T-Mobile Won’t Make Serious Push Into 5G Until Second Half of 2019

T-Mobile won't be making a serious push into launching and promoting its 5G network until the second half of 2019, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in an interview shared by CNET today.

The carrier had initially planned to promote 5G in the first half of 2019, but it is delaying that rollout because smartphones able to take advantage of its 5G network won't be available until later.

Image via CNET

According to Ray, T-Mobile had hoped that smartphone makers and chip manufacturers would have 5G devices ready to use the lower-band 600 megahertz spectrum that will power much of its 5G network, but that hasn't quite happened. The company instead plans to "go big" with 5G later in 2019.

The 5G version of the Galaxy S10 from Samsung, which will come in April, offers millimeter wave support compatible with Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, but not T-Mobile. T-Mobile is deploying millimeter wave, but coverage at the moment is "too minimal for the company to promote."

T-Mobile is planning to use the 600MHz spectrum to power most of its 5G network because while it offers slower peak speeds, it provides better coverage than the millimeter wave spectrum that Verizon and AT&T are currently focusing on more heavily.

Early 5G devices like the Galaxy S10 5G will use millimeter wave spectrum. T-Mobile plans to sell the Galaxy S10 5G, but given that its millimeter wave deployment is so limited at this time, Ray is not sure the company will promote Samsung's newest smartphone.

CNET's original story suggested T-Mobile was delaying its 5G launch entirely, but Ray says that is not true. On Twitter, Ray clarified that 5G will still start rolling out in the first half of 2019, but that it will get "more meaningful" in the second half of the year when there are actual devices that can take advantage of the 600MHz 5G spectrum.


The network differences put T-Mobile a bit behind other cellular companies. AT&T has rolled out 5G in 12 cities, Verizon has a 5G home broadband service in a limited number of cities, and Sprint is planning to launch its 5G network in May.

T-Mobile isn't worried about AT&T and Verizon having an edge in the race to deploy 5G just because millimeter wave spectrum has such a limited range. "You can't go to a US consumer and charge them a big premium and it works on three street corners," Ray told CNET.

Full 5G rollout with faster overall speeds will require carriers to offer 5G connectivity across multiple spectrums, with the fastest, millimeter wave, limited to dense urban areas. AT&T is also planning to offer 5G on low-band spectrum starting in 2019, with nationwide coverage planned for 2020.

For Apple users, the 2019 rollout of 5G means little because there won't be iPhones able to use 5G networks until at least 2020. Rumors have suggested Apple won't introduce a 5G-capable iPhone in 2019, and Intel recently confirmed that its 5G hardware won't be in consumer products until 2020. Apple is currently using Intel's modem chips in its iPhone lineup due to an ongoing legal spat with Qualcomm.

Tags: T-Mobile, 5G

This article, "T-Mobile Won't Make Serious Push Into 5G Until Second Half of 2019" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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U.S. DoJ Charges Chinese Smartphone Company Huawei With Stealing Trade Secrets and Fraud

The United States Justice Department today announced a series of criminal charges against Chinese smartphone maker Huawei for stealing trade secrets, bank fraud, wire fraud, and obstructing justice.

In the first of two indictments unsealed this afternoon, the Justice Department accuses Huawei, Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, and two affiliates of bank and wire fraud.


Huawei is said to have misled a global bank and U.S. authorities about its relationship with subsidiaries Skycom and Huawei Device USA to conduct business in Iran despite sanctions, conducting millions of dollars in business. Huawei is accused of lying to the government, destroying documents, and attempting to move key Huawei employees back to China to impede the investigation.

A second indictment accuses Huawei of stealing trade secrets, wire fraud, and obstructing justice for stealing robotic technology from T-Mobile U.S. for testing smartphone durability.

Huawei violated confidentiality agreements with T-Mobile when it stole information on "Tappy," a T-Mobile robot designed to mimic human fingers to test smartphones back in 2012. Huawei employees secretly took photos of the robot, measured it, and stole components. T-Mobile won a $4.8 million lawsuit against Huawei in 2017 over the dispute.

All in all, the U.S. filed 10 charges related to trade secrets for the T-Mobile theft and 13 charges related to sanction violations against Huawei. The U.S. is seeking the extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou from Canada, where she was arrested in December.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the charges levied against Huawei "expose brazen and persistent actions to exploit American companies and financial institutions and threaten the free and fair global marketplace."
As you can tell from the number and magnitude of the charges, Huawei and its senior executives repeatedly refused to respect U.S. law and standard international business practices. Huawei also intentionally and systematically sought to steal valuable intellectual property from an American company so it could circumvent hard-earned time consuming research and gain an unfair market advantage. [...]

As Americans, we should all be concerned about the potential for any company beholden to a foreign government - especially one that doesn't share our values -- to burrow into the American telecommunications market. Today's charges serve as a warning that the FBI does not - and will not -- tolerate businesses that violate our laws, obstruct our justice, and jeopardize our national security.
The charges filed today against Huawei will likely escalate U.S.-China tensions, though the Department of Justice said that the indictments are "wholly separate" from trade negotiations with China, which are set to continue this week.

The U.S. has already banned government employees and contractors from using devices from Huawei and ZTE, and legislation has been introduced that would ban the export of U.S. parts and components to Chinese telecommunications companies in violation of U.S. export control or sanction laws.

Huawei is the largest smartphone manufacturer in China and a major Apple competitor in the country. Few Huawei products are available in the U.S., however, because of the aforementioned cybersecurity concerns.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


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T-Mobile Launches ‘Caller Verified’ Tool to Protect Subscribers From Scammers

T-Mobile today launched a new "Caller Verified" feature that's designed to offer its customers more protection from scammers and spammers who spoof legitimate phone calls to attempt to fool smartphone owners.

Caller Verified uses the STIR and SHAKEN standards that are in place to combat illegal caller ID spoofing.


Right now, T-Mobile's implementation of Caller Verified is limited. It's only available on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and it is limited to the T-Mobile network.

On the Note 9, calls on the T-Mobile network will be "Caller Verified," with customers able to see that labeling to be sure that calls are authentic and are not coming from a scammer or spammer.

T-Mobile says that it plans to make the Caller Verified feature available on more smartphones later in the year, but it is not clear if that includes Apple's devices.

The feature will also work with calls coming from other carriers once other wireless providers implement STIR/SHAKEN standards.

T-Mobile has other spam fighting tools including Scam ID, Scam Block, and a premium Name ID app.


This article, "T-Mobile Launches 'Caller Verified' Tool to Protect Subscribers From Scammers" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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T-Mobile to Delay Streaming TV Service Until 2019

In late 2017, T-Mobile announced plans for a "disruptive" internet TV service, set to launch at some point in 2018. T-Mobile isn't going to make that release date, however, with the rollout pushed back until 2019.

According to Bloomberg, T-Mobile is delaying its TV service because the "project proved much more complex than expected."

T-Mobile executives faced the difficult choice of either offering a garden-variety streaming platform - a service that lets customers watch cable channels and other content online - or waiting until next year to deliver a more groundbreaking product, the people said.
When the project was announced, T-Mobile CEO John Legere made big promises about how it would disrupt the TV industry, and the high bar set by the company has made it difficult to complete the project on time.


T-Mobile's TV service is built in part on its acquisition of Layer3 TV, and while John Legere has promised to "fix the pain points and bring real choice to consumers," few details about the service are available at this time.

The carrier has promised to offer solutions to issues like lengthy contracts, increasing monthly bill costs, confusing bundles, and outdated user interfaces. 2019 is the prospective launch date for the service at this time, but Bloomberg's sources warned that plans could change.


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T-Mobile Becomes Third U.S. Carrier to Offer eSIM Support on iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR

T-Mobile today announced the launch of its new T-Mobile eSIM app (via VentureBeat), designed to allow iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max users to sign up for T-Mobile as a second carrier via the eSIM feature in the newest iPhones.

U.S. customers who want to try T-Mobile, existing customers that want separate lines, and people traveling to the United States can add T-Mobile as a secondary prepaid line to any iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR using the new T-Mobile app.


T-Mobile is offering three different prepaid eSIM plans:


  • T-Mobile ONE Prepaid with unlimited voice, text, and data for $70; 30 day expiry

  • Simply Prepaid with unlimited voice, text, and 10GB of LTE data for $40; 30 day expiry

  • Tourist Plan with 1000 minutes, unlimited text, and 2GB of LTE data for $30; 21 day expiry


Adding T-Mobile as a secondary carrier on a device is as simple as downloading the T-Mobile eSIM app, entering an email address, and following the activation steps within the app.

At the current time, T-Mobile is only offering prepaid eSIM plans, but the carrier says it will also offer postpaid ongoing eSIM plans in the future. For those looking for an immediate postpaid solution to add an ongoing T-Mobile service plan as a secondary eSIM option to an iPhone, our forum members have outlined a possible solution that some users have been able to get working.

The eSIM, or digital SIM, is designed to let new iPhone users activate a cellular plan from a carrier without the need to use a physical SIM card.

With eSIM support, dual-SIM functionality is available on the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max, enabled through the existing physical SIM slot and the eSIM in all countries with the exception of China. In China, the new iPhones have two SIM card slots.

T-Mobile is the third U.S. carrier to implement support for the eSIM, following Apple's activation of the feature in iOS 12.1. Verizon and AT&T both added eSIM support to their services last week.

The T-Mobile eSIM app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tags: T-Mobile, eSIM

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Apple’s 2018 iPhones Support T-Mobile’s 600MHz LTE Spectrum for Improved LTE Performance

The iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR are the first iPhones to support T-Mobile's 600 MHz LTE spectrum (aka Band 71), according to T-Mobile CEO John Legere.

Band 71 is listed as a supported option on the Tech Specs pages for both the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR. Apple additionally says its new devices support the most LTE bands ever in an iPhone.


T-Mobile purchased the 600 MHz spectrum in an FCC auction in April 2017 and shortly after announced plans to use the spectrum to improve its network in rural America.

By the time T-Mobile announced its plans for the rollout of the 600 MHz spectrum, the hardware for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and 8 Plus was already secured, giving Apple no time to build in support.

T-Mobile in August 2017 activated the first 600 MHz site in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and has since expanded it to 1,254 cities across 36 states, including Puerto Rico, which means many T-Mobile customers who purchase the iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR will benefit from the improved coverage.


According to T-Mobile, the 600 MHz spectrum adds increased building penetration and covers greater distances. When used in metro areas, it improves in-building coverage, and in rural areas, it improves the company's LTE footprint.

Other smartphones that offer 600 MHz support include the LG G7 Thin Q, the Samsung Galaxy S9, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS

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T-Mobile Partners With Apple to Launch iPhone and iPad Leasing Program for Businesses

T-Mobile today launched a new iPhone and iPad leasing program for businesses in partnership with Apple's Financial Services.


Under the program, qualifying business accounts activating 25 or more lines with T-Mobile can lease iPhone and iPad models with no upfront costs, and lower monthly installments versus purchasing the devices outright.

By leasing instead of owning, businesses pay only for their usage of the devices, with the option to upgrade to the latest models each year.

For example, businesses can get an iPhone 8 for as low as $18 per month. Paired with unlimited talk, text, and data through T-Mobile ONE for $25 per month, the monthly out of pocket cost is as low as $43 per line.

In addition, while purchasing devices upfront or through a financing plan is a capital expenditure, leasing devices over 24 months through Apple can move the cost to an operating expense for financial flexibility.

For a limited time, T-Mobile says it will cover the first $100 of every iPhone and iPad leased through the program. Businesses can sign up for the program, and learn more, on T-Mobile's enterprise website.


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Apple Online Store Security Flaw Exposed PINs of T-Mobile Customers

A security flaw in Apple's online store exposed the account PINs of more than 72 million T-Mobile customers, reports BuzzFeed News.

The vulnerability was discovered by security researchers Phobia and Nicholas "Convict" Ceraolo, who also found a similar flaw in the website for phone insurance company Asurion that exposed AT&T account PINs.

Both Apple and Asurion fixed the website flaws that left the PINs vulnerable after learning about them from BuzzFeed News. Apple opted not to provide further comment on the situation, but told BuzzFeed News that it is "very grateful to the researchers who found the flaw."

The page on Apple's site that let hackers brute force PINs, via BuzzFeed News

PINs, or passcodes, are numbers that are used as an additional account security measure by many carriers in the United States. Mobile device PINs are typically a last line of defense for a cellular account as both carrier websites and support staff will ask for the PIN for confirmation before making account changes.

SIM hacking, which uses social engineering to get carrier support staff to transfer a person's phone number to a new SIM, has become increasingly prevalent due to the number of accounts (bank, email, social media, etc.) that are tied to a person's phone number. A PIN is used as a defense mechanism against SIM hacking, which means exposed PINs can be particularly dangerous.

Accessing the T-Mobile PINs on Apple's website involved a brute force attack where a hacker used software to input multiple different numeric combinations to guess the proper one.

As BuzzFeed News explains, after initiating a T-Mobile iPhone purchase on the Apple online store and selecting monthly payment options through T-Mobile, Apple's site directs users to an authentication form asking for a T-Mobile number and account PIN or last four digits of a social security number (which most carriers use in place of a PIN when one has not been set).

The page allowed for infinite entry attempts into the PIN field, enabling the brute force attack that let hackers guess PINs associated with a T-Mobile phone number.

The security vulnerability appears to have been limited to T-Mobile accounts, as the same validation page for other carriers on Apple's site uses a rate limit that locks access to the form for 60 minutes after five to 10 incorrect entries. Given that the other carrier pages had rate limiting enabled, it's likely Apple made an error on the T-Mobile page.
According to Ceraolo, the vulnerability is likely due to an engineering mistake made when connecting T-Mobile's account validation API to Apple's website.
A similar vulnerability on Asurion's website exposed an unspecified number of AT&T account PINs. An AT&T spokesperson said that it is working with Asurion to investigate the issue and will "take any additional action that may be appropriate."

A phone number was required for both of these attacks, limiting the number of people who may have been impacted, but AT&T and T-Mobile customers who are concerned about their account safety should choose a new PIN.

Tags: T-Mobile, AT&T

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T-Mobile Discloses Recent Security Breach Impacting 2M Customers, No Financial Data Compromised

T-Mobile and its subsidiary MetroPCS today disclosed a recent incident where hackers gained "unauthorized access to certain information" of its customers, which the companies have already reported to the police and shut down. The security breach occurred earlier this week on Monday, August 20, and affected two million customers (via Motherboard).


T-Mobile promises that no financial data, credit card information, social security numbers, or passwords were compromised in the breach. However, "some of your personal information may have been exposed," the company states in the letter shared online, including one or more of the following: name, billing zip code, phone number, email address, account number, and account type (prepaid or postpaid).

A T-Mobile spokesperson says that the security breach affected "slightly less than" three percent of its 77 million customers, but did not reference a specific number. The incident reportedly happened "early in the morning" on August 20, and was perpetrated by hackers part of "an international group" that accessed T-Mobile servers through an API that "didn't contain any financial data or other very sensitive data."

The intrusion was discovered by T-Mobile's cybersecurity team the same day:
“We found it quickly and shut it down very fast,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said she couldn’t give “specifics” of the attack and did not know whether the hackers were criminals or part of a government.

T-Mobile is reaching out to victims directly via text message to notify them, she said.
T-Mobile is now reaching out to notify all affected customers, and "if you don't receive a notification then that means your account was not among those impacted by this incident." The breach occurred less than a week after T-Mobile announced its new customer service initiative "Team of Experts."


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T-Mobile Customers Can Now Enroll in iPhone Upgrade Program Online

T-Mobile customers are now able to enroll in the iPhone Upgrade program online, a process that used to require a visit to an Apple Store.

The change is reflected in updated language in the Apple Store app, which now says that customers can join the iPhone Upgrade Program online with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon.


AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint users have been able to enroll in the iPhone Upgrade Program online since the program launched, allowing for online purchases of new iPhones, but T-Mobile subscribers who wanted to upgrade to a new iPhone using the iPhone Upgrade Program could not do so online like other customers for previous iPhone launches.

With this policy change, T-Mobile customers who plan to purchase a new iPhone using the iPhone Upgrade Program when the 2018 iPhones launch should be able to do so entirely online without visiting a retail store.


Apple last year offered pre-approvals for the iPhone Upgrade Program, which allowed iPhone Upgrade Program customers to get through the checkout process more quickly when pre-orders kicked off.

Apple is likely to offer the same pre-approval process this year, which customers of all carriers will be able to participate in. Apple also offered Trade-in kits delivered by mail last year, another option previously not available to T-Mobile users.

[via Reddit]


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