AT&T and FaceTime

AT&T has made a shift in its highly unpopular FaceTime over cellular policies today. Previously, it would allow the use of FaceTime only on Mobile Share plans, now it will allow any LTE device customers (aka those with an iPhone 5 and LTE iPads) on a tiered data plan to use FaceTime over cellular.

That still leaves 3G devices out of the mix. However, there are far fewer LTE devices being used than 3G and I don’t think AT&T’s network could handle all the traffic if they opened it up completely.

AT&T says dropped calls down 35% in Bay area

It is a measure of just how much criticism AT&T got not long ago about service in and around San Francisco that the communications giant is now running a Bay Area-wide campaign touting a 35 percent decrease in dropped calls.

I still have problems in large cities, including those in the Bay area, but maybe it’s getting better.

AT&T comes through

Eric Slivka:

Later that evening, I checked my AT&T online account and to my surprise saw that I was eligible for full subsidy on the iPhone 5: $299. I then canceled my Verizon pre-order and resigned myself to camping out this Friday to buy my iPhone 5 on AT&T because pre-order shipping estimates had long since moved out to 2-3 weeks. AT&T did call back on Saturday to confirm with me that due to my status as a valued customer I was eligible for full subsidy, and I thanked them while sharing just how close they’d come to losing me as a customer.

Lots of bad stories around about how AT&T is handling the pricing of iPhone 5 upgrades today, but there’s a good one too.

AT&T fucks users… again

AT&T won’t charge extra to use Apple’s FaceTime over cellular networks as previously reported, but there’s still a catch: Subscribers will need a new Mobile Share plan to use the video chat service on the network.

Let me fix that for you AT&T:

“Our network sucks balls. If we tried to let all of you rapid iPhone users have FaceTime, our network would take a firey crash into Hell. Many of the executives that have been too goddamn cheap to upgrade the network are now scared shitless that they will lose their cushy bonuses. So we decided to fuck our users.”

There, that’s better. At least it’s honest.

46% of users would buy a data-only smartphone plan

Now the CEO feels that regardless of what AT&T (cough… Stephenson) wants, the company might have to start offering data-only smartphone plans in the distant future to compete with other cellular providers in coming years.

The grip of big telcos is loosening.

AT&T, data plans and app makers

This silly plan by AT&T has been out for a few days but Matt Alexander summed up my feelings nicely: Although AT&T might frame this as innovation, such maneuvering is transparently self-serving. Evidently tired of having the customer blame them … Continued

AT&T explains reasons for data throttling

Zach Epstein:

In an effort to justify its policies surrounding data service throttling for subscribers with unlimited smartphone data plans, AT&T on Tuesday issued a brief report regarding data usage on its nationwide wireless network. Senior EVP of AT&T technology and network operations John Donovan wrote on a company blog that data traffic on AT&T’s network has grown a staggering 20,000% over the past five years. Usage has doubled between 2010 and 2011 according to the executive, due in large part to the proliferation of smartphones.

Oh, so it’s our fault.

iPhone accounts for 80% of AT&T smartphone activations


The iPhone was dominant at AT&T, accounting for 80.8 percent of the 9.4 million smartphones sold through the carrier.In the previous quarter, the iPhone represented 56 percent of AT&T’s smartphone activations with 2.7 million units. The wireless carrier revealed that a majority of the 7.6 million iPhones it activated in the quarter were the iPhone 4S.

That’s impressive.

T-Mobile blames spectrum for iPhone absence

AllThingsD: “The key reason we didn’t have the iPhone in the past is we are on different band than globally the market was,” Humm said. “That is something which will change over time. Chipsets are also evolving to be able … Continued

Justice asks judge to postpone AT&T/T-Mobile case

Brent Kendall for the Wall Street Journal: In a setback for AT&T Inc., a Justice Department lawyer told a federal judge Friday the agency wants to postpone its antitrust case seeking to block the acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The request, … Continued

∞ AT&T withdraws FCC application for T-Mobile merger

BGR: AT&T said Thursday that it has withdrawn its application from the Federal Communications Commission to acquire T-Mobile USA. AT&T and Deutsche Telekom said they will instead focus on fighting an antitrust lawsuit brought against the proposed $39 billion merger … Continued

∞ Apple and market subversion

This week, John Stanton revealed Steve Jobs’ unfulfilled desire to leverage the unlicensed wireless spectrum to build an Apple wireless network, presumably for use primarily with iOS devices. Of course, if this had happened, it would’ve meant that Apple would … Continued

∞ Cellular South joins AT&T pig-pile

CNet: Wireless provider Cellular South has filed suit against AT&T’s proposed T-Mobile merger, arguing that the deal should not be approved. In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and seen by CNET, Cellular … Continued

∞ Seven states pile on AT&T/T-Mobile merger block

Washington Post: The attorney generals of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington joined the suit filed in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. They argued that the deal would violate antitrust laws by reducing … Continued

∞ AT&T responds to Justice Department

Smartphone Boss: “Without this merger, AT&T will continue to experience capacity constraints, millions of customers will be deprived of faster and higher quality service, and innovation and infrastructure will be stunted. If this transaction does not close due to Plaintiff’s … Continued

∞ AT&T to begin throttling data speeds

9to5 Mac: A new change for AT&T Wireless’ Unlimited Data subscribers will soon be taking place. Rumored to be starting in the first week of October, we’ve heard that AT&T will start throttling the data speeds of the network’s top … Continued

∞ Carriers may have to detail 4G speeds

Consumers deserve to know exactly what they’re getting for their money when they sign-up for a 4G data plan,” she added. “The wireless industry has invested billions to improve service coverage, reliability and data speeds, and consumers’ demand for 4G … Continued

∞ Lawsuit claims AT&T overcharges iPhone data users up to 300%

A new lawsuit alleges AT&T is regularly overcharging iPhone and iPad customers for data usage, in some cases up to 300% more.

Lawyers for the lawsuit said they spent $80,000 testing devices in preparation for their day in court. In one instance, lawyers purchased a brand new iPhone and turned off everything that could affect data usage. When the bill came in from AT&T, there were 35 transactions for data usage, according to MSNBC.

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∞ Report: Apple testing iPhone on T-Mobile

Apple is reportedly testing its iPhone to work on T-Mobile’s network.

According to a report on Wednesday, Apple is testing a new prototype iPhone specifically designed for T-Mobile. The iPhone has an internal model number of N94, which fails in line with the N90 and N92 models released for AT&T and Verizon, respectively.

Read the rest of this story on The Loop