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  1. T-Mobile tries to woo regulators on Sprint merger with promise of amazing 5G home internet Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge T-Mobile says it’ll launch a 5G home internet service with fast speeds, easy installation, and low prices that will reach half of all US homes within five years and meaningfully shake up the woefully anti-competitive cable industry. There’s just one catch: T-Mobile says this only comes true if its Sprint merger is approved. In a blog post and Federal Communications Commission filing today, T-Mobile outlines in the most detail yet what its 5G home internet service will look like. The company started divulging some details around the offering last September, but with today’s CEO-written blog post, T-Mobile is starting to advertise its promises in a far more public fashion. T-Mobile says it plans to create a true cable competitor using 5G, offering speeds at 100 Mbps or higher. It’ll come at an unspecified lower cost, and customers will be able to set up the system themselves, so they won’t have to wait around for someone to install it. T-Mobile thinks it can have 9.5 million customers within five years, and save customers up to $13 billion in that time because of the increased competition. IT’S ABOUT SHIFTING THE CONVERSATION FROM WIRELESS COMPETITION TO WIRED It’s an exciting picture, but the thing to remember is that this is all a big, beautiful dream that T-Mobile is describing to get its merger approved. If T-Mobile and Sprint merge, the United States would shrink from four major wireless carriers down to three. The previous leader of the FCC repeatedly said that four carriers are necessary to maintain a competitive environment. And while the current leader doesn’t seem to believe that, this general concern is a big element of what’s holding up the 10-month-old merger agreement. Making the argument that the wireless industry will be more competitive with one fewer competitor is hard (T-Mobile has, of course, made it anyway). So instead, T-Mobile is trying to make it appear that the merger will dramatically increase competition in another industry: home internet. It’s not the worst argument. The cable industry is pretty much just monopoly after monopoly. Nearly half of all households lack a second option for wired broadband service, if they even have one option in the first place. Because these 5G networks would be substantially wireless, companies like T-Mobile might be able to quickly move into areas that cable companies have long avoided due to the challenges and expenses around laying cables. T-MOBILE ISN’T THE ONLY COMPANY PLANNING AT-HOME 5G INTERNET The current FCC has even indicated that it views wireless as an alternative for wired broadband since it can have comparable speeds. That isn’t at all how it works in reality — wireless speeds are still slower on the whole and way more expensive — but T-Mobile describes a future where that isn’t the case and wireless truly is a legitimate alternative to wired internet. It’s an argument that regulators are eager to hear. The question is: is the Sprint merger really necessary for all of this to happen? AT&T and Verizon are investing in many of the same 5G technologies that T-Mobile is. Verizon has even launched a pilot 5G home internet service already. So it’s not as though T-Mobile is the only company that’s capable of doing this. T-Mobile mentions using Sprint’s airwaves to deliver this service, which helps to bolster its argument that the merger is necessary for its own deployment. But it’s not clear whether those airwaves are truly critical. In its FCC filing, T-Mobile says the deployment “produces a very large increment to capacity all at once” and that “much of it available to provide wireless fixed broadband service.” But that’s combined with other airwaves T-Mobile already owns. To get things started, T-Mobile says it’ll “soon” begin testing a wireless home internet service using its LTE network. After the merger, T-Mobile says, it’ll be upgraded to include 5G. The plans almost echo what’s happening at Verizon, which has paused its 5G home internet deployment plans until later this year. These companies are clearly eager to get the most out of their 5G investments. But for now, the shift into home internet delivery is still just a pitch that no one’s really moving on. Source
  2. A New Jersey woman has sued T-Mobile in state court last week for sexual harassment, invasion of privacy, and other counts. She claims that, when she went to trade in her iPhone 7 at a store, two male employees rifled through her photos without her consent. The men allegedly quickly found a private naked video of the woman, referred to in the complaint as "N.E.," and played it for themselves. The woman was mortified. Ars contacted T-Mobile, which did not respond to our questions. "We take customer privacy extremely seriously and are investigating the claims," a spokesperson wrote, declining to elaborate. Ars also contacted Lorena Ahumada, an attorney for T-Mobile, who did not respond. Justin Sachs, the manager of this particular T-Mobile store at the Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing, just outside of Atlantic City, told Ars that he wanted to apologize to N.E. "We know that it's unacceptable, to be going through a customer's private information," he told Ars. "Any confidential information, finding out something you accidentally clicked on." Sachs said that he has worked for Executive Cellular Phones, the contracted company that runs this store, for five years, and is unaware of any similar incidents. He also said that T-Mobile investigators reviewed internal surveillance video but was not able to definitively determine if the two men accessed N.E.'s phone. Since the incident, Sergio, one of men, still works at the store. Another one, Victor, resigned from the store in December to take a new job. "How would you feel about that, if without your permission, someone was rifling through your phone?" Sachs tells new employees, underscoring that it is potentially a fireable offense. Numerous similar cases have been reported in recent years nationwide. In August 2018, a Wisconsin man who worked at a Verizon store involved in a similar criminal case was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation. Saved by AirPods? In an interview with Ars, N.E. laid out her story. It began last November, just days before Thanksgiving, when she walked into the store. She works in another part of the same mall and sought advice on a possible iPhone upgrade. Once in the T-Mobile store, N.E. saw another woman that she was acquainted with. This acquaintance, who worked in the store, directed her to two male employees. N.E.'s phone was broken: the screen was cracked and the microphone had stopped working, so she relied constantly on her wireless AirPods. The men seemed to be helpful at first, and one offered to do a trade-in for her, telling her that she could upgrade to a newer iPhone XR for just $90. They asked her to unlock her phone and disable Find My iPhone to begin the data transfer to a new device. She did so and stepped away to consider the various XR color options. Then, all of a sudden, she could hear in the AirPods—the men may not have known she was wearing them, as her long hair covered the headphones—a distinct sound. N.E. turned around and marched up to the men, grabbing her phone from one of them. "He probably saw me coming," she told Ars. "So I started going through all my pictures and my videos, and I replayed them. When you go to the camera roll, that video—you can spot it. There are so many squares, and there is one that you can see what it is. One video was very obvious what it was." N.E. described the video in general terms to Ars and acknowledged that it showed her naked. The video was only meant to be seen by one other person, her fiancé. N.E. was mortified and left the store immediately in tears. As a recent immigrant from the Middle East, she particularly didn't want her parents to know that she had filmed such an intimate video and, worse, had kept it on her phone where others could find it. "I didn't want anyone in the store to know anything was wrong," she said. "I didn't want to make a big deal out of it." But after a few moments, N.E. returned to the store and went straight to her female acquaintance and asked to simply finish her transaction. She didn't confront the men. The transfer took some time, and she even stayed until after the store had closed until it was complete. The men didn't approach N.E. "It didn't even bother them, as if I was nothing," she continued. "I felt worthless because, hello, I'm a human being and this is something that's very private. It's like I'm not important. I felt powerless, because I couldn't say anything about it in the moment." Multiple defendants N.E. told her fiancé what had happened, and he was outraged. The fiancé called T-Mobile's customer service, expressing grave concern over the violation of customer privacy and worry that this video may have been further shared without N.E.'s consent. But after being passed on to another T-Mobile representative, Michael, the fiancé was ultimately unsatisfied as to the company's response. T-Mobile had promised him investigate surveillance footage from the store and conduct further inquiry, but the company seems to have made no effort to do so. "[T-Mobile was] treating it like someone had walked into the store and wasn't greeted well," N.E. told Ars. Eventually, N.E. found attorneys and filed her lawsuit on January 11, 2019. In addition to T-Mobile, the case also names as defendants: Executive Cellular Phones, the company that contracts with T-Mobile to run that store; one of the two men, Victor; and the other man whose identity remains unidentified in the civil complaint. One of N.E.'s attorneys, Christian McOmber, told Ars that it was difficult to know what the end result would be for a case like this. "It's difficult to give any financial estimate, because cases are settled," he said. "In some ways this is a new frontier. Now the court systems are catching up." But, he noted, his firm would be aggressive. "You can't harass somebody who is trying to do business with you," McOmber added. "We're looking for significant compensation for her, because concrete doesn't fix sidewalks. Judgements fix sidewalks. T-Mobile needs to take responsibility for their operators. They need to be responsible for their services, for the training, for the qualification, and their oversight, and here they've neglected to do all of that." Source
  3. T-Mobile is beginning to roll out support for call verification technology, which will confirm that a phone call is actually coming from the number listed on caller ID. Now, if one T-Mobile subscriber calls another T-Mobile subscriber, the person receiving the call will see a message saying “Caller Verified” if they have a supported phone. Unfortunately, there’s only one supported phone for the time being. Call verification won’t put a stop to spammy phone calls, but it will start to help people identify which calls are actually coming from real people. As anyone with a phone knows, spammers have relentlessly spoofed local phone numbers in recent years, making it appear that you’re getting an incoming call from someone you may know. Call verification is meant to combat that. There are a lot of limitations at launch, though. For one, T-Mobile is the first carrier to launch support for it. It’s supposed to eventually work across all major phone providers, but that’ll only happen once others come on board. Second, T-Mobile is starting small, launching this only on the Galaxy Note 9 to start. Presumably, it’ll come to other phones eventually, but no timeline was given. The bigger limitation is that this doesn’t actually tell you which calls are spam, just which calls aren’t. That’s definitely still a help. You might get a call from a neighbor or a local business that you’ll now know to pick up, thanks to the verification tech. But if you get a call that isn’t verified, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a spammer, just that the call couldn’t be verified, which could simply be due to lack of support from their phone provider. Still, it’s an encouraging sign in the perpetually frustrating fight against spammers. T-Mobile is using a pair of technologies known as SHAKEN and STIR, which FCC chairman Ajit Pai “demanded” the phone industry implement. In November, Pai sent letters to the industry asking that the technologies be adopted “without delay.” Verizon plans to start implementing the tech later this year, and Sprint plans to begin testing it this year. Other major voice providers have said they are working on it or beginning trials. Source
  4. T-Mobile has revealed an uptick in the number of demands for data it receives from the government. The cellular giant quietly posted its 2017 transparency report on August 14, revealing a 12 percent increase in the number of overall data demands it responded to compared to the previous year. The report said the company responded to 219,377 subpoenas, an 11 percent rise on 2017. These demands were issued by federal agencies and do not require any judicial oversight. The company also responded to 55,372 court orders, a 13 percent rise, and 27,203 warrants, a rise of 19 percent. But the number of wiretap orders — which allow police to listen in to calls in real time — went down by half on the previous year. A spokesperson for T-Mobile told TechCrunch that the figures reflect a “typical increase of legal demands across the board” and that the increases are “consistent with past years.” Although the results reveal more requests for customer data, the transparency report did not say how many customers were affected. T-Mobile has 77 million users as of its second-quarter earnings. Several tech companies began publishing how many government requests for customer data they received since Google’s debut report in 2010. But it was only after the Edward Snowden disclosures in 2013 that revealed mass surveillance by the National Security Agency when tech companies and telcos began regularly publishing transparency reports, seen as an effort to counter the damaging claims that companies helped the government spy. T-Mobile became the last major cell carrier to issue a transparency report two years later in 2015. The company also said that it responded to 64,266 requests by law enforcement for customers’ historical cell site data. That data became the focal point of the U.S. vs. Carpenter case earlier this year, in which the Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement must obtain a warrant for historical cell and location data. That figure is expected to fall during the 2018 reporting year as the new bar to obtain a court-signed warrant is higher. T-Mobile also said it received 46,395 requests to track customers’ real-time location, and 4,855 warrants and orders for tower dumps, which police can use to obtain information on all the nearby devices connected to a cell tower during a particular period of time. But the number of national security requests received declined during 2017. The number of national security letters used by federal agents to obtain call records in secret and the number of orders granted by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court were each below 1,000 requests for the full year. Tech companies and telcos are highly restricted in how they can report the number of classified orders demanding customer data in secret, and can only report in ranges of requests they received. Since the Freedom Act was signed into law in 2015, the Justice Department began allowing companies to report in narrower ranges. Source
  5. No financial data, Social Security numbers, or passwords were compromised T-Mobile has announced that on August 20th, the company was hit by hackers who were able to gain access to personal information from roughly 2 million customers, including the name, billing zip code, phone number, email address, account number, and account type of users. According to the company, more sensitive information — financial data, Social Security numbers, and passwords — weren’t compromised in the hack. T-Mobile gave a statement on the breach, saying anyone whose data has been stolen either has been or shortly will be notified via a text message. So if you’re T-Mobile customer and you haven’t gotten an alert, you’re probably safe. T-Mobile hasn’t given a concrete number of how many customers have had their information compromised, although in a statement given to Motherboard, a T-Mobile spokesperson noted that the hack affected “about” or “slightly less than” 3 percent of the carrier’s 77 million customers (which works out to around 2 million users). Source
  6. After blocking several Pirate Bay clone sites following requests from rightsholders, T-Mobile in Austria has reported itself over a potential net neutrality breach. EU law says that pirate sites can be blocked but the ISP is concerned that doing so without a court order could be a breach of the Telecom Single Market (TSM) Regulation passed in 2015. For the past eight years, Austria has been struggling with the thorny issue of pirate site blocking. Local ISPs have put up quite a fight but site blocking is now a reality, albeit with a certain amount of confusion. After a dizzying route through the legal system, last November the Supreme Court finally ruled that The Pirate Bay and other “structurally-infringing” sites including 1337x.to and isohunt.to can be blocked, if rightsholders have exhausted all other options. The Court based its decision on the now-familiar BREIN v Filmspeler and BREIN v Ziggo and XS4All cases that received European Court of Justice rulings last year. However, there is now an additional complication, this time on the net neutrality front. After being passed in October 2015 and coming into force in April 2016, the Telecom Single Market (TSM) Regulation established the principle of non-discriminatory traffic management in the EU. The regulation still allows for the blocking of copyright-infringing websites but only where supported by a clear administrative or judicial decision. This is where T-Mobile sees a problem. In addition to blocking sites named specifically by the court, copyright holders also expect the ISP to block related platforms, such as clones and mirrors, that aren’t specified in the same manner. So, last week, after blocking several obscure Pirate Bay clones such as proxydl.cf, the ISP reported itself to the Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR) for a potential net neutrality breach. “It sounds paradoxical, but this should finally bring legal certainty in a long-standing dispute over pirate sites. T-Mobile Austria has filed with regulatory authority RTR a kind of self-report, after blocking several sites on the basis of a warning by rights holders,” T-Mobile said in a statement. “The background to the communication to the RTR, through which T-Mobile intends to obtain an assessment by the regulator, is a very unsatisfactory legal situation in which operators have no opportunity to behave in conformity with the law. “The service provider is forced upon notification by the copyright owner to even judge about possible copyright infringements. At the same time, the provider is violating the principle of net neutrality by setting up a ban.” T-Mobile says the problem is complicated by rightsholders who, after obtaining a blocking order forcing named ISPs to block named pirate sites (as required under EU law), send similar demands to other ISPs that were not party to court proceedings. The rightsholders also send blocking demands when blocked sites disappear and reappear under a new name, despite those new names not being part of the original order. According to industry body Internet Service Providers Austria (ISPA), there is a real need for clarification. It’s hoped that T-Mobile reporting itself for a potential net neutrality breach will have the desired effect. “For more than two years, we have been trying to find a solution with the involved interest groups and the responsible ministry, which on the one hand protects the rights of the artists and on the other hand does not force the providers into the role of a judge,” complains Maximilian Schubert, Secretary General of the ISPA. “The willingness of the rights holders to compromise had remained within manageable limits. Now they are massively increasing the pressure and demanding costly measures, which the service providers see as punishment for them providing legal security for their customers for many years.” ISPA hopes that the telecoms regulator will now help to clear up this uncertainty. “We now hope that the regulator will give a clear answer here. Because from our point of view, the assessment of legality cannot and should not be outsourced to companies,” Schubert concludes. source
  7. Mobile phone unlocking has long been something of a grey area in the United States, but when President Obama signed a bill into law that sought to clear things up a little more, many hoped that the floodgates to easily unlockable phones would open. Now T-Mobile is the first to bring mass-unlocking to the people via its newly released and abysmally named ‘Device Unlock’ app. It’s free, obviously enough, and available to download now from the Google Play Store. Unfortunately though, it’s not all good news. For starters, the app can currently only unlock one type of phone, which is ridiculous to say the least. If you’re currently toting the Samsung Galaxy Avant and want it unlocking though, well, you’re in luck! If you’re not, then you’re going to have to wait. We can’t see any real reason why this app wouldn’t eventually work with other phones, so hopefully an update or two will soon sort this particular issue out. If you do have a Galaxy Avant though, you’ll be able to choose between a temporary or permanent unlock with the former designed for those that are going overseas and simply need to be able to put a SIM from a foreign land into their low-specced Android phone. Choose the permanent option and there’s no going back! T-Mobile’s own FAQ lays out the specifics about what is required in order to gain an unlock for your phone with the contract being fully paid and the handset not having been reported stolen being at the top of the list. In all honesty it’s pretty standard fare, but worth a read regardless. Right now it’s fare to say that T-Mobile’s ‘Device Unlock’ app is all but useless to anyone who doesn’t happen to own the one device that it supports, but it does hopefully show willingness on the carrier’s part. Now we can only hope that more devices are supported sooner rather than later! Download Link http://www.tusfiles.net/qfv9hspa006k Source
  8. Today T-Mobile US has started its pre-order campaign for the Galaxy S5, just as it was announced a few days ago. AT&T and US Cellular were the first to offer the smartphone on pre-order, but all carriers will start shipping it in time for the official launch on April 11. The T-Mobile pre-orders allows you to have the Samsung Galaxy S5 for $0 down payment and 24 months of $27.50 - that's total of $660. T-Mobile's retail price is $10 above AT&T's, but it still a good deal, especially one that doesn't require you to sign a new 2-year agreement. Users who pre-order the Galaxy S5 from T-Mobile will also get a special $120 off a Galaxy Tab 3 slate. You can place your order right here. Source
  9. The advent of the Google Nexus 4 seemed too good to be true—high-end hardware, unlocked and contract-free at a low price. As time went on, however, we began to see the compromises. The camera was "meh" at best, and most egregiously, it shipped without LTE functionality. Yup, no LTE. What a disappointment. However, that didn't stop me, and I'm sure it didn't stop any of you, from ordering it as soon as it came out. Petty grievances aside, it's a damn fine phone. As it turns out, the Nexus 4 did have LTE capability, only getting it turned on required serious modding and was no easy task. Luckily for us, that's no longer the case! Now there's a way to get LTE data speeds on your Nexus 4 with no more work required than a quick download from Google Play. Step 1: Root Your Nexus 4 In accordance with the grand Nexus tradition, rooting the Nexus 4 takes very little time or effort, and is very, very easy. Check out the Nexus 5 rooting guide to get started. The only thing you need to do differently is replace the file in Step 2 with one specific for your Nexus 4. Although the guide is for the Nexus 5, the process is, for all intents and purposes, the same on your N4. Install Nexus Root Toolkit by WugFresh. It's a simple GUI interface and will walk you through step by step. Step 2: Install Nexus 4 LTE Modem Flasher Bpear Software is to thank for this great tool, aptly called Nexus 4 LTE Modem Flasher, which is available for free from Google Play. Step 3: Flip the Switch to Enable LTE The sole purpose of this app is to flash different modems for the Nexus 4. You'll be asked to grant superuser permissions when you first open the app—grant them, then tap the Build.Prop tab on the far right. Check the box for Enable LTE then hit Apply. Step 4: Install a Custom Recovery If don't already have a custom recovery installed, you're going to need one. Recoveries allow us to flash .zip files like the modems you see here, but in case you don't already have one, this app can install one for us. Simply tap the menu overflow icon on the top right, then tap Install TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project). TWRP will download and install automatically. Step 5: Flash LTE Hybrid Modem Now go into the section labeled LTE HYBRID MODEMS. The first modem on the list, 0.98 + 0.33 LTE Hybrid Modem worked for me, but I'm on AT&T's network in the U.S. If you're on T-Mobile or abroad, it's possible you may have to try another one, but start here. Make your selection, then hit the "Flash" button. The modem will download, your phone will reboot into recovery, and TWRP will install, or flash, the modem. When your phone comes to, if you're in an LTE area in the US, you should see a 4G icon next to your signal strength meter. If you're running a custom ROM, you may see an "LTE" icon instead of "4G". Google wised up and made sure to give the Nexus 5 LTE out of the box, but there's no reason for your trusty N4 should be left out in the cold. Hop on board and start soaking up that sweet, sweet data! Source: http://nexus5.wonderhowto.com/how-to/enable-blazing-fast-lte-data-speeds-your-nexus-4-0150880/ ================================================================= Jtmulc's notes: I'm still testing, but I have used this on my Nexus 4 running Android 4.4.2 on T-Mobile using the 0.97 + 0.33 LTE Hybrid Modem. My download speeds went from 10Mbps on HSPA+ to 30Mbps on LTE. I had to create a new APN under Settings -> Wireless Settings -> More -> Mobile Networks -> Access Point Names. Name: T-Mobile US LTE APN: fast.t-mobile.com MMSC: http://mms.msg.eng.t-mobile.com/mms/wapenc MCC: 310 MNC: 260 APN type: default,supl,mms APN protocol: IPv4/IPv6 All other fields can stay blank/default.
  10. According to T-Mobile, November 20th is one of the release dates for the Nexus 5. That is the day the device will make it to T-Mobile stores; however, if you want to get it a bit earlier, the device will be on sale through T-Mobile's website starting November 14th. Of course, as was the case with the Nexus 4, unless you really need to be on T-Mobile's equipment installment plan, you might be better off buying the Nexus 5 directly from Google and just getting the SIM from T-Mobile. Directly from Google, the Nexus 5 will set you back just $350 (plus taxes and shipping), but you would have to deal with the delays in shipping because of product shortages. The 16GB models of the Nexus 5 are showing shipping times of 3 to 5 weeks in the Play Store depending on the color you want. So, you'll be able to get the device sooner through T-Mobile, but the 16GB model will end up costing you about $450 ($41.99 down and 24 equal monthly device payments of $17). So, you'll have to decide if getting it sooner is worth the higher price tag. Of course, it should be noted that we would expect the carrier branded versions of the Nexus 5 to come in at a higher price point than directly through Google. Carriers still need to make money off of devices sold, while Google has no need to generate profits on hardware sales. Source: Phonearena
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