AT&T’s 5G coverage dominates competition (for now)

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Verizon is behind arch-rival AT&T in deploying mobile 5G. Sprint and T-Mobile are trailing.
Photo: Steve Rhodes/Flickr CC

Verizon just reveled that Houston will be the third city getting its super-speedy 5G service before the end of this year. But there’s huge caveat: this is fixed service, only for homes and businesses.

In contrast, AT&T will launch mobile 5G service in six cities this year. This shows how far ahead it is than the competition.

Three more cities will get super-fast AT&T 5G this year

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AT&T and arch-rival Verizon will be among the first U.S. carriers to offer 5G.
Photo: Luismt94/Wikipedia CC

AT&T promised to bring the next generation of cellular wireless technology to a dozen cities before the end of this year. It just hasn’t revealed which ones yet.

The carrier started the teasing process a few months ago, announcing that Atlanta, Dallas and Waco, Texas, will get mobile 5G.

AT&T finds sneaky way to squeeze extra $800 million out of customers

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AT&T is making customers pay for its Time Warner merger.
Photo: Luismt94/Wikipedia CC

AT&T customers might start noticing that their monthly bills just got a little bit more expensive.

In a move to raise some more cash after spending $85.4 billion to buy Time Warner, AT&T has increased the price of its customer service fees. The increase itself is pretty small, but when applied to AT&T’s entire customer base, it could help the telecommunications carrier bring in an extra $800 million in revenue this year.

AT&T’s WatchTV service adds 30 TV channels to unlimited data

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AT&T's WatchTV combines streaming TV channels with unlimited data.
AT&T's WatchTV service combines entertainment with unlimited data.
Photo: AT&T

AT&T wants to stand out in the wireless market by combining streaming TV with unlimited data. Two newly-announced WatchTV options add dozens of TV channels and thousands of on-demand TV shows to the carrier’s unlimited data plans.

This move comes in the wake of the $85B AT&T/Time Warner merger, giving the carrier far greater access to video content that can be streamed to your iPhone or iPad almost anywhere.

T-Mobile isn’t America’s ‘Best Unlimited Network’

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T-Mobile isn't America's Best Unlimited Network.
A regulatory arm of the Better Business Bureau told T-Mobile to stop claiming it's the ‘Best Unlimited Network.’
Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile uses the self-bestowed accolade ‘Best Unlimited Network’ in its ads. But now an advertising regulatory body told the carrier to knock it off.

To be clear, this recommendation by the National Advertising Division (NAD) isn’t binding. But it’s significant enough that T-Mobile is appealing the decision.

AT&T, Verizon tried to subvert a technology Apple embraces

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An eSIM is far smaller than a standard one, and much more flexible. But not if some carriers get their way.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The Department of Justice is investigating whether AT&T and Verizon colluded to subvert the primary goal of electronic SIMs. This new tech makes it easy to switch between service providers, something to two largest wireless carriers apparently wanted to prevent. 

Apple uses an eSIM in the Apple Watch Series 3. And last year this company formally complained to the DoJ that the two carriers were pressuring an international standards body to make an anticompetitive change to this emerging tech. 

T-Mobile and Verizon boast fastest 4G speeds

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T-Mobile and Verizon are battling it out to see which will offer the best 4G.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A quick and reliable LTE connection is a necessity for any iPhone. Verizon and T-Mobile offer the best 4G performance, with AT&T and Sprint not able to keep up.

All four of the national carriers’ networks show improvement over 2017, but some haven’t yet recovered from the deluge of usage that came when they began offering unlimited data plans several years ago.

New LTE tech brings screaming speeds — but not to iPhones

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T-Mobile LTE speed test

Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile has increased LTE speeds to a staggering 500Mbps in New York City. It has become the first carrier to test commercial Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology, which sends 4G signals over unused 5GHz Wi-Fi channels to increase bandwidth, in the United States.

LAA will soon be expanding its reach across the U.S. — but you won’t be able to enjoy it on iPhone.

AT&T promises blazing-fast 5G in U.S. by end of 2018

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The new technology promises to bring speeds that are 10 to 100x faster than current cellular data capabilities.
Photo: Luismt94/Wikipedia CC

AT&T has promised to begin rolling out a true next-generation 5G network in a dozen U.S. cities by the end of the year.

The pledge follows international 5G standards being agreed upon last month by 3GPP, the body responsible for developing and governing cellular standards.