OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), March 17, 2014 - Sprint (NYSE:S) today announced 20 new 4G LTE markets, bringing faster data speeds to customers in such locations as Bridgeport/Stamford/Norwalk, Conn.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Omaha, Neb.; Peoria, Ill.; and Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla. Sprint expects to cover 250 million people with 4G LTE by mid-year. Sprint today also announced Sprint Spark™ in Provo, Utah, and Trenton, N.J, as well as the upcoming availability of HD Voice.
Sprint Spark is an enhanced LTE service that’s built for data and designed to deliver peak wireless speeds of 60Mbps today on capable devices, with the potential for speeds three times as fast by late next year.1 With its unique combination of network technologies, spectrum capacity and tri-band devices, Sprint Spark is designed to greatly improve the performance of video and other bandwidth-intensive applications, including new generations of online gaming, virtual reality and advanced cloud services. It enables stutter-free video chat on-the-go and mobile gaming that leaves lag behind.
HD Voice is also now available to customers in Provo, and will soon be available in Trenton. HD Voice is a new Sprint standard for mobile phones where background noise is virtually eliminated and sound quality is dramatically enhanced.2 HD Voice is designed to provide a better experience than a landline. A typical phone without HD Voice offers four octaves of sound, but a phone with HD Voice offers seven (10 octaves is considered perfect hearing).
“Sprint’s all-new network is providing our customers significantly better call quality and faster data speeds in more places,” said John Saw, chief network officer at Sprint. “Customers in Provo and Trenton will be particularly pleased with the power of Sprint Spark – say goodbye to slow downloads and content that lags.”
New 4G LTE Markets:
- Bakersfield, Calif
- Lancaster, Pa
- Omaha, Neb
- Shawnee, Okla
- Bridgeport/Stamford/Norwalk, Conn
- Mason City, Iowa
- Peoria, IL
- Trenton/Ewing, NJ
- El Centro, Calif
- Myrtle Beach, SC
- Provo/Orem, Utah
- Visalia/Porterville, Calif
- Hot Spring, Ark
- Nogales, Ariz
- Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla
- Willimantic, Conn
- Kenosha, Wis
- Ocean City, NJ
- Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA
- Zanesville, Ohio
BELLEVUE, Wash. - March 13, 2014 - Over the past year, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) has abolished a litany of consumer pain points through a series of revolutionary new programs and services - and Americans have responded by making T-Mobile the fastest growing wireless company in the U.S. Today, the Un-carrier announced it is continuing its relentless pace of industry innovation by launching a major new program to expand what has already become the fastest LTE deployment the U.S. has ever seen.
Less than one year since launch, T-Mobile's 4G LTE network already reaches 210 million people in 273 metro areas nationwide. Building on the unprecedented pace of its LTE rollout, T-Mobile is now kicking off a major new program to upgrade its 2G/EDGE network with 4G LTE. The company plans to complete 50 percent of the work this year alone, and expects the program to be substantially complete by the middle of next year. The upgrade will provide customers who currently experience 2G/EDGE coverage new access to 4G LTE, and many already covered by 4G LTE will enjoy access to 4G LTE in even more places. In addition, T-Mobile plans to begin deploying 4G LTE this year in the new 700 MHz A-Block spectrum the company is in the process of acquiring.
"Right now, T-Mobile covers 96 percent of Americans, and over the past year, we've completely shattered records with the fastest 4G LTE deployment the U.S. wireless industry has ever seen." said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. "Our competitors want you to believe our network doesn't measure up. But that just isn't true. And American consumers are going to see right through the spin and half-truths when given the facts."
In a span of just six months, T-Mobile deployed its 4G LTE network coast to coast and at a pace unprecedented in the U.S. wireless industry - going from zero to nationwide coverage between March and September 2013. Already, T-Mobile has built America's fastest nationwide 4G LTE network - based on millions of speed tests by real customers using Ookla's Speedtest.net app on their own devices. More than 6.5 million customer tests have been conducted in 2014 alone.
"Through this major new network upgrade program, and other initiatives already underway, we're driving hard toward our multi-billion dollar strategy to further improve what is already an amazing network experience for our customers," said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. "Our 4G LTE is going to reach 230 million people across the U.S. by mid-year. By year's end, we're going to be delivering wicked-fast 4G LTE to more than 250 million people. That's how the Un-carrier rolls out 4G LTE."
In addition to these network updates, T-Mobile announced it is pushing back against misleading competitive claims through a new primetime television ad that began airing in primetime last night - and the company has demanded Verizon cease and desist with its well-known map ads.
"Verizon's ink blots massively understate our coverage and don't begin to represent the actual customer experience on T-Mobile's network," said Legere. "So we're setting the record straight - both by demanding an end to the misinformation, and by going straight to the people with the truth."
T-Mobile has taken legal action demanding that Verizon cease and desist the carrier's network map advertising, arguing that Verizon has cherry-picked a single network technology to depict in its ads rather than accurately reflecting the many technologies widely in use today. T-Mobile reaches over 230 million people nationwide with 4G HSPA+, which provides 4G coverage in many locations where LTE has not yet been rolled out. This is in addition to T-Mobile's nationwide 4G LTE coverage.
Audi of America and AT&T announced new data plans for the all-new 2015 A3 sedan, which debuts this month, and will enable the first-ever in-vehicle 4G LTE data connection in North America. The data plans will be competitively priced, starting at $99 for a 6-month plan and $499 for a 30-month plan.
“Having the choice of two data plans gives the consumer the opportunity to choose a contract that works best for their lifestyle and allows them to maintain connectivity in the vehicle for an extended period of time,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “The new AT&T data plans with 4G LTE connectivity will allow Audi drivers to enjoy seamless navigation, streaming and high-speed access to the Internet.”
Audi and AT&T will offer two limited data plans: a 6-month plan with 5 Gigabytes of data and a 30- month plan with 30 GB. All Audi A3 sedans equipped with Audi connect® will receive a free six-month trial period. Previous experience with 3G+ Audi connect owners has shown they prefer either a 6-month or a 30-month term, which are designed to accommodate the consumer’s typical usage. The plans are based off typical usage in a vehicle. Customers can be sent e-mail alerts if they near the data plan limit.
As previously announced, this summer Audi will become the first automaker to offer a Mobile Share data plan option to AT&T wireless customers who would like to add their vehicle to their existing Mobile Share plan.
Audi plans to roll out 4G LTE capability across its entire lineup as new or refreshed models come to market. AT&T has the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network.* AT&T was named America’s fastest 4G LTE network in PC Magazine’s 2013 Fastest Mobile Networks 30-market study, and also swept the top rankings in all six U.S. regions from coast to coast: Northeast, Southeast, North-Central, South-Central, Northwest and Southwest.
The new A3 family will feature the most advanced version of Audi connect, including picture navigation, read-aloud news headlines, Facebook and Twitter alerts, access to more than 7,000 Web radio stations, personalized RSS news feeds, and more.
An accompanying mobile app will allow advanced functionality between the MMI system and smartphones, reducing the need for Audi motorists to handle their devices when accessing some smartphone-based features.
According to Fierce Wireless AT&T is still working on their VoLTE (Voice over Long Term Evolution). Originally the carrier hoped to launch VoLTE by the end of 2013 but were delayed due to issues with devices running out of battery power too fast. VoLTE will move voice calls from circuit switched networks to IP based networks. Originally Mark Collins, Senior Vice President of data and voice products said the majority of AT&T devices would be VoLTE ready by the second half of 2013. For now they haven’t released any updates on when VoLTE will actually launch but know Verizon is targeting the first half of 2014 so AT&T won’t likely be far behind.
Over the last several months many Comcast customers have been complaining about poor streaming with Netflix. The Wall Street Journal
has announced that Comcast has opted to pay Comcast for smoother streaming so customers don’t end up with videos that constantly buffer. The move by Netflix could set an ugly precedent as other ISP’s will be sure to jump on the same bandwagon and demand money for carrying their traffic too, despite the fact customers are already paying for the connection to the ISP and Netflix is paying fees to Cogent. This looks like the Comcast is trying to double dip here, getting Netflix to pay for additional capacity that should be handled by the ISP instead of Netflix. Only time will tell how fast other companies jump on the bandwagon to get more money from Netflix just so they can get a reliable stream out to their customers.
Customers can get more of what they want from their wireless service with today’s launch of MORE Everything from Verizon Wireless.
MORE Everything, a new way of looking at wireless plans, brings together for the first time all the tools and services consumers want and need when they use their smartphones, tablets and other connected devices to talk, text, access the Internet and use data, all on the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network.
“MORE Everything changes the game by adding even more of what customers want from their wireless provider in a single, simple monthly plan,” said Ken Dixon, chief marketing officer at Verizon Wireless. “Verizon Wireless led the way with the introduction of shared data plans, and MORE Everything is the next leap forward with more storage, more messaging and more choice, all on a 4G LTE network that is unmatched in coverage and capacity.”
Beginning today, MORE Everything customers simply get more with Verizon Wireless:
- Data: Simplified monthly data allowances that fit their family’s wireless needs. Some customers will see their data allowance doubled for the same monthly price they paid previously.
- Verizon Edge: MORE Everything customers who choose Verizon Edge will also be eligible for $10 off monthly smartphone access for data allowances up to 8 GB, and $20 off monthly smartphone access on plans of 10 GB and higher.
- Messaging: Unlimited international messaging will be added to unlimited domestic text, picture and video messaging.
- Storage: Each MORE Everything line can use up to 25 GB (or up to 250 GB on a 10 line account) of cloud storage from Verizon Wireless, which means customers never lose a contact’s number, cherished photos of the once-in-a-lifetime vacation, or video from a school recital. Cloud storage also means important information is easily available whether devices are upgraded tomorrow or in two years.
MORE Everything customers can also add additional benefits to their monthly plans, both of which are free for the first three months and then available for $5 per month.
- Safety and Security: Family Base, an innovative way to help manage family members’ wireless experiences.
- International Long Distance: To make it simpler to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues in many countries throughout Latin America and around the world, Verizon Wireless’ International Long Distance Value Plan, which provides rates as low as $0.01/minute to Canada and Mexico, and $0.05/minute to many other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, can be added to the plan.
“Since Verizon Wireless was the first to introduce shared data plans in 2012, major U.S. wireless operators have followed suit in strategically preparing for the increase of connected devices and data consumption among its customers,” said Carrie MacGillivray, program vice president of Mobile Services and Internet of Things (IoT), IDC. “Shared plans have created demand for more data as consumers continue to embrace mobility across all aspects of their lives. Share plans that provide more data for the same price will be welcomed by customers."
Yesterday Sprint released their fourth quarter earnings report
indicating that they’ve added 477,000 new customers in the fourth quarter. This is a step in the right direction for Sprint, however, all other major wireless carriers posted more subscriber growth. Most of the new Sprint customers are opting to go with a prepaid account instead of a 2/yr contract which is evident by only adding 58,000 new contract subscribers vs. 401,000 new contract subscribers this time last year. Sprint ended up posting a loss of $1.04 billion on revenue of $9.14 billion but thinks 2014 will be their year as Sprint Spark and LTE service continues to expand. Right now Sprint covers over 200 million POP’s with their tri-band Sprint Spark service that is available now in 14 markets across the country.