T-Mobile Launches eSIM Support for Postpaid Customers

T-Mobile today announced expanded support for the eSIM, which is a feature in the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

The carrier previously introduced eSIM support for prepaid plans, but starting today, the eSIM can also be used to activate one of T-Mobile's postpaid plans.


With the new eSIM support, customers who already have a phone plan with one carrier, like AT&T or Verizon, can sign up for a standard postpaid plan with T-Mobile and use services from both carriers simultaneously on a single device.

Combined with the physical nano-SIM slot, the extra eSIM option is useful for iPhone owners who need to access both work and personal numbers on one device, or set up a device with an international number while traveling.

The eSIM can also be used to activate an iPhone with T-Mobile without the need for a physical SIM card.

T-Mobile says that customers interested in activating their iPhones with a postpaid plan via eSIM can visit a T-Mobile store as of today.

Along with T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T offer eSIM support in the United States, but Sprint does not.

Tags: T-Mobile, eSIM

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T-Mobile Experiencing Outage, Some Customers Unable to Make Calls or Send Texts

T-Mobile appears to be experiencing a significant outage, with many T-Mobile customers unable to make calls or send text messages, reports TechCrunch.

Based on reports on Twitter and other social networks, the outage started at approximately 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time.


There's no word on just how many people are impacted by the service issues, but there are dozens of reports from T-Mobile users across multiple states.

It's not known when the outage might be resolved, but a T-Mobile support account reportedly said the carrier's engineers are "working on a resolution." We'll update this article when the issue has been resolved.


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Department of Justice Approves $26B Merger of T-Mobile and Sprint

Following more than a year of regulatory scrutiny, the U.S. Department of Justice today announced that it has approved the $26 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, although with several conditions attached.


T-Mobile and Sprint will join together as "New T-Mobile" to become a dominant third carrier in the United States alongside Verizon and AT&T. Together, the companies have committed to building out a nationwide 5G network covering 97 percent of the U.S. population within three years and 99 percent within six years.

T-Mobile and Sprint earlier promised that they will not raise prices for three years following the completion of the merger.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, T-Mobile and Sprint must divest a substantial package of assets to Dish Network, including Sprint's prepaid subsidiaries Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile and some 800MHz spectrum. Dish will also gain access to at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations.

The deal paves the way for Dish to become the fourth nationwide facilities-based wireless carrier in the United States, ensuring a competitive landscape. Dish has announced that it plans to deploy a 5G broadband network capable of serving 70 percent of the U.S. population by June 2023.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai:
I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice has reached a settlement with T-Mobile and Sprint. The commitments made to the FCC by T-Mobile and Sprint to deploy a 5G network that would cover 99% of the American people, along with the measures outlined in the Department's consent decree, will advance U.S. leadership in 5G and protect competition.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere:
The T-Mobile and Sprint merger we announced last April will create a bigger and bolder competitor than ever before -- one that will deliver the most transformative 5G network in the country, lower prices, better quality, unmatched value and thousands of jobs, while unlocking an unprecedented $43B net present value in synergies. We are pleased that our previously announced target synergies, profitability and long-term cash generation have not changed.
The merger remains subject to remaining regulatory approvals and certain other customary closing conditions. Additionally, a number of states filed an antitrust lawsuit in U.S. federal court in June to block the proposed transaction; that lawsuit remains on the docket and must be resolved before the merger can go forward.

Regardless, T-Mobile and Sprint expect to receive final federal regulatory approval in the third quarter of 2019 and anticipate that the merger will be permitted to close by the end of the year.


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T-Mobile Reaches Divestiture Deal With Dish in Hopes of Gaining Approval for Sprint Merger

T-Mobile has reached a divestiture deal with Dish Network that perhaps brings it one step closer to earning government approval for its planned merger with Sprint, reports CNBC.

Dish Network and T-Mobile had been discussing a deal for Sprint's Boost Mobile brand and some wireless spectrum to ease antitrust concerns over the merger.


Though the two companies have much of the divestiture deal in place, sources that spoke to CNBC said that there are still issues that the Justice Department is "actively focused on" before it would allow a deal.

The government continues to be concerned that the agreement between Dish and T-Mobile isn't enough to make sure that Dish would provide meaningful competition in the U.S. cellular market.

The DoJ wants Sprint and T-Mobile to ensure that there continues to be a fourth major carrier in the United States following their merger. The combination of Sprint and T-Mobile, which would be called T-Mobile and would be led by John Legere, would leave the U.S. with three major carriers: T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon.

T-Mobile wants to limit Dish's spectrum capacity to 12.5 percent, while T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom wants to limit any strategic Dish investor to five percent, restrictions the DoJ may not be happy with.

Sprint and T-Mobile first announced a merger agreement in April 2018, but the completion of the deal continues to require government approval. As of May, U.S. regulators were said to be "leaning against" approving the merger unless some of T-Mobile and Sprint's assets were sold off, and T-Mobile and Sprint have been working toward that goal.


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AT&T Named 2019’s Fastest U.S. Mobile Network in Annual PCMag Carrier Showdown

AT&T is the fastest mobile network in the United States according to PCMag's latest annual mobile network comparison, which was released this morning.

For the test, PCMag employees drove through 30 cities and 25 states across the U.S. and ran more than 60,000 mobile speed tests to determine the speediest mobile network. The tests were conducted using Samsung Galaxy S10 devices on networks from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.


This year, AT&T edged out Verizon, the winner for the past five years, thanks to AT&T's focus on improving its LTE network in preparation for 5G technology. While all four networks improved overall on both speed and reliability compared to last year, AT&T improved a bit more than the others.


AT&T won or tied for first place in 15 of the 30 cities tested, and it tied or came out on top in all rural regions. AT&T was on top overall in the northwest, southwest, north central, and northeast, while Verizon won in the south central region and T-Mobile came out ahead in the southeast.


AT&T has been making improvements to its 4G network and has been labeling those 4G enhancements as "5GE," but really it's the same 4G LTE technology offered by other wireless companies as well. Still, these efforts to improve the 4G network ahead of 5G have led to overall speed boosts for AT&T customers.

The full results of PCMag's 2019 mobile carrier speed testing can be found over on the PCMag website.


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Dish Network Nearing Deal for Boost Mobile as T-Mobile and Sprint Unload Assets for Merger Approval

Dish Network is close to securing a deal to pay $6 billion for Sprint's Boost Mobile brand and wireless spectrum, reports Bloomberg.

Sprint is selling Boost Mobile in an effort to unload assets to gain regulatory approval for its upcoming merger with T-Mobile. The two companies have been aiming to sell Boost Mobile to appease U.S. regulators who believe the merger raises antitrust concerns.


The United States Justice Department wants Sprint and T-Mobile to ensure there continues to be a fourth major carrier in the country as the combined T-Mobile and Sprint company would leave just AT&T and Verizon as the other major carriers.

Sprint and T-Mobile's combined company, set to be called T-Mobile and led by John Legere, would have close to 100 million customers, putting it second only to Verizon.

Sprint and T-Mobile first announced a merger agreement in April 2018, but the completion of the deal requires government approval. As of May, U.S. regulators were said to be "leaning against" approving the merger unless some of T-Mobile and Sprint's assets were sold off.

Dish may be planning to announce a deal as soon as this week, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg. The terms of the deal have not yet been finalized and it could still fall through, however.


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U.S. Justice Department ‘Leaning Against’ Approving T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

The United States Justice Department is "leaning against" approving the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, reports Bloomberg.

The merger might not be approved because the two companies "don't go far enough" to resolve antitrust concerns raised by the U.S. government.


Bloomberg's report comes shortly after United States Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai said that he would recommend approval of the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile.

T-Mobile and Sprint have implemented changes to their merger to allay concerns, including the sale of Boost Mobile, a three-year buildout of a 5G network, and a pledge not to raise prices while the network is being built, but these steps may not be enough to earn approval.

Back in April, there were reports suggesting the DoJ had told Sprint and T-Mobile that the merger would not be approved as it was originally structured, which prompted the plans to sell Boost Mobile.

Sprint and T-Mobile first announced a merger agreement in April 2018, but the completion of the merger requires the government to approve the deal. A merger between Sprint and T-Mobile would combine two of the four major carriers in the U.S., and it would use the T-Mobile name.

The two companies would have close to 100 million customers, putting it second only to Verizon. The U.S. DoJ is concerned the deal would be a major threat to competition.

Sprint and T-Mobile planned to have the merger completed no later than the first half of 2019, but that date was pushed back to late July earlier this year.


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Proposed T-Mobile and Sprint Merger Gains Support From FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

United States Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said this week that he would recommend approval of the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint (via Bloomberg). The news comes after T-Mobile and Sprint announced changes to their $26.5 billion merger agreement, including the sale of the prepaid brand Boost Mobile, a three-year buildout of their 5G network, and a pledge not to raise prices while the network is being built.


Under the new plan, the companies will sell off Sprint's Boost Mobile brand, but keep Virgin Mobile and T-Mobile's Metro brand. If Sprint and T-Mobile had kept all three, they would have owned the largest chunk of the prepaid cellular market in the United States, totaling about 42 percent of the market.
“Two of the FCC’s top priorities are closing the digital divide in rural America and advancing United States leadership in 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity,” Pai said in a statement Monday. “The commitments made today by T-Mobile and Sprint would substantially advance each of these critical objectives.”
If completed, the new combined company would ditch the Sprint name and be called T-Mobile, and current T-Mobile CEO John Legere would serve as the Chief Executive Officer. Sprint and T-Mobile have said the new company will be a "force for positive change" in the U.S. wireless, video, and broadband industries, supercharging T-Mobile's Un-carrier strategy and allowing it to "lead in the 5G era."

Although Pai's approval is a big step, the merger still needs to be approved by the full FCC board and the Department of Justice. In April, Sprint and T-Mobile announced a deadline extension for the merger to July 29, 2019.


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FCC Questions U.S. Carriers on Phone Location Data Sales Practices

The United States Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday sent out letters to Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint questioning the carriers about their data selling practices, reports Motherboard.

The carriers have been found selling real-time location information from customer devices to data aggregators, leading the location data to end up in the hands of private investigators, bounty hunters, law enforcement, credit companies, and more.


Companies like LocationSmart and Zumigo obtained location information from U.S.-based cellular carriers and passed that data on to dozens of other companies, putting real-time customer location information in the hands of those who should not have it.

After coming under scrutiny for their location sharing practices, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile, pledged to stop doing so, but many had not actually stopped entirely as of January.

The FCC is now demanding answers from the four carriers. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel asked the heads of each company to provide details on whether the data aggregators were allowed to save phone location data and what steps carriers are going to take to make sure shared data has been deleted. From the letter to AT&T:
Real-time location information is sensitive data deserving the highest level of privacy protection. But it is evident from press reports that this data may have been sold without the explicit consent of consumers and without appropriate safeguards in place.

Accordingly, I appreciate your decision to end these location aggregation services by March of this year. To that end, I kindly request that you provide an update on your efforts and confirm by what date AT&T ended its arrangements to sell the location data of its customers. Please also confirm whether and by what date the company ended arrangements to sell assisted or augmented GPS data.

Finally, the public still has very little detail about how much geolocation data is being saved and stored-including in ways that may be far too accessible to others. Even de-anonymized location data may be combined with other information in ways that could make it personally identifiable again. Accordingly, please explain whether AT&T's agreements permitted aggregators or others to save and store location data they received from your company. If so, please confirm what steps your company is taking to ensure that these companies delete or destroy previously shared data and any derivative data. Alternatively, please explain what steps AT&T is taking to safeguard such data from use or onward sale that is inconsistent with consumers' original content.
Similar letters were also sent to Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile, and all four carriers have been asked to provide responses to the FCC by May 15, 2019.


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Sprint and T-Mobile Extend Merger Deadline to June 29

Sprint and T-Mobile have announced an agreement to extend the deadline for their proposed $26 billion merger deal to July 29 (via Reuters).

The extension was revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and means that the two carriers now have more time to get the proposed merger approved by both the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.


The Justice Department's antitrust division has been exploring whether the deal would result in a major threat to competition. Earlier this month, Justice Department staff members reportedly told Sprint and T-Mobile that their planned merger is unlikely to be approved as it is currently structured.

However, in an interview on CNBC, Justice Department Antitrust Division chief Makan Delrahim said he had not made a decision regarding the T-Mobile and Sprint merger and is waiting for more information from the two companies.
"I have not made up my mind," he told CNBC. "The investigation continues. We've requested some data from the companies that will be forthcoming. We don't have a set number of meetings or a time line."

"If the case is there for us to challenge a transaction or suggest changes, we will do that," he said. The division is reviewing the argument that the deal would allow the combined company to produce a better, faster 5G, the next generation of wireless, he added.
T-Mobile and Sprint first announced plans for a merger in April 2018. If approved, the merger will combine two of the four major wireless carriers in the United States, giving the new company nearly 100 million customers.

With discussions ongoing, Sprint and T-Mobile may be willing to offer concessions that include assets sales to get the government to approve the merger plans.

However, other challenges await the two carriers, with multiple state attorneys prepared to launch lawsuits if the Justice Department doesn't end up challenging the merger, according to sources that spoke to The Wall Street Journal.


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