Archive for the ‘Cellular’ Category

Verizon CEO To Government: “Not Allowing AT&T/T-Mobile Merger Will Hurt U.S. Wireless Customers.”

  • September 22, 2011 8:38 am

If you thought Verizon’s stance would mirror Sprint/Nextel in opposing the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, you’re in for a world of surprise. During an investor conference on Wednesday, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam stated that the government needs to allow the merger to allow the cellular industry to keep pace with the customer demand.

“We need to be very thoughtful on what the impacts would be to the overall industry if this is a way to regulate the industry without actually passing regulation.”

“I have taken the position that the AT&T merger with T-Mobile was kind of like gravity. It had to occur, because you had a company with a T-Mobile that had the spectrum but didn’t have the capital to build it out. AT&T needed the spectrum, they didn’t have it in order to take care of their customers, and so that match had to occur.”

The statement is somewhat surprising considering AT&T would leapfrog Verizon in total customer base by many tens of millions. So why are they supportive of the merger?

Cellular South Re-Branding Recent Buyouts Under “Personalized Wireless” Brand.

  • September 21, 2011 9:19 am

Customers of small, southern wireless carriers recently acquired by Cellular South will soon have a new place to call home. “Personalized Wireless” as it’s being called will be the official name for the mashup of carriers in select regional markets (read: this isn’t a national deal). As of writing there isn’t anything to go by other than this simple webpage with a countdown timer.

Stay tuned…

AT&T Outs Global Messaging 200 And 500 Texting Plans For Globe Trotters.

  • September 20, 2011 1:51 pm

Globe trotters who want to admit to calling AT&T the carrier of choice — Alright, we’ll admit it too… — looking to phone home via SMS can now do so a bit more affordably. AT&T just launched two new global messaging plans
allotment and pricing:

  • Global Messaging 200: 200 messages for $30/month
  • Global Messaging 500: 500 messages for $50/month

Even if you factor in the 100+ countries covered under said plans as well as the backend deals that must be made to allow messages across networks and physical boundaries, the pricing is ridiculous considering the meager amount of messages you’re allowed. Your best bet is to unlock your phone and swap in a local pre-paid SIM card as needed. But if you’re in a pinch even the above plans are better than pay-per-use rates of $0.50 and $1.30 for each text/picture message.


[Update 2: Lots Of Indiana Cities] Verizon Planning Another LTE Love Fest For October 20th.

  • September 20, 2011 11:42 am

So AT&T just launched their 5-market strong LTE network this past Sunday. Good for them. Verizon has 143 markets covered in LTE goodness. And starting October Update: 20th 21st that list will grow by (an assumed) 21 more. The list of new cities gaining LTE hasn’t been fully revealed just yet, though we’re adding to it as new information becomes available…

New Cities

  • Alabama: Birmingham
  • Florida: Fort Myers/li>
  • Indiana: Bedford, Bloomington, Boonville, Elkhart, Evansville, Goshen, Granger, Jasper, Mishawaka, Mitchell, South Bend, and Terre Haute
  • Iowa: Sioux City
  • New Mexico: Albuquerque, Sante Fe
  • New York: Buffalo/Niagra
  • Wisconsin: Green Bay

Expanding Cities

  • California: San Diego and Los Angeles

Stay tuned as we’ll fill out the list above as new/expanded cities become known.

Another Kick In The Teeth: Cellular South Files Lawsuit Against AT&T To Block Merger.

  • September 19, 2011 6:58 pm

AT&T just isn’t getting any love. First it was he DoJ. And then Sprint. Then the real hurt began with the states of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington recently joining the fray. Unfortunately AT&T’s uphill battle continues to get worst as Cellular South has just filed their own lawsuit against AT&T. As the other parties have already stated in their own respective filings, Cellular South beats the same drum:

“If AT&T were to complete this deal, not only would it substantially lessen competition, but it would essentially consolidate the market into the hands of the ‘Big Two’ – AT&T and Verizon. Today’s filing is another step in Cellular South’s unwavering effort to pursue the best interests of competition, wireless consumers, and our nation’s economy.

With mounting pressure from the private, public, and federal levels combined, how could anyone approve the merger?

But don’t count AT&T out just yet. The carrier has already promised to do “whatever it takes” to get the DoJ’s blessings up to and including selling off assets in markets lacking competition.

Stay tuned. This battle is far form over…

How Are Your AT&T LTE Speeds Today?

  • September 19, 2011 11:23 am

Attention residents of Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio: How are your LTE speeds?

AT&T just launched LTE not more than 24 hours ago in the aforementioned cities. And even though AT&T’s rollout will be a lot slower moving than rival Verizon Wireless, the fact that we now have a second, major national carrier getting aboard the LTE craze is a big plus.

If you’re looking for some decent LTE coverage other than VZW, MetroPCS is your best bet.

Verizon Posts Web Page Detailing “Network Optimization” On Unlimited Data Plans.

  • September 18, 2011 11:19 am

If you thought Verizon was going to allow grandfathered unlimited data plans to go un-checked for the rest of eternity, think again. In an AT&T-like move, Verizon posted a new page today detailing the company’s new (went into effect September 15th) “Network Optimization” (read: throttling) tactics on so called “unlimited” plans.

According to Verizon the top 5% of unlimited data users on grandfathered plans use more than 2 GB of data per month. These users will now see data speeds cut once the 2 GB threshold is surpassed, though only on congested cell sites. It’s also worth noting Verizon is taking a similar approach to how Sprint handles throttling in that only 3G customers are affected. Customers making use of Verizon’s LTE network will still be able to surf the open web free of any set boundaries as long as they were subscribed to an unlimited data plan before the tiered offerings went into effect.

The change is far from welcome given the very meaning of the word “unlimited”. To be fair, however, they’re not the only carrier employing such measures. As highlighted earlier, Sprint has a similar 3G/4G split, though there’s differs from Verizon’s in that it is actually a hard cap on 3G plans, not a throttling of speed. T-Mobile meanwhile does throttle network speeds over a more generous 5 GB “soft cap”.

If Verizon keeps heavy-handed throttling limited to actual networks bursting at the seams it’s actually a good thing for crowded areas. But as history has shown us, changes to cellular contracts at the whim of the carriers is rarely in consumers’ best interests.

Kick ‘Em While They’re Down: 7 States Join DoJ Lawsuit To Block AT&T Merger.

  • September 16, 2011 5:51 pm

Despite AT&T’s claims to the contrary, it appears a growing number of citizens and local governments alike aren’t buying AT&T’s lies argument that combining the nation’s 2nd and 4th wireless carriers into one massive national GSM monopoly is a good idea. Today California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington officially joined the Department of Justice’s lawsuit aimed at stopping the AT&T merger. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan responded commented on the states support by saying: “Blocking this acquisition protects consumers and businesses against fewer choices, higher prices, less innovation, and lower quality service”. The DoJ in return voiced their pleasure in regards to the added support and reiterated their official stance: The merger is bad for everyone except AT&T.

Besides being a raw deal for consumers all around, public and government scorn towards the merger is likely to have been worsened back in mid-August when confidential documents containing damming information regarding AT&T’s true cost requirements for next-gen network rollouts leaked. The very next day after said leak internal AT&T computer inventory screenshots were also leaked which showed the carriers’ plans to remove all but one messaging plan — the highest priced $20 unlimited option. Amongst public outcry AT&T claimed most of their customers either texted enough to save money with the $20 plan or so little that a per-message fee was more economical. But the picture of what could be — AT&T cornering customers by removing legitimate service options and only marketing the most expensive ones — was thrust into the spotlight.

The news of added anti-merger support comes not even 24 hours after 15 congressman sent a letter penned by Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) to President Barack Obama urging him to help the DoJ and AT&T settle so a deal could be reached. On top of all of this, Sprint has also levied their own lawsuit AT&T’s way.

In short: Because (1) customer protections come before company profits and (2) AT&T’s glaring stupidity, the chances of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger are looking less probable by the week (thank god).

If AT&T Merger Goes Through, It Is Because Congress Was Bought…

  • September 16, 2011 8:53 am

If the U.S. government approves the AT&T/T-Mobile merger in any form, it is proof government is broken. Public criticism has been almost unanimously high. Though unfortunately public opinion doesn’t matter as long as politicians’ pockets are being lined by…you guessed it… AT&T.

With that said, 15 Congress members sent a letter to President Obama urging him to allow the merger in question as the numerous benefits will greatly outweigh the bad.

A letter penned by Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) ultimately urged Obama to settle the ongoing Department of Justice/AT&T lawsuit so everyone can go on with life happy and rich. Unfortunately it will be consumers getting the short end of the stick. Continue on…