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AT&T first quarter revenues highest in two years

Posted by wicked April - 23 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

AT&T has just given its first quarter report and it seems that things are looking good for the US carrier.. The strong revenues, growth in its postpaid smartphone sales, and its acquisition of Leap Wireless has made it raise its full-year 2014 outlook to 4 percent or greater.

By the end of March 2014, AT&T has amassed $32.5 billion in consolidated revenue. Compared to the same period last year, the figures increased by 3.6 percent. Broken down, operating expenses were $26.2 billion and operating income was $6.3 billion. According to AT&T, this is the best figures in two years. Its acquisition of Leap Wireless, which closed in the middle of March, barely had any impact on the first quarter numbers. However, AT&T is expecting that the full impact will be experienced over the next two years, with integration costs reaching up to $1.2 billion.

One of the biggest areas of growth for AT&T was in smartphone sales, particularly under postpaid plans. As much as 1.1 million postpaid smartphones were added last quarter, consisting 92 percent of the postpaid phone sales during that period. The Average Revenue Per User or ARPU for smarpthones are actually twice as much as that of non-smartphone postpaid contracts. 57 percent of those smartphones sold are LTE-capable, attesting to the growing demand for LTE connections and speeds. On the other end of the spectrum, AT&T reported losing 50,000 prepaid subscribers, blamed on the low number of session based tablets. Its acquisition of Leap Wireless might help to offset that loss in the near future.

Due to the strong first quarter, AT&T is revising its full year outlook with a more positive spin. It is expecting that consolidated revenue will end up at around 4 percent or greater compared to last year. It has also adjusted consolidated margins and earnings per share (EPS) to take into account for the addition of Leap Wireless in the business. It does expect to end up with something along $11 billion of free cash flow, thanks to AT&T Next and Leap Wireless.

AT&T offering off-contract, certified like new Galaxy S 4 for $179

Posted by wicked April - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

samsung-galaxy-s4

If you don’t have to have the latest and greatest smartphones, you may want to take advantage of AT&T’s latest deal on Samsung’s Galaxy S 4. The carrier is offering the device completely off-contract for $179 bucks, which is significantly cheaper than its typical $500 – $600 retail price. The catch is that the device is a certified like-new refurbished model, but at less than $200, it’s a hard deal to pass up.

The Galaxy S 4 sports a 1080p screen, 2 GB of RAM, and a Snapdragon 600 processor, so it’s still a pretty competitive phone in 2014. Hit the link below to check out the deal.

Source: AT&T

Come comment on this article: AT&T offering off-contract, certified like new Galaxy S 4 for $179

Deceptive bill charges are getting more attention, but is enough being done about it?

Posted by wicked April - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

rogers_04 Media Robot

Over the last few years, deceptive business practices have become a rather common tactic by cable/internet companies looking to make a few more dollars off their consumers.

Several days ago, Dish Network agreed with the Washington Attorney General to pay $2 million in reimbursement to Washington state customers. Basically, Dish was raising rates by claiming a “Washington surcharge” on bills but was not advertising this surcharge on the total cost of TV packages price. Dish Network will give existing customers who were over-charged a fee cash credit or access to free programming. Dish will also pay the state nearly $570,000. Customers affected by the fee will get an automatic reimbursement on their bills. If they no longer subscribe to Dish, they will get a check in the mail.

deceptive business practices have become a rather common tactic by cable/internet companies

Dish claims that since the state of Washington raised business taxes, they were allowed to hide the increase outside of the total cost of TV packages. The Washington Attorney General rightfully pointed out that Dish is more than welcomed to recoup that money but they must do it through actual price increases and not hidden fees.

This comes on the heels of AT&T possibly over-billing prepaid customers on a regular basis. As the Washington Post points out, this means that those customers’ credit will be drained at unexpected rates without their knowledge. The Washington Post tried out a test themselves and found that a two-minute phone call was charged for three minutes.

Last March, Georgia-based AT&T subscriber William Fogal noticed that a 29-second call was put on AT&T’s Web site as a “1 minute and 2 seconds” call instead. And rather than being charged $0.10 for a single minute under AT&T’s advertised rates, Fogal was charged double for two minutes.

A 29-second call was put on AT&T’s Web site as a 1 minute and 2 seconds call

In January of this year, US Cellular had to issue $50 million worth of what it calls “reward points” to its customer base to make up for numerous billing problems. Many US Cellular customers were receiving multiple bills, having their phones disconnected, and a number of inaccurate and unexplained charges. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in some cases, customers waited at least five months for a corrected bill. Of course, when people started to realize these errors in early 2013, US Cellular issued a statement saying that they had fixed all the problems. Except, it is 2014 and we continue seeing US Cellular issuing credits/points to consumers that are dealing with these billing issues.

Verizon for several years denied the over-billing was even happening, before finally admitting the error

Back in 2010, Verizon was busted for over-billing wireless users through a $2 “data fee.” The over-billing, first exposed by Teresa Dixon Murray at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, occurred whether or not users had consumed data — and even impacted some people whose phones had been shut off. The bogus fee slowly began to gain attention from larger media outlets, the NY Times ultimately quoting a Verizon insider who claimed the company knew full well they were screwing customers over but chose to do nothing about it.

In fact, Verizon for several years denied the over-billing was even happening, before finally admitting the error and settling with the FCC to the tune of $52 million in late 2010As noted at the time, Verizon got off rather easy with that settlement, considering that some fifteen million customers had been charged at least $2 or more every month for several years leading to a grand total far higher than the $52 million settlement.

Last week, the FCC finally stood up to Comcast and ordered them to separate equipment and programming rates due to complaints from residents in Minnesota. Comcast still charges users $2 to $6 for users who switch to lower-cost packages, something they state is an “addressable change of service fee.”

What do you think of the practice of including ‘hidden fees’ within Internet/cable/phone bills? Should these companies be legally required to detail out all charges on a bill so consumers can make better informed decisions on what services they wish to use?








AT&T offering like-new Galaxy S4 for just $179, off-contract!

Posted by wicked April - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

galaxy-s4-off-contract
After first offering up the certified like-new Note 3 for sale off-contract for just $249, AT&T is now featuring a similar deal for those interested in picking up the Samsung Galaxy S4 on the cheap.

According to AT&T’s website, the handset is yours for just $179 while supplies last in red or white, with no annual commitment required. Even though the GS4 is no longer Samsung’s newest Galaxy S member, this is still a hell of a deal. Come to think of it, the deal seems too good to be true, so what’s the catch?

Looking at AT&T’s terms, the only catch is that you will need to sign up for a new-line before buying the handset — though you aren’t obligated to stay with the plan long-term since this is not an on-contract offer. For those that simply want the handset cheap, it is reportedly possible to ‘cancel’ the plan before you are charged, once your phone ships. That said, AT&T won’t officially unlock the device until you’ve had it on their network for at least a few months, though there are other ‘unofficial’ ways around this problem.

For more details on what to expect from the Galaxy S4, be sure to check out our full review.

For those that don’t mind going through AT&T to get an exceptional deal, you’ll want to act fast and snatch up a phone while the stock remains.








Crazy Deal Part 2: Galaxy S4 “Certified Like-New” From AT&T for $179 Off-Contract

Posted by Kellex April - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off
Crazy Deal Part 2:  Galaxy S4 “Certified Like-New” From AT&T for $179 Off-Contract


Over the weekend, many of you took advantage of AT&T’s “certified like-new” Galaxy Note 3 sale, which had the device listed for $249 without a contract. That’s completely insane, in terms of deals. We initially thought that the price was wrong, but it held up all weekend and is still there, though the device in either black or white is unsurprisingly sold out. If you missed out, don’t worry, there is another deal going on that’s just as good for the Galaxy S4

AT&T has their version of the Galaxy S4 listed as “certified like-new” for $179 off-contract. The device is sold out in black, but is still available in both red and white. The device typically sells for $199 on-contract, so to see it drop below that price with no contract attached is simply, incredible.

These devices were obviously, previously used, but “certified like-new” at least sounds like they have been brought back up to “like-new” standards. And for $179, how can you beat it, even if it is last year’s Galaxy S? If you ask me, the Galaxy S4 feels a hell of a lot better in hand that this year’s Galaxy S5.

A line of service is required, but commenters in the Note 3 thread will tell you exactly how to quickly cancel or work around it.

AT&T Link

Crazy Deal Part 2: Galaxy S4 “Certified Like-New” From AT&T for $179 Off-Contract is a post from: Droid Life

Crazy Deal: Galaxy Note 3 (Certified Like-New) on AT&T is $249 Off Contract

Posted by Kellex April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off
Crazy Deal:  Galaxy Note 3 (Certified Like-New) on AT&T is $249 Off Contract


Here is your ultimate deal of the weekend. AT&T is currently selling a “certified like-new” Galaxy Note 3 for $249 without a contract. Yes, we’re talking Note 3, not Note 2. This is the same Note 3 that typically runs $299 on-contract or $699 full retail when brand new.

Pretty tough to pass on, especially if you are in the market for a almost-new phone.

I should point out that AT&T’s website does require you to add a wireless plan in order to purchase the phone. If you are already on AT&T, though, might be worth a look.

AT&T Link

Cheers Thomas and Scott!

Crazy Deal: Galaxy Note 3 (Certified Like-New) on AT&T is $249 Off Contract is a post from: Droid Life

AT&T alters GoPhone plans by providing more data and free tethering

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

AT&T_Logo_01_TA

Good news for AT&T GoPhone plans customers as the company has now announced that starting from April 25, the new GoPhone plans will now provide more data and free WiFi tethering, all at no extra cost.

The changes to the plan includes an increased mobile data from 2 to 2.5 GB with free WiFi tethering and unlimited talk at $60 per month. In addition, GoPhone plan with 250 MB data is now increased to 500 MB and costs $40 per month along with free 500 minutes of talk. And lastly, a new plan with 1 GB of data and unlimited talk for $45 per month is now available at most Wal-Mart stores globally.

There’s also another new basic/messaging phone plan priced at $45 a month that comes with unlimited data, unlimited talk and text, and unlimited texts to Mexico, Canada and over 100 select countries.

Source: AT&T Newsroom

Come comment on this article: AT&T alters GoPhone plans by providing more data and free tethering

AT&T adds more data, hotspot feature to GoPhone plans

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

AT&T has introduced more data for some GoPhone plans, following in the footsteps of rival T-Mobile. The updated data scheme doesn’t raise cost for consumers, either, as all plan pricing stays as-is. In addition to the new data plans, AT&T is rolling out a new basic phone plan at $45/month.

 

The update for their data plans brings an extra 500MB data to the $60/month option — up to 2.5GB from 2GB. That plan will also give users unlimited talk and the ability to use their phone as a hotspot. The $40/month plan is also being updated to provide double the monthly data previously offered — 500MB, up from 250MB. That plan gives users 500 minutes of talk monthly.

The other two smartphone plans for GoPhone have not been altered. The $25/month plan is basic, and requires a data add-on, while the $50/month plan is a bit different from the rest. You get unlimited everything, but all data must be done over WiFi. The $45/month basic phone plan provides 1GB data with unlimited talk, but is only available in Wal-Mart stores.

It may not be quite as good as T-Mobile’s prepaid plan lineup, but it’s better for those who happen to be with GoPhone currently. More data is always appreciated, and the ability to create a WiFi hotspot is definitely a plus.

AT&T G Flex Android 4.4 update rolls out to users

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Delivering as promised, AT&T has released the Android 4.4 firmware update to owners of LG’s curved G Flex smartphone under its care. Included in the announcement are some of the changes users should expect in this update, though most of them we have mostly heard of before.

AT&T details the most visible changes brought about by upgrading to Android 4.4, particularly the restyled navigation and status bars and the addition of fullscreen immersive mode. Of course, under the hood, we have the promise of smoother processes and smarter battery use. Android 4.4 introduced battery-saving location modes, or rather rearranged the options to make those choices clearer to users. And, of course, cloud printing also arrives, with initial compatibility with Google’s own Cloud Printer service.

The changelog does confirm our guess that LG‘s fancy Knock Code user experience (UX) feature will be arriving by way of this major firmware update. Most will probably be familiar with the feature by know, but for those still unaware, Knock Code is LG’s expansion of the “double tap to wake and unlock” gesture it put on the LG G2 last year. But instead of a rather simplistic “knocking” action, Knock Code has support for up to 8 taps in different combinations and positions on the screen, adding both personalization and security to the feature.

The carrier has not specified how large the update will be but as is the case with such major update, it will be quite big. Battery charge and WiFi connection should be double checked. And in case the update notification hasn’t arrived yet, users can always manually check and trigger the update via the device’s Settings menu.

SOURCE: AT&T

FCC Chairman confirms plan to limit buying power of AT&T, Verizon

Posted by wicked April - 17 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Leading up to this article, there was a lot of speculation about the FCC’s position in their upcoming spectrum auction. A call to action from several smaller carriers asked that the regulatory body limit the purchasing power of the two largest domestic carriers, Verizon and AT&T. In a move that could limit the FCC’s income from the auction, Chairman Tom Wheeler has confirmed he wants to limit the power AT&T and Verizon have.

In a letter to 78 House members today, Wheeler said he was proceeding with the limitations in the spirit of “equity and openness”. He went on to say the FCC wants to “deliver to consumers, regardless of their zip code, greater wireless competition, improved services and lower costs.” Wheelers letter was in response to a note form those House members who urged him to allow free and open commerce in the next auction, which would help reach revenue goals set forth by Congress.

Wheelers plan is to “reserve a modest amount of this low-band spectrum in each market for providers that, as a result of the historical accident of previous spectrum assignments, lack such low-band capacity”. The upcoming auction is for the 600MHz spectrum band, which would improve the coverage area of those who purchased it. Wheeler wants to reserve about one-fourth of the overall spectrum for those who have less than 30% of the spectrum per market:

Today, most of this low-band spectrum is in the hands of just two providers. The Incentive Auction offers the opportunity, possibly the last for years to come, to make low-band spectrum available to any mobile wireless provider, in any market, that is willing and able to compete at auction.

As we’ve reported prior to this announcement, Wheeler’s actions may have an adverse effect on Sprint and T-Mobile merging. By allocating spectrum for those who aren’t AT&T or Verizon, the FCC is leveling the playing field a bit without carriers uniting to face the duopoly held by the nation’s two largest carriers. The FCC will vote on his proposal in May.

Source: The Hill