• Carriers

    by Published on 06-17-2020 06:40 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    Telus has joined Bell and Rogers in bringing 5G service to select markets in Canada. From their official release:

    VANCOUVER – TELUS announced that it is rolling out its first wave 5G network in Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, and the Greater Toronto Area, and will continue to expand to an additional 26 markets across Canada throughout the remainder of the year.

    TELUS also announced today it has selected Samsung as a network infrastructure partner, with the goal to provide transformational 5G mobile services for Canadians. TELUS previously announced it is also working with Ericsson and Nokia as partners in building its 5G network.

    Businesses, consumers, and students with 5G network access will experience a network with peak speeds reaching up to a blistering 1.7 Gbps [...]
    5G-enabled devices already available from Telus include the LG V60 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen, the Moto Edge+ and the Samsung Galaxy S20 series. Like Bell and Rogers, 5G on Telus will cost nothing extra until March of 2021; from then on you'll be expected to pony up an additional $15/month for the privilege.

    Source: Telus (1) (2) via Mobile Syrup

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 06-11-2020 02:30 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    Looks like Bell has beat out Telus to become the second Big Three carrier to offer 5G service in Canada. As of this morning that service is now live in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal. Never mind that this country's official 5G spectrum auction has been postponed until 2021; Bell is using their existing AWS spectrum to bring 5G to their customers right now—provided, of course, that they're using one of the three currently-supported handsets:

    LG V60 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen
    Motorola Edge+
    Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G

    If you've got one of these devices (and live in one of the aforementioned markets) you can enjoy free access to Bell's fifth generation wireless service... until March of 2021, when the privilege will set you back an additional $10 CAD/month.

    Source: Bell Mobility via iPhone in Canada

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 06-03-2020 07:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    Just four months ago Telus was naming Huawei as a major partner in their forthcoming 5G network. But as of yesterday that's no longer the case. From their press release:

    "TELUS today announced it has selected Ericsson and Nokia to support building its 5G network, with the goal to revolutionize wireless connectivity for customers."
    The news came only hours after this release from Bell:

    "Bell Canada today announced that Ericsson will provide radio access network (RAN) equipment for Bell's national 5G wireless network..."
    The Swedish company is also supplying 5G gear to Rogers, so it looks like Huawei will not be part of the 5G experience in this country anytime soon.

    Some additional notes: (1) Our government hasn't yet made an official decision on Huawei; (2) Freedom Mobile doesn't use Huawei equipment on their network, either.

    Sources: CBC (1) (2), Mobile Syrup (1) (2) (3)

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 04-23-2020 11:34 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. News,
    3. From The Forums,
    4. Carriers

    Verizon posted the following announcement yesterday:

    04/22 Update:

    Verizon continues to support customers who may find themselves needing additional data in order to learn, work or keep connected during this challenging time. That’s why today, we announced we are automatically adding an additional 15GB of 4G LTE data to consumer and small business* shared data plans, hotspots and jetpacks to be used from May 1 through May 31. There is no action needed as this data will automatically be added to consumer and small business accounts.

    * Includes small business customers with 50 lines or less.
    by Published on 03-31-2020 01:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    Not flexing or anything here, just providing a data point with my own usage for my last billing period with Telus.

    The good news? It would seem that 20GB of monthly mobile data is indeed enough for my needs. This includes all app updates, uploads to Google Photos, about a gigabyte of podcast downloads and, my guilty pleasure—and also far and away my biggest consumption of data—a nightly before-bed update of the latest GIFs and memes from Imgur.

    The bad news? I rarely if ever consume video on my phone; for that I have an Android TV box hooked up to my home Internet. So if I had to rely on my mobile carrier for everything, 20 gigs per month likely wouldn't cut it.

    How about you? Is your monthly data allotment enough to get by on? And if you blow past it are your throttled data speeds sufficient?

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 03-06-2020 06:22 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    And access is free, but only until next year.

    Alongside the new trio of Samsung Galaxies—the S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra—Rogers is also launching 5G service in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver. Phase one of the 5G rollout (live as of today) is using 2.5 GHz spectrum, with 600 MHz spectrum support coming later this year.

    To access the new network you'll need compatible hardware and a subscription to a Rogers Infinite plan. Oh, and come March 6th, 2021 you'll have to pony up an additional $15/month for the privilege. Because, Canada? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Sources: iPhone in Canada (1) (2), Mobile Syrup

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 01-23-2020 08:55 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    While in Japan over the holidays I got the chance to try a new tourist SIM from a company called Mobal. In advance of this summer's Tokyo Olympics they've been putting extra effort into advertising their "unlimited" data SIMs, throttled after usage in excess of 3 GB per day.

    Any local SIM must compete with your carrier's "roam like home" equivalent, so it's up to you to do the math and figure out what's cheaper. Telus would charge $84 CAD for my seven days abroad; at ¥3,990 my 8-day Mobal SIM worked out to only $48 CAD or so and also offered 21 GB of fast data, so it made sense to try it out.

    I ordered a pair of SIMs for the girlfriend and I well in advance of our trip—too far, as it turned out; they arrived at our door in only four days. On departure overseas we installed them in our dual SIM phones, with the understanding that they'd activate only when we landed in Japan.

    Unlike other tourist SIMs for Hong Kong or Taiwan, the Mobal ones require the user to manually set up an APN:

    APN: ppsim.jp
    Username: [email protected]
    Password: jpn

    Once that was done the SIM worked as advertised... mostly. Speeds were generally fine, except for this one result:



    I can't help but wonder if Mobal is a second-class citizen on the Softbank network, and how that would affect a user visiting the country during a very busy Olympic Games. Still, the service was generally very good, and as an added bonus I didn't have to worry about returning anything like I would with other Japanese SIM providers.

    Link: Mobal Japan SIM Cards

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 01-21-2020 08:45 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    While enjoying a leisurely morning last weekend I felt the sudden urge to check on my Telus plan, and it's a good thing I did: that carrier is currently offering 20 GB of unthrottled BYOD data for the same price as 10. If you've multiple lines with them it's even less—thanks to the Telus family discount I'm now actually paying only $70/month per line, an astonishing (for Canada) $3.50 per GB of fast 4G data.

    There are but two caveats to this deal: (1) the US Easy Roam rate is now $8/day instead of $7, and (2) the promo is supposed to end today.

    I say "supposed to" because, according to both iPhone in Canada and Mobile Syrup Bell is already matching this promo, albeit for only 24 months via a $20/month bill credit. Bell also offers a $10 discount for additional lines on the same account.

    Even Rogers is getting in on the action. With them you have the choice of two lines with 20 GB each for $140, or a single line with 10 GB for $65/month.

    Again, the Telus promo is currently set to end today, and the others could go away at any time. So if you're interested and already have your own device I'd jump on one of these deals sooner rather than later.

    Links: iPhone in Canada (1) (2), Mobile Syrup (1) (2), Rogers, Telus

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 01-14-2020 09:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    While on my Christmas vacation this year I got a valuable, if expensive, data point about roaming on Telus.

    Last summer when Canada's Big Three carriers reset the BYOD market with their $75 "unlimited" (to 10 GB) plans, there were questions on HoFo about incoming text messages while abroad. The good news is that, for Telus subscribers anyway, incoming texts continue to be free no matter where you and your device happen to find yourselves.

    The girlfriend and I both have dual SIM OnePlus phones, and for the Japan portion of our trip found a local data SIM cheaper than the $12 CAD/day Easy Roam rate on Telus. Which brings us to the bad news: Easy Roam, if enabled on your account, is automatically activated by using your Telus SIM abroad—either data or, in my case, an outgoing SMS.

    Rubbing salt in this small wound was that the person who texted me is also on WhatsApp, so I could have messaged her back for free. Instead I learned a hard lesson, so that you don't have to!

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 12-07-2019 08:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    Here's an FYI from a helpful person on RFD:

    Hey so I just thought I'd share this because I didn't see it posted anywhere...

    I was speaking to Bell loyalty department and was offered an additional 5 GB free to the $65/10 GB plan (that used to be $60) from last year.

    It is not a limited time only as the agent actually switched the plan to a $65/15 GB loyalty BYOD plan. So same cost per month with 5 additional GB of data ongoing.

    Took only about 5-10 minutes and is definitely worth the phone call for those of you on that original plan from last year. I'm not sure if Rogers or Telus would offer the same.

    Good luck!
    To be clear, this would seem to apply to Bell's holiday miracle plan from December, 2017. And according to iPhone in Canada Rogers did already offer a similar deal to their customers, but the extra data was only good for two years. Bell's data bonus seems to be permanent.

    Like the OP on RFD says, good luck!

    Source: RedFlagDeals Forums via iPhone in Canada, Mobile Syrup

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 12-03-2019 08:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    If you're thinking of activating a line on Canada's Freedom Mobile network there's something you should know. From Mobile Syrup:

    “Starting Tuesday, December 3, Freedom Mobile will be charging a one-time connection fee for all new activations on our network. As the digital expectations of our customers continue to evolve, Freedom Mobile is committed to continuously improving the quality of our wireless network to provide better coverage to connect more and more Canadians. Charging a one-time activation fee will allow us to fund further network improvements and explore transformative technology.”
    I wouldn't fault anyone for being upset about this on principle alone—it's a move you'd expect from the Big Three, not from Freedom. But I myself am not yet convinced that the sky's falling, for two reasons. First, SIM cards are now free (I believe they used to be $25 with BYOD) and second, iPhone in Canada is reporting the that fees are waived if you activate online:

    Hardware upgrades: $0
    Online activations or upgrades: $0
    Postpaid activations: $20 (charged on first bill)
    Prepaid activations: $10 (charged on first top-up)

    Waiting for a SIM in the mail is certainly less convenient than activating in-store, but at least there's a way to avoid the extra fee if you're dead-set against paying it.

    Sources: iPhone in Canada, Mobile Syrup

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 11-27-2019 01:55 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    * Travel and/or fake ID may be required.

    Canadian Thanksgiving was back in October, but that hasn't stopped Black Friday from becoming an annual November event here. Here are some carrier BYOD deals that you may be interested in—by no means an exhaustive list, just something to get the proverbial ball rolling...

    1. Bell, Rogers, Telus: $10 off BYOD "Unlimited" Plans

    For a limited time you can enjoy 10 GB of unthrottled data with your own device for only $65/month. The catch? You need to be in Manitoba or Saskatchewan to get it.

    For the rest of the country (BC and ON anyway) Telus is currently offering $10 off of their 20 GB Peace of Mind Connect plan. Yay?

    2. Koodo: $55 for 9 GB / $65 for 16 GB

    An even better deal is available on the Koodo network—that is if you're willing to travel to Ottawa to get it. At least one person on RFD got Koodo to match this offer over the phone so you might want to try that first.

    3. Freedom Mobile: All Plans on Sale

    The best data deals are from Freedom, with the caveat of their smaller footprint and capacity. They also offer $0 handset financing, albeit at higher monthly rates.

    If you find any Black Friday bargains that you'd like to share with your fellow Canadians, please do so below!

    Sources: iPhone in Canada (1) (2), Mobile Syrup (1) (2)

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 11-15-2019 08:10 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    Canada's Big Three carriers are about to set their lobbyists loose on the newly-elected minority government in Ottawa. Their mission? To dissuade politicians from keeping campaign promises relating to the high cost of wireless service in this country.

    Operators are facing potential price cuts of up to 25%, but an even greater threat looms—here's what an anonymous telco exec told Reuters:

    “We’re fighting a five-front battle here and we will use whatever tools are at our disposal to convince the powers that be ... that this is wrong-headed,” an executive at one of the major firms said, adding the prospect of MVNOs was a greater existential threat than price cuts.
    Last time I checked Bell, Rogers and Telus were still making money from broadband Internet, despite government-mandated wholesale rates that make the existence of TekSavvy and the like possible. But what do I know? I'm just a lowly peasant paying out $75/month just to get a decent per-gigabyte rate for wireless data.

    Source: Reuters

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 11-13-2019 04:44 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. News,
    4. From The Forums,
    5. Carriers



    Tonight Motorola unveiled their own version of a foldable phone in the form of the classic RAZR design, running on Android 9. They're calling this one lowercase "razr."

    Priced at $1,499 USD, it is set to release early January 2020 on Verizon as a carrier exclusive. Pre-orders start the day after Christmas.

    More specs, pictures and info on Motorola's site here: https://www.motorola.com/us/products/razr

    Sources: The Verge | CNET
    by Published on 11-07-2019 03:15 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    A story that broke last night on The Verge is now being widely cited across the web. Some AT&T customers on Mobile Share Value plans are suddenly being gifted extra data... and an extra $10 on their monthly bill.

    Even worse is that there's no way to opt out of this. In a statement to The Verge the carrier said:

    “We are communicating with some customers regarding changes to their mobile plans. Customers have the choice to change their plan at any time and can always contact us with questions or to understand their options.”
    AT&T apparently offered its customers a similar "bonus" earlier this year. At least users are getting extra data for their extra money.

    Source: The Verge

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 10-24-2019 08:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    By "little three" I mean Fido, Koodo and Virgin. I guess that would make Chatr, Lucky and Public the tiny three? Still working on this. Anyhoo...

    A coherent strategy seems to have finally emerged from the second-tier brands of Canada's Big Three carriers: for those who can't (or won't) shell out $75/month for unlimited (10 GB) data, Fido, Koodo and Virgin each now offer slightly more affordable (or at least less expensive) BYOD options.

    Fido
    $55 for 4 GB ($13.75 per GB)
    $60 for 6 GB ($10 per GB)
    $65 for 8 GB ($8.125 per GB)

    Koodo
    $55 for 4 GB
    $60 for 6 GB
    $65 for 8 GB

    Virgin
    $55 for 4 GB
    $60 for 6 GB
    $65 for 8 GB

    According to the source below, all plans include unlimited nationwide calling plus unlimited international texting—that is, any SMS sent from or received in Canada. But, as always, it's best to check your carrier's provincial portal to confirm.

    Source: Mobile Syrup (1) (2) (3)

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 10-23-2019 07:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Form Joint Venture to Transform Messaging Experience
    The Cross-Carrier Messaging Initiative will help drive the next generation of messaging for consumers and businesses


    DALLAS and OVERLAND PARK, Kan. and BELLEVUE, Wash. and BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon have created a joint venture - the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI) - to deliver the next generation of messaging to consumers and businesses. The service, based on GSMA's Rich Communications Service (RCS) industry standard, will enable an engaging way for consumers to interact and transact with each other and with businesses.

    To enable the service, the CCMI joint venture is working to develop and deploy the standards-based, interoperable messaging service starting with Android and expected in 2020. Working with its carrier ownership group and other companies in the RCS ecosystem, the CCMI service will:

    Drive a robust business-to-consumer messaging ecosystem and accelerate the adoption of Rich Communications Services (RCS)
    Enable an enhanced experience to privately send individual or group chats across carriers with high quality pictures and videos
    Provide consumers with the ability to chat with their favorite brands, order a rideshare, pay bills or schedule appointments, and more
    Create a single seamless, interoperable RCS experience across carriers, both in the U.S. and globally

    "People love text messaging for a reason. Texting is trusted, reliable and readily available—which is why we're using it to build the foundation of a simple, immersive messaging experience," said David Christopher, executive vice president and general manager, AT&T Mobility. "This service will power new and innovative ways for customers to engage with each other and their favorite brands."

    "The CCMI will bring a consistent, engaging experience that makes it easy for consumers and businesses to interact in an environment they can trust," said Michel Combes, President & CEO of Sprint. "As we have seen in Asia, messaging is poised to become the next significant digital platform. CCMI will make it easy for consumers to navigate their lives from a smartphone."

    "At the Un-carrier, customers drive everything we do, and that's no different here," said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile. "Efforts like CCMI help move the entire industry forward so we can give customers more of what they want and roll out new messaging capabilities that work the same across providers and even across countries."

    "At Verizon, our customers depend on reliable text messaging to easily connect them to the people they care about most. Yet, we can deliver even more working together as an industry," said Ronan Dunne, CEO of Verizon Consumer Group. "CCMI will create the foundation for an innovative digital platform that not only connects consumers with friends and family, but also offers a seamless experience for consumers to connect with businesses in a compelling and trusted environment."

    More details will be announced at a later date.
    Source: PR Newswire via The Verge

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 10-23-2019 03:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    Ookla, the folks behind Speedtest.net, have just published a new market snapshot of mobile service in Canada. The good news? This country enjoys the 4th-fastest download speeds worldwide—already up two slots from last month's rankings.

    The bad news? For upload speeds we're currently ranked at #42 of countries tested.

    Back to the good news, here's Ookla's Speed Score™ for the top five carriers nationwide:

    1. TELUS - 69.61
    2. Bell - 68.59
    3. Fido - 59.35
    4. Rogers - 54.01
    5. Videotron - 40.88

    For more data, including breakdowns of speeds by province and city, visit the first link below.

    Source: Speedtest via Mobile Syrup

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 10-16-2019 01:35 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers



    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - T-Mobile US Inc’s (TMUS.O) proposed $26.5 billion tie-up with Sprint Corp (S.N) won formal approval from the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday in a vote split along party lines, two sources told Reuters.

    Chairman Ajit Pai and two Republican commissioners voted to approve the deal while two Democratic commissioners voted against it, the sources said.

    The text of the approval order is not expected to be released until later in the month.

    The deal to combine the third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers, which has been fighting for government approval since April 2018, still faces a lawsuit brought by a group of state attorneys general, headed by New York.

    The lawsuit against Sprint and its parent company Softbank Group Corp and T-Mobile and its parent Deutsche Telekom AG argues the deal will lead to higher prices for consumers. A trial date has been set for Dec. 9.

    The U.S. Justice Department approved the deal in July.

    Under the Justice Department deal, the companies would divest Sprint’s prepaid businesses, including Boost Mobile, to satellite television company Dish Network Corp (DISH.O), and provide it with access to 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. That deal is worth about $5 billion.
    Source: Reuters

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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