Cheaper Plans And Perks Are Going To Be Hot

Lately a lot of people are talking about switching to lower rate plans including the prepaid and postpaid plans. I started doing a little research and found that AT&T (who is my current carrier) recently started offering some interesting price options. I’ve been looking into them and feel like it’s time to share, there’s only 1 problem… I can’t find the pricing online. I saw it once on my computer and 2 or 3 times in the AT&T app but can’t find it any longer. I don’t think it’s something they’re taking away, I am assuming they’re kind of soft launching these or testing them out before making the plans more accessible.

AT&T as usual is moving in the right direction but not very fast and not with a lot of power behind it.

I think the lower cost data plans usually with X amount of 4G then dropping down to 2G or 3G speeds is going to become a very popular pricing option in the next year or 2. MOST people don’t need UNLIMITED 4G and many don’t even need 10GB. I believe most families can get away with 5-6GB/month, not including teenagers. Teens skew that.

Either way, low cost data is going to be the future. Side note, I think adding perks like 2 free GoGo airplane wifi passes/month or a discount on pro sports tickets it’s a great way to differentiate yourself from the competitors. Just making a suggestion to all the carriers out there.

Simultaneous Voice & Data is a MUST

Frustration abounds for Sprint customers. Still in January of 2017 Sprint, who would like to be considered one of the big players in mobile for the US still uses some antiquated technology. Through my investigation and research it is a widely known fact that Sprint customers can NOT utilize data like surfing the web, sending iMessages or uploading pictures while they are on the phone.

As I call out Sprint on this shortcoming lest we forget the company they are within 1% of (according to Sprint commercials) Verizon doesn’t support voice and data either on many of their older phones.

Sprint though is the center of my disgust today because as far as I can tell even their newest devices don’t support voice and data. Research shows me that this is a hardware issue on the side of the consumer, Sprint doesn’t purchase phones that have the correct antenna array. Additionally Sprint doesn’t offer Voice Over LTE yet which is the other key piece, this is on the infrastructure side. I could be wrong about either part of this, Sprint doesn’t like to publish much data about their shortcomings.

From experiences of the people I interviewed about this they are all frustrated. One a general contractor let’s call Andrew, can’t send pictures or videos to his customers showing updates to work he’s done while he’s on the phone with them. Andrew wants to show the owner of the piece of property the headway he’s making on a remodel but can’t because Spring doesn’t support being on a phone call and using a data plan at the same time. Nathan a Hollywood businessman and another Sprint customer can’t send or receive emails or iMessages while on the phone with his business partner. They found a hack which is having to talk over FaceTime Voice which is using data so he can then receive text/email.

The funny thing is both gentlemen want to leave Sprint specifically for this reason but they’ve both been customers for so many years that they feel some sort of obligation to suffer. This is a crazy antiquated notion in my opinion and it’s time to jump ship and get on a carrier that allows them to use their phones to their fullest capacity.

What do you think? Are  you a Sprint or Verizon customer who doesn’t want to leave out of loyalty? Have you already jumped ship and gone to a different carrier?

GigaPower Coming To Southern California

AT&T GigaPowerRehan Asad from AT&T’s broadband strategy and entertainment group who’s in charge of GigaPower solutions gave me a briefing earlier this week. Instead of giving you a bunch of minimally important info you probably don’t care about I’ll give you a link to their site to see if your residence, office or anywhere else has GigaPower.

The real meat and potatoes of the interview with Rehan was that GigaPower is FAST. I used to get excited to hear that Big Red who’s now Frontier something or other can give me 50Mbps but AT&T can double that. 100Mbps or 1Gigabit is what Rehan claims and I’m planning to test it out. Until then I’m going to trust GigaPower can actually provide that.

In terms anyone can understand… It’s going to be super fast. Your kids and their friends can come over and stream Netflix and Hulu while someone FaceTime’s with their boyfriend and Grandpa has the game on the TV/tablet. Oh and don’t forget someone is also on the good old telephone. This can all happen at once and there shouldn’t be any freezing or pixelation.

No this isn’t life changing for most of you but it is something that Rehan says is future proofed for more than just a few years. That means in another 10 years AT&T won’t have to dig up your street and you’ll be able to do all the streaming you are doing now plus have your entire home connected with everything in HD and you still shouldn’t have a problem.

AT&T WiFi Calling Is A Miracle For More Than One Reason

FullSizeRenderSo I’ve been waiting for wifi calling for years and AT&T recently finally released it. For those of you who may not know it means that your texts and voice calls can now travel over wifi versus the cellular network it has had to traditionally. It’s a big deal… Right? Right.

Now you can get your SMS while you’re at 30,000 feet if you have airplane wifi like Gogo. You can make a call from your cousins basement where cell phone coverage is spotty at best. You can even fly to Europe and make a call on your hotel wifi… Err, no you can’t not yet but hopefully soon.

Back to why this is so great. I’m really excited because when I visit friends and family with bad reception my phone battery used to plummet because the phone was always looking for a stronger signal. At my parents house where we have to use the Cel-Fi Pro signal booster my battery would potentially not last the day. It was awful going in the afternoon after a long day of calls, I’d have to charge my phone at their house or my phone would die.

Wifi calling has actually made a difference in my life. No more checking to make sure my phone isn’t dying. No more having to go outside to make and receive phone calls (always fun in the rain). I think this is a big step for AT&T and I hope they continue taking these steps. Ralph, would you please allow your customers to use their phones over wifi in foreign countries as if they were in the US? While we’re at it and if it makes any difference, give us some MUCH better roaming options. I’m loyal to big blue but I hate having to get a local sim in a foreign country because your roaming options are so expensive.

Back to the good stuff. For now wifi calling is only available on iOS 9 phones from the 6 on. I can’t promise you though, I’ve heard mixed reports. The good thing is I assume AT&T will release it for other platforms soon.

Last thing I’ll say about this, I have a hard time receiving calls over wifi since the iOS 9.1 update. It hangs up and then rings again then hangs up and rings again. Making calls is fine though. It’s very strange and I’ve only found one or two other people with a similar issue.

Have you been using AT&T wifi calling? What do you think? I haven’t been able to use it much because it only kicks in when there’s bad reception and what Ralph says is true, most places have great signal and as a result I haven’t been able to test it extensively.

Free WiFi At The Rose Parade Thanks To AT&T

Rose ParadeBrief: AT&T is giving away free wifi around the Rose Parade in Pasadena.

Good news for anybody attending this years Rose Parade in Pasadena California, AT&T is giving away free wifi in the viewing area.  They have set up 14 hot spots in the 4 block popular walking/shopping/ eating area allowing anybody to connect, from laptops to cell phones and tablets too.  Nicely enough AT&T is allowing people on other carriers to utilize the network as well.

I know they have been doing this kind of thing for a little while now for their customers.  It is like in the old days, you would walk into a Starbucks and automatically connect to the AT&T wifi if you are using an AT&T cell phone.  I find services like this to be very attractive to many customers, taking the burden off their bucket of data.  This is exactly what I have been talking about for years, carriers need to offer over the top services to keep their current and attract new customers.

AT&T Bumps 10GB Plan to 15GB For a Limited Time

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Just yesterday I learned that AT&T is adding a bonus to their 10GB data plan. New and current 10GB data plan customers will get an additional 5GB toward their bucket. This seems like a great deal to me and I plan to sign up for it. All you have to do is call 611 from your AT&T phone or go to ATT.com. Here’s a link to the release.

By the way, according to AT&T you can do all of this with the 15GB:
Stream 160 hours of music and 30 hours of video
Surf the web for 300 hours
1,000 posts with photos on social media
Download 100 mobile apps
Send/receive 10,000 emails

Faster Internet Speeds At Howie’s Game Shack Thanks To AT&T And Their Focus On B2B

My favorite telecommunications company put on 2 events this summer that I’m so sad I had to miss.  Today I’m writing about Howie’s Game Shack, with a businesses in Buena Park, Mission Viejo and 2 more locations.  Howie’s is a gaming fans heaven and it looks like my media friends really had a great time.  The key thing to remember here is is that AT&T is bringing MUCH faster speeds to businesses around the country.

Here are some Howie Facts:

  • 800 state-of-the-art gaming consoles and computers
  • 6 million hours of games played to date
  • Can accommodate over 1,000 simultaneous players.
  • Delivers 100Mbps
  • Reduced 95% of internet speed complaints

Howie’s is an important example for AT&T because of what it’s been able to do including going from 9Mbps to 100Mpbs for businesses.

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