PCMag’s Sascha Segan is ticked off over AT&T’s 4G phones–which he says don’t even meet the company’s not-so-rigorous definition of “4G.”
Tag Archives | Wireless Carriers
Call me crazy, but I almost believed a study on “bill shock” that landed in my inbox today, despite being commissioned by the Wireless Communications Association International trade group.
Bill shock refers to the high charges that occur when you use more cell phone minutes than your plan allows. According to the study, conducted by Recon Analytics and based on a Nielsen Company survey, only 0.3 percent of U.S. wireless customers would be better off moving to a bigger bundle of minutes — totaling $120 or $240 per year depending on carrier — instead of paying occasional overage charges.
I agree that most people who pay an occasional overage are better off that way, but here’s where things get silly: The study concludes that because overage charges are beneficial to most people, the FCC shouldn’t enact safeguards against bill shock, such as notifying customers when they’re about to exceed their monthly limit of minutes. If you read the actual study, this is a logical leap based on conjecture.
Bloomberg’s Serena Saitto, Jacqueline Simmons, and Jeffrey (no relation) McCracken are reporting that Sprint and T-Mobile are in merger talks.
The Wall Street Journal’s Spencer Ante says that Verizon’s network is ready for the iPhone, assuming (as Ante does) that a Verizon iPhone is indeed on its way.
David Pogue of the New York Times reviews Virgin Mobile’s pay-as-you go MiFi: Once you’ve paid $150 for the MiFi itself, you get unlimited wireless broadand on the Sprint network for up to five devices at a time. For an amazingly reasonable $40 a month. If I weren’t on contract with Verizon for a MiFi for the next 18 months–at $60 a month–I’d be on this deal in a nanosecond.
The rumored deal between Google and Verizon over Network Neutrality issues isn’t a deal–it’s a joint proposal to the FCC. It recommends rules that would prohibit the favoring of certain traffic over other traffic on the wired Internet. But Dan Gillmor, who knows way more about this stuff than I do, isn’t thrilled with the companies’ suggestions. And the proposal is pro-Network Neutrality only for wired traffic, not wireless data. Isn’t that a little bit as if it had advised for consumer-friendly regulations for dial-up–but not for broadband–in, say, 2000?
It’s tempting to interpret every move AT&T makes in terms of its relationship with Apple, its status as the exclusive iPhone carrier in the US, and the implications of that exclusivity ending, as it will someday. It’s also dangerous to think that way, because the tea leaves are all too hard to read. Still, one fascinating sidelight of this morning’s BlackBerry Torch launch was the degree to which it was a lovefest between RIM and AT&T.
The first person on stage at this BlackBerry unveiling–the one who got to brandish a Torch in public for the first time–wasn’t a RIM honcho. It was AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph De La Vega. And RIM and AT&T executives handed off between each other for the entire presentation, spending nearly as much time praising each other as they did bragging about the new handset.
Engadget has heard scuttlebutt that Verizon Wireless will announce on July 29th that it’s moving to tiered pricing plans for wireless data, akin to the “buckets” that AT&T introduced last month. Seems inevitable that it’ll happen sooner or later (and probably sooner), right?
Fred Vogelstein’s Wired story on Apple, the iPhone, and AT&T is a terrific read.
Louis Gray on why he dumped his iPhone and AT&T for an EVO 4G phone running Android and Sprint.