SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son spoke to lawmakers today about the state of the U.S. wireless market. According to Son, the networks aren't fast enough and consumers are paying too much for them. "American consumers use less data traffic, but pay more. Is that a good situation?" posed Son. Son pitched the idea of entering the home broadband market as an alternative for consumers to companies such as Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T, and Verizon. "We need an alternative. I would like to volunteer, we would like to be the alternative," said Son. "We got the technology, we have to deploy many cells, it requires a lot of capital expenditure, it requires a lot of scale. We are bringing new technology to the States. Speed matters, with better speed we can bring next-generation applications and content." Son hopes his remarks help change the minds of those who might otherwise shoot down Sprint's possible acquisition of T-Mobile.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is convinced the only way Sprint and T-Mobile can compete against AT&T and Verizon is for the two smaller carriers to merge. Speaking on television with Charlie Rose, Son indicated that even though U.S. regulators have warned such a deal would face stiff opposition, Sprint is going to pursue T-Mobile anyway. "We would like to make the deal happen, but there are steps and details that we have to work out," said Son. "We have to give it a shot." AT&T and Verizon together control two-thirds of the U.S. wireless market. Even combined, Sprint and T-Mobile would be smaller than AT&T and Verizon Wireless by tens of millions of customers. Son said if the deal goes through, he'll launch a price war against the two larger carriers in order to break up the duopoly. Son and his team are actively engaging people in the wireless industry as well as in the government in order to convince them the deal has merit. Only after Son feels he has swayed their opinions will the company make an official bid for T-Mobile.
T-Mobile tonight announced changes to its existing Simple Choice plans. At the lowest tier - people currently paying $50/month for the first line - the high-speed (4G) data cap doubles from 500 MB to 1 GB. The next tier also sees an increase, from 2.5 GB to 3 GB. However the third data tier - which starts at $70/month for the first line - will change from unlimited to a new cap at 5 GB, although existing customers will be grandfathered and keep unlimited data. Unlimited data for new customers will now only be available with a new tier starting at $80/month for the first line. Also, while Simple Choice plans already offered free global roaming in 115 countries for text and basic data, they will now also include free unlimited texting from the U.S. to other countries, and the number of countries has grown to 122. As before, extra lines cost $30/month for the second line and $10/month for lines 3-5. Also, extra data (such as $30/month for unlimited) is multiplied by the number of lines. Existing Simple Choice customers will automatically be upgraded to the new plans on March 23 for post-paid, or April 26 for pre-paid.
AT&T has improved its LTE network in Chicago and several other markets by using an LTE-Advanced technique called Carrier Aggregation. GigaOm confirmed the soft launch with AT&T SVP of Network Technologies Kris Rinne. With Carrier Aggregation, AT&T has combined the channels of its existing spectrum to double the capacity. AT&T is running LTE in both the 700MHz and AWS bands in Chicago. By aggregating the channels together, AT&T can deliver theoretical peak download speeds of 110Mbps to devices with the proper radio support. At the moment, AT&T is selling only one device with Carrier Aggregation, the Unite mobile hotspot. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is expected to be the first smartphone to support Carrier Aggregation in the U.S. AT&T did not name the other two markets that have access to Carrier Aggregation, but said that more markets on are on the way. Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless are all in various stages of deploying Carrier Aggregation in their own LTE networks.
Isis today announced another promotion with the goal of coaxing smartphone owners into using its tap-and-go mobile payment service. The promotion will give American Express card holders who've registered their card with Isis a statement credit when they use Isis to pay for a ride in a medallioned New York City yellow cab. Isis will credit users back for 50% of the fare up to a maximum of $100. Isis is a joint venture backed by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. About two dozen different Android devices are compatible with the system, which requires a secure SIM card, NFC, a credit card from a participating financial firm, and the Isis mobile application. The iPhone requires a separate case, which costs $70, to use Isis. It is free to sign up for Isis.
SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son is prepared to take a new tack in its pursuit of T-Mobile: asking other businesses to approve. Son plans to appeal directly to the U.S. business community and to policy makers in the hope that it can convince them further consolidation in the industry is a good thing, according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal. Son has already been warned by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission that a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile would undergo intense regulatory scrutiny. Son is prepared to speak at the Chamber of Commerce next week regarding competition in the wireless industry. It is possible he will use that stage to make his plea for a combined Sprint/T-Mobile. Son contends that neither Sprint nor T-Mobile can compete on their own against AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which together control two-thirds of the U.S. wireless market.
T-Mobile today said that its plan to migrate MetroPCS customers away from the MetroPCS network to T-Mobile's network is ahead of schedule. About 3.5 million customers, or 40% of its base, have already switched. As such, it plans to shutter MetroPCS's network in three markets by the end of the year. Those markets include Boston, Philadelphia, and Las Vegas. T-Mobile said it expects minimal disruption to customers in those cities, though it will ramp up efforts to swap customers to T-Mobile gear over the next few months. T-Mobile has already repurposed 25% of MetroPCS's spectrum.
AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile each today affirmed that it will off the Samsung Galaxy S5 when it goes on sale in April. Exact sales dates and pricing were not shared by the carriers.
T-Mobile today announced a new promotion meant to quell the anger it caused recently among BlackBerry users. Beginning Friday, T-Mobile is offering all BlackBerry users (even those on other carriers) $200 to bring in their old, working BlackBerry and trade it in for any smartphone currently sold by T-Mobile. This offer can be combined with T-Mobile's Contract Freedom promotion, which pays the Early Termination Fee associated with some contracts. That means potential customers can get up to $200 by trading in their old BlackBerry as well as have their ETF taken care of. Taking it a step further, T-Mobile is offering its own, existing BlackBerry customers an additional $50 (total of $250) if they upgrade from an old BlackBerry to a new BlackBerry Q10 or Z10 smartphone. The promotion rolls out to retail stores February 21. T-Mobile said that it will offer expedited shipping to customers for BlackBerries not stocked in its stores.
Transit Wireless today announced that it has begun Phase Two of its project to bring cellular and Wi-Fi wireless service to New York City's subway stations. The first step of Phase Two is to light up service at 11 more midtown Manhattan stations, including those at Grand Central Terminal, 34th St. Herald Square, and Bryant Park. The bulk of Phase Two, however, targets 29 stations in Queens. Transit Wireless is building a hub in Queens to help manage the infrastructure from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. The Queens build out begins in March and should be complete by June. Transit Wireless has not said if or when it will offer subway station service in the boroughs of the Bronx or Brooklyn.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen took T-Mobile to task today for a campaign it recently ran suggesting that BlackBerry customers drop their BlackBerry in favor of a different smartphone on T-Mobile. In a post to the company's blog, Chen thanked BlackBerry's customers for speaking out in protest of the "clearly inappropriate and ill-conceived marketing promotion." Chen said it is working on a special promotion for T-Mobile BlackBerry customers that it will reveal soon. Chen finished by saying, "I would like to remind [T-Mobile] that our long-standing partnership was once productive and profitable for both BlackBerry and T-Mobile. I hope we can find a way forward that allows us to serve our shared customers once again. Notwithstanding the current challenge, we remain very excited about BlackBerry’s future."
T-Mobile today said that beginning February 23 customers of its Jump early upgrade program will be able to upgrade more often than twice per year. "Whenever you're ready to upgrade, trade in your device and T-Mobile will pay your remaining device payments up to 50% of the device cost," said T-Mobile in a statement provided to Fierce Wireless. "There is no more waiting period or limit to the number of times you can upgrade per year." T-Mobile is requiring that customers pay off half the cost of their phone before upgrading, though. Many phones carry a full retail price of $600 or more. T-Mobile's Jump plans carry a $10 premium over regular plan pricing. The more frequent upgrades mirror those offered under Verizon's Edge plans.
Motorola today released Android 4.4.2 KitKat for the T-Mobile variant of the Motorola Moto X. The update adds cloud printing, improves battery life, and resolves an email sync issue. In addition to the system software upgrade, the minor OS boost includes several bug fixes. The update is free to download and install.
Sprint is rethinking its intent to make a bid for T-Mobile after the idea was met with skepticism from government officials. Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son and CEO Dan Hesse met with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission in recent weeks. Both agencies indicated a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile would face tough resistance from antitrust regulators. Though Son and Hesse knew the idea would be meet some pushback, they were surprised by the level of skepticism for the deal, according to sources cited by The Wall Street Journal. Sprint and T-Mobile contend that the only way for them to effectively combat AT&T and Verizon Wireless is to join forces. U.S. officials have, however, made it abundantly clear they prefer to have four national carriers and not three. The Journal says Sprint may yet make a play for T-Mobile, but will likely spend weeks or longer to weigh its options.
T-Mobile today announced that it has triumphed over Aio Wireless regarding a trademark infringement lawsuit. T-Mobile believes Aio Wireless's use of a "plum" color in its logo was too close to T-Mobile's own magenta color and branding. It sued Aio Wireless, insisting the company switch colors to avoid consumer confusion. A federal court agreed with T-Mobile's position. Aio has been told to cease using the color in its marketing, advertising, stores, web sites, and social media. Aio Wireless is owned and operated by AT&T.
Isis is offering Wells Fargo cardholders up to $300 to join Isis and use Isis to make mobile payments. Wells Fargo customers who sign up for Isis will receive a $20 account credit the first time they use Isis to make a payment. Further, between now and April 30, Wells Fargo will offer 20% cash back in statement credits on all Isis purchases, up to $100 per calendar month over the next three months. Isis is a joint venture supported by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. The mobile payment system is available to about 50 smartphones and uses NFC and a mobile app for tap-and-go payments at participating retailers. Isis launched on Android devices in November, but only recently became available to the iPhone through an NFC-equipped case.
Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, told executives from SoftBank and Sprint he is highly skeptical a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile would pass regulatory review. SoftBank's Masayoshi Son and Sprint's Dan Hesse met with Wheeler Monday in an attempt to convince the FCC it would be beneficial to the market for Sprint and T-Mobile to combine in order to better fight AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Wheeler said he would keep an open mind about such a deal, according to sources cited by Reuters, but he also repeated the sentiment given by the U.S. Department of Justice that a merger between the No. 3 and No. 4 carriers would face a long road toward gaining regulatory approval.
SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son is meeting with the head of the Federal Communications Commission today in an attempt to convince the regulatory body that combining Sprint and T-Mobile would be good for the wireless industry. Last week, officials at the U.S. Department of Justice indicated to Son and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse that the agency would not look favorably on such a merger and it would face heavy scrutiny. Son is already holding high-level talks with Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company. The companies have not publicly announced plans to merge and are still hashing out details, such as a potential break-up fee, which management team would lead moving forward, and which brand would be preserved. Son intends to argue to the FCC that a combined T-Mobile/Sprint would be a stronger competitor to market leaders AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse will also attend the meeting.
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.
HTC today said it will miss its self-imposed deadline of updating the One within 90 days from the time Google released Android 4.4 KitKat. It originally committed to giving the One the latest version of Android by the end of January. According to HTC, KitKat is now undergoing carrier testing with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Though it will fall short of the 90-day cutoff, HTC expects the update will take only another week or two to complete for each carrier. HTC asked customers for patience as it finalizes the system update. More information should be available soon.
Sprint's senior executives recently met with members of the U.S. Department of Justice to ascertain just how much opposition a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile might face. The meeting included Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank, which holds a majority stake in Sprint, and Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint. Justice Department officials told Son and Hesse that such a deal would "face skepticism" from government regulators, according to people familiar with the details of the conversation. Regulators appear to favor the current competitive environment, which includes four national network operators, as opposed to three were Sprint and T-Mobile to combine. Sprint already has commitments from banks to finance the deal. SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom, which owns 67% of T-Mobile, have met to iron out the broad strokes of a merger/acquisition. Many details have yet to be finalized before an acquisition is formally proposed.
T-Mobile today announced that it will soon carry the LG F3Q, a new Android smartphone that comes with a sideways-sliding QWERTY keyboard. The device includes a 4-inch LCD screen, 5-megapixel camera, and compatibility with T-Mobile's LTE 4G network. It offers LG's signature user interface, including features such as QuickMemo, and QSlide. The LG F3Q will go one sale online and in stores February 5. T-Mobile is asking for $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $13. The total cost of the payments is $312.
T-Mobile today announced pricing and availability for the LG G Flex curved smartphone. The device will reach T-Mobile stores on February 5. T-Mobile is asking for a downpayment of $0 and 24 monthly payments of $28.
AT&T and Incipio today announced the availability of the Cashwrap, a case for the iPhone that includes a secure NFC chip and can be used to make mobile payments via Isis. The case is compatible with the iPhone 4/4S and 5/5s. It must be used with the Isis application, which can be downloaded for free from the iTunes App Store. Customers register a credit card with the app/service and can then use their iPhone for tap-and-go payments at participating retailers. The case is available from AT&T's web site beginning today, and should reach most AT&T stores January 31. The case comes in black, pink, or white and costs $69. Isis is a joint venture backed by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. It launched in November and already works with a handful of Android smartphones that have NFC embedded inside. The Cashwrap case from Incipio is necessary for the iPhone because it does not have NFC.
The Federal Communications Commission will today begin accepting bids for H Block spectrum. Auction 96 will be used to sell 176 licenses for the H Block spectrum, which falls in the 1915-1920MHz and 1995-2000MHz bands. The FCC held a mock auction to test the bidding process on January 17. Most of the major wireless network operators declined to participate in the auction, though Dish Networks and nearly two dozen other, smaller firms plan to make bids. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless are expected to participate more aggressively in an auction on deck for mid-2015, which will cover spectrum in the 600MHz band. The FCC has not said how long it expects Auction 96 to take, though it hopes to raise about $1.6 billion from the winners.
T-Mobile today announced Mobile Money, a new program that is meant to help consumers avoid costly fees often associated with banking. The program encompasses a re-loadable T-Mobile Visa prepaid debit card that drops the cost of accessing and using money. T-Mobile customers won't pay to activate the card, won't pay monthly maintenance fees, won't pay withdrawal fees at 42,000 in-network ATMs, and won't pay to replace lost or stolen cards. Mobile Money doesn't have a required minimum balance, doesn't charge overdraft fees, and can be used with direct depositing and phone-based check-cashing services. The card can be used to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted. T-Mobile's Mobile Money card and service will be available in T-Mobile and Safeway stores beginning next month.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has begun active talks with Deutsche Telekom on how to acquire T-Mobile. According to sources cited by Bloomberg, the two companies are exploring the best way to structure such a deal. Unresolved issues include how much cash and stock SoftBank will pay, as well as how best to integrate the two companies, and what sort of break-up fees might be assigned. Deutsche Telekom wants all cash for the deal, but SoftBank wants to use both cash and stock. T-Mobile's market value is about $26 billion and SoftBank already has assurances from a handful of banks that they'll finance the deal. Son is reluctant to agree to break-up fees, as SoftBank has already taken on a lot of debt to buy Sprint. Last, the companies hope to structure the deal so that it meets as little resistance as possible from federal regulators, which are sure to scrutinize the deal closely. Bloomberg says that Sprint's management is not party to the talks, but CEO Dan Hesse knew Son wanted to buy T-Mobile when he agreed to sell a large equity stake of Sprint to SoftBank. The boards of SoftBank, Deutsche Telekom, Sprint, and T-Mobile will need to approve any deal.
Sprint has received proposals from several banks with respect to financing a potential bid for smaller rival T-Mobile. No such deal has been announced, but as many as three banks have approached Sprint with offers to provide the needed capital. The Wall Street Journal reports that banks are looking at a total value for T-Mobile of about $50 billion, including $31 billion for T-Mobile itself and an additional $20 billion to cover T-Mobile's debt. The Journal says executives at Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank, the companies that own T-Mobile and Sprint, respectively, have agreed in principle that the companies' best chance to compete against AT&T and Verizon Wireless is to combine forces. Such a deal would require regulatory approval, which could be a major hurdle for the merger to jump. Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank execs want the deal to be completed before the start of a major spectrum auction scheduled to take place in the middle of 2015. They believe it may take more than a year to win regulatory approval for a proposed merger.
T-Mobile is expanding the availability of its ETF-reimbursement program to the customers of other, smaller carriers. Speaking to Re/Code, T-Mobile marketing chief Mike Sievert said the company will reimburse subscribers early termination fees if they come from regional carriers, such as U.S. Cellular and others, that require contracts. The deal provides potential customers with up to $350 per line to cover ETFs, and up to another $300 for device trade-ins. Additionally, T-Mobile expanded the number of handsets that it will accept as trade-ins to increase the appeal for consumers considering the jump. The program was first unveiled by T-Mobile during the recent Consumer Electronics Show.
T-Mobile today announced that its 4G LTE network now covers 209 million people in 273 metro areas. They also announced speed test results that indicate their network is now the fastest. In markets with 10+10 MHz LTE, they are seeing 72 Mbps. In markets like Dallas with 20+20 MHz, customers can expect up to 147 Mbps.
T-Mobile USA today announced a "Get Out of Jail Free Card". T-Mobile will pay off the early termination fees for customers that want to switch from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. With an eligible phone trade-in, the total value of the offer to switch to T-Mobile could be as high as $650 per line, $350 for the ETF and $300 in trade-in device credit.
T-Mobile usually has an interesting press event at CES. They've also been hosting "Un-Carrier" press events recently to announce bold new strategic moves that are shaking up the industry. This year's CES will host T-Mobile's "Un-Carrier 4" event. T-Mobile has already put a stake in the heart of device subsidies and intro'd free global data roaming. What's next? Tune in live to find out. Or just tune in to be thoroughly entertained by CEO John Legere's razor-sharp jabs at his competitors. Either way, we'll have you covered right here.
Sony announced the Xperia Z1S for T-Mobile, today. The device impresses with its waterproof design and high build quality. Here are Phone Scoop's first impressions.
T-Mobile today announced that it will sell the Sony Xperia Z1S smartphone. The Z1S is a version of the Z1 that has been optimized for T-Mobile's network and has several other, minor hardware adjustments. The Z1 was first announced in September 2013. The Xperia Z1S features a 20.7-megapixel camera that has BIONZ for mobile image processing engine, a G Lens, and a 1/2.3-inch camera sensor. The camera has a burst mode than shoots 61 images: 30 before you press the shutter button, 1 when you press the shutter button, and 30 more after the shutter button has been pressed. Other camera features include an augmented reality mode that puts subjects in themed locations, such as with dinosaurs. The Z1S has a 5-inch full HD display with TriLuminos and X-Reality processing engines. It is powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM, and comes with 16GB of internal storage. It is waterproof and can stand up to 30 minutes in 4.9 feet of water. It includes Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS, and Bluetooth 4.0LE. It runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. T-Mobile said customers can preorder the Xperia Z1S beginning January 13 and it will be available online and in stores beginning January 22. T-Mobile is offering the device for $0 down with 24 monthly payments of $23 with the Simple Choice Plan. Further, Sony is offering customers who by the Xperia Z1S and PlayStation 4 a $100 Visa gift card. Last, the device comes with six free movie downloads from Sony's Video Unlimited service, as well as a 60-day free trial of Music Unlimited.
Huawei today announced the Ascend Mate2 4G, the follow-up to its Ascend Mate phablet. The Mate2 will have 4G LTE compatible with both AT&T and T-Mobile networks in the U.S. Like the original, it sports a 6.1-inch display, although the Mate2 has a much smaller bezel, giving it the best screen-to-body ratio in the industry, according to Huawei. The Mate2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor at 1.6 GHz. It has a large 4050 mAh battery and can even be used to charge other phones. The main camera is 13-megapixel and the front camera is an unusual 5-megapixels with a wide-angle lens, for high-quality selfies. The screen is super-sensitive, supporting use through standard gloves. It runs Huawei's Emotion UI 2.0, which supports mini-apps that float above other apps, and a driving mode with a simplified interface. Pricing and release timing were not immediately available.
The G Flex is LG's entrant in the new curved-screen superphone category. It has everything the G2 and G Pro have, plus a huge 6-inch curved screen. It's now official for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, and we went hands-on with the U.S. versions.
LG today announced that its current flagship phone - the G Flex - will come to Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T in the 1st quarter of 2014. The phone sports a curved design utilizing a curved, 6" OLED display and a curved battery. It also sports top-end features such as a Snapdragon 800 processor, 13-megapixel camera, and 3,500 mAh battery.
Verizon has agreed to sell T-Mobile $3 billion worth of its 700 MHz radio spectrum licenses. The licenses were purchased from the FCC in 2008 but have sat unused since then. They cover the "A" block of the lower 700 MHz band, used by phones with LTE band 12. The licenses cover 21 of the top 30 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Detroit. T-Mobile already has A-block licenses for Boston. The transaction will give T-Mobile 700 MHz A-block spectrum covering a total of 158 million people. T-Mobile hopes to launch 700 MHz service and phones by the end of 2014. Verizon will retain its upper 700 MHz C-block spectrum and continue offering LTE service in that band. T-Mobile will pay Verizon $2.365 billion in cash for the new spectrum, plus the trade of certain AWS (1700 MHz) and PCS (1900 MHz) spectrum licenses worth approximately $950 million.
AT&T today announced a new offer that will give T-Mobile customers up to $450 in credit to switch to AT&T. AT&T will give T-Mobile customers device trade-in credits of up to $250, which AT&T says can be used towards AT&T goods and services. Trade-in values will vary depending on the device and its condition. AT&T is also offering T-Mobile customers a $200 credit per line when they transfer their number to AT&T. In order to get the $200 credit, T-Mobile customers will need to activate an AT&T Next plan, buy a device at full retail price, or activate a device they already own. The offer, which will only be available for a limited time, goes into effect today.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar has written a letter to the CEOs of the country's five largest wireless network operators requesting that they do more to help curb cell phone theft. Klobuchar points out that nearly one-third of all robberies involves a cell phone, and stolen mobile devices take a $30 billion toll on consumers each year. Lawmakers in California and New York recently attempted to convince the carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless) to add kill switches to their devices. The tool would allow consumers whose devices are lost or stolen to permanently deactivate their phone. Lawmakers believe that this will help curb the illegal resale of cell phones and eventually reduce robberies. Samsung developed such a kill switch, but carriers shot the idea down over fears of lost insurance revenue. "Your five companies [serve] more than 90 percent of the nation's wireless subscribers," wrote Klobuchar. "With that market share comes an obligation to do all you can to utilize technologies available to protect consumers. While I understand your companies are continuing to work with law enforcement on the stolen cell phone database, it is clear that consumers want and deserve a comprehensive strategy to prevent mobile device thefts." Klobuchar asked the carriers to send her information about any offers made by handset makers to add kill switches, and why they didn't adopt them; information on whether or not the carriers have considered devices with features similar to Apple's activation lock; and details on how each company will include kill switches on future products at no cost to consumers. Klobuchar gave the carriers until January 9 to respond.