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News tagged: AT&T


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by Karl Bode 09:30AM Wednesday Nov 19 2014
While many argued that the USA Freedom Act didn't go far enough after being watered down in negotiations, as the EFF explores it was the best chance yet at enacting some meaningful reform in the surveillance community. While it didn't reform the non-transparent FISA court process, and it contained loose language sure to be abused by government lawyers, it did aim to appoint a special advocate to argue for citizen rights before the FISA court and was at least a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, last night the USA Freedom Act was shot down. Despite being so watered down in an effort to please everyone, it failed to get the 60 (58 to 42) votes necessary for cloture in order to "advance" to a full floor vote. Why? Techdirt notes it was general stupidity and a misunderstanding of how data is collected and stored that resulted in dissent ahead of the final vote:
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There was a short debate prior to the vote, and the debate was... stupid. Yes, there are some legitimate concerns with the USA Freedom Act, mostly in that it doesn't go far enough. But that's not what the debate was about at all.
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by Bill Neilson 07:34AM Wednesday Nov 12 2014
Several weeks ago, I wrote about how the new NBA TV rights deal would likely raise everyone’s cable bill whether you watch the NBA or not. But slowly, TV providers are realizing that customers have in fact had enough with paying for absurdly expensive regional sports networks that only a minority of customers actually watch.
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by Karl Bode 10:26AM Tuesday Nov 11 2014
FCC boss Tom Wheeler had originally hoped to have net neutrality rules finalized by December, but the President's declaration yesterday that he unequivocally supports Title II reclassification appears to have delayed final rules well into 2015. In a statement responding to the President's request, Wheeler acknowledges that the agency needs more time to analyze the potential ramifications (including their legal footing against lawsuits) of rules that classify last-mile ISPs under Title II.
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by Karl Bode 09:15AM Monday Nov 10 2014
Consumer advocates intend to ramp up their pressure on the government ahead of an FCC decision on neutrality rules. Consumer advocates want ISPs reclassified as utilities under Title II, arguing it's the only legal tenable way forward to protect consumers from ISP anti-competitive behavior.
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by Karl Bode 08:06AM Monday Nov 10 2014
AT&T has announced a significant expansion across North America with the company's $2.5 billion acquisition of Mexican provider Iusacell. According to AT&T's announcement, Iusacell currently serves around 8.6 million subscribers but covers roughly 70% of Mexico's nearly 120 million residents. The deal, notes AT&T, makes their network the first in North America to cover 400 million combined Mexico & U.S. consumers and businesses. "This is an opportunity for us to provide Iusacell the financial resources, scale and expertise to accelerate the roll-out of world-class mobile Internet speeds and quality in Mexico, like we have in the United States," insists AT&T in their statement.

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by Karl Bode 08:08AM Monday Nov 03 2014
FCC boss Tom Wheeler has made it clear that the agency is being very careful when it comes to the "IP transition" away from copper networks. Speaking recently at Comptel, Wheeler proclaimed that he wouldn't tolerate companies using the idea of an IP transition as justification to erode competing options.
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by Karl Bode 08:23AM Thursday Oct 23 2014
While T-Mobile's tactics may not yet be truly hurting Verizon, AT&T's latest earnings report indicates they're feeling the pesky upstart's assault. AT&T's latest earnings missed Wall Street estimates, and the company had to lower growth projections due to what has largely been superficial price competition with T-Mobile. Still, AT&T posted net income of $3 billion on revenues of $32.9 billion, adding a healthy 785,000 postpaid wireless subscribers. AT&T also sports a 0.99% churn rate, suggesting that the majority of the company's customers are staying put, unswayed by John Legere's sultry advances.

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by Karl Bode 10:44AM Friday Oct 17 2014
After spending most of the last decade profiting off of cramming, AT&T this month was finally held accountable by the government and fined $105 million by the FTC, FCC, and state governments. A similar investigation is ongoing again T-Mobile, and you can likely expect similar settlements in time with both Verizon and Sprint, who also turned a blind eye for years while scammers bilked their customers (why? because they netted 30-40% of the profits).
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by Karl Bode 11:31AM Thursday Sep 11 2014
We've discussed at length how AT&T's "IP transition" is being framed as some sort of evolutionary transition toward a "glorious all-IP future," but is really largely about AT&T gutting regulations in order to hang up on POTS (plain old telephone) and DSL users they simply don't want to upgrade. The name of the game is terminating these unwanted users and pushing them users toward significantly more expensive (and capped) LTE wireless service.
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by Karl Bode 02:33PM Wednesday Sep 10 2014
AT&T has been chosen to power the in-car LTE service now being integrated by Audi, and an announcement back in March made it clear the privilege of the data integration isn't particularly cheap (then again, if you can afford an Audi and Audi repairs, data plan overages may not be a worry). According to an Audi announcement, customers can also now add their Audi to AT&T's Mobile Share data plan, allowing their vehicle to pull from their monthly data allotment.
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by Karl Bode 02:16PM Tuesday Sep 09 2014
AT&T is pushing their Digital Life home automation and security services in a new direction in the hopes of expanding revenue: they're now offering in-home monitoring services marketed to those caring for the elderly. According to the company announcement, the new product is called "Digital Life Care" and will be trialed in employee homes this year, and should see a broader commercial deployment sometime in 2015.
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by Karl Bode 09:09AM Friday Sep 05 2014
AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile's Isis NFC-based mobile payment service was already struggling, with many users either simply not interested in the idea of using their smartphone as a debit card, already using other services, or simply never having heard of it. Now things are more complicated, with the service suddenly sharing its name with a violent iraqi uprising dominating the newswires (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS).
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by Karl Bode 09:02AM Thursday Sep 04 2014
Popular Science serves up an interesting read about the discovery of fake "towers" that are being used to surreptitiously intercept cell phone traffic. ESD America offers a product they call the GSMK Cryptophone 500, which is essentially a Galaxy S III running modified hardware and a modified, more-secure version of Android -- which the company states purges 468 vulnerabilities from the traditional Android build.
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by Karl Bode 06:41PM Tuesday Aug 26 2014
California this week became the first state in the country to pass a law requiring that cell phones include so-called "kill switch" functionality to deter theft, enabled by default (the full law is here, pdf). Minnesota passed a similar law earlier this year, but in that version of the law, the functionality is turned off by default.
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by Karl Bode 08:21AM Tuesday Aug 26 2014
The New York Post claims that AT&T has struck a deal with the Department of Justice that would allow AT&T's $48.5 billion plan to acquire DirecTV to move forward. The report fails to specify what precise conditions the DOJ will place on the deal, though it does suggest that regulators are leaning toward approval with DOJ approval coming as soon as October.
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by Karl Bode 06:09PM Thursday Aug 21 2014
AT&T's Sponsored Data -- which exempts a company's content from AT&T's arbitrary caps if they pay AT&T a fee -- so far hasn't seen much interest from major companies. While a few smaller outfits have signed up, larger companies either don't want to pay -- or don't want to take part in the neutrality controversy surrounding AT&T's idea.
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by Karl Bode 01:28PM Tuesday Aug 19 2014
A new report by RootMetrics effectively declares Verizon the king when it comes to mobile network coverage, reliability, speed, and overall performance. The study, which collected data from 5.6 million test samples while driving some 234,000 miles across the country, gave the crown to Verizon for all metrics except text message performance, which Verizon closely lost to AT&T.
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by Karl Bode 05:39PM Thursday Aug 14 2014
AT&T has announced that the company has officially started selling symmetrical 1 Gbps Gigapower connections in select parts of their home town of Dallas. According to a company press release, 1 Gbps speeds are only available to residents and small businesses in the Highland Park and University Park neighborhoods.
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by Karl Bode 02:24PM Wednesday Jul 30 2014
Mobeen Khan, AT&T's executive director of M2M product management, says the company's plan to shut down their 2G network by the end of 2016 remains on schedule. AT&T will be refarming that spectrum for eventual use on their 3G and 4G networks. "We have an operational team that is engaged with these customers," Khan tells Fierce Wireless. "It's a closely watched process." Cell phone users are easier to force-upgrade than M2M (machine to machine, or non-phone devices with embedded cellular chipsets) users. AT&T won't state how many 2G M2M users remain connected to their network.

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by Karl Bode 12:30PM Wednesday Jul 30 2014
AT&T has been on a bit of a tear the last week or so, announcing that they're deploying their faster 1 Gbps "Gigapower" service to customers in Dallas, Nashville and San Antonio. Now AT&T is announcing that Charlotte too will be getting the faster service:
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AT&T today confirmed it will expand its ultra-fast AT&T GigaPower network to the City of Charlotte.
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