T-Mobile's relief for 'bill shock'; New iPads coming Oct. 22; more
>> T-Mobile offers relief from global roaming 'bill shock'
Global roaming charges have been a pain point for international business travelers. T-Mobile is providing relief from "bill shock" by offering unlimited global data use and texting for no extra charge and a global flat rate of 20 cents a minute for voice calls in more than 100 countries. Calls to landlines in these countries will be free, T-Mobile announced on Wednesday. T-Mobile estimated that if a US customer used their phones abroad the way they use them in the US, they would incur roaming costs of $1,000 per day or more. "The truth is that the industry's been charging huge fees for data roaming. But what's most surprising is that no one's called them out--until now," John Legere, T-Mobile president and CEO, said in announcing the new pricing plan. Read more on T-Mobile's offer.
>> New iPad and iPad mini launch set for Oct. 22
The fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad mini will be unveiled at an invitation-only event on Oct. 22, AllThingsD reports. The event could also include the unveiling of the new Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks, according to sources consulted by AllThingsD. The fifth-generation iPad will include a thinner, lighter design, an improved camera and the new 64-bit A7 chip. The second-generation iPad mini will have a retina display and could have the A7 chip as well, according to the sources. The Apple iPad launch is on the same day as the retail debut of Microsoft's new Surface 2 tablet in the United States, as well as Nokia's Innovation Showcase, which could see new tablet hardware from the Finnish firm. Read more on the new iPads.
>> Commercial fleet telematics market to reach $26.8 billion by 2018
The commercial fleet telematics market will reach a healthy $26.8 billion in 2018--up from $7.25 billion last year--forecasts ABI Research. Commercial fleet telematics, which enables wireless communications between a commercial vehicle and a central dispatching office, is a "hot vertical market in the M2M arena" with private equipment pumping money into fund mergers and acquisitions, ABI observed. "The commercial telematics industry has long been a very fragmented market but there are now firm signs that this is changing and we expect to see several players breaking the 500,000 subscriber unit barrier over the next few months and years," commented ABI principal analyst Gareth Owen. Read more on commercial fleet telematics.
>> Verizon Wireless develops the latest mobile innovations in room with no cell service
Verizon Wireless is working on the latest mobile innovations in a small, windowless room with no cell service, reports InfoWorld. The room, located in a San Francisco office building, houses the Verizon Innovation Center, where experts from Verizon and startups turn ideas into devices and apps. Verizon opened the secretive room to the media this week to show off the facility and announce an expansion of the Innovation Center. Verizon's goal is to get innovative wireless technologies to market in six to eight weeks, Gagan Puranik, associate director of Verizon's innovation centers, told InfoWorld. Innovative products that have come out of the lab include a chest patch that reads vital signs and transmits them wirelessly, a gateway for wireless automated homes and a bike lock that uses GPS. Read more about the Verizon Innovation Center.
>> Foursquare adds real-time recommendations to mobile app
Location-based social networking app Foursquare has added the ability to locate friends and receive real-time recommendations on restaurants, concerts and shopping from other foresquare users. In addition, the updated app includes a "nearby" button to find out if your friends are in the vicinity, as well as a "friends at a glance" feature, which shows your friends most recent check-ins and the ability to tap through to their profiles. Read more about the Foursquare update.