Agreement dates back to May, but wasn't planned to be announced to the public
In the quest to give its users a better streaming experience, Netflix has reached an agreement with AT&T to gain a direct network connection. The two companies revealed that they entered into a peering deal after news broke from anonymous sources that the movie service reached another streaming arrangement. Previously, Netflix had worked out similar deals with Verizon and Comcast.
Company still rolling in cash, pulls down $5.6 billion in income
Communications giant AT&T has released its quarterly earnings report for its second quarter of the fiscal year. AT&T's consolidated revenues totaled $32.6 billion, up 1.6 percent versus the year-earlier period. Compared with results for the second quarter of 2013, operating expenses were $27.0 billion versus $26.0 billion; operating income was $5.6 billion versus $6.1 billion; and operating income margin was 17.2 percent versus 19.1 percent.
Flagship phone comes out on AT&T ahead of competitors, G Watch at discount
LG's new phone, the G3 and the company's first Android Wear entry, the G Watch, will be available to AT&T customers starting tomorrow. While the availability starts as a pre-order for the G3, retail locations are said to offer the devices on July 11. The announcement follows news from Sprint and T-Mobile that they would offer the G3, but AT&T is the first carrier to make it available to consumers.
Rumored Amazon smartphone said to ship just on AT&T in United States
Amazon's rumored smartphone could be exclusive to AT&T, according to the Wall Street Journal and other reports. The mobile device, expected to be launched by the retailer tomorrow, will apparently work with just AT&T in the United States, with the claim apparently lending an answer to an earlier rumor about a Prime Data service plan for the phone.
Court ruling could have impacts on global security
Apple, Cisco, and AT&T have filed amicus curiae briefs in support of Microsoft's appeal of court decision that could force it to turn over email from an Irish customer to US law enforcement. Magistrate Judge James Francis IV ordered Microsoft to supply the data based on the Stored Communications Act, even though the content in question not only belongs to an Irish person but is stored on servers in Dublin. Microsoft has argued that this violates the SCA, international law, and treaties the US has signed that govern how to handle requests for data on foreign citizens.
Increase of $4 makes AT&T most expensive for line activation among major carriers
AT&T has increased the activation fee for new lines taken up by some of its customers. The June 8th increase, from the previous $36 per line to $40, applies to customers signing up for a new two-year commitment with the carrier, with the change in price making AT&T the most expensive carrier to activate a device on out of the four largest in the United States.
Locality one of 100 named by AT&T for future expansion
Winston-Salem, NC City officials ratified an agreement with AT&T to bring gigabit-class Internet access to residents and businesses. AT&T will provide U-verse with GigaPower over a fiber network with speeds capable of up to one gigabit per second. The agreement stemmed from a North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) initiative, composed of six cities, four universities, and local business leaders working to encourage development of high-speed broadband networks in the state.
Could increase traffic at smaller carriers
Apple's US stores are preparing to do in-store sign-ups for people wanting to put an iPhone on a prepaid or monthly plan, a source says. At the moment, people can buy an unlocked phone at an Apple Store, but they have to use their own SIM or go to a carrier outlet if they don't want to sign up for a contract. Initially Apple is said to be partnering with AT&T and T-Mobile; in the case of the former, stores will reportedly be stocking up on GoPhone activation kits and SIM cards. T-Mobile subscribers will only need the SIM cards already available through Apple.
None of the savings likely to be passed to customers, will fund expansions
In the controversial process of merging with DirecTV, AT&T will have to file a great deal of regulatory paperwork with the federal government. One such document to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revealed that AT&T believes it can save 20 percent on the cost of acquiring programming for its users. These savings are unlikely to be passed to the customer, and instead will be intended to fund rural broadband programs and other expansions planned by the mega-corporation, should the merger be approved.
Shock-resistant Galaxy S5 Active ships with side convenience key
AT&T has launched the rumored Active variant of the Samsung Galaxy S5 on its network. Taking after the Galaxy S4 Active, the Galaxy S5 Active combines the internals of the Galaxy S5 with a ruggedized body, allowing it to add the US MiL-STD 810G rating for shock, temperature, and altitude to the smartphone's existing IP67-level water and dust-proofing.
Combined PadFone X smartphone, tablet still lacks a shipping date in US
The Asus PadFone X will finally arrive to the United States later this year, with AT&T announcing it will be starting pre-orders for the device from June 6th. The carrier did not reveal exactly when it will start shipping the smartphone and dockable-tablet combination, but it did confirm it will be selling both components together as a bundle.
Conviction tossed on inappropriate venue, Auernheimer demands recompense
The man accused of hacking personal information out of AT&T servers by the federal government, Andrew "weev" Auernheimer, is demanding that the US Government pay 28,296 Bitcoins ($13.9 million at today's exchange rate) for his time in federal custody. Auernheimer wrote on his Twitter account that "it is time, now that the fraud and violence committed against me has been exposed by the appeals process, to begin making amends to me."
Senator is 'skeptical' of the deal that will lead to higher prices, less choice for consumers
Appearing on CNN's New Day, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) voiced his concerns regarding the recent deal that would see AT&T purchasing DirecTV for $48.5 billion. Asked about the mega-merger, Franken pointed out that the deal would likely raise prices further for consumers, and likely treads on antitrust grounds.
Aio Wireless rolled into relaunched Cricket, 3,000 stores refurbished
AT&T has relaunched its Cricket prepaid brand nationally, rolling its existing Aio Wireless brand and services into the prepaid carrier. The new Cricket will provide customers with nation-wide access to AT&T's HPSA+ and 4G LTE network, rather than its previous smaller CDMA network, with customers having a new selection of price plans and devices to use on the service.
Boards of both companies agree unanimously to the deal for $95 per share
Today, AT&T and DirecTV reached an agreement over the acquisition of the satellite provider by one of the nation's largest cellular carriers. The details of the deal, which will come to a total of $49 billion, will see AT&T conducting a stock-and-cash transaction based on the closing value of AT&T's stock on Friday. The deal was agreed upon unanimously by board members on both sides.
Deal's specifics not yet known, rumored to be near $50 billion
AT&T is reportedly ready to announce a deal for satellite communications company DirecTV on Sunday. Allegedly, DirecTV CEO Mike White has told senior executives that the deal with AT&T is finalized, and details are ready to be released to the public. The buyout, rumored to approach $50 billion, will give the combined broadcast entity over 26 million subscribers, rivaling that of Comcast and Time Warner's accumulated subscriber base.
AT&T, Verizon, Comcast dislike idea of ombudsmen monitoring business
Amidst wide concern about today's US Federal Communications Commission vote on Chairman Tom Wheeler's net neutrality proposal, the three major Internet service providers are apparently not pleased as well. AT&T has penned a missive complaining that the potential regulation of Internet providers as a utility would "place a cloud" over innovation and harm customers. Additionally, Verizon believes that the same utility-like regulation, should the ISPs induce the FCC to enact it, would "jeopardize investment and innovation in broadband."
Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin first to get AT&T HD Voice
AT&T will start to roll out HD Voice across its cellular network from May 23rd, the company has announced. The service, which will operate on an all-IP Voice over LTE (VoLTE) network, will allow customers to make clearer calls over its network, while at the same time being able to continue to use the device's data connection at 4G LTE speeds.
Letters from both sides of government show bipartisan gridlock on issue
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has confirmed that he plans to limit how much spectrum AT&T and Verizon can buy in the 2015 auction of bandwidth reclaimed from TV broadcasters after the shift to digital broadcasting. As with his net neutrality stance, the proposal is drawing heated debate and strong opinions from Congress as well as industry sources.
Two sources claim between $95 - $100 per share for DirecTV
Discussions between AT&T and DirecTV are heating up, according to sources familiar with the matter. Reportedly, AT&T is looking at offering $48 billion for the satellite communications company in the next few weeks. Still to be negotiated are a "break-up" fee if regulators or other forces nix the deal, and the ultimate fate of DirecTV's CEO Mike White after the merger.
Combined company would be nearly the size of Comcast and Time Warner Cable
AT&T has reportedly contacted DirecTV about purchasing the satellite television provider, according to sources familiar with the matter. The deal, if ever pursued to completion, would generate a 26 million user-strong television network, rivaling the size of the combined Comcast and Time Warner Cable giant. A timetable for an offer is unknown.
First Cox gigabit Internet service locations to be revealed in coming weeks
Cox is planning to offer its customers a gigabit Internet service, competing against similar services being deployed by Google and AT&T. CEO Pat Esser revealed in an interview the company will be moving towards expanding the high-speed service from its current corporate customers into the residential market, with the first roll-outs set to occur before the end of this year.
Movie streaming BitTorrent app now available on Android devices
Popcorn Time, a BitTorrent for streaming movies has announced its upcoming launch for Android devices. Popcorn Time allows users to watch pirated video content for free, including TV shows and movies. Any video can be viewed as many times as desired, offered in the highest quality possible, with subtitles available. The source code for the Android version of Popcorn Time will soon be available on GitHub.
Samsung follows close behind
Apple has topped a 2014 JD Power ranking of customer satisfaction among US smartphone owners. Each smartphone maker is scored according to metrics for performance, physical design, features, and ease of use, and relative to each of the four major US carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Apple is in first place with all four carriers, but trailed closely by Samsung.
Retailer diversifies as game sales switch to downloads
US-based game retailer GameStop is planning to add 23 Simply Mac locations this year, and as many as 400 Spring Mobile and Cricket locations, says the Star-Telegram. The company bought out Simply Mac and Spring Mobile last year in an attempt to diversify its revenue. Simply Mac is an authorized Apple reseller, whereas Spring Mobile sells AT&T products; Cricket is based on the AT&T network. The expansion is expected to cost up to $140 million, based on a mix of buying existing outlets and constructing new ones. GameStop says it expects to add 200 to 250 Spring locations and 100 to 150 Cricket outlets.
Chernin dumps $500 million into partnership's unknown project
AT&T is partnering with The Chernin Group, with the latter pouring $500 million into an effort to distribute Internet-based video services. What exactly AT&T and Chernin will produce as a result isn't clear, but premium services like Netflix are suspected. The terms of the deal have not yet been announced. Chernin's group focuses on developing premium content for film and television, making investments in technology and media companies in the US, and capitalizing on strategic business opportunities in emerging markets.
Up to 100 candidate cities planned to receive AT&T U-Verse with GigaPower service
AT&T has outlined a plan to roll out and expand its fiber service to 100 candidate cities and municipalities across the United States. The plans, which includes 21 new metropolitan areas, expands upon the company's existing U-Verse with GigaPower build-out taking place in Austin, Texas, which will see subscribers receiving TV services as well as a fiber connection promising speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second.
Playstation Store puts 30 games on sale for $1 each
Sony has announced a flash sale on its Playstation Store, offering 30 games on sale for $1 each. Classic titles such as Braid, Everyday Shooter, Gotham City Impostors, Plants vs Zombies and more are available for PS3, PSP and PS Vista. The Playstation Store's flash sale runs until April 21 at 7AM PST.
Smaller carriers favored in auction -- 30MHz reserved
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has confirmed that he plans to limit how much spectrum AT&T and Verizon can buy in the 2015 auction of bandwidth reclaimed from TV broadcasters. The chairman spoke out a day after AT&T threatened to boycott the auction, possibly slashing the reimbursement that the government would get from the auction.
Case filed in wrong state, Appeals court says
The 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously tossed the conviction of Andrew Auernheimer, an Arkansas man accused of stealing the personal data of about 120,000 iPad users, says Reuters. Auernheimer was convicted of the crimes in November 2012 and sentenced to 41 months in prison. The case was filed in New Jersey however, and the appeals court has ruled that he was prosecuted in the wrong state, since his crimes weren't committed there.
Microsoft opens pre-orders for Surface 2 with LTE in UK
Microsoft has opened up pre-orders for the Surface 2 with LTE in the United Kingdom. Just as with its launch last month in the United States, the UK edition will be limited to just a 64GB model, and its £539 ($905) represents a £100 ($168) increase over the standard Wi-Fi model. Microsoft will be shipping the Windows RT tablet on the 8th of May.
Revamped HTC One M8 knocks Galaxy S4 from second at Verizon
The iPhone -- specifically, the iPhone 5s -- has been the top seller at all four major US carriers since its introduction, a trend that continued in March according to figures compiled by Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley. The year-old Samsung Galaxy S4 took second place among three of the four carriers, though it was knocked out of second at Verizon by the new HTC One M8. The S4 took third at Verizon, with the company's Note 3 phablet taking third at AT&T and Sprint, while the LG G2 took third at T-Mobile.
Five-inch Full HD display of PadFone X joined by nine-inch tablet dock
AT&T has revealed details about the upcoming PadFone X, close to three months after its initial announcement. The smartphone section will use a 5-inch 1080p display, which can be slotted into the back of an accompanying tablet dock, providing a larger 9-inch 1920x1200 screen as well as an extra power supply by a secondary battery, among other extras.
AT&T announces addition of Android 4.4 to its available Galaxy Note 3 units
AT&T announced today that it is now rolling out the latest version of Android for its version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Current users of the Note 3 through AT&T can update through the Software Update menu. Upon doing so, users will receive a revised user interface, improved GPS, and the option to select a default messaging app. When initiating the system update, AT&T recommends the device has at least a 50 percent charged battery.
Post in response to remarks made by Netflix CEO
The Netflix and large ISP peering arrangement war of words is heating up. After Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' remarks yesterday, AT&T has also penned a missive in which it claims that ISPs who follow strong net neutrality provisions -- giving relatively cost-free data to the streamers -- is nothing less than suggesting "that people who don't subscribe to Netflix should nonetheless pay for Netflix."
Pre-orders for Galaxy S5 start tomorrow on both carriers
(Updated with T-Mobile launch details) AT&T and US Cellular will be putting up Samsung's flagship smartphone for pre-order tomorrow, with AT&T also preparing to sell the manufacturer's new wearable devices. The Samsung Galaxy S5 on both, as well as the Tizen-powered Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smart watches and the Gear Fit on AT&T, will be available to order through the carrier's stores and websites, with devices set to ship in early April.
Report notes six percentage point drop on cable company market share
According to data collated by the Leichtman Research Group, Comcast and Time Warner Cable are suffering under the weight of the economy and the "cord-cutting" movement. In 2013, Comcast lost 305,000 subscribers, with Time Warner Cable shedding 825,000. Combined, the pair will have 33.1 million customers, approximately two-thirds of the US cable company market.
64GB Surface 2 with LTE priced $130 over standard edition
Microsoft is preparing to ship a version of the Surface 2 with 4G LTE connectivity on AT&T's network tomorrow, six months after the company unveiled the updated device range. The 64GB model with LTE will cost $679, a premium of $130 over the standard 64GB model, with the tablet being sold via the Microsoft Store and Best Buy.
$1.3 billion paid for first US regional carrier to offer the iPhone
The Federal Communications Commission has approved the buyout of Leap Wireless by AT&T, a $1.3 billion cash deal that will see America's largest carrier acquire Leap's PCS and AWS band spectrum, which it will use for LTE expansion, as well as Leap's 4.6 million customers. Leap was the first independent regional carrier to offer a prepaid iPhone in 2012, and as a concession in the acquisition deal, AT&T will continue the option, as well as offer GSM iPhone support and migration to Cricket users.
Deal likely to be halted by US regulators, but effort will be made anyhow
In a television interview with PBS's Charlie Rose, Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son declared that he was interested in buying T-Mobile. Citing "steps and details" that have yet to be negotiated, the executive claimed that he "would like to have the real fight, OK? Not the pseudo fight, the real fight" with competitors AT&T and Verizon.
Offerings available at first for 2015 A3, will be added to other vehicles
Audi of America and AT&T have announced 4G LTE data plans for the 2015 A3 Sedan, which debuts this month, and will enable the first-ever in-vehicle 4G LTE data connection in North America. Additionally, Audi has revealed that an accompanying mobile app will allow advanced functionality between the in-car system and smartphones, reducing the need for Audi motorists to handle devices when accessing some smartphone-based features.
AT&T cuts wireless data charges for individual customers without contact
AT&T has announced wireless data price cuts to individual customers that do not have annual service contracts. Done in an attempt to rival its competitor, T-Mobile, customers having one smartphone with no annual service contract will now pay $65 per month instead of $80 for a plan that features 2GB LTE wireless data, unlimited talk and text messaging, unlimited international messaging and 50GB of cloud storage. Those who have two smartphones will now pay $90 per month.
Grandfathered plans, other apps not included in free offer
Commencing February 28, all AT&T Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value plans will include unlimited international messaging from the US to the rest of the world, meaning AT&T consumer and business Mobile Share customers can send unlimited texts, pictures and video messages. Current Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value customers will automatically benefit from the new offer, and will additionally see international calling from the US to any number in 42 countries drop to one penny per minute, including Canada and Mexico.
Sony starts selling PlayStation 4 in Japan months after US, European launches
Sony has launched the PlayStation 4 game console in Japan, months after shipping it to customers in the United States and Europe. While it has already sold 5.3 million units in other markets when competing against the Xbox One, the launch in Japan will be largely uncontested, with The Verge noting no news of an Xbox One launch in the country has been issued by Microsoft, and the Nintendo's Wii-U continues to sell poorly.
Obama initiative valued at about $750 million
US President Barack Obama is today announcing commitments from several US corporations towards connecting more students to high-speed Internet, says the Associated Press. In all, about $750 million has been pledged; Apple is offering $100 million in iPads, computers, and other tools, while Verizon is providing the same amount in straight cash and in-kind contributions. AT&T and Sprint are offering free Internet access; Microsoft is promising copies of Windows at discounted rates, and 12 million free copies of Microsoft Office.
AT&T transfer promotion ended on January 31st
AT&T has stopped a promotion that offered customers up to $450 per line when they transferred from T-Mobile. The incentive, which provided a $200 automatic credit and up to a further $250 when trading in a smartphone, was put in place just one month ago in order to spoil a similar planned promotion by T-Mobile, offering to pay the early termination fees of customers transferring from AT&T to the carrier.
Microsoft announces discontinuation of InfoPath, plans to support client until 2023
Microsoft announced this week its discontinuation of the company's electronic form software, InfoPath. InfoPath featured the ability to design, distribute, fill, and submit electronic forms with structured data. InfoPath 2013 is the last release of the desktop client, and InfoPath Form Service in Sharepoint Server 2013 is the last release of its services suite. InfoPath 2013 client is planned to be supported through until April 2023, and InfoPath Forms Services in Office 365 will be supported until further notice. Migration scenarios and guidance will be released in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Call for experiments could help telecommunication providers get rid of copper-based landlines
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken its first steps in overhauling the analog telephone system in the United States, by authorizing voluntary testing by carriers. The unanimous vote will allow telecommunication providers, such as AT&T, to experiment with landlines in various ways, such as providing an IP-based telephone service to its customers.
War for customers with T-Mobile intensifies with new offer
AT&T is increasing the amount it is giving to customers to sign up, as well as existing customers, by offering $100 in billing credit for every new line added to an account. The extra credit will be available to both new and existing customers, and is the latest in the continuing aggressive battle for customers between the carrier and T-Mobile.
Total smartphone penetration grows to 77 percent from 70 percent in 2012
AT&T has released its quarterly earnings report. For the latest period, the company's consolidated revenues totaled $33.2 billion, up 1.8 percent versus the year-earlier period. Compared with results for the fourth quarter of 2012, operating expenses were $20.9 billion versus $38.5 billion, and operating income was $12.2 billion compared to a loss of $6.0 billion. Notably, smartphones accounted for a record 93 percent of postpaid phone sales in the quarter, which included the release of Apple's iPhone 5c and 5s.