MONEY Phones

Sprint cuts rates in half to win AT&T, Verizon customers

The offer is the latest attempt by the third-largest carrier to compete with its larger rivals.

Sprint’s latest plan to compete with its two larger rivals? Woo AT&T and Verizon customers by offering to cut their phone bills in half if they switch to Sprint.

The Overland Park, Kansas company announced that deal on Tuesday, promising “unlimited talk and text” and a matched data allowance at half the rate of what current Verizon and AT&T customers are currently paying for their monthly plans. Billing it as “The Cut Your Bill in Half Event,” Sprint also promised to pay up to $350 toward customers’ early termination fees or installment bill balances in an offer that will officially launch on Friday.

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure called it “the best value in wireless” in the company’s announcement. “It’s as simple as this: Bring Sprint your Verizon or AT&T bill along with your phone and we’ll cut your rate plan in half. That’s a 50 percent savings on your rate plan every month. And this great deal is not just a promotion. This will be the customer’s ongoing price,” Claure said in a statement.

The limited-time offer is a sign that Sprint, the nation’s third-largest mobile carrier, now sees price competition as the best way to battle AT&T and Verizon. Earlier this year, Sprint and its parent company — Japan’s SoftBank — backed off a $32 billion planto purchase smaller carrier T-Mobile US after the two sides failed to reach a deal that could have created a larger mobile company better suited to take on AT&T and Verizon.

Interestingly, Sprint’s new rate offer does not extend to T-Mobile customers.

TIME Smartphones

This Is Google’s Plan to Stop Smartphone Thieves

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Microsoft's too

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at
Fortune.com.

Google and Microsoft will both add a “kill switch” to upcoming versions of their smartphone operating systems, following the success of Apple implementing the anti-theft protocol in its mobile devices last year.

The two companies’ commitment to incorporate the kill switch into their respective Android and Windows operating systems was announced jointly Thursday by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. Schneiderman and Gascón have been leading the charge to reduce smartphone theft by getting mobile hardware makers to add the kill switch feature to their products through the Secure Our Smartphones (S.O.S) Initiative.

The point of the kill switch is to render mobile devices useless after they are stolen, thus removing the incentive for criminals to steal them in the first place. When Apple introduced its iOS 7 operating system in September, it included an “activation lock” feature that lets users remotely lock and disable an iPad or iPhone that has been stolen.

For the rest of the story, go to Fortune.com.

TIME Internet

Why Netflix May Be in Serious Trouble

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FCC chairman Tom Wheeler says his staff is “collecting information, not regulating” in debate over slow streaming speeds

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This post is in partnership with Fortune, which offers the latest business and finance news. Read the article below originally published at Fortune.com.

The FCC has heard your concerns over the weeks-long squabble between Netflix and Verizon regarding slow Internet streaming speeds and the FCC is . . . looking into it.

Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler issued a statement Friday afternoon to say his staff is “looking under the hood” to determine who, if anyone, is at fault when it comes to poor Internet service and whether or not Internet service providers (ISPs) are purposefully interfering with streaming speed in order to strong-arm content providers like Netflix and Hulu into paying more for faster service, as Netflix has claimed.

Wheeler says the FCC’s goal is “protecting Internet consumers,” some of whom have contacted him directly with their concerns as the dispute between Verizon and Comcast, and Netflix has played out in the public sphere. Wheeler referred specifically to one consumer, whom he identifies only as “George,” who contacted the FCC chairman with a plea to get to the bottom of the Netflix-Verizon dispute.

For the rest of the story, go to Fortune.com.

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