Verizon Communications Stories March 25, 2016

netflix

If you’ve ever been disappointed with the quality of Netflix videos when streaming them on AT&T or Verizon, and cursed the network for its poor connectivity, it appears that your wrath should instead have been directed towards Netflix.

The WSJ reports that Netflix has been deliberately throttling video on mobile devices for more than five years, but only admitting it now …

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Verizon Communications Stories October 26, 2015

wifi-calling

Wi-Fi calling – the iPhone feature Apple introduced in iOS 8 – is a really handy feature, routing phone calls over Wi-Fi when the mobile signal is poor or non-existent. There’s just one problem: it’s illegal for U.S. carriers to support the feature because it breaks the TTY text-chat protocol used by some hearing-impaired users. AT&T asked the FCC to grant it a waiver to switch on the service, and now Verizon has done the same.

The two companies have, however, adopted different positions on the service …  expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories September 14, 2015

Apple discontinues combined Apple Watch + iPhone AppleCare packages

 

On the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus announcement day, Apple increased the pricing of its AppleCare+ protection plan from $99 to $129. We’ve since discovered that Apple has additionally discontinued its combined plans for the Apple Watch and iPhone. Since the launch of the Apple Watch earlier this year, Apple offered combined packages that allowed a customer to protect both devices on a single plan. Now, customers must purchase both plans separately. The combined packages did not bring any discount or value over purchasing the plans separately, so the discontinuation of the program does not come as a major change for consumers. Apple has told employees that customers who have already purchased the combined plans will not be affected through their deals.

Verizon Communications Stories July 14, 2015

T-Mobile launches competitive new Family Plan, offering $30/per 10GB line

T-Mobile’s Uncarrier Amped moves are still going strong. Just days after announcing its cross-border ‘Mobile Without Borders’ plan, the magenta carrier has unveiled a brand new family plan.

With the new plan, two customers can get 10GB per line for $100 per month. Each additional line is then $20 per person, each with 10GB data allowance. As a special offer, T-Mobile is also giving customers a fourth line for free. Between now and Labor day, customers will be able to sign up to four lines with 10GB data on each, for $120 per month.

Verizon Communications Stories May 5, 2015

T-Mobile hits back at Verizon’s ‘Never settle’ ads, offers free try-out & switch deal

T-Mobile is hitting back at Verizon’s ‘Never settle’ ad campaign, offering to lend Verizon customers a new smartphone and port their existing number to it for a 14-day trial. If customers prefer T-Mobile’s service, the company will pay off Verizon’s Early Termination Fees up to a maximum of $650.

Any outstanding payments on your phone are also paid off, within the same overall limit, when customers choose to trade in their old phone for a new one on T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plan.

T-Mobile promises you won’t lose out if you choose to stay with Verizon. You always retain your existing phone, the carrier will refund any fees incurred on its own network and will pay any costs for switching back to Verizon.

The offer opens on 13th May, running until the end of the month. Visit t-mobile.com or one of the company’s retail stores between those dates for details. The company introduced crowd-sourced coverage maps back in March, extending its LTE data rollover deal to prepaid customers in the same month. Verizon cut most of its data plan prices by $10/month back in February.

Verizon Communications Stories December 15, 2014

uncarrier-8

T-Mobile has announced that it will be unveiling its latest contract-free deal in a livestreamed ‘fireside chat’ tomorrow, Un-carrier 8.0.

Un-carrier 8.0 is ready to roll, and you’re invited to join us for the unveiling of one of our biggest and boldest moves yet! This one is so big we had to keep it a surprise.

Join John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, as he unveils the news during a live fireside chat with David Pogue of Yahoo! News. David will be taking questions for John from Twitter through @JohnLegere and @Pogue and the #Uncarrier8 hashtag.

The company hasn’t hinted at any of the details, but we’ll of course let you know …  expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories August 12, 2014

Carrier1

A significant number of Apple Stores in the United States will likely begin offering iPhone sales via the latest carrier financing programs later this month, according to several sources. We previously detailed that Apple Stores will soon offer iPhones on AT&T Next, Verizon Edge, and the T-Mobile Jump plans, and now we’ve learned some new information on the matter. We’re told that Apple is tentatively planning to begin rolling out the programs on Wednesday, August 20th as a pilot.

Of course, this could slip back a few days as this new program’s existence has not even been officially confirmed by Apple.  We’ve also been sent a couple of slides from internal Apple employee training materials showcasing what exact plans will be offered. The slide above details the differences between the plans, and the photo below compares the perks of each program. Also, it does not appear that Sprint’s latest financing offerings will be in the mix for Apple Stores anytime in the near future. Will you buy your iPhone 6 at the Apple Store via carrier financing? Tim Cook certainly thinks you should.

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Verizon Communications Stories July 27, 2014

iphone

Apple is preparing a significant expansion of its iPhone sales capabilities in its official retail stores, according to sources. Late in August, many Apple Stores in the United States will kick off a pilot program for customers to be able to purchase a new iPhone via the latest carrier upgrade programs: AT&T Next, T-Mobile JUMP, and Verizon Edge. Currently, iPhones bought at Apple Stores must either be purchased on a two-year deal, or at full-price (unlocked) with no contract…

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Verizon Communications Stories May 16, 2014

The four largest carriers now support texting 911, but most emergency call centers don’t

When the FCC set a voluntary deadline of yesterday for putting in place technology to allow people to text 911, all four of the main national carriers complied. But since most emergency call centres aren’t yet equipped to receive texts, don’t expect to be using it any time soon.

The FCC said that the ability to text 911 could be a life-saver for those with hearing or speech impairments, as well as in situations where it might be dangerous to make a phone call – while a crime is in progress and the perpetrator within earshot, for example.

But the wireless trade association, the CTIA, warned that even where 911 texting is supported, it’s still impossible to guarantee immediate delivery of texts. We’ve all experienced examples of texts that arrive the next day, so the advice remains to make a voice call wherever possible.

The FCC has uploaded a list of emergency call centres accepting 911 texts. If you attempt to text 911 in an area where the service is not supported, you’ll get a text bounce-back. Needless to say, please do not test the service.

Verizon Communications Stories April 22, 2014

iphones

How much did your iPhone cost? If you said $199, $299 or even $399 you’re somewhere near $350 off. As some consciously forget, the carriers often shield the owner from the real total cost of the iPhone. That may not last.

iPhone sales could be hurt as carriers switch from so-called subsidized contracts, where customers pay only a fraction of the cost a new iPhone up-front, to deals where the true cost of the phone is more visible, argues a piece in the WSJ.

Many U.S. iPhone customers are not aware that the full cost of an iPhone ranges from $549 for a 16GB 5c to $849 for a 64GB 5s. The reason is that carriers have traditionally asked for only $0 to $200 up-front, hiding the balance of the cost in the monthly tariff. With carriers now switching to separate instalment costs for the phone, and the cost of upgrading every year or two more visible to consumers, analysts believe some will choose to upgrade less often …

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Verizon Communications Stories December 13, 2013

(via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbtaylor/5725362250/in/photolist-9HVYJf-dUa6Vv-9p5wzz-dktAoT-8zr6jL-8niyxG-ahWGGU-ahWGHh-ahWGHm-ahWGH3-8oqttH-dnDryR-8nfrfD-9HFdUX-c83Cah-7JfazN-e2xr5t-bURuKH-e1kDuL-9MSHjY-adVi2Z-aptqJu-ccdK8C-bmKsbu-bURuWi-ccdKcf-ccdKi5-e1faCa-8SdCBv-8MmowQ-dMm3Uk-dMrBxA-fmgSPT-dFmKF4-dFmqQ4-cCuqoG-ccdKb9-e1eY4P-8jshhM-e1eYeV-9GDiuc-9GGb4A-9MSF1E-dLUyCK-8niyGq-8nixJY-8nfrBp-g2sFSy-g2t57H-9Tufzo-9Trpo6/" target="_blank">Flickr</a>)

Almost two years to date since AT&T pulled its bid for T-Mobile USA, rival carrier Sprint is reportedly preparing its own offer to purchase the fourth largest carrier in the US.

That’s according to a The Wall Street Journal report which claims Sprint is currently looking into regulatory concerns that could be voiced if the third largest US carrier acquired the company which runs the fourth largest US carrier.

Sprint hasn’t yet decided whether to move ahead with a bid. Going forward despite regulators’ concerns would be highly risky. Any pursuit of a bid by Sprint could be aimed at testing antitrust officials’ reaction to a deal, and a bad reaction could put an end to the effort. expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories December 9, 2013

Verizon is almost fixed in New York as AT&T announces LTE roaming in Canada on Rogers

Verizon’s problems with LTE capacity in NY are almost at an end, claimed CEO Lowell McAdam during an investor conference on Monday. Describing the issues as “a short-term blip,” he said the company was “now back to where we want to be.”

Verizon identified 49 cell sites in the New York area where capacity was insufficient, and said that all but seven of them had been strengthened.

AT&T, meantime, said that it has become the first U.S. carrier to offer international LTE roaming thanks to an agreement with Rogers Communications to allow customers access to LTE data when visiting Canada. The Rogers LTE network covers approximately 70 percent of Canada.

Roaming is not, however, cheap. For occasional use, you’re charged $15.36/MB. Alternatively, you can sign up for a Data Global Add-on packages at $30/month for 120MB, $60/month for 300MB or $120/month for 800MB. The two more expensive packages also give you 1GB of wifi usage where available.

Full AT&T press release below … 

Verizon Communications Stories November 21, 2013

Anticipated Retina iPad Mini shortages take effect as carrier dates slip

Analyst predictions that the Retina iPad Mini would be in short supply in the run-up to the holidays appear to be confirmed by slipping dates for the cellular models at carriers, reports CNET.

Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are all back-ordered on the cellular version of the Mini Retina, with Verizon’s date now slipping to December 2.

Last week, Verizon had been saying November 25. And the carrier isn’t saying when the device may arrive in stores, according to a company spokesperson. T-Mobile is now showing the Mini Retina back-ordered 6-8 weeks. AT&T is saying 21-28 days for orders to ship.

Apple made store purchase of the new iPad Mini exclusive to personal pickup, though availability of cellular models currently looks very poor. Apple is currently quoting availability of 5-10 days for all four major US carriers for iPad Minis ordered from its own website.

The Retina iPad Mini was well-received in reviews and is expected to be a popular holiday gift.

Verizon Communications Stories November 13, 2013

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Verizon Wireless, once the gold standard for LTE, has admitted that it is struggling to keep up with demand in the big cities – with some users being dropped down to slower 3G speeds. The carrier’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said yesterday:

There are certain pockets where we’re absolutely going to experience that down tick from the LTE network down to 3G because of capacity constraints …  expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories October 18, 2013

2012-iphone4s-gallery2-zoom

There was a lot of confusion yesterday when Verizon’s results were discussed, with more than one commentator confusing activations and sales. For the record, what Verizon announced was that 51 percent of its activations were iPhone, not 51 percent of its phone sales.

If you doubt the importance of this distinction, I have one word for you: T-Mobile. As of 11th April, the carrier had two million iPhone activations. Its iPhone sales as of the same date? Zero: T-Mobile didn’t start selling iPhones until the following day.

The difference between the two numbers is particularly dramatic with high-end handsets like the iPhone …  expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories October 1, 2013

Verizon confirms software glitch allowed upgraders to keep unlimited plan, but deal will be honored

AllThingsD has confirmed our suspicion that it was a software glitch that allowed iPhone upgraders to keep their unlimited data plans.

There is, however, good news for those lucky enough to have upgraded their phones before the glitch was caught:

[Verizon] said it would honor the unlimited plans of those customers who managed to upgrade while Verizon was working to fix its software.

Verizon Communications Stories September 12, 2013

walmartc

Walmart has announced that it will be offering both of the new iPhone models in their 16Gb versions, the 5c at $79 (a $20 saving) and the 5s at $189 (a $10 savings). Walmart offers the phones on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.

What’s interesting here is that Apple Stores usually do price matching so it might be worth a try after waiting on line on launch day. Best Buy will also price match often, so this could trigger markdowns all over …  expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories September 4, 2013

telus-iphone-5-disc

A new leaked doc from Canadian carrier Telus (via MobileSyrup) shows that the carrier has plans to discontinue the iPhone 5 on September 28 just days after the next-generation iPhones are rumored to launch. Although it would lend weight to the theory that Apple could get rid of the iPhone 5 since the rumored iPhone 5S and especially the lower cost iPhone 5C are so close internally to the current device, the doc only shows that the 32GB and 64GB models will be discontinued, which might be a clue the 16GB iPhone 5 will stick around as an entry level model.

Keeping the 16GB iPhone 5 seems to line up with what we’ve been hearing at Verizon and adds even more weight to the theory that Apple will keep the iPhone 5 around as a lower cost option perhaps in between the 5S and the 5C in much the same way that the last-gen iPhone 4S currently occupies the $99/plan spot in Apple’s lineup.

On the other hand, often-accurate KGI analyst Mingchi Kuo said earlier this month that he thinks Apple will stop selling the iPhone 5 at the end of Q3 2013 and continuing selling the iPhone 4S until the end of the year.

Apple yesterday sent out invites to the September 10th event and is expected to start selling the iPhone 5S and 5C starting around the 20th of September.

vodafone_inventory

Update: Similar chatter is coming out of Vodafone Germany, indicating that the 32GB and 64GB iPhone 5 and 16GB iPhone 4S will soon be discontinued. expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories September 3, 2013

5c1

Update: A bunch more cases have been added below.

Evleaks, a source with an excellent reputation for reliability, has tweeted two photos of aftermarket iPhone 5C cases, together with a very specific shipping date: 8am on 20th September.

It’s widely expected that Apple will announce the 5C (along with the iPhone 5S) on 10th September, and that it will go on sale on the 20th. Both T-Mobile and Verizon have blocked employee vacations around this date.

The photos as posted were rather small – we’ve enlarged them to give a better look …  expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories June 9, 2013

AT&T slips in some bad news ahead of WWDC: Upgrade eligibility moved from 20 to 24 months

Not a bad PR move on AT&T’s part: While everyone is getting hyped for WWDC, Ma Bell throws the same curve ball that Verizon threw at us in April. You must now wait the full 24 months to be eligible for phone upgrades rather than getting in at 20 months as you could have previously.

Today, we’re announcing a 24-month upgrade policy across all of AT&T’s wireless products and services.  This aligns device upgrade eligibility with our standard two-year wireless agreement and it applies to any customer whose agreement expires in March 2014 or later.

The move shouldn’t be a huge deal for iPhone customers who are used to two year cycles who can plan ahead to 2014.

Verizon Communications Stories May 23, 2013

administrative-fee. Thanks reader Kory for screenshot

AT&T started this month charging an administrative fee of $.61/month/user for its mobile customers in addition to its current fees. While the fee may be small, as the Verge notes it adds ‘up to hundreds of millions of dollars’ over 24 month contracts and millions of customers. What gives?  An AT&T spokesperson told us:

Consistent with similar fees charged by other carriers, the monthly fee of 61 cents per line will help cover certain expenses, such as interconnection and cell site rents and maintenance

The fee applies to consumer mobility lines as well as IRU lines –  the kind of business lines where the employee pays the bill directly.

AT&T isn’t alone in this endeavor. Verizon charges admin fees of $0.91 and Sprint charges $1.99.  (Plus more for regulatory fees.)  T-Mobile’s combined regulatory programs fee is $1.61.  On this basis, AT&T’s is still the lowest of all carriers.  It still sucks though. “expenses, such as interconnection and cell site rents and maintenance” seems like it should be part of the current fees and that fee is easier to raise because it isn’t part of the publicized rate plan.

Update: TheTechBlock notes that you may be able to cancel your plan because of this fee. A nice way to slip out of your subsidized plan? expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories March 4, 2013

verizon-iphoneVerizon CFO Fran Shammo spoke at the Duetsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom conference this morning, where he was asked a few questions related to the iPhone. Verizon reported its fourth quarter 2012 earnings last month with 9.8 million smartphone activations—a record 6.2 million of which were iPhone. We knew about half, or 3.1 million, of those iPhone sales were driven by the first full quarter with the iPhone 5, but today Shammo talked about just how important getting the free iPhone 4 was during the quarter:

But this past fourth quarter you had a couple — you had really one thing happen that never happened before, especially with Verizon Wireless, and that was for the first time ever, because of the iPhone 5 launch, we had the 4 at free. So it was the first time ever you could get a free iPhone on the

Verizon Wireless network. So that produced a lot of volume for us. We had a lot of new customers come into Verizon who took that free phone, and that was great for us because again if you think about — we sold a lot of LTE product in the fourth quarter. We sold a lot of 3G product from the iPhone products in the fourth quarter.

But that is key for us, because if you think about our two networks it is important for me as I migrate people into the 4G network I still have this very large 3G network that operates very efficiently. We are not investing any more capital in that network other than to keep it up and running, so no more coverage capital, no more capacity capital. If I can keep that network up and running that just generates more contribution margins for us. So it is critical for us to balance that. But, again, I think you had one point in time where you had a free phone, a free Apple phone that never happened before with us and that generated a lot of volume.

While noting that 53 percent of the carrier’s smartphone activations were iPhones in 2012, Shammo was asked about the opportunity to incentivize employees to sell non-Apple devices that would also come with lower subsidies for Verizon:

The answer is, no, we don’t and it is critical that we don’t do that. The reason for that is because what is more important for us is when a customer walks into a store that customer walks out with a phone that they will be happy with and not return under our 30-day guarantee. Because the worst thing that can happen for us is for me to incentivise a salesperson to get you into a phone that you walk out the door with thinking you are going to like and in three days you come back because you don’t like it. Therefore, now I’ve just subsidized two smartphones because that phone you used I can’t resell as a new phone.

You can read more from Shammo’s presentation and where he discusses the growth of Share Everything plans, tablets, and more here.

Verizon Communications Stories January 23, 2013

As previously announced, today Apple is reporting its Q1 2013 earnings results. There is much uncertainty going into today’s call with Apple shares down significantly in recent months to roughly $500 since hitting a high of over $700 per share in September. With the iPhone 5 landing in a total of 100 countries last month, as well as iPad mini making its way to new markets, Wall Street estimates Apple will report between 47.5 million and 53 million iPhones sold and iPad sales between 23 million and 25 million. Compare that with Apple’s Q1 numbers last year: 37 million iPhones and 15.43 million iPads sold. Earlier this week Verizon reported 6.2M iPhone activations for the quarter, around half of which were iPhone 5 sales.

We’ll be providing blow-by-blow coverage of the earnings call in our live blog below at 2 PM Pacific/5 PM Eastern time. Stay tuned to 9to5Mac.com’s homepage for additional coverage:

Head below for updates… expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories November 21, 2012

Report: iPhone 5 supplies significantly improving at US Apple Stores

Apple recently changed shipping times for iPhone 5 from “2-3 weeks” to two weeks for orders from its website, indicating the company is starting to iron out production delays and catch up to demand. Today, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster noted checks of 100 App Stores show supplies of iPhone 5 are increasing through Apple’s retail stores, as well (via Fortune). According to Munster’s checks, iPhone 5 is currently available in 92 percent of Apple Stores for Sprint, 82 percent for AT&T, and 72 percent for Verizon:

AT&T and Verizon have shown dramatic improvements in availability, while Sprint has maintained consistent availability. Last night, our checks indicated that Sprint phones were in stock at 92% of Apple Stores, AT&T was available at 82% of stores and Verizon at 72% of stores. Additionally, we note that wait times for online phone orders dropped to two weeks as of today.

Munster said he believes “within the next two weeks that customers will be able to purchase iPhone 5s at Apple Stores same day,” which is obviously great news for Apple and consumers leading into the holidays.

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