AT&T

Expensive Airways

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Think our airwaves are free? Guess again. They may be invisible but are worth billions.

According to The Wall St. Journal, the Federal Communications Commission's auction of wireless spectrum licenses has collected at least $34 billion in bids, turning a sleepy affair into a windfall for taxpayers and an enormous commitment of capital for carriers.

What's behind this incredible demand is your addiction to smartphones that let you wirelessly watch YouTube videos, stream music and share photos. The Journal describes the spectrum as lanes on a highway. Wireless carriers buy licenses from the Government to use it, and when growing traffic leads to congestion, the have to acquire more.  read more »

Public Phone Calls

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The next call you make from your cell phone might involve more people than you think.

According to Yahoo news law enforcement agencies are requesting more personal information from wireless carriers than ever before.

Last year text messages, locations and other information were requested more than 1.3 million times. The personal records were handed over in response to police emergencies, court orders and law enforcement subpoenas. And the information detailed everything from calls you make, to messages you send to your internet history.  read more »

A Bad Signal

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AT&T has a new data plan and its slowing down customers.

In order to manage data usage on its networks AT&T is cutting the data speed of certain users. If you fall within the top 5% of data users the company will slow your downloads by about 99%. This means that a web page that usually takes a second to load is now taking up to two minutes.

Right now the wireless company has seventeen million people with unlimited data plans. All of those users are at risk of falling victim to the new slow down scheme. In 2010 AT&T stopped offering the unlimited plan and last year warned people they would face slower speeds for using the internet too often.  read more »

Verizon's New Relationship

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To the joy of smart phone users everywhere Verizon has announced it will soon carry the iPhone. But you might not want to break out your wallet just yet.

Admist the excitement of Verizon’s big announcement earlier this week came a few revelations of their new relationship with apple. First, the Verizon iPhone will only work on the 3G network. These phones have data speeds that are much slower than the 4G phone plus you can’t talk and surf the internet at the same time. And rumors are already flying that Apple will be releasing the iPhone 5 sometime this year. But Verizon might have to wait until the following January to get the updated version giving AT&T a solid head start.  read more »

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The Comeback Company

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The world is mobile and one company is looking to connect with America.

Finland based Nokia is the world’s largest mobile phone maker, but has little presence in the U.S. Now it’s new CEO, former Microsoft Executive Steven Elop wants to change that. Challenging the likes of Apple with Nokia’s new N-8 camera phone technology rolled out at its world summit in London last week. While there, I spoke with Mark Selby, Vice President of Industry Collaborations for Nokia.

“The message we gave yesterday I think is the key message. Nokia is back. We didn’t go anywhere but you know there’s that wonderful expression that perception is reality, reality is rarely perception.”  read more »