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FCC to limit Verizon and AT&T participation in upcoming low-band spectrum auction

AT&T threatens to not participate in the auction if rumored restrictions are put in place An upcoming spectrum auction that will offer up airwaves previously reserved for broadcasters could actually give the most benefit to smaller mobile network providers. The auction, which will have...
Verizon's HTC One M8 getting a software update with new features, fixes

Verizon's HTC One M8 getting a software update with new features, fixes

For those of you rocking a Verizon edition of the HTC One M8, it's software update time! We've been expecting one, as the U.S. models have lagged behind their more worldly counterparts in regards to some last-minute fixes and feature additions that we saw at launch time. Here's what's new in...
Verizon Droid Maxx

Verizon releases Droid Maxx in two new color options, quietly cuts storage to 16GB

$99 on-contract gets you a couple cool color options for a great phone on Verizon. The Motorola Droid Maxx is getting slightly old at this point, and in order to freshen things up a bit Verizon is releasing two new color options of the device. Alongside the previous black model, you'll now have...
Verizon

Verizon to give discounts to customers with off-contract phones

Verizon is finally going to give you a discount for off-contract phones. Starting April 17th, customers of Big Red are going to be able to bring their own off-contract devices onto shared MORE Everything plans at a discount. No longer will they have to pay a subsidy fee for a subsidy they're not...
LG Lucid 3 now available from Verizon

LG Lucid 3 now available from Verizon

Verizon’s introducing an entry-level handset today called the LG Lucid 3. For $299.99 off-contract (free if you sign up for one), you get a 4.7-inch 960 x 540 display, 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, and Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The last Lucid handset left us impressed with the bang-for-buck value,...
HTC M8 on Verizon

New HTC One packaging, specs revealed as Verizon model apparently sold on eBay

Buyer seemingly nabs 32GB M8 for $499.99, specs on box confirm earlier rumors Just a day after a purported set of new HTC One (M8) specs emerged online, we have further evidence of the phone's high-end internals, along with a cheeky look at its retail packaging. The device pictured above —...
Verizon LG G Pad

Verizon giving 1GB of free data along with new tablet activations

Turns out T-Mobile isn't the only carrier with some tablet data incentives this week, as Verizon has just posted its own promotion for some "free" data. While it doesn't approach T-Mobile's offering of a completely free 200MB for the lifetime of your device, Verizon is giving customers who...
Samsung Galaxy S5

Verizon and AT&T Samsung Galaxy S5 to be available from Staples starting Sunday

If you're in the market for a Samsung Galaxy S5 and just couldn't decide where to get it, or you happen to need to pick up some toner at the same time, might we suggest Staples? Starting next week, you'll be able to purchase the latest and greatest from Samsung from the office supplies and more...
Samsung Galaxy S5

Verizon Galaxy S5 price: $199.99 on contract, $599.99 outright

Shipping for April 11 global launch Last but by no means least when it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S5, Verizon has put its pre-order page live at last. It will ship by the global launch date of April 11, and to pick one up you'll need to part with $199.99 – via a $50 mail in rebate – on a two-...
Verizon Wireless buying spectrum and assets from Cincinnati Bell for $210 million

Verizon Wireless buying spectrum and assets from Cincinnati Bell for $210 million

Cincinnati Bell Wireless has entered into an agreement to sell its spectrum holdings and wireless infrastructure to Verizon Wireless. The deal, valued at $210 million will see Cincinnati Bell's customers transferred to Verizon "or other wireless providers" over the next 8-12 months, during which...

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Bronze-trimmed Note 3 to be 'available exclusively on Verizon Wireless'

While we haven't spotted anything in the way of an official announcement, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in "rose gold white" has just appeared on Samsung Mobile's U.S. press site with Verizon badging. It's one of the three new Note 3 colors announced by Samsung in December, with the promise that it'd launch "according to each market’s preference." According to Samsung's entry for the device, this bronze-trimmed Note 3 will be exclusive to Verizon.

According to leaked Verizon docs seen by Android Central, you should be able to claim a $100 rebate on this new Note 3 color when it goes on sale. But for the moment it's unclear exactly when the gold Note 3 will land on Verizon — at the time of writing the carrier's site is only showing the black and white versions.

Source: Samsung Mobile U.S. Press

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1.7 million new customers, significant year-over-year increases in service and retail revenues

Verizon has today posted its earnings report for the fourth quarter of 2013, showing strong results for its wireless and wireline businesses. Focusing on the wireless side of the equation, Verizon enjoyed another strong quarter, continuing to add customers while increasing retail and service revenues. Here's a breakdown of some of the highlights —

  • Total wireless revenues of $21.1 billion
  • Retail postpaid ARPA (average revenue per account) up 7.1 percent year-over-year to $157.21 per month
  • Wireless operating income was 29.5 percent, up 5.5 percentage points year-over-year
  • 1.7 million retail net additions, of which 1.6 million were postpaid

For the year as a whole, Verizon brought in operating revenues of $120.6 billion, up 4.1 percent from 2012. EPS (earnings per share) was $4, up from $0.31 in the previous year. The operator says its 4G LTE network now covers "nearly 305 million" across 500 markets, having now "substantially completed deployment" of LTE — Verizon's 4G now covers 99 percent of its 3G footprint, it says. And the trend towards smartphones continued, with 70 percent of retail postpaid customers using smartphones, up from 67 percent last quarter.

More details, including a breakdown of Verizon's wireline numbers, can be found at the source link.

Source: Verizon

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Mail in rebate starts today, so look for an announcement soon

We've seen some good evidence of the Rose Gold Galaxy Note 3 coming to Verizon soon, but this one is on actual Verizon digital letterhead. Starting today, a big mail-in rebate program kicks off and one of the devices you can save a hundred bucks on is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in Rose Gold (capital letters and all).

Under the shiny covering will be the same Note 3 that comes in white or black, but it has to be better because it's gold. There are also some other nice bits of pocket change to be had for other phones — it looks like Verizon's whole Android line-up is there. If you're looking to sign away a couple years and get a new Android, mosey over to your Verizon store or authorized retailer and check. The promo seems to end on January 26, so you have a few days to decide.

We're on the lookout for anything more official from Verizon about the Gold Note 3. 

Thanks, Anon!

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Camera improvements, better power usage and the same visual styling as Jelly Bean

Following nearly a month after notice of an Android 4.4 KitKat soak test for Motorola's new droid devices, the update has resumed its rollout to the general public. It isn't typical to see such a delay between the initial rollout and wide-scale availability, but we of course prefer Verizon and Motorola get all of the kinks worked out before pushing to everyone.

The software brings the Droid Mini, Ultra and Maxx up to feature parity with the Moto X — you'll have access to the new Immersive Mode, camera improvements and a general tightening of the screws. Verizon support documents also note that the update adds Fitbit support and a new version of Droid Zap. Somewhat curiously, the update doesn't seem to change a single portion of the interface visually — everything looks the exact same to our eyes as it did back on Android 4.2.

We've just pulled down the latest update on our own Droid Maxx and are soaking in the KitKat goodness ourselves. Have you received the update on your own Droid outside of the soak test? Be sure to hop into the forums and join the discussion about the latest software improvements.

Source: Verizon; (2)Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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Big red cuts $80 off the price of the best prepaid phone on the market

If you're looking for an cheap Android that doesn't act like a cheap Android, and need to stay on Verizon, today is where everything comes together. The Moto G is available today from Verizon prepaid, and it will only set you back $99.

The G isn't the most powerful Android phone. It doesn't have the best screen available on any device. It's 3G only, so you'll not get Speedtests results to spam Google+ with. But none of that matters, because the Moto G was never supposed to fit any of that criteria.

You've got a cheap, prepaid Android that doesn't make you want to kick a puppy because it runs poorly. That's what the team at Motorola was aiming for, and they did a fine job at it. Getting a full Android experience at a great price is what makes the Moto G the best budget phone you can buy anywhere, from anyone.

Source: Verizon

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No clear indication of what the software update will bring

We've already seen Motorola roll out a rather quick Android 4.4 update for the Moto X, and now Droid 4 owners are receiving a soak test invitation. Shortly after rolling out the soak tests on the Moto X, Droid Ultra and various other devices the update starting hitting officially, and we hope for the same here. While this update is likely to keep the phone on a lower version of Android — Motorola's support page still claims the Droid 4 won't go past Android 4.1.2 — we'll never turn down an official software update on an older device.

Invites are going out now, so we can expect to wait a few more days for software to start hitting devices. Hopefully if all goes smooth they will be able to roll the update to everyone rather quickly. Keep your eyes on your update screen and be sure to let us know if you start receiving the update!

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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U.S. carrier undercuts Motorola's own purchase price by $80

Verizon today officially announced that the Moto G will be available online on Jan. 9. It'll be available in-stores thereafter, but you might already be able to pick one up at Best Buy.

The U.S. carrier is going as far as undercutting Motorola's own purchase price, selling the LTE-less smartphone for a mere $99. Prepaid plans start at $60 a month for unlimited talk and text, with 2 gigabytes of data. Upgrading to 4GB of data costs another $10 a month. 

Be sure to check out our full review of the Moto G.

Source: Verizon

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Motorola's mid-range smartphone may be landing on Verizon sooner than expected

While we thought that Motorola's $179 price tag for the Moto G was quite impressive it looks as though Verizon may be releasing it for an even lower price point. Some images have surfaced from Best Buy locations showing that they will be carrying the Moto G at only $99 off contract, which is an amazing price. Motorola had announced that the Moto G would be releasing on Verizon in Q1 of 2014 and an internal screen shot from Best Buy shows that it may be closer than expected.

While the pricing may not be confirmed it appears as though the device is set to release on January 9, 2014 which is just over a week away. If Verizon is able to bring the device at only $99 it would easily be the best value purchase on Verizon's network for anyone looking for a mid range device. 

Because the Moto G does not offer LTE on Verizon, it will likely be locked to pre-paid contracts only — which could be disappointing for some. If you are looking to save some cash while eliminating a contract and still want to have a good device the Moto G is definitely what you want to be looking at. Will you be picking up a Moto G on January 9 if it is available?

Update: The $99 price has been confirmed as has availability. The LA Times relays the following from Best Buy spokesman Jonathan Sandler:

The phone is currently landing in stores and is available for sale as soon as it arrives

Source: Droid Life; Via Android Police

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Update rolling out 'in phases' starting today

Verizon has taken to Twitter to announce that the Droid Ultra, Droid MAXX and Droid Mini will start receiving their over-the-air updates to Android 4.4 KitKat from today. The update is rolling out "in phases" according to the carrier, following a short soak test over the weekend. In addition to the new Android OS features, today's Droid update includes a new version of the Droid Zap sharing utility with a revamped interface, according to the official changelog.

It's a remarkably quick turnaround for the Verizon-branded handsets, coming a month to the day after the Moto X KitKat updates started, and less than two months after the Android 4.4 open-source code drop.

If you're seeing KitKat on any of the 2013 Droid phones today, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

Source: @VZWNews; More: Verizon Changelog (PDF)

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Galaxy Gear support, Multi Window and more all included

It's been a long time coming, but the Verizon Galaxy S3 is starting to receive its Android 4.3 update over-the-air today. Not only has Verizon updated its support documentation to indicate that the update is ready, dozens of members in our forums have also started to pull down the update on their own devices. It's coming a handful of weeks after other models, but we're not going to look this gift horse in the mouth.

This update of course brings the bump to Android 4.3, along with support for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, better support for moving apps to the SDcard, Multi Window enhancements and a whole lot more. Are you seeing the update on your own Galaxy S3 yet? Hop into the forums and let others know how it's going.

Source: Verizon Support

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469MB update brings the HTC One to Android 4.3 and fixes a few bugs

Folks with an HTC One on Verizon should start checking for a software update, as the OTA to Android 4.3 is pushing out now. The update to 4.3 also carries a few other minor changes:

  • OS Upgrade to Android Jelly Bean 4.3
  • VZ Cloud application can back up contacts, photos and more
  • Ability to add your music to video highlights

Check your device through the settings menu, then head into the forums to discuss.

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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App only compatible with Kindle Fire tablets

Coming up on exactly one year after its release on Google Play, Verizon's Redbox Instant streaming app is now available for the Kindle Fire. If you're not quite familiar with Redbox Instant, it falls in line with many other video on-demand offerings, with thousands of movies available for instant streaming and download on your device. Further, the app doubles as a way to reserve movies at Redbox kiosks, which can fill in the gaps left by streaming.

This initial release supports just Kindle Fire devices, including all models except for the very first Fire. Second-generation Kindle Fire, Fire HD and current HDX models are all compatible. You can snag the app for free from the Amazon Appstore at the link below.

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Attention, owners of the Verizon Motorola Droid Ultra, Droid Mini and Droid Maxx: Motorola has just sent out invites for a software "soak test" for the trio of devices. Nothing definite, but that could well mean Android 4.4 KitKat is on its way. (Or it could be a lesser version. We've got our fingers crossed.)

It generally takes a few days for the soak test update to push — and it's entirely possible the update will push to everyone — soak test or not — at the same time. It's happened before.

Stay tuned.

More: Verizon Droid forums; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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In return, Verizon to receive cash and AWS spectrum in certain markets

T-Mobile could potentially be ready to wrap up a big deal for some of Verizon's spectrum. According to a report from Bloomberg, the carriers are nearing a deal to transfer 700MHz "A block" spectrum from Verizon to T-Mobile for somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 billion. Verizon initially purchased the 700MHz spectrum in 2008 for $2.6 billion. Further, the deal may also see T-Mobile transferring some AWS (that's 1700/2100MHz) spectrum to Verizon for certain markets. 

If approved by the FCC, the 700MHz spectrum transfer would be applicable to about 150 million people, indicating that this would be quite a large pickup for T-Mobile. The nation's fourth-place carrier currently holds spectrum in the 1900MHz and AWS bands, which is less expensive and fully functional, but can't always penetrate buildings in dense cities properly.

Adding 700MHz could be just what T-Mobile needs to round out its network offerings, so long as it plans to have the spectrum for a good amount of time and starts to deploy devices that support the frequencies. Sources claim the deal could be finalized as soon as next week.

Source: Bloomberg

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Customers to be notified proactively of unlocked status, get devices unlocked for free

The CTIA has announced today it has come to an agreement with the FCC regarding cellphone unlocking. The five largest carriers — Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular — have signed-on with a deal that increases the transparency and improves the process of unlocking phones in the country.

The full list of six steps towards more consumer-friendly unlocking, which is quite extensive and can be found after the break, will be adopted by each of the five largest carriers and begin to be implemented within three months. The basic idea behind the guidelines follows right in line with what the FCC proposed the CTIA consider just one month ago, including clear policies posted on the carrier's unlocking process, responding to unlock requests within two days and unlocking devices without a fee.

The big sticking point between the wireless group and governing body was the proactive notification of customers that their devices are ready to be unlocked at the end of their contracts, which seems to now be included in the guidelines.

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Third-party charger issue purportedly fixed

A small follow-up update to the original jump to Android 4.3 back in October is hitting Verizon Galaxy S4's today with a few small fixes and improvements. According to the Verizon support document for the update, email connectivity has been improved, as has data roaming across Canada and Mexico. Further, data speeds when using enterprise proxy servers have improved, and a notable issue of third-party chargers not charging the phone should be resolved as well.

The new software version after the update will be I545VRUEMK2 — if you've received the update and are noticing any big changes, be sure to hit the forums and let other members know how it's going.

Source: Verizon; Thanks, Jeremy!

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If you're waiting on the wood, know that it's still coming

We know they are coming. Motorola has even said as much. So tonights' latest from @evleaks doesn't surprise us much. Pictured are those same Moto X phones everyone knows and loves, but with the highly desired hardwood backs

I'm a bit partial to the walnut look on the left, but the bamboo on the right is very nice as well. Hopefully, that white Verizon logo on the bottom is just a sticker and not etched into the wood itself. 

We've a feeling that these will be coming very, very soon.

Source: @evleaks

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600MB update already landing on devices

Both HTC and Verizon have confirmed that an update bringing Android 4.2.2 along with Sense 5 is on its way to Droid DNA owners today. It's certainly been a long time coming (as other HTC devices start to hit Android 4.4), but we'll never turn down such a huge update. While bringing all of the modern features of 4.2 and Sense 5, the DNA will now be up to speed software-wise with the HTC One on Verizon, which is important.

Members in our own forums are starting to see the updates on their own Droid DNAs, first in the form of a small update to prepare the system and again in a larger — about 600MB — update to make the jump to 4.2.2. Are you seeing the update on your own device? Sing out in the forums and let everyone else know how you're getting along with it.

More: Verizon Droid DNA forums

Source: Verizon; @moversi

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Network expands to 40MHz, double the largest available previously

Following up on the admission that its network isn't up to par in major cities, Verizon has just quietly flipped the switch on massive LTE network enhancements across the country. Just one month ago Verizon CFO Fran Shammo confirmed many people's suspicions that the carrier's network performance has dipped in recent months, but that money was being spent to have the issues resolved by the end of the year. It seemed like a lofty statement at the time, but Verizon has just made those improvements live today.

According to statements given to Gigaom, Verizon has just tripled its network capacity in some of the biggest markets in the U.S. — New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and Washington, D.C. In other markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles, the network improvements are in the 150 percent range.

Verizon is accomplishing these amazing network improvements by tapping its holdings of AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) spectrum, which has bolstered its network to operating on a full 40MHz of spectrum, up from a maximum of 20MHz in any given market previously. The carrier claims 5,000 cell cites will be updated to support AWS by the end of the year, with another 5,000 in process of coming online thereafter.

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Valuable block of spectrum could net Verizon a big profit on the sale

Verizon may be considering a sale of its 700MHz "A block" spectrum, and its no surprise that T-Mobile and AT&T are both in line to make a bid for it. Although Verizon continues to actively use the 700MHz spectrum, it has indicated previously that it would part with the valuable piece of airwaves for the right price, naturally. It purchased the rights to the A block for $2.4 billion, and has indicated that it won't part with it for less than $2.75 billion.

Reportedly both AT&T and T-Mobile are poised to bid for the spectrum. AT&T already holds the rights to adjacent 700MHz spectrum, and certainly has the cash to buy it if necessary. T-Mobile on the other hand operates its network primarily in the 1900MHz and AWS (1700/2100MHz) frequencies, and the 700MHz spectrum is undeniably more valuable than what they hold now.

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