Best carriers

Everything you need to know to pick the absolute best carrier deal for your iPhone or iPad

An iPhone without voice and data is just an expensive iPod, and an iPad Wi-Fi + cellular without the cellular, well, you get the idea. But carrier plans, be they single line or family, dedicated or shared, prepaid or postpaid, come at a price. They also have a tendency to change over time. A lot. So how do you make sure you get the best plan - and the most savings - possible? You check back here often, of course!

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These iPhones and iPads take advantage of Verizon XLTE

So, you're wondering if your Verizon device works with that shiny new XLTE network that just went live in your area? Well, here's a list of iOS devices that can currently take advantage of the added speed from AWS spectrum. Of course as new phones and tablets come out, we can expect that they'll support Verizon's XLTE network.

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Here are Verizon's initial XLTE cities

Verizon has fired up a new, beefier branding for its 4G LTE smartphone service. Dubbed XLTE, it takes advantage of the AWS spectrum to double the bandwidth in high-traffic locations. And here's the list of cities that get it first.

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Verizon flips switch on AWS-enhanced XLTE

Verizon's XLTE is official and it is bringing double the bandwidth to dozens of cities across the United Sates. The enhanced-LTE service uses Verizon's AWS spectrum to double the speeds available more than two-dozen devices available on Big Red's network, including the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, iPhone 5s, Samsung ATIV SE, and BlackBerry Q10.

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Sprint takes device security to a whole new level with latest comprehensive package

Sprint has a new protection plan for both your phone and the data on it. Dubbed "Sprint Total Equipment Protection Plus", the plan costs $13-a-month-per-device and adds data security, automatic media backups, and personalized tech support on top of the existing damage, loss, and theft insurance that is part of the standard $11-a-month Total Equipment Protection package.

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FCC votes to limit AT&T, Verizon involvement in mid-2015 spectrum auction

Even with threats from AT&T and Verizon, the FCC has gone forward and voted in favor of previously-proposed restrictions on the 2015 spectrum auction that will offer up valuable low-band airwaves to wireless carriers. The restrictions put in place will reserve portions of the spectrum going up for auction for carriers that don't already have large chunks of low-band spectrum, largely cutting out AT&T and Verizon from participating in many markets.

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T-Mobile partners with Univision for Hispanic-focused 'Univision Mobile'

T-Mobile today announced a new partnership with Univision to launch the creatively titled Univsion Mobile, a new wireless service built for Hispanic Americans. The US carrier has analyzed smartphone usage by the demographic to conclude they rely on mobile devices more heavily than average. Strangely enough, Verizon launched a similar service, Viva Movil, last year with Jeniffer Lopez heading up the Latino-focused experience.

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Straight Talk bumps full-speed data allowance to 3GB, still costs $45 per month

Straight Talk, an AT&T MVNO and one of the most popular prepaid carriers in the U.S., has increased its data allowances by 500MB without bumping prices. Though the carrier still advertises its $45 per month plan as "unlimited," following mild outrage it has chosen to clarify that users are throttled after a certain point of data usage. At the time of clarification Straight Talk was offering just 2.5GB of full-speed data, and has now bumped that to 3GB at no additional cost.

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AT&T will now let you order online and pick up in-store

AT&T will now let you order items online and pick them up at a local AT&T Store on the same day. So if you're out of town and forgot a phone charger, or your tablet broke, or you've decided to buy a new device, you can purchase it at home without the need to wait for shipping.

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Sprint begins throttling users in congested areas

Despite what the "unlimited" plan might make you think, Sprint is exercising their right to throttle back on users they've deemed as using too much data. Heavy use contract customers on Sprint, as well as prepaid customers on Sprint-based MVNOs Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA, have been hit with warnings that starting next month Sprint will be engaging in "prioritization management" in congested areas.

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North Eurotunnel now has Vodafone and EE service

Should you be travelling through the Eurotunnel today, you'll be able to enjoy mobile connectivity depending on which mobile operator you're currently subscribed to. Vodafone and EE have infrastructure in place to take loads from today, while O2 UK will be going live soon. Utilizing a fibre optic retransmission system, operators have made it possible for passengers to enjoy stable connectivity.

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