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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FreedomPop expanding interesting service plans to iPhone 5, 4S and 4

FreedomPop, an interesting upstart carrier that has built itself on offering free mobile service, has just opened up its network to both the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. Although it started out only offering service with hotspots and an iPod Touch case running on Sprint's WiMax network, FreedomPop has recently expanded to proper phone service, Sprint's LTE network and has added support for three Apple phones.

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AT&T to launch in-flight Wifi service with air-to-ground LTE in 2015

AT&T is set to take on the likes of Gogo in a battle for in-flight Wifi, as the carrier announced its plans to offer a service based on its current LTE network. Starting in late 2015, AT&T will begin to implement a new air-to-ground communication between planes and its existing LTE network to provide in-flight Wifi and entertainment to passengers flying in the U.S. (notably omitting international flights). The service will utilize spectrum that AT&T already owns, and the carrier will be partnering with Honeywell to make sure everything goes according to plan.

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EE hits 200th town milestone in UK 4G rollout

EE has today announced hitting a new milestone in the rollout of 4G LTE across the UK. The mobile operator has added the 200th town to its supported list, bringing the total coverage to a reported 72 percent. The residents of Rhyl, Wales recently had their LTE connection switched on alongside 12 other locations. The network began rolling out upgrades throughout the UK back in 2012.

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Verizon Wireless's Q1 2014 results see $21 billion in revenue and 539,000 postpaid subscribers

Verizon's first quarter results are in, and mirroring rival AT&T, they saw some rather impressive growth. Verizon as a whole saw $30 billion in revenue, but even with their substantial non-cellular businesses, Verizon Wireless accounted for a whopping $20.9 billion of that income. That's an increase of nearly 7% from this quarter last year, though growth through their retail outlets was slightly lower.

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AT&T posts $17.9 billion in revenue, adds 625,000 postpaid customers in Q1

AT&T reported its first quarter 2014 results, showing impressive growth in revenues, handset sales and customer acquisition for the quarter. While AT&T operates businesses outside of its wireless division, we're going to focus on this portion. For the quarter, AT&T posted $17.9 billion in revenue including handset sales, up 7 percent year-over-year, leading to $5.1 billion in operating income, up 8.1 percent.

On the customer side, AT&T added 625,000 postpaid customers, its largest first quarter gain in five years. It also added 693,000 "connected devices," but saw prepaid customers dip overall in the quarter mostly due to the loss of over 200,000 reseller subscribers. Of those additions, 311,000 were for postpaid smartphones, while 313,000 were tablets.

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Why all the fuss about the potential end of iPhone subsidies?

With AT&T reporting its financial results this week the media is buzzing about comments they (and others) have made to the effect that smartphone subsidies may eventually come to an end. The theory being floated is that future mobile phone buyers will be aware of exactly how much how much their smartphone costs. This new financial awareness will somehow prompt fewer people to pony up for an expensive iPhone.

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Sprint plans for their iPhones sold next year to be SIM unlockable

American carriers are making progress in being more open and customer-friendly — particularly T-Mobile — but Sprint is preparing to take a significant step forward by ensuring that the devices they sell to customers are able to be SIM unlocked. Eventually. In 2015. In an FAQ on Sprint's unlocking policy, the company states that they are "working to ensure that all devices developed and launched on or after February 11, 2015 are capable of being unlocked domestically."

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On the eve of iPhone 6 carriers once again using the media to push back on 'subsidies'

Imagine a boss at a company with a really great salesperson who lands all the best, highest valued customers for the company. Now imagine that boss hates having to pay that salesperson their really high commission, even though it's the salesperson who's closing all those deals and ensuring all that money comes to the company. The boss can't afford to lose that salesperson but they're desperate to find anyway they can to cut that salesperson's commissions. Likewise, the salesperson knows their value and insists on being richly compensated for the deals they close. That's the relationship between the carriers and the iPhone, and between the price carriers pay Apple for the revenue the iPhone generates. It's also why the carriers hate Apple and the iPhone, and why when a new iPhone — like the iPhone 6 — is on the horizon, we get articles like this: "As Phone Subsidies Fade, Apple Could Be Hurt".

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Rogers turns on 700 MHz spectrum for communities in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto

Rogers just activated their fresh 700 MHz spectrum in a few regions across Canada. Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver are the lucky cities today, though we can expect a nationwide rollout eventually. 700 MHz has been widely described as “beachfront” spectrum that’s particularly good at penetration, so you can keep a signal in elevators and parking garages, for example. It also provides added stability to everyday LTE connections.

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Rogers has new international roaming plans and they're still awful

Rogers has announced some new roaming add-ons for Canadian travelers. Not too long ago, Rogers unveiled a $7.99 daily roaming plan for the U.S. (which already faces stiff competition against WIND’s $15 unlimited plan), and this new one is built for roaming worldwide. But don’t get too excited; it’s $9.99 for a day for up to 20 MB (depending on where you're going), with no voice or text.

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