This is the New Motorola Skip, a Full-Blown Key Fob That Keeps Your Phone Unlocked When Near

Last year, along with the launch of the Moto X, Motorola introduced an accessory called the Skip (our review). The Skip was an attachable NFC clip that would allow you to skip the unlock PIN or pattern on your device with a simple touch. It really only had that one use. Motorola handed out the Skip for free to those who placed early Moto X orders, but it later retailed for around $20 (now $10).

As a follow-up, Motorola is on the verge of releasing a new version of the Skip, this time in the form of a Bluetooth-equipped key fob that has more uses than tap-to-unlock via NFC.  (more…)

FCC Still Concerned About Throttling, Asks All Carriers About Throttling Practices

Over the last couple of weeks, the FCC has decided that it wants to know more about the throttling or “Network Optimization” practices of wireless carriers in the US. Their initial probing began with Verizon, after the company announced plans to start throttling the top 5% of its data users who have unlimited data plans and a 4G LTE phone come October 1. Today, Reuters is reporting that the FCC is actually looking into all of the major carriers, asking for them to explain how they decide when to slow down speeds for customers, because they are still very “concerned” that the reasoning could be a business rather than engineering issue. (more…)

Samsung SM-G850F “Galaxy Alpha” Strolls Through FCC

More light is being shed this morning, as a device with model number SM-G850F, aka the Galaxy Alpha from Samsung, has gone through the FCC. The Galaxy Alpha is nothing new, though, as we have seen plenty of leaks regarding this phone for the past month.

While a device going through the FCC is always a little helpful to get a sense of what to expect when it hits the market, the filings never list out full specifications or dimensions. But when it comes to early phone info, you don’t get to be picky.  (more…)

Verizon Responds to FCC Over Throttling Questions: Unlimited Data Users Have “No Incentive Not to” Hog Resources

Shortly after we first reported Verizon’s plans to begin throttling unlimited 4G LTE data users who gobble up enough data (4.7GB per month) to land them in the top 5% of the carrier’s data users, the FCC sent a letter to VZW CEO Dan Mead, asking for answers to a couple of questions about the new policy. Today, The Verge claims to have received a copy of the letter that Verizon’s SVP of federal regulatory affairs sent in response. This official response comes on the heels of the brief statement that Big Red issued last week, which basically said that they stand by their “Network Optimization” of unlimited data users.  (more…)

Verizon Plans Response to FCC Over Throttling, Stands by Its Network Optimization

Yesterday afternoon, a letter from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead concerning the wireless carrier’s plans to throttle unlimited data users under its “Network Optimization” policy stole headlines. Wheeler was clear in his letter that he is both “troubled” by and concerned that this move is nothing but a chance for Verizon to add to its revenue streams. He finished by asking for a response from Big Red to three specific questions.

While we wait for Verizon to do just that, the company issued a brief statement this morning noting that it will respond, but also that the purpose of “Network Optimization” is to make sure everyone on their network always has capacity available for use.  (more…)

FCC Chairman Not Excited About Verizon’s Plans to Throttle Unlimited Data Users

Last week, we exclusively reported that Verizon planned to begin throttling the top 5% of unlimited data users with 4G LTE phones come October 1, a move which Verizon has since confirmed. The throttling is a part of Big Red’s “Network Optimization” policy, which up until now has only affected 3G customers with unlimited data. As you can imagine, this news didn’t exactly excite those with unlimited data plans who have been long-time Verizon customers. According to a letter sent to Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler isn’t excited either.  (more…)

Obama to Sign Bill Making Phone Unlocking Legal

If have been on the edge of your seat since December, as our government decided whether or not it should be legal for you to unlock your phone and take it to a carrier of choice, you can sit back and relax. Patrick Leahy, a senator from Vermont, announced today that the House “unanimously passed bipartisan legislation that would restore the ability of consumers to more easily transfer their cell phones to other wireless carriers, just one week after the Senate approved the same measure.” That’s good news! In even better news, President Obama has already confirmed that he will sign this bill. So yep, this is a done deal.  (more…)