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    T-Mobile unveils $100 phone plan, topping AT&T and Verizon’s highest prices / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 22 August - 18:50

In this photo illustration a T-Mobile logo is displayed on a smartphone while a laptop screen displays a stock market chart.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | SOPA Images)

T-Mobile yesterday announced a phone plan called "Go5G Next" that costs $100 a month for a single line, more expensive than the highest-tier wireless plans offered by AT&T and Verizon.

In a notable development for a carrier that spent years blasting its rivals' prices, T-Mobile issued a press release with a chart showing that its new plan costs more than the top-tier unlimited plans sold by AT&T and Verizon. AT&T's Unlimited Premium is $85 for a single line while Verizon's Unlimited Plus is $80 unless you add optional perks like the Disney Bundle.

T-Mobile's Go5G Next will be available on August 24 and come with unlimited phone data, 50GB of high-speed mobile hotspot data, and the ability to upgrade to a new phone once a year. It will also come with Apple TV+ and a Netflix subscription. T-Mobile points out that the similar AT&T and Verizon plans don't have streaming services included.

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    T-Mobile discloses 2nd data breach of 2023, this one leaking account PINs and more / ArsTechnica · Monday, 1 May, 2023 - 23:40

A bird sits on top of a T-Mobile sign outside a mobile phone store,

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg )

T-Mobile on Monday said it experienced a hack that exposed account PINs and other customer data in the company's second network intrusion this year and the ninth since 2018.

The intrusion, which started on February 24 and lasted until March 30, affected 836 customers, according to a notification on the website of Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey.

“The information obtained for each customer varied but may have included full name, contact information, account number and associated phone numbers, T-Mobile account PIN, social security number, government ID, date of birth, balance due, internal codes that T-Mobile uses to service customer accounts (for example, rate plan and feature codes), and the number of lines,” the company wrote in a letter sent to affected customers. Account PINs, which customers use to swap out SIM cards and authorize other important changes to their accounts, were reset once T-Mobile discovered the breach on March 27.

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    Starlink/T-Mobile plan for satellite-to-phone service to get boost from FCC / ArsTechnica · Friday, 17 March, 2023 - 16:07

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert sit on a stage outdoors, holding microphones and smiling, during a press conference. Sievert wears a T-Mobile T-shirt and Musk wears a T-shirt that says

Enlarge / SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert at a joint event on August 25, 2022, in Boca Chica Beach, Texas. (credit: Getty Images | Michael Gonzalez )

The Federal Communications Commission says it wants to help satellite companies and mobile carriers partner up to close gaps in wireless networks. In a 4-0 vote, the FCC yesterday proposed "a new regulatory framework" designed to help satellite operators and wireless companies "leverage the growth in space-based services to connect smartphone users in remote, unserved, and underserved areas."

In August 2022, Starlink operator SpaceX and T-Mobile announced a plan to deliver space-to-ground service to mobile phones in areas not covered by T-Mobile's cellular network. SpaceX said this week that the companies plan to start testing the satellite-to-cell service sometime this year. Text messaging is expected to be the first supported service, with voice and Internet coverage to be added later.

The FCC said yesterday that "numerous such collaborations have launched recently, and the FCC seeks to establish clear and transparent processes to support supplemental coverage from space."

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    Hilariously sad: My great mobile provider, Mint, will sell to T-Mobile for $1.35B / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 15 March, 2023 - 16:45 · 1 minute

T-Mobile and Mint Mobile hugging

Enlarge / Hug it out, boys.

As every Roman historian and Shakespeare fan knows, a soothsayer once told Caesar to beware the Ides of March , for on that day, dark and terrible things would happen. I like to think the message was intended for me, too, because today, my beloved low-cost wireless carrier, Mint Mobile, packed up its ironic communications style, its celebrity ownership, and its $15/month plans... and agreed to sell them all to T-Mobile for $1.35 billion .

Good for actor Ryan Reynolds, part-owner of Mint Mobile. As Reynolds said in a statement , "We are so happy T-Mobile beat out an aggressive last-minute bid from my mom Tammy Reynolds as we believe the excellence of their 5G network will provide a better strategic fit than my mom’s slightly-above-average mahjong skills." (Ha-ha!) Reynolds also released the funniest acquisition video I have ever seen.

Still, the news is depressing. Mint felt fresh; it was a wireless carrier with a slick website and app that worked (at least for me) simply and seamlessly, an irreverent and straight-talking style (Reynolds sent out temp tattoos of his face to subscribers for Christmas; they said, "No Ragrets"), and great prices. It all Just Worked ™ . Now, I love a good value, but not at the cost of janky service, constant hiccups, and 2000-era websites like I saw at other cheap mobile providers. And it wasn't just me; Mint racked up many recommendations, including the "best budget" wireless option from Wirecutter .

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    Not enough backup power: AT&T and T-Mobile suffer big outages in Louisiana / ArsTechnica · Monday, 30 August, 2021 - 21:24 · 1 minute

An elderly woman in a wheelchair and her daughter waiting for transportation in a flooded neighborhood.

Enlarge / LaPlace, Louisiana: Jacqueline Smith waits with her mother Lucille Matthew for transportation after they were rescued from their flooded neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida on August 30, 2021. (credit: Getty Images | Scott Olson)

AT&T today said that only 60 percent of its network in Louisiana is working as Hurricane Ida pummels the state. T-Mobile is reporting similarly extensive outages, while Verizon says it has minimized outages with backup generators. AT&T and T-Mobile both said they have deployed additional generators but the carriers apparently didn't deploy enough to handle the widespread power outages.

"Our Louisiana wireless network is operating at 60 percent of normal and we have significant outages in New Orleans and Baton Rouge due to power outages, flooding and storm damage," AT&T said in a network-status update . "We had key network facilities go offline overnight, and while some have already been restored, some facilities remain down and are inaccessible due to flooding and storm damage."

AT&T said it has "mobilized additional disaster recovery equipment in the region to assist in the recovery and will work around the clock until service is restored." AT&T said its wireless network in Alabama is operating normally and that it's "seen only a very small wireless impact in Mississippi."

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    Big ISPs pause donations to 147 Republicans who tried to reverse Biden’s win / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 12 January, 2021 - 18:14

Illustration of the Republican Party

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | SilverV)

Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon say they have suspended political donations to the 147 Republican members of Congress who voted against certifying Electoral College results, but the companies left the door open for resuming campaign contributions to those lawmakers in the future.

"We will be suspending contributions in 2021 to any member of Congress who voted in favor of objecting to the election results," a Verizon spokesperson said, according to Light Reading . We asked Verizon if the suspension of donations will last throughout 2021 and will update this article if we get a response.

"The peaceful transition of power is a foundation of America's democracy," Comcast said in a statement yesterday. After "the appalling violence" at the US Capitol last week, "our focus needs to be on working together for the good of the entire nation. Consistent with this view, we will suspend all of our political contributions to those elected officials who voted against certification of the Electoral College votes, which will give us the opportunity to review our political giving policies and practices."

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    FCC not punishing T-Mobile for outage that Ajit Pai called “unacceptable” / ArsTechnica · Friday, 23 October, 2020 - 19:13 · 1 minute

A T-Mobile advertisement that says,

Enlarge / T-Mobile advertisement in New York City's Times Square on October 15, 2020. (credit: Getty Images | SOPA Images)

The Federal Communications Commission has finished investigating T-Mobile for a network outage that Chairman Ajit Pai called "unacceptable." But instead of punishing the mobile carrier, the FCC is merely issuing a public notice to "remind" phone companies of "industry-accepted best practices" that could have prevented the T-Mobile outage.

After the 12-hour nationwide outage on June 15 disrupted texting and calling services, including 911 emergency calls, Pai wrote that "The T-Mobile network outage is unacceptable" and that "the FCC is launching an investigation. We're demanding answers—and so are American consumers."

Pai has a history of talking tough with carriers and not following up with punishments that might have a greater deterrence effect than sternly worded warnings. That appears to be what happened again yesterday when the FCC announced the findings from its investigation into T-Mobile. Pai said that "T-Mobile's outage was a failure" because the carrier didn't follow best practices that could have prevented or minimized it, but he announced no punishment. The matter appears to be closed based on yesterday's announcement, but we contacted Chairman Pai's office today to ask if any punishment of T-Mobile is forthcoming. We'll update this article if we get a response.

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    T-Mobile hits back at AT&T and Verizon after spectrum-hoarding accusations / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 23 September, 2020 - 18:40

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert speaking on stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Enlarge / T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert speaks during a keynote at CES 2020 in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg )

T-Mobile US CEO Mike Sievert yesterday fired back at AT&T and Verizon, saying the carriers' complaints about T-Mobile obtaining more spectrum licenses show that they are afraid of competition.

"The duopolists are scrambling to block this new competition any way they can... Suddenly in the unfamiliar position of not having a dominant stranglehold on the wireless market, and preferring not to meet the competitive challenge in the marketplace, AT&T and Verizon are urging the FCC to slow T-Mobile down and choke off our ability to compete fairly for added radio spectrum," Sievert wrote in a blog post .

As we wrote Monday , Verizon and AT&T have urged the Federal Communications Commission to impose limits on T-Mobile's ability to obtain more spectrum licenses. AT&T complained that T-Mobile's acquisition of Sprint allowed it to amass "an unprecedented concentration of spectrum."

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