New documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal SIM card maker Gemalto was hacked by the NSA and GCHQ in 2010. The hack resulted in encryption keys for millions of SIM cards being stolen, leaving phones wide open for data interception by the spy agencies. Gemalto now says it has opened an investigation into the alleged hack.
Wireless carrier Sprint is now offering its first Lumia smartphone. The carrier hasn’t offered any Lumia phones since either Nokia or Microsoft began coming out with them, but now one is available to customers. The first Lumia phone to reach Sprint is the Lumia 635, a low-end device that costs $168 up front or $7 per month for two years.
AT&T is making the claim that it is a “common carrier” that should be regulated under Title II. By doing so, the wireless carrier is making an attempt to rid itself of a current FTC data throttling lawsuit. Though, even if AT&T successfully argues that it does not fall under the jurisdiction of the FTC, it will face action from the FCC. Title II companies are regulated by the FCC, and that agency already has plans to pursue a lawsuit against AT&T for data throttling.
Qualcomm has announced its Category 9 interoperability testing has been completed with EE, a UK mobile carrier, and Huawei. The testing was completed by Qualcomm by using commercial infrastructure technology from Huawei to connect through EE’s LTE-A network. LTE-advanced will be backwards compatible with other standards like GSM, CDMA, EVDO and HSPA+.
When it comes to mobile carriers shaking things up, you have to hand it to T-Mobile and its CEO, John Legere. Over the past year or so, T-Mobile has ditched conventional phone contracts, let users upgrade smartphones faster, and provided free data roaming and text messaging (internationally).
T-Mobile has announced its unlimited 4G LTE plans which start at $100 a month for two lines. It’s not just the unlimited LTE plan, for those families who have less usage, they can get the 4G LTE plan for a family of four for just $100 with 10GB of free LTE data. This means that each member of the family gets 2.5GB of 4G LTE data which is more than enough for an average user.
For a limited period of time, AT&T is offering a 15 GB data plan for the same price as its 10 GB plan. New and existing Mobile Share Value customers will have the ability to upgrade from 10 GB to 15 GB without paying any extra. The process involved in getting the additional data for a fair price is simple for new customers, though existing subscribers must only switch inside of the mobile AT&T app or on the carrier’s website.
Canadian wireless carrier Rogers has begun accepting pre-orders for the upcoming BlackBerry Classic smartphone. The Classic became available through pre-order just recently in the United States and the United Kingdom, and now orders are expanding further. BlackBerry intends to make the Classic available sometime in the middle of December, but just like with pre-orders, a Canadian launch could be slightly further away.
Verizon has updated its Edge program, and it’s definitely not better. Edge offers a way for customers to pay off their phone over a period of time while also having the ability to upgrade early. With the update, Edge now has payments spread out over 24 months instead of 20, and customers must get through 75 percent of a device’s purchase price before upgrading.
Frequent international travelers will be happy to hear that Sprint is pushing out an update for the Galaxy S4 that will enable international WiFi calling. The Galaxy S4 is now the first device on Sprint’s Spark 4G LTE network to get international WiFi calling, but there could be some extra fees involved.
T-Mobile is improving its Simple Choice family plan by increasing the number of lines that it can support. Ten lines can now be activated on a family plan, and those lines can receive twice as much data each month if a tablet is added to the plan. T-Mobile and Sprint are both trying to build their subscriber base, and while Sprint has been losing subscribers, T-Mobile has been gaining them on a quarterly basis.
EE’s 4G roaming is expanding to include 14 additional countries, according to a statement from the wireless service provider. 4G roaming for EE customers was first introduced in early 2014, with EE allowing people to travel to France and Spain without having to worry about issues with roaming. Now, the latest expansion allows people to retain their 4G coverage while in Canada, Germany, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other nations around the world.