers have been receiving emails informing them that a data breach occurred between April 9th and 21st, and that their data was vulnerable during this time.

The culprit wasn’t mentioned, just that it was a third-party source “[that] violated security protocols and accessed customer data.” Read more »

Sprint’s giving 50,000 US students broadband at home

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The White House launched an initiative, ConnectED, which aims to give 99% of US students high-speed internet access within the next five years.

Sprint has decided to partake in ConnectED by pledging broadband internet service to the homes of 50,000 students in the US. Read more »

Nokia can transfer 5GB data in 11 seconds over LTE

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Nokia and Korean mobile carrier, SK Telecom just partnered up to accomplish a pretty impressive technological feat.

They were able to transfer 5GB of data in just 11 seconds over SK Telecom’s LTE network. Read more »

WhatsApp prepaid cards now selling through E-Plus in Germany

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WhatsApp now offers its own prepaid service through E-Plus in Germany, letting you use the popular messaging app for a fixed monthly amount. The offer also features unlimited usage of the app even if you don’t have any standing traffic left.

The package with the SIM card is on offer for €10 but features a starting balance of €10 itself making the SIM practically free. Otherwise a call or text will set you back €0.09 to all German carriers whilst 1 MB will cost €0.24. Read more »

Verizon’s Black Friday deals let you have HTC One or Galaxy S4 for just $100

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Verizon is preparing for Black Friday, which is just in 10 days, on November 29, Friday. The biggest US carrier has a number of deals in line. For starters the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 have been slashed on that day from $149.99 to $99.99 on a two-year deal.

Tablets and Motorola DROIDs are also on the menu but as you might expect Verizon is requiring a contract with almost everything. Check inside for the full list. Read more »

Verizon puts Nexus 7 on hold, points finger at Google and ASUS

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Verizon users that are waiting for the 2013 ASUS-made Google Nexus 7 to arrive with operational LTE will have to hold out for a bit longer. During September, Verizon refused to activate Nexus 7 devices on its network because it wasn’t part of the carrier’s lineup.

This time around the culprit is “systems issue” caused by Android Jelly Bean, requiring ASUS and Google to “undertake additional work.” Verizon has decided to hold off certification of the device until KitKat arrives bug-free. Read more »

Facebook teams up with carriers to offer discounted data access to Facebook messaging

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Facebook announced partnerships with multiple mobile operators to provide free or discounted data access for its website usage. As we already know, much of the Facebook’s usage is from the mobile devices and the Mark Zuckerberg’s company is trying to make it easier on the wallets to access it.

Facebook’s latest promotion offers you free or discounted data access on Messenger for Android, Messenger for iOS and, of course, for every platform, for which the service has been optimized. Read more »