Telemarketing Violations Cost Sprint $7.5 Million

Sprint is about to cough up a whopping $7.5 million in a settlement stemming from its failure to remove customers from phone and text message marketing campaigns. The Do Not Call fine is the largest the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ever handed down, and comes on the heels of a $400,000 penalty levied against the company in 2011 for similar conduct. The FCC says Sprint failed to honor the wishes of customers who asked to opt out of future telemarketing calls. Along with the multi-million dollar fine, Sprint will also have to develop and implement a compliance plan, and

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U.S. Carriers to Offer Text-to-911

Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile have all committed to the American Text-to-911 program, but it doesn’t mean the service will be active in all areas when it comes into effect May 15. The program is just as it sounds. Instead of calling 911, those who find themselves in an emergency situation will be able to send a text message to 911 instead. However, people should exercise caution before using the service – not all jurisdictions will be able to receive the texts, even if carriers support sending them. Emergency call centers must update technology and train staff for Text-to-911, and

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Kill Switch Coming to Some Smartphones by 2015

A handful of wireless handset makers and service providers have pledged to add a remote kill switch to their devices by 2015 in an attempt to curb theft. Companies such as Apple, Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Google, along with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, have all signed on to CTIA’s Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment program. Under the program, all handsets manufactured after July 2015 will include a “baseline anti-theft tool” that is either preloaded or downloadable. It will only apply to devices sold in the United States. According to CTIA, the anti-theft tool will have the following capabilities: 1. Remote

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Sprint Announces Rural Partnership

Sprint Corp. is positioning itself to become a major player in the rural telecom market. On Thursday, Sprint chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son announced plans to give rural carriers affordable access to its network in order to roll out high-speed mobile broadband. The announcement came at the Global Expo of the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) in San Antonio. “Every American, regardless of where they live or work, should have access to high-speed mobile broadband,” said Son, in a statement. “The programs developed by Sprint, CCA and the NetAmerica Alliance are a strong first step to improving availability of LTE service

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Feds File Big Lawsuit Against Sprint

It seems even the United States government isn’t immune to being overcharged by telecommunications service providers. Last week, the feds took aim at Sprint, filing a lawsuit claiming it was overcharged $21 million for wiretap service for over three years. The government’s says that Sprint “knowingly submitted false claims” to several law enforcement agencies – including the FBI, DEA, ATF, the U.S. Marshals Service and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement – for expenses incurred while assisting with wiretaps and other surveillance of its customers. “Because Sprint’s invoices for intercept charges did not identify the particular expenses for which it sought reimbursement,

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FCC Roped Into Carrier Drama

A spectrum auction is looming and it looks like American carriers are feeling ultra competitive.In fact, a group of carriers recently approached the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), asking for it to restrict participation by Verizon and AT&T. The group of carriers – which consists of Sprint, T-Mobile, C Spire Wireless, The Competitive Carriers Association, The Rural Wireless Association, The New America Foundation, Public Knowledge, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and the Writers Guild of America – recently met with FCC chair Tom Wheeler and other legal advisers to discuss the matter. In the meeting, the group stated that Verizon

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Super Bowl Spectators Were Super Connected

Data usage was through the roof during Sunday night’s Super Bowl, proving fans no longer want to merely watch the game, but share the experience as well. Verizon reports customers in attendance at Super Bowl XLVIII used a record 1.9 terabytes of data in MetLife Stadium, tweeting, texting and talking to friends and family. AT&T reported its customers used 624GB, the equivalent to 1.8 million social media posts with photos. Over 55,000 phone calls were made. Sprint also experienced an increase in 4G LTE traffic, with 83 percent increases in download and 150 percent increases in upload speeds. T-Mobile saw

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Sprint Prepares for Wi-Fi Calling

What happens when you’re in a building with low cell-reception, but a strong Wi-Fi connection? Or when you cannot bear to use those last precious few voice minutes left in your plan? That’s when Wi-Fi calling comes in handy. Virgin and T-Mobile have offered Wi-Fi calling in one form or another for some time, but it seems Sprint is now ready to jump on board. Insiders say plans are in the works to launch Wi-Fi calling for select Samsung devices and all new devices running Android 4.2 or higher. A training manual obtained by Android Central indicates Wi-Fi calling and

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Carriers waive overages in tornado-ravaged Oklahoma

Carriers are stepping up to aid victims of the Oklahoma tornado. AT&T has announced it will waive voice, text and data overages for those in the affected areas, and is in the process of bringing in additional telecommunications resources. It is recommending people rely on text messaging to communicate with friends and family to avoid overloading the system with voice calls. Sprint is also waiving overages on voice, text, data and roaming, as well as late fees. Discounts are being offered on device chargers for those who need to power up their mobile phones. T-Mobile reports its network is 97

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Supply shortage hits Samsung S4

If you are hoping to get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S4, you might want to log on for pre-orders early. News broke this week that supply of the new device could be limited due to a chip shortage, coupled with high demand. T-Mobile has pushed its launch to Monday, a five-day delay. Sprint will begin accepting pre-orders on Saturday, but expects its full product launch to be slightly delayed. Verizon began pre-sales Thursday, but announced it would not have handsets in stores until the end of May. “Pre-order demand is much stronger than expected, so it’s difficult

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