Eli Blumenthal

T-Mobile Makes Its Home Internet Open to Everyone, but With Data Limit Catch

T-Mobile is expanding its Home Internet product, announcing that it is opening it up to anyone who can get T-Mobile service where they live. The new service, called Home Internet Lite, starts at the same $50 per month T-Mobile has previously charged. However, with Lite your data cap at that price is 100GB per month. When you are within the data cap you will not be restricted on the speed of your connection.

Verizon Joins T-Mobile in Layoffs as Wireless Players Feel the Pressure

Verizon has followed rival T-Mobile in laying off staff. The wireless carrier would not disclose the exact number of employees it's cutting but did confirm the move had occurred. The layoffs come nearly two weeks after the nation's largest carrier announced that it lost 215,000 consumer phone accounts in the quarter that ended June 30. Even with the benefit of business customers, its overall net gain of 12,000 subscribers paled when compared to its rivals.

Google Fiber is going wireless in Austin through Webpass

Google Fiber is expanding its Austin (TX) offering, through its wireless subsidiary, Webpass. Google has been providing gigabit internet in Austin since 2014; Webpass offers fixed wireless internet service, focusing on apartment buildings and condos. Unlike traditional cable or broadband internet that needs to be wired into your building, Webpass beams internet from antennas on rooftops in your area.

Amazon Internet? Filings show company working on high-speed satellite internet service

According to filings with the International Telecommunications Union, Amazon layed out plans for putting 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit with the goal of providing internet around the world. "Project Kuiper is a new initiative to launch a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites that will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world," the company said. "This is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet.

T-Mobile promises to support low-income Lifeline program 'indefinitely' if merger approved

In its continued effort to gain approval for its merger with Sprint, T-Mobile has pledged to keep supporting Sprint's low-income Assurance Wireless brand "indefinitely." Assurance along with Sprint's other prepaid brands, Boost Mobile and Virgin Wireless, and T-Mobile's Metro are popular with lower-income and cost-conscious Americans for their cheaper alternatives to traditional plans than the main four wireless networks.  "The digital divide is real and we want to help eliminate it," T-Mobile president Mike Sievert said.

Text, Californians, text: State commission won't pursue tax on text messaging

California's Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced it would no longer be pursuing a measure that would've added a surcharge to phone bills for text messaging. "On Dec. 12, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a declaratory ruling finding that "text messaging" is an information service, not a telecommunications service, under the Federal Telecommunications Act," the CPUC wrote in its statement. The CPUC noted that if texting were a telecommunications service it would be subject to state tax under California law.

AT&T's new unlimited plan drops TV requirement

An unlimited plan on AT&T is no longer tethered to a TV subscription. The nation's second largest carrier announced that it would begin re-offering unlimited data to customers without requiring them to have AT&T's DirecTV or U-verse television service. As part of its own new plans, which go live on Feb 17, AT&T will be matching Verizon's latest plan, offering four lines for $180 with no television subscription service required. A single line is pricier than Verizon at $100, with each additional line running $40 (AT&T does not charge for the fourth line which is how four lines can be offered for $180). As with Verizon, AT&T will be slowing down users when they are in busy or "congested" areas if they've already consumed more than 22GB in a month. The new unlimited offer will include HD video, but unlike the other carriers the company will not be allowing users to use their phones as a mobile hotspot. Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint's latest deals all include 10GB of mobile hotspot data.