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Here are the best launch-day deals on the Galaxy S9 and S9+

Galaxy S9 and S9+ best deals: Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T

The Galaxy S9, Samsung's answer to the iPhone X and the device that will set the trend for Android phones this year, is finally available. If you took advantage of Samsung's pre-order trade-in deal, you're probably reading this already on your brand-new phone. But if you waited until today to pull the trigger, there's some good news.

All four major carriers are running surprisingly good launch-day promotions on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. We're used to seeing pre-order trade-in deals, but you normally have to wait a few months for the buy-one-get-one promotions that Verizon and Sprint are offering, while the 50% off deals from AT&T and T-Mobile are nothing to sniff at either. Combine those with deals from Best Buy and Xfinity Mobile, and it's pretty hard to pay full price for the Galaxy S9, even if you want to.

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BGR Top Deals:

  1. Five different Nexus 9 models are on sale on Amazon today, starting at just $160
  2. This best-selling $60 video doorbell is just as good as Ring’s $200 model

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Here are the best launch-day deals on the Galaxy S9 and S9+ originally appeared on on Fri, 16 Mar 2018 at 11:41:53 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

AT&T/Time Warner merger will raise TV bills $436 million a year, US says

Enlarge / AT&T will own a bunch of new media properties if it is allowed to buy Time Warner. (credit: Aurich Lawson)

AT&T's proposed purchase of Time Warner Inc. would raise the total amount Americans pay for TV service by $436 million a year, the US Department of Justice alleges in its lawsuit attempting to block the merger.

"If TV-program distributor AT&T acquires TV-program producer Time Warner, American consumers will end up paying hundreds of millions of dollars more than they do now to watch their favorite programs on TV," the DOJ's trial brief said last week. "In short, the transaction violates Section 7 of the Clayton Act, because its effect 'may be substantially to lessen competition.' Prices for current services will go up and development of emerging competition will slow down."

AT&T scoffed at the government's calculations, disputing the methodology and saying that even if the DOJ is correct, the average customer bill would rise by only 45 cents a month.

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How to get $500 off a brand-new Galaxy S9

Galaxy S9 preorder best deals

Pre-orders for the Galaxy S9 open at midnight, and if you're balking at the $800 price, I have some good news for you. Sprint and AT&T, two of the carriers that are selling the Galaxy S9 for more than Samsung's $720 asking price, have also rolled out promotions that let you get the Galaxy S9 for under $300. Now, these deals do have a whole bunch of strings attached, but if you have a fairly recent smartphone to trade in and no attachment to your current carrier, these deals are very real.

Both carrier deals rely on you trading in a current smartphone, much like Samsung's own trade-in promo or that being offered by Best Buy. The trade-in requirement makes the deal a little less of a steal, since trade-ins normally undervalue the phone being traded in, but they are at least convenient.

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BGR Top Deals:

  1. Today’s best deals: Ring Video Doorbell, foldable camera drone, Fire TV Stick, 400GB microSD, more
  2. Add wired gigabit Ethernet to your house without running any cable for $43

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How to get $500 off a brand-new Galaxy S9 originally appeared on on Thu, 1 Mar 2018 at 18:47:49 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

AT&T has good and bad news for users of its limit-ridden unlimited plans

Enlarge (credit: Mike Mozart / Flickr)

AT&T today raised the price of one unlimited smartphone data plan by $5 a month and lowered the price of another by $10, for single-line users. Instead of the entry-level unlimited plan costing $60 and the better plan costing $90, the single-line prices are now $65 and $80 a month (plus monthly taxes and fees and a one-time $30 activation fee for each line).

AT&T raised the family plan prices by $5 a month for both of these unlimited plans. For example, four-line plans that used to cost $155 or $185 a month now cost $160 or $190. (These prices are after a discount that may not apply on your first bill.)

Each of these postpaid plans is getting some enhancements, but they're not free of limitations. "Unlimited" means that you'll never get hit with an overage fee or have your data cut off entirely, but speeds can be throttled in some situations, and mobile hotspot usage isn't allowed on the cheaper tier.

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AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Detail Plans for ‘Next-Generation Mobile Authentication Platform’

Last September, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile announced a team-up with the mission of developing a mobile authentication solution for both businesses and consumers. One of the main reasons the carriers created the "Mobile Authentication Taskforce" was to help users who have to manage "dozens of difficult-to-remember passwords" for numerous apps.

Today at Mobile World Congress, the taskforce has revealed more details about its upcoming platform, and set a launch date for later in 2018. AT&T said the solution will create a cryptographically verified phone number and "unique profile" that's specific to the user's smartphone or tablet, strengthened by processing attributes such as a network verified mobile number, IP address, SIM card attributes, phone number tenure, phone account type, and more. The solution will only work with apps authorized by the taskforce, and at the consent of the user.

The companies' combined resources will further analyze data and activity patterns on a mobile network to predict, "with a high degree of certainty," whether the user is who they say they are.
Formed last year to develop a mobile authentication solution to help protect enterprises and consumers from identity theft, bank fraud, fraudulent purchases and data theft, the Mobile Authentication Taskforce has dedicated resources developing a highly secure and trusted multi-factor authentication platform powered by the carrier networks. The taskforce vision includes interoperability with GSMA's Mobile Connect technology.
To confirm a user's identity and allow them entry into their own secure data, the solution will also use machine learning, advanced analytics, and run a risk assessment engine with AI to confirm that all of this data matches -- or doesn't match -- the main user's identity. VentureBeat reported that the Mobile Authentication Taskforce's platform is expected to be "simpler and more secure" than current heavy-duty password and data protection solutions, like two-factor authentication.

According to the GSM Association, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, the solution will not only provide mobile device owners with an easier way to manage passwords, but also help to "decrease fraud and identity theft, and increase trust in online transactions." With the four largest U.S. network carriers working together, AT&T said that the taskforce will bring "significant capabilities and insights" to build a modern security and identity protection system.
“As mobile becomes the remote control for day-to-day life, mobile identity is key to making things simpler and more secure for consumers,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “The GSMA has been working with operators around the world to bring a consistent and interoperable, secure identity service and this taskforce will strengthen that effort by enabling a simple user experience quickly and conveniently in the US market.”
Ahead of the launch, registered developers will be able to submit to the taskforce and begin ensuring that their applications will be compatible with the new mobile authentication platform. This submission process itself will be highly secure as well, using "private and permissioned blockchain technology to help ensure application integrity."

Developers and other service providers will be able to sign up to participate as an application developer when the taskforce's website launches "later this year," and in the next few weeks internal trials of the system will begin.

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