Sprint MVNO FreedomPop is offering iPhone 6s and 6s Plus customers who activate their phones on the company's service 5 GB of additional free data to burn through, as well as a plan that offers unlimited voice, texting and 1 GB of data for $18 per month, with the first month free. Meanwhile, FreedomPop plans to offer its own customers the option to finance iPhone purchases.
Sprint and T-Mobile US tried and failed last year to convince U.S. regulators to allow them to merge, and most financial analysts think any merger talk needs to be put off until 2017 at the earliest under a new administration. However, analysts at Evercore ISI think that the carriers could strike a merger of sorts by combining their respective network resources into a new company.
Sprint will start selling the Apple Watch on Sept. 25, the same day that Apple's new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus go on sale, becoming the first U.S. carrier to confirm sales of the smart watch. Sprint could be hoping that the watch helps drive consumers to its stores just as iPhone sales are getting underway.
AT&T Mobility dominated the past month in terms of having TV advertising that consumers were sharing online and talking about, according to a report from TV advertising measurement firm iSpot.tv. The ads covered a variety of different AT&T initiatives and marketing plans and beat out new ads from Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US. Sprint did not have an ad that cracked iSpot.tv's top five rankings for advertising effectiveness in the past month.
Sprint, Windstream and a host of industry groups have come out in support of the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau's decision to make industry data gathered about special access services available for public review.
Sprint added 33 destinations, mainly islands in the Caribbean but also France, where customers can get free texting and low rates on calls and data under its "Open World" program. Meanwhile, in other international coverage expansion news, Verizon Wireless said it became the first U.S.-based wireless company to offer roaming in Cuba.
Boingo Wireless CEO David Hagan says it is now certified by Apple on iOS for Sprint, putting Boingo's Wi-Fi offload technology on another approximately 12 million handsets with Sprint, adding to around 10 million Android handsets it's already on.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said that the company has added postpaid handset customers for four months straight through August, the first time the carrier had done that in 40 months. Claure said that was one clear sign that the company's turnaround is taking root, and he vowed that by the end of 2017 he wants Sprint to be ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in network performance in at least 80 percent of all major markets in the U.S. Claure said in May that he wanted to achieve that in 18 to 24 months, so his new timeline is pushing that goal back by several months.
Comcast is open to leveraging its 11 million Wi-Fi hotspots and its MVNO relationships with wireless carriers into something more, but has no current plans to enter the wireless market with its own offering, according to CEO Brian Roberts.
T-Mobile US added 20 new countries and destinations to its "Simple Global" global roaming program, which lets T-Mobile "Simple Choice" postpaid customers access unlimited 2G data and calling at 20 cents per minute. The program now covers a total of 145 countries and destinations worldwide, including all of Europe and South America.