Technologizer posts about AT&T

Carriers Pull Back on Mobile Wallet Plans

By  |  Posted at 1:35 pm on Wednesday, May 4, 2011

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It appears that T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon’s ambitious plans to create a mobile payment service may not happen, at least the way they’re hoping. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the carriers may now decide to partner with credit card companies instead to make the network happen.

Originally, the service (called “Isis”) was to bypass the traditional credit card companies altogether: charges would appear directly on consumer’s cellular phone bills. The abrupt 180 may be due to ensuring Isis has any chance of success — leveraging the power of Visa and MasterCard could go a long way.

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DOJ Wants More Time for AT&T-Mobile Review

By  |  Posted at 4:26 pm on Tuesday, May 3, 2011

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The Justice Department has sent a second round of questions on the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile to the two companies, sources told Bloomberg on Tuesday. In addition, so-called “civil investigative demands” have also been sent to the companies’ competitors, in an attempt to measure the mergers possible effects.

With these actions, the merger review now has no timetable for completion — which means AT&T and T-Mobile’s stated goal to get the review completed within a year could be in serious jeopardy. It also highlights the complexity of the situation, and how difficult it might be for the deal to win approval.

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The Internet Costs More Today, Thanks to AT&T

By  |  Posted at 2:54 pm on Monday, May 2, 2011

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So long cheap Internet, we hardly knew ya: AT&T’s broadband data caps go into effect today, reigning in data gobblers and dashing the dreams of high volume file-sharing freebooters. Ahoy, thar be usage checks ahead.

Actually “data caps” isn’t accurate. They’re not caps at all. They don’t cork up your DSL or fiber line when you hit your plan’s magic number. Say you do–AT&T just dings you with an extra service fee. AT&T U-Verse customers ride free until they hit 250GB a month, while AT&T DSL customers top out at 150GB. Go over those marks, and you’ll now pay $10 a month more, plus $10 again every 50GB thereafter.

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AT&T Is Just Fine in the Verizon iPhone Era, Thank You

By  |  Posted at 11:17 pm on Wednesday, April 20, 2011

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AT&T reported its quarterly numbers Wednesday morning, and they certainly showed that the iPhone is still a significant driver of growth for the carrier. 3.6 million iPhones were activated during the quarter, and iPhone subscriber churn (customers with the device who left for a competitor) was unchanged from the same period last year.

This is significant for one reason: it was the first quarter that the Verizon iPhone was available. Being able to keep churn flat is quite an accomplishment, considering that so many analysts said that Verizon would siphon customers away from Big Blue.

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My friend Lance Ulanoff of PCMag.com has a nice interview up with Marty Cooper, who invented the cell phone 38 years ago. Cooper may be living history, but he’s also very much up to date on where his creation is going. He carries a Verizon Thunderbolt 4G phone, and he doesn’t like the idea of the AT&T-T-Mobile merger one bit…

Posted by Harry at 2:28 am

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Consumers Say Verizon iPhone Drops Fewer Calls

By  |  Posted at 1:09 pm on Tuesday, April 5, 2011

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If the latest survey from ChangeWave Research is any indication, the theory that the Verizon iPhone would be more reliable than AT&T’s iPhone is more than just a theory. That said, consumers still seem to be as satisfied with the iPhone 4 on AT&T as they do on Verizon.

82 percent of iPhone 4 owners on Verizon are satisfied with the device versus 80 percent on AT&T. Conversely, 18 percent are dissatisfied with the iPhone 4 on AT&T, and 16 percent on Verizon. Not much of a difference, and within the margin of error.

There are definitely areas where the two carriers diverge, though, most notably in dropped calls.

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At last week’s CTIA Wireless conference, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse was somewhat subdued about the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile US–he said that his opinion didn’t matter. But now Sprint has formally come out in opposition to the deal, in a press release that uses the dreaded M-word: Ma Bell.

Posted by Harry at 12:46 pm

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Your Take on This AT&T-T-Mobile Thing

By  |  Posted at 4:47 pm on Thursday, March 24, 2011

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I spent the last few days at the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, and the big news at the show wasn’t big news from the show. It was, of course, the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile US. Everyone at the conference seemed to still be processing it in their minds–and I decided to ask my friends over at Twitter (where I’m @harrymccracken) for their takes as of right now.

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Why Wireless Carriers Both Promote and Dread 4G

By  |  Posted at 9:00 am on Wednesday, March 23, 2011

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Here at the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says that with the planned summer launch of HTC’s 3D EVO and 4G EVO tablet, Sprint will have 22 4G devices, more than any of its rivals. Verizon says it will bring its 4G LTE network to 147 markets by year’s end, while AT&T is simultaneously building out its HSPA network while preparing to launch its LTE network later this year.

No question, 4G is the next mobile battleground for what shapes up to be a smaller field of national carriers. But at a day of sessions on the subject (sponsored by Fierce Wireless, which among other things publishes a first-rate daily newsletter on the wireless industry), the dominant theme seemed to be that the carriers may not be ready to deal with the enormous bandwidth demands their fast devices and networks will inevitably produce.

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Bloomberg’s Serena Saitto and Jeffrey McCracken give the lowdown on the AT&T and T-Mobile deal: Sprint was a player — along with 3 (!) other parties other than AT&T — but just couldn’t afford what Deutsche Telekom wanted. Apparently, the breakup fee is what sealed the deal.

Posted by Ed at 3:21 pm

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Google and Sprint Buddy Up on Nexus S, Google Voice

By  |  Posted at 6:21 am on Monday, March 21, 2011

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The Googlephone. It’s a concept that sometimes sounds an exciting taste of the future, and sometimes sounds like it’s already fizzled. And today, it’s back to being exciting: Google has announced that there will be a Sprint 4G version of its fine Nexus S phone–and that it will give consumers all the goodness of Google voice without making them switch their phone numbers. That’ll make it the first true native Google Voice phone.

The news would be noteworthy whenever it came down, but the timing is fascinating. It came down hours after AT&T agreed to acquire T-Mobile–there latter being the carrier that partnered with Google for the Nexus One and original Nexus S, and the only national carrier other than Sprint that counts as a scrappy underdog. Sprint needs good news; Google needs a wireless partner that isn’t T-Mobile and that doesn’t insist on acting like an 800-pound gorilla. Short of Google buying a phone carrier, there are all kinds of interesting things it could do with Sprint if the two companies agreed to let Google take the sort of dominant role that Apple took with the iPhone but which otherwise just doesn’t happen.

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Bruce Gottlieb–until recently an advisor to the chairman of the FCC–has some smart analysis on the implications of AT&T’s plan to buy T-Mobile US over at The Atlantic.

Posted by Harry at 12:16 am

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AT&T-Mobile Is a Win for T-Mobile’s Customers

By  |  Posted at 11:45 pm on Sunday, March 20, 2011

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It seems as if the popular take among tech pundits in light of Sunday’s announcement of the AT&T and T-Mobile merger is that it is a bad situation for everyone involved. Among the reasons I’ve seen so far are a further consolidation of an already top-heavy industry, the threat of rising prices as a result of less alternatives, and a loss of one of Android’s most stalwart partners.

But let’s step back a minute from the insta-reactions of most of the tech world and look at the bottom line: merger or not, T-Mobile’s customers stand to benefit the most by far. The deal is written in such a way that even if regulators scoff at it, T-Mobile will exit in a much stronger position than it is currently in.

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A Brief History of the Rise and Fall of Telephone Competition in the US, 1982-2011

By  |  Posted at 11:06 pm on Sunday, March 20, 2011

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So much for quiet Sundays. AT&T announced today that it’s agreed to acquire T-Mobile US from Deutsche Telekom, a merger which, if completed, will make it by far the country’s biggest wireless phone company. It’ll also leave us with three national carriers: AT&T, archrival Verizon Wireless, and the much smaller Sprint.

I’m not an expert on the dynamics of the telecommunications industry, but Om Malik’s thoughts–that this is bad news for everybody except AT&T and T-Mobile shareholders–do a good job of summarizing the pessimistic view I’m instinctively inclined to tak. In the US, T-Mobile was a scrappy underdog that did shocking things like reduce monthly bills once a customer had completed a contract for a subsidized phone. It’s tough to imagine that T-Mobile’s personality will rub off on AT&T rather than the other way around.

Of course, AT&T does its best to make the case that this is good news: If the merger goes through, it will have more wireless spectrum to work with, and says it will bring LTE to former T-Mobile customers. And the company argues both that (A) there’s still plenty of competition, between national and regional wireless companies, and (B) past mergers have been good for consumers. Which is, I guess, the argument you’d expect from a company named AT&T.

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If you’re using iPhone tethering over AT&T without AT&T’s permission, you might get an e-mail like this.

Posted by Harry at 10:14 am

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PCMag’s Sascha Segan is ticked off over AT&T’s 4G phones–which he says don’t even meet the company’s not-so-rigorous definition of “4G.”

Posted by Harry at 5:39 pm

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