FCC Wants Small Carriers, OTT Text Apps to Offer Text-to-911
The Federal Communications Commission today indicated that it wants more industry players to participate in on-going efforts to enable text-to-911 services. The four largest carriers have already committed to offering such services by May 15 of this year, but the FCC believes this is not enough. It is requesting that the country's smaller, regional carriers get involved in order to fill in the gaps where AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon don't offer service. Further, the FCC wants companies that provide over-the-top (OTT) messaging services, such as WhatsApp or Skype, to enable text-to-911 within their applications. To wit, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would force OTT services to enable text-to-911 by the end of the year. The FCC is accepting comments on the idea and will make a final determination later this year. One of the core components is the ability to send a bounce-back message to senders in areas where 911 can't receive text messages. The FCC feels this is an essential service and keeps in step with how consumers prefer to communicate.
Moto Z2 Force Drops 'Droid' Branding On Verizon
Motorola announced the Z2 Force today, which replaces both the Z and Z Force from last year. The phone will be sold by most U.S.
Coral Blue Galaxy S8 and S8+ Go On Sale In US July 21
Samsung today said the Coral Blue variant of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ handsets will become available to U.S. buyers starting July 21.
Samsung Makes the Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J3 Available Unlocked
Samsung today added the Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J3 to its list of unlocked smartphones. The two inexpensive handsets will be available to purchase directly from Samsung's web site as well as select retailers starting July 28.
Motorola Moto E4 Plus Goes On Sale Aug. 3 for $180
Motorola today said the Moto E4 Plus, which it announced in June, will reach various sales channels later this week. The unlocked variant will be available from Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, Fry's, Newegg, and Motorola.com starting August 3 for $180.
T-Mobile Fined $17.5 Million Over 911 Outage
T-Mobile has settled with the FCC regarding two separate 911 outages on its national wireless network that prevented customers from reaching emergency services for a period of three hours. T-Mobile agreed to pay the FCC $17.5 million in fines and take steps to improve the strength of its network and 911 services.