Archive for: data

Oh Look, More Price Hikes By AT&T.

Hearing the words “price hike” and “AT&T” are getting pretty common these days. Hell, if it’s not a price hike it’s some feature or service getting capped or discontinued. But for today it’s just a price hike, specifically with early upgrade and 1-year contract fees. The gist of the new changes are that dumbphones and smartphones alike will now cost more money when upgrading early or signing 1-year contracts.

Early Upgrade/No Commitment Pricing

  • Dumb/feature phones — + $20
  • Smartphones — + $50 (Excluding iPhones)

1-Year Plan

  • Dumb/feature phones — + $20
  • Smartphones — + $150 (Excluding iPhones)

iPhone Specific Upgrade Pricing

  • 8GB iPhone 3GS: $249 -> $299
  • 16GB iPhone 4: $399 -> $449
  • 32GB iPhone 4: $499 -> $549

$50 - $150 extra for phones is a pretty significant amount considering the average price consumers in the U.S. pay average between $100-$300. If anything, this move makes the 1-year plan less and less desirable and either pre-paid or 2-year plans the go-to options. Obviously, AT&T (and all carriers) would favor you sign longer contracts so they can get more money out of you. Anyone still signing 1-plans?

O2 UK Actually Listens To Their Customers — Removes Tethering Surcharges.

O2 UK has single-handedly made everyone’s day here at Gadgetsteria (and likely the the UK’s too). They have removed the tethering surcharge — You know, the ridiculous one that carriers all over the world use to charge you double for your data? — so data users can now tether at no extra cost with the existing data plans. While O2 UK doesn’t currently have any unlimited plans, this new approach is more than welcome. Since data users already pay (1) for a data plan and (2) for overages, having to pay a third fee just to use the data we’ve already paid for and will pay for continuously if we go over our alloted amount is stupid. Stupid.

Now if only AT&T cared…
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T-Mobile Launching Jet 2.0 4G March 23rd.

TmoNews has scored some news regarding the next generation of laptop 3G/4G sticks to drop on the Magenta carrier’s network. Specifically, the latest 4G-capable Jet 2.0 4G will be hitting retail shelves March 23rd. Picking up the new hardware will net users up to 21Mbps speeds on the downlink side of things and an integrated memory card slot. If the only thing holding you back thus far from picking up a 3G/4G wireless modem has been price, T-Mobile prides themselves in being one of the best values in town. Though, now that the recent price increase on *usable* data plans has brought things up to $49.99, they aren’t quite as lust-worthy as before. Nevertheless, options are options…

AT&T Capping Household DSL Bandwidth Starting May 2nd.

Bad news for “unlimited” data users, AT&T is killing off “unlimited”…again. This time, it’s hitting your household instead of your cellphone. According to reports from DSLReports and confirmation with AT&T PR guy, Seth Bloom, “unlimited” is a thing of the past. Starting May 2nd, your typical non-U-Verse package will have a 150GB data cap. U-Verse customers will have a bit loftier ceiling at 250GB. Overages will set you back $10 per extra 50GB of data. In a small act of good will, AT&T will email customers when they’ve hit 65%, 90%, and 100% of their allotted bandwidth.

AT&T maintains that a paltry 2% of customers (whom consume 20% of the company’s bandwidth) will be affected. That leaves 98% of us to go on with business as usual. However, we can’t but help but feel screwed by AT&T yet again. Comcast has a similar cap set around 250GB for all users regardless of package they subscribe to. With all media providers, ISPs, and every company in between talking up social networking, photo sharing, video uploads, and online gaming, 150GB is going to become less and less generous with each passing year. (Read: today’s heavy user is tomorrow’s standard user.) The most popular online service that could easily bump up against that cap that we can think of off hand — Netflix. AT&T should have led in this regard instead of merely following — half-assed we might add. But that’s business (and AT&T) for you.

We’d like to reach out to AT&T to provide us with some actual data proving to us that the killing of unlimited data is actually justified and that rising bandwidth usage is indeed a problem. It’s only fair, right? AT&T, we’re waiting…

Three Launches All-You-Can-Eat PAYG Plan for £15

Even though we here at GS don’t reside anywhere with Three UK’s cellular footprint, we’re constantly impressed by the comapny’s offerings of affordable pricing and generous minutes/texts/data alotment. And today, Three continues on that same path with the announcement of a new “all-you-can-eat” Pay-as-you-go data plan for a mere £15. Also included in the plan are 300 voice minutes and 3,000 texts. If you bump up to the next tier for £25/month, you net an additional 200 minutes.

All in all, it’s another strong showing from Three, and a ver competitive PAYG option that makes monthly contracts much less important.

Three UK customers can score even more deals with an upcoming competition being run by the carrier in celebration of their new plans, with prizes ranging from free trips across Europe by train to free smartphones to free PAYG service for an entire year. The competition runs from today, March 7th through April 1st. (More information here

Have you considered Three UK yet?

Verizon Killing Off Unlimited Data This Summer.

If you thought Verizon was really your friend when it came to all things mobile data, punch your mother in the mouth and kick the cute little kitten in front of you — because they’re not. As VZW CFO Fran Shammo has been stating for many months now, Verizon will be moving away from unlimited data and to tiered pricing. The biggest question — when this change was coming — has so far gone unanswered. However, most technologically competent people assumed the funeral would proceed with the rollout of Verizon’s LTE network and subsequent launch of LTE smartphones.

Whatever we did think, Verizon is ready to tell us how it’s going to go this summer — say buh-bye to all those data buffets. It’s tiered from Summer ’11 and out. With that said, the new “big question” now focuses on how Verizon will categorize and tier data. Will it be based on bits consumed or tiered by speed? Unfortunately, we’re thinking it is going to be both.

Who’s looking forward to less for more!?

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T-Mobile Debuting 5+GB “Unlimited” Data Plan Later This Year.

While the three bigger carriers — AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon — overshadow many of T-Mobile’s announcements, you can’t help but love an underdog. It’s often said underdog who offers the most intriguing services, prices, and devices. Take for example, Android’s early start on T-Mobile was but one of many “firsts” to hit the nations 4th largest carrier. And thanks to a leaked internal screenshot from a TmoNews source, it appears T-Mobile has another bombshell in the making — truly unlimited data…

A gander at the circled text above clearly shows verbiage foretelling of an upcoming data plan that is greater than 5GB — T-Mobile cites “unlimited”. Could this be the same $79.99 unlimited Even More data plan that we saw earlier? Stay tuned…

Sprint To Evaluate WiMax Adoption Later This Year. Possible Switch To LTE In The Cards. #mwc

Could your future Evo 4G 5 run off of LTE instead of WiMAX? That’s a very real possibility according to statements made by Sprint’s Senior Vice President of Networks, Bob Azzi. According to Azzi, Sprint will be evaluating WiMAX adoption and customer movement from 3G to 4G over the next 4-6 months. After this “study time”, Sprint will apparently make an important decision as to whether they should continue along pushing WiMAX or jump ship to LTE.

For the record, Sprint has begun deploying a healthy amount of multi-mode equipment, meaning such a switch wouldn’t be as bad as originally thought. A simple swap of a baseband card and software upgrade is all that’s needed to make complete the deal. Sounds rather exciting to us. Though, early adopters of WiMAX equipment surely can’t be feeling as intrigued as we are.

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Outspoken Canadians Defeat Usage Based Billing Plans Planned For TekSavvy.

We often report about gadgets and electronics here at Gadgetsteria. But another love of ours is looking out for the little guy — Yes, you! — when it comes to tech-based laws. With the rise of data consumption over the last few years, we’ve seen ISPs and cellular providers go out of their way to limit customers instead of providing a useful service. And no one knows the frustration and disappointment of this new ideology more than customers of Ontario-based TekSavvy. Under a new ruling this past January 25th, large ISPs were given the privilege of monitoring and capping traffic accordingly. The worst part of it all was that the previous 200GB and Unlimited tiers were both being reduced to 25GB…total. Public outcry was far and wide, with some 460,000+ people signing a petition to stop the change. In fact, the negative reaction was so strong, Prime Minister Stephen Harper ordered a review of the highly controversial ruling.

Thankfully, that perseverance paid off, as customers of TekSavvy began receiving emails late last night — Friday, February 11th — telling them that the upcoming March 1st deadline and lower caps was effectively canceled indefinitely. The unlimited tier is now reinstated. And the 200GB tier — now 300GB. Score one for determined and engaged consumers. It just goes to show you what the power of many can do.

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