AT&T has made a huge $25 million mistake. The New York Times reports that the Federal Communications Commission slammed AT&T with a massive $25 million fine on Wednesday for “failing to protect the personal information, including the Social Security numbers, of its customers.” Essentially, employees at AT&T’s call centers in three different countries stole roughly 300,000 customers’ names and Social Security numbers and then sold them to third parties. That’s obvious a very bad thing. More →
Much like in real estate, sometimes the price you pay for Internet service simply boils down to location, location, location.
Earlier this week, AT&T rolled out their gigabit Internet service in Cupertino, right in Apple’s backyard. Dubbed AT&T GigaPower, Ma Bell is offering blazing Internet speeds of 1Gbps for $110/month. Of course, if you just so happen to live in an area where Google Fiber is available, AT&T will lower the price to $70/month.
T-Mobile’s mobile network — and in particular its coverage in non-urban areas — remains its biggest weakness. That said, T-Mobile’s strategy right now seems to be to concentrate on improving its mobile data network in urban areas where it’s shown huge improvements over the past couple of years. T-Mobile’s aggressive “Un-carrier” moves have also forced rivals to play defense by making similar moves of their own and new analysis from BTIG Research suggests that this is taking a particularly big toll on AT&T. More →
Smartwatch fans have precious few choices when it comes to devices that don’t look like a terrible cross between a Swatch watch and a Casio wrist calculator. Beginning soon, however, that is going to change. Apple is expected to announce Apple Watch launch details during its event on March 9th, and the device will begin shipping in April, according to earlier comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Last week, legislation from the U.S. government requiring carriers to unlock their customers’ phones went into effect. There are still some restrictions, but unlocking your phone should be easier than ever before. Unfortunately, only one of the four major carriers is actually abiding by all of the requirements a week after the new rules were set in place. More →
Last summer, President Obama signed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act into law. This made it legal for consumers to unlock their cell phones, but until now, carriers haven’t been required to sell unlocked phones or honor unlock requests (although most did anyway).
That’s going to change on February 11th. More →
As expected, both AT&T and Verizon are very unhappy with the Federal Communications Commission after chairman Tom Wheeler unveiled a proposal to reclassify ISPs under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. AT&T in particular pined for the days when the FCC was run by more reasonable people such as Julius Genachowski, whom it praised for crafting a compromise net neutrality plan that all sides could live with. More →
Is your “unlimited” mobile data really unlimited if your carrier throttles it down to slower speeds at certain times? Per Re/code, the Federal Trade Commission this week ordered prepaid mobile carrier TracFone to pay $40 million for throttling its customers’ data connections despite the fact that they had signed up for “unlimited” data plans. However, it’s the FTC’s rationale for why TracFone should pay up that really ought to make larger carriers like AT&T worry. More →
OK, so it looks like AT&T has been throttling data speeds for customers who have “unlimited” data plans despite the fact that those plans are supposed to be, well, unlimited. Who’s going to do anything about it? The Federal Trade Commission? Well, maybe not. As Ars Technica reports, AT&T doesn’t think the FTC has the jurisdiction to stop them. More →
BlackBerry’s Passport is a beast of a smartphone but now it looks like BlackBerry has been working to smooth out some of its rough edges. AT&T announced on Wednesday that it will soon start selling the BlackBerry Passport, which arrive on the carrier with an exclusive new design that features round corners instead of the sharp ones featured on the original device, as you can see in the picture below. More →