Tag Archives: AT&T

ATT to begin implementing N-SET in an effort to reduce 3G network strain

AT&T continues to boast of “the nation’s fastest 3G network” while many customers in various regions across the country seem to think differently. Dropped calls, outages, network congestion and general reliability issues continue to plague the carrier’s 3G network but today we have some good news for those of you currently with AT&T. According to one of our ninjas, AT&T is set to begin a rolling launch of its Network Settings (N-SET) Solution across all networks in the US. The roll out will begin this month. N-SET will balance traffic between the carrier’s 2G and 3G networks, thus reducing the load borne by its 3G network. Essentially, a customer who primarily uses voice services will connect via 2G even if 3G is supported by his or her handset. If and when said customer begins to actively use data services, the network will bounce him or her over to 3G. BlackBerry Bold and iPhone 3G users will not be affected by the change. Assuming all goes according to plan, N-SET stands to have a pretty immediate impact on network performance by freeing up 3G bandwidth for heavier data users. Whether or not it will be enough to impact urban and populated areas — especially once the new iPhone is released this Summer — remains to be seen.

Verizon Wireless to buy a portion of Centennial Comunications from ATT

A funny thing happened on the way to acquisition. The two largest carriers in the US, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, have commanded and conquered some smaller carriers and are now seemingly sharing the spoils. As already reported, AT&T announced on Friday that it will purchase a substantial portion of Verizon’s divested Alltel assets. On the same day, AT&T also announced that it will be selling certain portions of Centennial communications to Verizon Wireless as AT&T seeks final regulatory approval for the its acquisition of the small, rural carrier. Verizon will pony up $240 million for Centennial assets that include nearly 120,000 current subscribers in five service areas across Louisiana and Mississippi. In the end, we have AT&T buying assets from Verizon and Verizon buying assets from AT&T while T-Mobile and Sprint are nowhere to be found.

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ATT ready to pick up some Alltel assets from Verizon

Back when Verizon acquired Alltel, the FCC would only give the nod under certain conditions. One of those conditions was that Verizon divest some of Alltel’s assets after the acquisition so the market didn’t look like a Big Red monopoly. As was expected, AT&T is going to pick up a good chunk of those assets for about $2.5 billion. A bargain. Of the 85 divested markets spanning 18 states, AT&T will scoop up about 24 markets and we’re sure the company is being pretty selective as a good chunk of those markets are in less than desirable areas in terms of profitability. Expect the transactions, including those assets left to be divested after AT&T’s transaction, to be concluded by early July.

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ATT ammends arbitration clause; do you get a free pass?

We’ve received a flurry of emails over the past few weeks questioning whether or not AT&T will let people out of contracts ETF-free due to substantial changes to its terms and conditions. First it was a series of changes to permissable data service usage and more recently AT&T has amended its arbitration clause to limit a customer’s right to sue, in theory at least. Common sense might suggest that changes these drastic would result in a window of opportunity, during which time customers may sever ties without a penalty, but since when has common sense applied to carriers? In short, no, these changes will not result in an ETF-free departure from AT&T. The CTIA’s current policy states that carriers will give customers an opportunity to cancel contracts without penalty in the event of material changes to the carrier’s TOS. How does AT&T define a “material change”? As PhoneNews.com recently ascertained in a conversation with Mark Siegel, Director of Media Relations at AT&T:

Under [AT&T’s] terms of service, there are only two situations in which we would allow you to terminate your agreement because of a change in TOS without having to pay the ETF: If we increase the price of the service, or if we materially decrease the geographical area in which your airtime rate applies.

So what can you do if you disagree with this position? Filing a complaint with the FCC is surely a good start but you certainly shouldn’t expect this policy to change during the lifetime of your current contract. The bottom line is we’re all at the mercy of our carriers — at least until enough class action suits are filed that it becomes cheaper for carriers to change their policies than continue to pay out settlements…

New ATT rebate sheets in; Moto QA1, Samsung Jack, Sony Ericsson C905a and more

Following this morning’s rebate sheet from Verizon, one of our AT&T ninjas apparently got fired up and snapped a couple of shots of the carrier’s upcoming rebates for May 11th through June 21st. Unfortunately, no real bomb dropping on AT&T’s sheet either but there are a few items of interest. As is always the case, this doesn’t mean all of the handsets listed will be out during the rebate period but it does mean they’ll be dropping soon enough. Above, highlights include the sliding QWERTY-rocking Motorola QA1 Karma and Sony Ericsson’s 8.1 megapixel beast, the C905a. The second shot, pictured after the break, includes the Samsung i637 Jack and of course everyone’s favorite EDGE-only messaging machine, the BlackBerry Curve 8900. Hit the jump for the second image and let us know if there’s anything in particular on the new rebate sheet that catches your eye.

FCC unveils the AT&T-bound Nokia 6750 “Mural”

The FCC veil of confidentiality has been lifted on FCC ID QMNRM-381 and it looks like Nokia has a new flip-tastic handset on the way dubbed 6750 Mural. Associated photos and manual now available to the public show a very shiny clam shell with 850/1900MHz 3G connectivity, Bluetooth, a camera of unknown resolution and a memory card slot. Oh yeah, the draft of the manual refers to MediaNet and Video Share so this one is definitely headed to AT&T. The lack of any discernible menu button suggests that this flip phone will be a Symbian S40 handset and not S60 like its 6650 counterpart, but that’s just speculation for the time being. Hit the jump for one more external photo courtesy of the FCC.

[Via PhoneScoop]

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AT&T to launch BlackBerry Curve 8900 on May 25th; Bold price drop to follow

Well it looks like AT&T may be preparing to launch the BlackBerry Curve 8900 a bit sooner than we expected. Earlier this week we reported our latest intel which placed AT&T’s Curve 8900 on store shelves some time in June. AT&T followed up the next day and finally made the handset official, but provided very little in terms of a release date. It looks like things might be going down somewhat sooner than expected as a tipster reports the Curve 8900 will drop on May 25th. Pricing is said to be set at $149.99 though it is still unclear whether or not any rebates will be involved. Following the release of the 8900, our tipster also suggests AT&T will be dropping the price of a new Bold on June 1st from $299.99 to $199.99 on contract. $150 Curve 8900s, $200 Bolds… AT&T is apparently looking to move some serious BlackBerry volume this Summer.

AT&T’s Nokia E71x already available for 1¢

It looks like we’re not the only ones excited to see a desirable Symbian handset finally land on AT&T. Amazon.com is so excited in fact, it’s basically giving the phone away. AT&T’s slender new smartphone isn’t even a day old and it can already be had for the low, low price of 1¢. Seriously, just a penny — with free activation and free shipping! Of course the deal requires a 2-year contract but for Symbian fans, two years should be perfect. If the amount of time it took the company to launch the E71x is any indication, AT&T should just be releasing the N97 by the time your new contract is up. Those of you who have been begging for the E71x ever since we first scooped it back in November have probably already pulled the trigger at AT&T’s $99 price point, but no worries. $100 is hardly a tall order for the thinnest QWERTY smartphone in the world — plus FP2 bragging rights over your unlocked E71-carrying friends.

Thanks, Balki Bartokomous!

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AT&T confirms early Summer availability for the BlackBerry Curve 8900

Well, look what we have here — a press release from AT&T announcing the early summer availability of the Curve 8900… Conveniently arriving just a few days after we leaked the June availability of the AT&T BlackBerry Curve 8900. Sorry to disappoint but as we alluded to in our last post on the subject, there is nothing earth shattering in the press release. AT&T’s 8900 will be a mirror image of the T-Mobile version, though it will of course support standard AT&T services like AT&T navigator and AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot access. No pricing details or exact release date were revealed but our June time frame is still looking solid. Hit the jump for the text of the press release.

BlackBerry Curve 8900 From AT&T Includes Free Wi-Fi at Nearly 20,000 Locations

DALLAS, May 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — AT&T* today announced the early summer availability of the BlackBerry(R) Curve(TM) 8900 smartphone. AT&T consumer, small business and enterprise customers will enjoy new features and enhanced performance, including both Wi-Fi(R) and GPS, a fast next generation processor, rich multimedia capabilities and ample memory for applications offered from AT&T. With the BlackBerry Curve 8900 from AT&T, users can get a faster, richer experience surfing the Internet and accessing their social networking or line-of-business applications via AT&T’s wireless and Wi-Fi networks.

The BlackBerry Curve 8900 smartphone sports a slim, refined design and is the thinnest, full-QWERTY BlackBerry(R) smartphone yet. It features a striking high-resolution display (480×360), delivering smooth video playback and crisp images. In addition to its industry leading email and messaging, and premium phone features, the BlackBerry Curve 8900 packs a wealth of multimedia capabilities.

Consumers and mobile professionals can easily share photos or record video using the new 3.2 megapixel camera which features auto focus and image stabilization, and the microSD/SDHC expandable memory card slot supports up to 16GB(1) per card, giving users plenty of storage to carry and capture more of their music, pictures and video wherever they go. AT&T will offer the sleek new smartphone in an attractive silver and black finish.

Users who select an unlimited data plan with the BlackBerry Curve 8900 will also receive free AT&T Wi-Fi access at nearly 20,000 hotspots in the U.S. – including retail stores, restaurants and airports from coast-to-coast(2), an unmatched value add for mobile professionals who spend as much time out of the office as in it. The smartphone can also easily connect to a home or office Wi-Fi network.

“This new smartphone has a stunning design that builds upon the success of the BlackBerry Curve with more features for applications, all in a high-quality handset,” said Chris Hill, vice president, AT&T Business Solutions. “Add to it free access to the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network and the BlackBerry Curve 8900 from AT&T delivers unmatched value and performance for personal and business use.”

Other BlackBerry smartphones that can access free Wi-Fi are the BlackBerry(R) Bold(TM), BlackBerry(R) Curve(TM) 8320, BlackBerry(R) Pearl 8120, and BlackBerry(R) 8820. A full list of AT&T Wi-Fi locations is available at www.attwifi.com.

Like all AT&T smartphones, the BlackBerry Curve 8900 is a world phone, allowing customers to access data in more than 170 countries and make calls in more than 200. The smartphone supports quad-band EDGE (850/900/1700/ 1800Mhz) and Wi-Fi 802.11 b and g. The BlackBerry Curve 8900 also comes with a removable/rechargeable battery that provides a talk time of 5.5 hours and approximately 15 days of standby time.

The on-board GPS supports location-based applications and services, including AT&T Navigator, which provides audible turn-by-turn directions and will be available free for 30 days(3). AT&T Navigator also monitors traffic and alerts you when there is slowdown or incident, and you can get a new route around congestion with just one click. Customers can also use AT&T Navigator Global Edition for access to maps and directions in 21 countries and in five languages. Learn more at www.att.com/navigator.

Customers can also quickly access business listings, phone numbers and more from the included Yellowpages.com application and listen to their music using the included media player or XM Radio Mobile.(4)

The BlackBerry Curve 8900 smartphone will be available in AT&T stores and online at www.wireless.att.com in the early summer. For the complete array of AT&T offerings, visit www.att.com.(5)

(1) MicroSD/SDHC memory cards are available today in configurations of up to 16GB and the BlackBerry Curve 8900 is expected to support upcoming 32GB microSD/SDHC cards.

(2) AT&T Wi-Fi service use is subject to AT&T’s Terms of Services & Acceptable Use Policy (”Terms”) found at https://secure.sbc.com/tosaup.adp. Qualified data rate plan required for free access to AT&T Wi-Fi hot spots.

(3) Users must cancel free trial of AT&T Navigator within 30 days or be automatically subscribed at a cost of $9.99 per month for unlimited routes. You can cancel from the “My Accounts” portal on your handset or call AT&T customer care. Standard data charges apply, depending on your plan.

(4) XM Radio Mobile is available for $8.99 per month. Data charges also apply and AT&T recommends and unlimited data plan. Downloading and/or using this product will consume a large amount of data,

(5) Coverage not available in all areas. Other terms and conditions apply.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

AT&T picks up Acer Aspire One 10.1″ netbook; available from Costco on May 11th

There were rumors going around not long ago about more subsidized netbooks making their way over to AT&T. Well, it looks like AT&T is about to start offering the Acer Aspire One 10.1″ netbook complete with integrated AT&T 3G access via a partnership with Costco. Costco employees are currently being trained for the launch and according to the info we received, the preparation comes to a head on May 8th. As for the netbook itself, it will become availble beginning May 11th. We’re pretty sure the Acers will be available from both AT&T retail stores and Costco electronics kiosks, just like Radio Shack’s current AT&T netbook. No word yet on pricing but look for it to line up just above the 8.9″ model currently available from Radio Shack.