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AT&T Buys T-Mobile: What Does It Mean for Consumers?

In the largest deal the wireless industry has seen since 2004, AT&T has agreed to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion in cash and stocks. In acquiring T-Mobile from parent company Deutsche Telekom, AT&T will pick up an extra 34 million wireless customers, and will provide service to about 43-percent of all U.S. cell phones, making it the country's largest network operator. At the end of...

AT&T None Too Pleased With Your Illicit Tethering

Have you been tethering your smartphone without shelling out for AT&T's subscription plan? Your days appear to be numbered. The company has started cracking down on unauthorized tethering, sending out an obnoxious email that tells users to cut it out or they'll be automatically enrolled in a more expensive data plan. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. It's something AT&T...

AT&T to Impose a Broadband Cap in May

On May 2nd, AT&T will impose a broadband data cap for all DSL and U-Verse customers, after having already implemented similar usage limits for wireless users nearly a year ago. People connecting to the Internet through DSL will face a monthly limit of 150 gigabytes, while U-Verse users will be capped at 250 GB per month. Anyone exceeding these limits more than three times in three different...

After Tsunami, AT&T Offers Free Calling and Texting To Japan

From now until the end of March, AT&T is offering free calls to Japan for anyone who dials from an AT&T line. Any long distance or texting directed to our Pacific brethren will be credited to post-paid accounts, with up to 60 minutes of talk time. The offer is back-dated to March 11th, when the earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck the country, so those who made frantic phone calls...

Verizon Has Best Call Quality Across Nation, Says J.D. Power Survey

In a recent survery released by J.D. Power, customers named Verizon Wireless the service provider with the best call quality in four of six regions across America. Verizon tied with AT&T for best customer satisfaction in another region, and U.S. Cellular was named the best carrier in the other. The survey, which canvassed 26,000 cell phone owners between July and December 2010, used seven...

AT&T Texting Users Location-Based Shopping Deals with ShopAlerts

AT&T has launched a new service called ShopAlerts, which sends promotional text messages to subscribers who are near certain retailers. According to The New York Times, AT&T is now the first American carrier to push location-based ads via text messages. The free service will soon be available for subscribers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. The technology AT&T...

Black Eyed Peas Halftime Show Suffers From Wireless Malfunction (Among Other Things)

Yesterday, before the big game, Black Eyed Peas figurehead Will.i.am promised USA Today that he would totally tweet during the halftime show! Well, he didn't. Here was his explanation, as taken from his Twitter feed, decidedly post-game: "Att crashed...ahhhh!!!! The worse." He then added, "At&t??? Wow...no service during halftime...unbelievable." It really is a shame he didn't get a...

4G Decoded: WiMAX, LTE and the Next Generation Cell Phone Networks

Part of being a smart consumer is understanding how technology works, why we use it the way we do, and what that barrage of acronyms and PR jargon means. We're here to help you make sense of it all, and to give you a better appreciation of how those transistors, pixels, and antennae come together to deliver the conveniences of the modern world to you. If you thought our guide to 3G tech was...

Cable Companies to Loyal Customers: Pay Us More

Despite a weak economy and more online options for viewers, satellite and cable operators will, once again, increase their prices in 2011. According to The Hollywood Reporter, analyst Craig Moffett predicts that most of the average price increases will be in the mid-to-low single-digit percentages. If you're a glass-half-full kind of person, these increases will, for the most part, be smaller...

Verizon Ready for iPhone, AT&T Fires Feeble Criticisms From Sidelines

Tomorrow Verizon is expected to announce the long rumored CDMA iPhone for its 3G network, ending years of AT&T exclusivity for the Apple handset. And, while AT&T has struggled to keep its network from buckling under the load of millions of iPhones, Verizon believes it can succeed in delivering a superior data experience. An insider told the Wall Street Journal that the company has, over...

AT&T to Offer iPhone 3GS for $49, Plus Unfortunate AT&T Contract

With Verizon poised to take a big bite of its smartphone market share, AT&T has decided to slash the price of the iPhone 3GS. The company is currently selling the smartphone for $99, but, beginning Friday, both new and existing customers will be able to purchase it for just $49. (The iPhone 4 is still selling for $299.) The obvious downside, however, is that buyers will be locked into a...

AT&T Debuts Android Phones Atrix, Inspire, Infuse at CES

AT&T kicked off its CES announcements today with a bevy of Android devices and a promise of 20 new 4G phones for 2011. The three lead phones -- the Atrix, Inspire and Infuse -- are all HSPA+ devices, so you'll have to wait until the second half of the year to get the faster, next-generation LTE phones. There's no Gingerbread or stock Android in sight; every new Android device on AT&T will...

Cutting the (Other) Cord: The Best Wireless Internet Options

A reader asks: I'm intrigued by the idea of getting rid of my DSL Internet service, and switching to one of these 4G wireless services I've seen advertised. My question is whether it's actually viable at this point. I have a desktop and a couple laptops, and two phones we use on our home Wi-Fi network, and wonder if these services can handle all that. I have no idea how to research this, so...

Consumer Reports to AT&T Subscribers: 'Ditch the Zero, Girl!'

Having friends who subscribe to AT&T is a lot like having friends who date awful people. After each dropped call, missed text or garbled conversation, you can reason with them, or berate them, but they just won't give. ("Man, you just don't know AT&T like I do. When it's great, it's great! Have you seen my iPhone?!") Hopefully, reading this Consumer Reports bashing will have the effect of...

Windows Phone 7 Now Available, Heats Up U.S. Smartphone Competition

Congratulations, Microsoft! You've finally shaken off the shackles of your aging mobile OS, and joined the class of modern smartphones with Windows Phone 7 (WP7). Starting today, WP7-powered devices are available though Microsoft retail channels, on Amazon, and from AT&T and T-Mobile. T-Mobile customers have only one choice right now for WP7 devices: the HTC HD7. It packs a large 4.3-inch...