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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

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...
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...
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 —...
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,...
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 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...
Verizon HTC One M8

The new HTC One M8 is buy-one-get-one-free on Verizon

A quick heads up that if you're in the market for a new HTC One M8 on Verizon, you can get in on a buy-one-get-one-free deal. That'd be two M8s (is in dos, not some new version of the M8 — because someone always asks) for the price of one. As for that price, it's $199 with a two-year contract, $...

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Need to switch networks? Verizon doesn't seem to have a problem with that

Verizon's latest devices all have SIM card slots, and more often than not they have the right frequencies to properly roam globally on GSM networks abroad. But stuff an AT&T or T-Mobile SIM into the Verizon LG G2 and you'll find that the device is also unlocked for use on domestic GSM networks.

We're not entirely sure why Verizon has started to have a change of heart on domestic unlocking of the GSM portions of its devices, but several high-profile phones from Big Red have had this functionality out of the box. Our HTC One from Verizon was unlocked as well, and in both cases it doesn't require much jumping through hoops either.

Simply pull out the SIM tray on the G2 (it doesn't even require a tool), and place either an AT&T or T-Mobile Micro SIM in the slot. You'll be prompted to reboot the phone, then on boot up you'll be notified that your phone will need to switch into "GSM/UMTS" mode to work. Head into Settings > Tethering & network > Mobile networks > System select and double check that the switch has been made.

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Attention, Verizon LG G2 owners: There's an update awaiting you this morning. We're trying to track down a changelog — "enhancements and improvements" is all we've got so far —  but you're up to Software version VS98011A, so there's that.

Please stand by.

More: Verizon; Thanks, Cory, Jason and iLLusive!

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Verizon expects the device to be certified "shortly"

Verizon has opened the curtain a bit and explained the LTE device certification procedures a little, especially in regards to the LTE-ready Nexus 7 (2013). If you recall, users are having mixed experiences trying to get the new device registered and activated on Verizon's LTE network, leading to a bit of understandable outrage.

Verizon sent a statement late yesterday noting that the Nexus 7 was not yet certified for their network, and as such could not be activated. Today they expand on that.

The Google Nexus 7 is not yet a Verizon 4G LTE certified device, though it entered our process in August and we expect it will be certified shortly. Once the device is certified, we will work with Google to enable the device to be activated on our 4G LTE network.  

They go on to explain that they have one of the most rigorous testing procedures of any carrier, and that certified third-parties, who are actively selected by both Verizon and the device manufacturer, are hard at work.

While this answer doesn't address any issues about the C block auction rules and how they may be in violation of them, at least it's something. Like you, we're waiting to hear word from Verizon that they will be happy to take your money every month while using the new Nexus 7.

Source: Verizon

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Nexus 7 is a device "not yet certified" for Verizon's LTE network

There's a bit of a fuss going on about Verizon and the new LTE Nexus 7. It seems that people are facing some difficulty getting the device activated on the carrier, and the back-and-forth is getting even more confusing. We reached out to Verizon, who just replied with an official response. In all its brevity:

This is not yet a device that is Verizon 4G LTE certified. We’ll let folks know when it's certified.

We're not exactly sure of any further details, but we do know that the Nexus 7 seems to be working just fine for those folks who have robbed another device of its SIM card. 

For now, it appears that there is no Verizon support at all for the tablet. We think that will change, and you can bet we're keeping an eye on this one.

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A few physical changes and tweaked software highlight Verizon's version of the LG G2

What's that, you say? You want the LG G2, but you want it with more logos and a skinnier set of buttons on the back? And maybe a couple fairly significant software changes? Sure thing. Verizon's got you covered with its version of the G2.

Things have changed a little bit on the physical side, and a little bit on the software side. We'll walk you through it all after the break.

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Today sees the U.S. arrival of the G2, LG's big-screened, thin-bezeled handset with buttons on the back. The 5.2-inch LG G2 can be ordered online today from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless — on AT&T and Verizon you'll pay $199 on a standard two-year contract, while T-Mo offers the handset on an installment plan with a $99 up-front payment. If you're looking to buy the G2 outright, it'll cost you $603.99 on T-Mobile, $599.99 on Verizon or $574.99 on AT&T.

Sprint customers will have to wait another month or so, as their version of the G2 won't be available for pre-order until Oct. 11.

Anyone ordering up a U.S. LG G2 today? Shout out in the comments!

Source: Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T

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Spectrum acquisitions applicable to 42 million people across 18 states

In a deal that has taken over 8 months to complete, AT&T and Verizon have finalized a swap of spectrum and cash that will see AT&T pick up 700MHz licenses across several states in the US. Various 700MHz spectrum licenses are moving in AT&T's direction, while Verizon picks up $1.9 billion in cash in addition to AWS spectrum licenses in a handful markets. In the end AT&T will pick up 700MHz B block — aka the "lower" 700MHz band — spectrum in 18 states with the potential to cover 42 million people. The increased spectrum holdings should translate to higher speeds and better coverage for customers in these markets.

This lines up nicely with the news that was released this morning indicating that AT&T is ready to set up interoperability in the lower 700MHz bands for LTE, opening up the number of devices that will work on its network and the ability for it to strike roaming deals with other carriers. Hit the break for a full list of the states and markets where spectrum is changing hands between the carriers.

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A phone over three years old still gets a few security fixes

The last time we heard any news about an update for the Motorola Droid X was February 17th of last year, but Verizon is prepping an update today for those who are still holding onto the handset. The phone may be over three years old now, but an update is pushing out that will bring folks to software version 45.621.10.MB810 with two changelog items:

  • Enhanced accuracy and reliability of the Commercial
    Mobile Telephone Alerts (CMAS)
  • Google security patches have been integrated to reduce
    potential security risks

At this point in this phone's life cycle (or death cycle, if you prefer) we really didn't expect much out of this update other than security fixes, but it's good to see Motorola and Verizon coming together to keep those last few Droid X's out in the wild safe from security vulnerabilities.

Source: Verizon; Via: AndroidPolice

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If you've been waiting to see what the blue HTC One will look like on Big Red — here's your answer. A tipster sent in this shot of the best Android smartphone currently available (as of our August 2013 rankings) — in blue, with Verizon branding. Not a lot more to say about that. It's the HTC One. And it's blue. And it's on Verizon. (And we got an up-close look at the blue HTC One earlier this week, if you need more.)

We're told it has a street day of today — so check with your local store. (We've got an e-mail into Verizon to confirm.) You also can buy the standard silver HTC One on Verizon now.

Thanks, anon!

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Note 3 available separately, or as a bundle with the Galaxy Gear for $600

Verizon also entered the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear pre-order frenzy today, and will be offering both products. You can pick them up separately, or as a bundle that will set you back $599.98 with a two-year agreement.

They will be offering the Note 3 in both black and white, with a stand-alone price of $299.99 on contract, $699.99 up-front, or $29.16 monthly. That will get you the just Galaxy Note 3 and Verizon's nationwide service. Verizon says the devices will ship by October 10.

If you're dead-set on getting both the Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear smart watch, Verizon can ship both to your door to make things convenient. The Gear has no cellular service, and retails at $299. When added to the cost of the Note 3 we see above, the bundle will set you back $599.98 with a new agreement or $999.98 if you choose to pay up front. As with the stand alone Note 3, orders will ship by October 10.

For more information and the individual pre-order pages, click away at the link below.

Source: Verizon

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Specific pricing, colors and availability still under wraps

Just in case you missed it in the flurry of Samsung and Sony news today, all four major US carriers have announced officially that they will be carrying Samsung's latest phone and wearable device. Unfortunately right at the moment none of the carriers are willing to reveal specific dates or pricing information, but information provided in Samsung's announcement of the device indicate that it is slated to start hitting carriers from September 25th.

The most interesting part about this announcement is that each carrier is indicating that it will carry not only the Galaxy Note 3 but also the Galaxy Gear, indicating that the Gear will make its way to carriers as more of a regular accessory.

T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint are all offering some sort of pre-registration page for the most eager potential customers among us, but you can bet we'll be letting you know more information about pricing and availability as it comes.

More: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 hands-onHands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Gear

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UK company Vodafone has owned a big chunk (45 percent) of Verizon Wireless since 1999, but that is about to change

Verizon has confirmed the rumor that they will be buying all of Vodafone's stake in the wireless division of their company in a $130 billion cash and stock deal that should close by Q1 2014. The deal was unanimously approved by the board of both companies, but still has to be approved by the government and company shareholders.

The executives at both companies are pretty bullish on the deal, and Verizon's Lowell McAdam says:

This transaction will enhance value across platforms and allow Verizon to operate more efficiently, so we can continue to focus on producing more seamless and integrated products and solutions for our customers. We believe full ownership will provide increased opportunities in the enterprise and consumer wireline markets.

In addition to today's news of the Vodafone buyout, Verizon has also announced an increase in the quarterly dividend of 1.5-cents to 53-cents per share. 

With $130 billion about to flow into Vodafone, and Verizon still recording a profit after announcing such an expenditure, it's obvious that the mobile industry is not about to slow down any time soon. See the full press release after the break.

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The One we know with a few subtle changes

We're not going to beat around the bush — Verizon is late to the game picking up the HTC One. A full six months after it was announced, and a few months after Verizon indicated that it would get the device eventually, you can finally walk down to your local store and pick one up.

Everyone is pretty familiar with the hardware and software experience on the One at this point, but there are a few differences between this version and the others on sale out there today. Stick with us after the break and see our first impressions of the HTC One on Verizon.

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Oh, you'll have to pay extra for roaming data outside the U.S. — the question is how much​

We're headed over to Germany next week for IFA — and we're also doing a bit of talking about carriers and how they work this week as part of Talk Mobile 2013, so it seemed like a fine time to take a look at how the major U.S. carriers stack up when it comes to data overseas.

It helps to remember how all this stuff works. Back in the early days of cell phones, you'd be (more or less) confined to a restricted region. Stray outside that region, and suddenly you're "roaming." What that really means, in a nutshell, is that your carrier then has to pay another carrier for your phone to work. And that costs money.

Fast forward a few years, and those roaming charges disappear. "Free roaming." Now, we just use our phones wherever the hell we want to in the United States. And that's the way it should be. But head outside the U.S. of A., and suddenly you're roaming again. And that means it's time to pay the piper. You might get slightly lower rates in Canada or Mexico (thanks, neighbors!), or you might not.

International data isn't cheap. Your best bet is to find a local prepaid SIM card. But that's not always easy — and there's really something luxurious about stepping off a plane, firing up your phone ... and it just works.

And so we've gathered up the international data rates for the four major U.S. carriers — Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. These are all with various international "plans" that you'll add to your account (with one pay-as-you-go exception for Verizon), and so if you're not consistently heading outside the U.S. on a monthly basis, you'll need to be sure to turn off the service once you're home.

In October 2013, however, T-Mobile changed things up a bit by offering free international data, albeit at a much slower speed than that you'll get in the U.S. Still, it's free.

Here's how it all stacks up:

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Why aren't other manufacturers offering this kind of battery life?

Verizon has been pushing its three-tiered Droid strategy for a couple generations now, and the highest-end phone of the group has always sported a gigantic battery. The case is no different with the latest roundup of Droids — the Droid Mini, Droid Ultra and Droid Maxx — where the $299 on-contract Maxx has a substantially larger battery than the other two.

At 3500mAh it is over 64 percent more capacity than the Droid Ultra and 75 percent more than the Mini, while still fitting into a casing that is only 8.5mm thick. While Motorola claims an already high (but higher than we've experienced) 28 hours of "mixed usage" on the Droid Ultra, it claims an absurd 48 hours on the Maxx variant.

Throughout our time with the Droid Maxx, however, we found you can actually push closer to that 48 hour claim than you may think.

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Still no official date for in-store availability of the handset

Right on time with what Verizon promised previously, the Moto X has gone on sale from the carrier's online store for $199.99 with a two-year contract agreement. Remember that Moto Maker isn't in play here, so you're going to be choosing between black or white varieties for the moment and will only have the option of 16GB of storage. If you aren't available for an upgrade or interested in signing a contract you'll be paying a full $599.99 out of pocket for the device, as we could've guessed.

Same as before, we're not entirely sure when the latest Motorola device will be making its way to stores other than Verizon's previous statement of "in the coming weeks". Not only are in-store sales a huge part of the overall volume of phones sold, it means a lot for branding and device awareness.

If you've made up your mind on the Moto X for Verizon and buying in-store isn't a requirement, you can scoop one up now at the source link below with free shipping.

More: Moto X review

Source: Verizon

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IPX5 and IPX7 certifications make the Hydro Elite a tough customer

A new "waterproof" phone is headed to Big Red this week — the Keyocera Hydro Elite. Closely resembling its counterpart on Sprint, the Hydro Edge, the Hydro Elite will feature "protection from blowing rain and immersion in up to one meter of water (3.28-feet) for as long as 30 minutes"

Let's be clear here. The Hydro Elite's main selling point will be the IPX5 certification for low-pressure water spray and the IPX7 certification for water immersion. This means that the phone will withstand "water spray projected at all angles through a half-inch (6.3 millimeters) nozzle at a flow rate of 3.3 gallons (12.5 liters) per minute at a gage pressure of 30kN/m2 for 3 minutes from 3.28 feet (1 meter)." And this is a big selling point for many, who aren't concerned with having the latest and greatest specs, or playing console-quality games on their smartphone. The rest of the supplied specifications — wireless charging, NFC, 2100mAh battery, 8MP (rear) and 1.3MP (front) cameras and expandable storage — are pretty standard for all phones now.

The Hydro Elite will be available online on August 29, for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. See the source link for the full details.

Source: Verizon

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One choice in materials can change the entire experience of a device

When we reviewed the Droid Ultra, we came away extremely impressed with its features and what it means for the direction of Droid devices going forward. But with all of the praise, we kept coming back to the very weird decision Motorola (and likely somewhat Verizon) made on the build materials for the device. While the Droid Ultra is extremely well built, the plastic material layered over the Kevlar construction makes the device slippery, smooth and generally a fantastic fingerprint magnet.

Making the decision even more puzzling is that the Droid MAXX, which is in all respects the same exact device as the Ultra but with a larger battery and 1.3mm thicker casing, has a delightful soft touch casing. Given the nearly identical dimensions and same base Kevlar construction, we're not entirely sure why Verizon and Motorola couldn't have put the same improved casing on both devices.

Sure the Droid Ultra's design is a little more subdued and may look fine when it is clean and sitting on a table unused, but the single poor choice of materials made it even harder to recommend as a device. Going with a slick and fingerprint-capturing plastic case seriously hurt usability of the device, and Motorola proved with the Droid MAXX that it had at least one other material option that would have been a better choice.

Hang around after the break for several comparison shots of the Droid Ultra and Droid MAXX — the difference in material quality is astounding.

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Available in black and white for $199.99 on-contract, as expected

Verizon has just announced on its official @VZWnews Twitter account that you'll be able to get your hands on a Moto X for Big Red starting August 29th, provided you're okay ordering online. Just as we expected, on-contract pricing will hit $199.99 just like the other carriers, although remember that Verizon won't have access to Moto Maker just yet so you're going to be stuck (with the admittedly still nice) white or black versions.

For those of you wanting to buy the device in-store, Verizon isn't giving any timeframe other than "in the coming weeks". So you'll want to grab yours online if you want it as soon as possible. We have a feeling Thursday can't come soon enough for many Verizon customers out there.

Source: @VZWnews

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Could yet another Motorola phone be headed for Verizon?

As evidenced by the recent LG Enact launch, Verizon clearly thinks there's still a market for smartphones with slide-out keyboards. And now it seems the flagship Droid line might get another QWERTY slider, if leaked images from China are to be believed. The shots above appeared on Chinese social network Weibo, and appear to show a slider with Motorola and Verizon branding.

The phone purportedly includes a shock, water and dust-resistant design, NFC support and a 4.3 to 4.5-inch display. An image of the (partially disassembled) back panel also seems to show wireless charging hardware. Curiously it's got on-screen keys, as opposed to the latest Droid phones, which use capacitive buttons — and a screenshot of the camera app also shows the old-style Motorola camera layout, suggesting this device is a prototype running older software.

If the images are accurate, the "Droid 5" release could come some 18 months after the Droid 4, which launched in February 2012. On the other hand, there's the possibility that this is merely a prototype of a phone that'll never see the light of day. Hit the comments and let us know which you think it is.

Source: NewCellphonesBlog; via: Engadget

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