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Submission + - US carriers finally doing something about cellphone theft (

zarmanto writes: In a move that is so long overdue that it boggles the mind, the FCC and the four largest cellular providers in the US state that they will be joining forces to combat cell phone theft. From TFA:

"Over the next six months, each of the four operators is expected to put in place a program to disable phones reported as stolen and within 18 months the FCC plans to help merge them into a central database in order to prevent a phone from being used on another carrier’s network."


Submission + - Sprint data rate hikes for (cough!) iPhone users? (

zarmanto writes: It appears that Sprint has decided that it's not charging it's customers enough; it just decided to increase the prices for their unlimited smartphone data plans by $10 per month for all new smartphone activations after January 30th. (Of course, Sprint is quick to point out that they're still besting the plans available from other cellular companies.)

So with Sprint making an announcement on February 7th, could the timing of this particular rate change portend a forthcoming Sprint iPhone?

Submission + - Cellular competition: Do I stay or do I go?

zarmanto writes: Many of you will no doubt have already heard that T-Mobile is dropping the prices on their "unlimited" plans, below those of the other three big cellular providers in the United States. I'm presently a Sprint customer, and yesterday I posted a query about competitive price changes in Sprint's "Buzz About Wireless" community forum, to try and stoke the flames of competition just a bit. (No responses there yet — but then, it hasn't even been up for a full twenty-four hours, as of this post.)

I haven't bothered to call Sprint's billing department with my question, because I'm guessing that they haven't yet had a chance to formulate their "official" response to this new development... but at the same time, I'd really like to get some indication of how long it's likely to take for the slashed prices at one major cellular provider to start hurting the other providers enough that they follow suit with their own price cuts. If it's going to take longer than my "break even" window after eating the termination and activation fees (in my case, only about six months) for Sprint to respond, then I could potentially be saving money by switching over to T-Mobile as soon as possible. On the other hand, if Sprint has a knee-jerk reaction and comes out with new prices next month, then I'd most likely be losing money by switching. It's a gamble either way, and I haven't yet decided which road to take.

So what does the Slashdot community think? Are there other Sprint/AT&T/Verizon customers among you mulling over the notion of eating your termination fee in order to jump over to a new, less expensive, T-Mobile plan? How long do you plan on waiting for your own provider to step up to the plate, before deciding one way or the other?

"Should I stay or should I go, now?
Should I stay or should I go, now? ..."
- The Clash

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