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Tag Archives: AT&T

AT&T To Force Smartphone Buyers Into Purchasing Data Plans

att-smartphones

By Chris Scott Barr

Good news for future AT&T customers. It seems that the wireless carrier is looking out for your best interests, and are going to make sure that your wireless bill is always constant. Rather that have you buy a smartphone without a data plan and charge you for only what you use, they’re going to go ahead and make you buy that data plan. See, now your bill is constant every month.

Yes, every word was dripping with sarcasm. Personally, I wouldn’t buy a smartphone without a data plan, but I’m always using the internet on my phone. Plenty of other people prefer not to pay a good $30 a month for data they may not even want to use. It looks like this will be going into effect on September 6th. The only ways to avoid get stuck with a data plan are to already have a smartphone prior to the 6th (you’ll get grandfathered in), or by buying an unlocked phone.

VIA [ BoyGenius ]

AT&T Prevents 3G Access To SlingPlayer While Secretly Working On A Similar Service

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By Chris Scott Barr

Remember yesterday when I told you that the SlingPlayer app was hitting the App Store? That was all good and well, but quite a few people have been upset to hear that there won’t be any streaming over 3G. AT&T stated that such streaming would cripple their infrastructure and cause major issues for customers, however, that’s not the whole truth.

Many people just like me were skeptical of AT&T’s answer, mostly because there are plenty of other ways to stream video to your iPhone. What makes the SlingPlayer so different? Apparently the issue is that AT&T has been hard at work on their own app that essentially provides the same functions, only using their own U-Verse recorder at home instead of a SlingBox.

So the real issue here is that AT&T is worried that they are going to lose money selling their own application. Since SlingBoxes are already somewhat common among the techie crowd, the only way they can compete is to cripple the competition. You could always build a better application that offered more features, but preventing the competition’s software from accessing your 3G network is probably the easier route.

VIA [ Gizmodo ]

RadioShack Subsidized Aspire One Gets Cheaper

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By Shane McGlaun

I hate paying full price for stuff, but I am not a big fan of contracts either. When it comes to buying new phones we are all used to paying a subsidized price and being shackled to a 2-year contract or having to pay back some of the supposed cost of your phone.

Subsidized phones are common, but subsidized notebooks and netbooks are still not particularly common in the US. RadioShack was the first to offer a subsidized netbook in America that was dependent on signing a 2-year contract with AT&T for mobile broadband costing at least $60 per month.

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Keep Tabs On Your Kids With FamilyMaps From AT&T

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By Chris Scott Barr

There’s a part of me that wishes I were a kid growing up right now, since I wouldn’t be stuck with dial-up and an NES (Though I did love my NES). Of course there’s another part that makes me more than happy that I don’t live under my parents’ roof any longer. This new GPS tracking service from AT&T would definitely fall into the latter category.

If you have a family plan with AT&T for an extra $9.99 (for two phones) or $14.99 (for up to five phones) you can track down any other phone on your plan using FamilyMaps. You can activate this feature from either your phone or a PC and find out exactly where your loved one is. Depending on how you use it, you will get text messages with location updates, or you can watch them on a map in real time. Granted, the person gets a text message letting them know you’re tracking them, but they have no way to stop you from doing so.

I can definitely see how a parent would enjoy such a feature. It’s an easy way to make sure that they’re not going places that they shouldn’t be. If you’re worried about your own privacy, don’t be. The feature can only be accessed by the account holder on a family plan.

[ AT&T ] VIA [ Dvice ]

AT&T To Offer iPhones Without Contract Agreements Starting Next Week

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By Chris Scott Barr

Back when Apple announced the iPhone 3G last year, it was said that we would be able to purchase the phone without having to sign a 2-year contract. What was not mentioned is just when we would be allowed to do so. Rumors started swirling around in the last couple of days that claimed next week AT&T would be offering the phones sans contract.

In this particular instance, the rumors were true. AT&T confirmed that starting next Thursday anyone can walk into one of their stores and purchase an iPhone without inking a 2-year deal. Of course there is that one little catch. The phone will set you back $599 or $699 depending on which model you select, and you’re going to still be tied down to the AT&T network. Honestly, I figured that I’d be using mine for 2 years anyway, so renewing my contract wasn’t that big of a deal.

VIA [ CrunchGear ]

AT&T Announces First Femtocell For 3G Users

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By Luke Anderson

Last year I found the perfect new apartment to move into. It was much larger than my previous abode, had a two-car garage, a pond view and the price was right. Unfortunately after I moved in I found that it wasn’t quite perfect. Despite the fact that AT&T had great coverage in the entire city, I was lucky to manage a single bar of service. I live in something of a valley surrounded by trees, which means I’m probably never going to get great service. They added a new tower and upgraded to 3G, but I’m still rarely able to get a decent signal. So do I move? Do I switch carriers and hope that I get a better signal (and give up my iPhone)? No, it looks like I’ll be able to (hopefully) get my hands on a femtocell and get a better signal.

If you’re not familiar with the term femtocell, it’s basically a small device that hooks into your router (or it is built into your router in some cases) and uses your internet to boost the wireless signal. AT&T has finally jumped on this bandwagon and announced the AT&T 3G MicroCell. Hook one of these up to a broadband connection and it will provide up to 10 phones a strong 3G signal. Of course only 4 of these 10 registered devices can actually be used concurrently. Pricing and availability have not yet been disclosed, but you can bet that I’ll be first in line to get one. I’ve been forced to pay Comcast a hefty fee for their crappy VoIP service, and I can’t wait to ditch it.

[ AT&T ] VIA [ SlipperyBrick ]

AT&T Replaces T-Mobile’s WiFi Service At Starbucks

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By Luke Anderson

I’m one of about a dozen Americans that almost never goes to Starbucks. There are at least three of them within 5 minutes of my house, so distance isn’t an issue. I just have no desire to drink expensive coffee and pay for WiFi access when I have all of that in the comfort of my own home. If I still had my old AT&T DSL, I wouldn’t have to worry about paying for internet while sitting there at least.

According to an announcement, AT&T will be replacing T-Mobile as the wireless internet provider in all 7,000 Starbucks locations. Of course, AT&T announced not long ago that customers that subscribe to their DSL service will be given free access to all WiFi hotspots, which will include the Starbucks locations.

If you’re not an AT&T customer, you can still purchase two-hour sessions for $3.99 or a monthly membership for $19.99.

[ AT&T ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

AT&T Launches Moto Q Global

AT&T MOTO Q Global (Image via AT&T) By Shane McGlaun

AT&T Announced that starting today the MOTO Q Global smart device will be available exclusively with AT&T. The MOTO Q global is the first MOTO Q device sold in the U.S. with global capabilities. The phone features a full built-in QWERTY keyboard and offers download speeds of up to 3.6Mbps via AT&T’s high-speed UMTS/HSDPA BroadbandConnect network.

The device runs on Windows Mobile 6, has built-in GPS, Opera browser, a 2MP camera with flash and other Office applications for creating and editing documents. AT&T says the MOTO Q Global will be available today for a special introductory price of $199.99 with commitment. The unlimited data plan needed to get the most from the phone costs $44.99 a month with a voice contract.

VIA [ AT&T ]

Samsung & AT&T Announce BlackJack II

Samsung BlackJack II (Image via Samsung) By Shane McGlaun

The original Samsung BlackJack was a big seller for AT&T and one of its most popular smartphones. Samsung and AT&T announced that a new updated BlackJack II would be available later this year. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment 2007 in San Francisco showed the phone publically for the first time yesterday.

The BlackJack II looks a lot like the original BlackJack with a full QWERTY keyboard and a large 2.4-inch QVGA color display and it uses the Windows Mobile 6 OS. AT&T squeezed some interesting new features into the new BlackJack II including AT&T Video Share that allows users to share live video during a voice call from the BlackJack II’s built-in 2MP camera.

Other interesting features include built-in GPS with support for location-based services, RSS reader client, significant improvements in standard battery life, and increased standard memory. The BlackJack II will also offer over-the-air synchronization of contacts, calendar, and task lists with Microsoft Exchange Server or AT&T Express Mail. The phone is expected to cost $149 with a 2-year contract.

VIA [ AT&T ]