The FCC is set to vote on final net neutrality rules on Feb. 26, and T-Mobile US and the CTIA are urging the agency to give wireless carriers a great deal of flexibility in designing new service plans and business models.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's draft order to create net neutrality rules will apply all of the rules to mobile broadband networks for the first time. One of the practical effects of the proposed rules is that wireless carriers would have less flexibility to deploy "reasonable network management" practices on their networks. The rules would also put future uses of zero-rating and sponsored data programs under the microscope to ensure they are not harming consumers or content providers.
América Móvil's U.S. MVNO, TracFone Wireless, agreed to pay $40 million to the Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that it duped millions of consumers by advertising unlimited data service and then throttling customers' speeds or cutting their service off entirely when they exceeded certain data allotments. The FTC said TracFone did not properly disclose its throttling practices.
T-Mobile US launched new prepaid plans under its "Simply Prepaid" banner starting at $40 per month. The new plans come several months after T-Mobile launched the "Simply Prepaid" retail store concept to combine multiple prepaid brands under one umbrella.
AT&T Mobility could be fined by the FCC over its throttling practices, according to a court filing.
AT&T Mobility plans to make its data throttling policy more uniform next year for customers on legacy unlimited data plans, regardless of what kind of smartphone they are using, according to an Ars Technica report.
As part of an agreement with the FCC, T-Mobile US said it will take steps to ensure that subscribers who run mobile broadband speed tests on its network get accurate speed information even when they are subject to data throttling.
The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against AT&T Mobility, alleging that the carrier misled as many as 3.5 million customers with legacy unlimited data plans by throttling their data speeds and changing the terms of their plans. AT&T said the lawsuit does not have any merit.
Verizon Wireless abandoned plans to throttle the data speeds of customers who are on legacy unlimited data plans who crossed into 5 percent of data users on Verizon's LTE network when they are on high-traffic cell sites.
Two can play that game, according to Sprint. For a limited time, the carrier is doubling the data on some of its shared data plans, just days after AT&T Mobility offered to do the same for its shared plans.