AT&T

Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on AT&T:

New net neutrality rules should end mobile video throttling

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New net neutrality rules should end mobile video throttling
Your wireless carrier won't be able to throttle streaming video for much longer.
Image: Fox/Cult of Mac

There’s a good chance watching video on your iPhone is about to get better. Net neutrality rules passed by the FCC this week reportedly forbid U.S. wireless carriers from lowering the quality of streaming video to throttle the amount of data its consumes.

So if you watch Apple TV+, Netflix, etc. on your iPhone, your carrier is no longer allowed to reduce the video quality.

Why you’re probably spending too much on cellular data

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iPhone 12 Pro parts cost shockingly little
You might be wasting money on your unlimited data plan.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Most Americans pay for more cellular data than they need or ever use, according to a recent study. Dropping to a plan that offers less data would benefit 72% of subscribers for an obvious reason: These plans are more affordable.

In short, unlimited data plans usually aren’t a good value.

T-Mobile beats the competition in 5G speeds

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T-Mobile 5G service
Put your iPhone on T-Mobile for the fastest average speeds,
Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile is the clear winner in a cross-country study of cellular data by PCMag. For the second year in a row, rivals Verizon and AT&T can not come close to providing the same average download or upload speeds.

PCMag summed its results up with, “T-Mobile isn’t just America’s fastest network, it’s also the best.”

Yes, your 5G iPhone supports new C-band service from AT&T and Verizon

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5G iPhone
C-band 5G is here, and it’s available on every 5G iPhone and iPad.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Both AT&T and Verizon began rolling out a new 5G version on Wednesday. And getting access via C-band doesn’t require getting a new iPhone. If your iOS device supports 5G, it can use the new version.

The same goes for iPad. If it has built-in 5G, it supports C-band.

AT&T and Verizon agree to put 5G expansion plans on hold

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AT&T and Verizon postpone 5G expansion
The FAA is worried 5G will interfere with pilot systems.
Photo: Philip Myrtorp/Unsplash

AT&T and Verizon have agreed to postpone major 5G expansion plans at the request of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Both carriers initially rejected a delay. They argued that it would be “an irresponsible abdication of the operating control required to deploy world-class and globally competitive communications networks.” But statements released Monday evening confirm they changed their minds.

Surprise, T-Mobile blows away the competition in 5G speeds

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T-Mobile 5G service
T-Mobile leapt ahead of its competition in 5G.
Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile is the carrier to go to for the fastest 5G speeds. A cross-country study of cellular data by PCMag found that AT&T and Verizon couldn’t match their rival’s average download speed. Not even close.

Lots of people bought an iPhone 12 for the 5G. And T-Mobile the carrier that lets users get the most benefit from it.

Why you shouldn’t expect too much from 5G on iPhone 12

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Tim Cook seems really excited about 5G. Should you be?
Tim Cook seems really excited about 5G. Should you be?
Photo: Apple

One of the biggest reasons to upgrade to iPhone 12 this year is for its 5G connectivity. It promises to be significantly faster than the 4G networks we’ve become accustomed to, making things like mobile gaming, content streaming, web browsing — basically everything you do online — better than ever.

You should be excited, but not too excited. 5G can be as spectacular as Apple led us to believe during this week’s iPhone 12 unveiling … but only if you can get good 5G coverage — and the right kind of 5G connection.

Allow us to explain what you need to know about 5G.

iPhone 12 costs extra for T-Mobile/Sprint customers [UPDATED]

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iPhone 12 pricing is lower for Verizon and AT&T customers.
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini come with a “T-Mobile Tax.”
Photo: Apple

UPDATE: Apple lowered the iPhone 12 price for T-Mobile/Sprint subscribers on Friday.

 


The prices Apple promotes for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini aren’t for everyone. Subscribers to T-Mobile/Sprint must pay $30 more. The same goes for anyone who wants an unlocked unit.

This isn’t the case for the iPhone 12 Pro series.

AT&T takes 5G nationwide, greasing the skids for a super-fast iPhone

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AT&T 5G expended by 40 markets on Thursday
AT&T 5G coverage is now available for a majority of Americans.
Photo: AT&T

AT&T’s 5G network expanded to cover 395 markets in the United States on Thursday. Which is coverage for 205 million current and potential customers. That puts the telecom close to T-Mobile in 5G coverage area, and well ahead of Verizon.

So at least some US carriers will be ready for the 5G iPhone if it debuts in a few months, as expected.

Verizon or T-Mobile might be best option for your 5G iPhone

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T-Mobile 5G service
T-Mobile offers 5G in more areas than any of its rivals. But Verizon is faster.
Photo: T-Mobile

It’s not too soon to pick out the best 5G network for your 5G iPhone. And right now, there are two top contenders, according to testing dozen by an analytics firm. Verizon offers the fastest download speeds by a wide margin. And T-Mobile offers 5G in a much broader area.

But AT&T is in there swinging too.

AT&T refuses to remove misleading ‘5GE’ notification from iPhones

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No matter what your AT&T iPhone says, everyone else says “5G E” is 4G.
5G Evolution isn’t 5G, but the 5GE icon isn’t going away.
Photo: Cult of Mac/@Siddavarapu

After an arbitration panel on Wednesday called AT&T’s use of the phrase “5G Evolution” in its advertising misleading, the company agreed to stop using it. However, iPhone and Android devices connected to this telecom’s upgraded 4G LTE network will reportedly continue to display a “5GE” icon.

Misleading ‘5GE’ notification will soon disappear from AT&T iPhones [UPDATED]

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No matter what your AT&T iPhone says, everyone else says “5G E” is 4G.
AT&T agrees to stop telling customers it’s offering 5G Evolution, a type of connection rival telecoms all call 4G.
Photo: Cult of Mac/@Siddavarapu

AT&T will stop using the term 5G Evolution to describe an enhanced type of 4G. Rival T-Mobile convinced an arbitration panel on Wednesday that the description is misleading.

This apparently means iOS and Android handsets will stop informing customers that they’re connected to a 5G E network.

Update: AT&T will stop including 5G Evolution in its advertising, but will continue to put the 5GE icon on iPhones and Androids connected to its improved 4G LTE network.

US mobile data still costs way more than it should

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Global average mobile data cost seems reasonable.
Americans pay mobile data costs well above the global average.
Photo: Polina/Pexels

Americans pay far more for 4G service than much of the world, according to a report released Tuesday by a price-comparison firm. The cost for 1 gigabyte of LTE data in the United States costs almost twice the global average. And U.S. 4G service costs more than similar offerings in a whopping 187 other countries.

AT&T lays out COVID-19 relief measures; includes extra 15GB for hotspot

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Brace yourself for beautiful pictures. iPhone XS and XS Max pack the best cameras yet.
Helping you stay connected while you're stuck at home.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

AT&T on Monday laid out its COVID-19 relief measures for ensuring that customers can stay in touch with friends, family, and colleagues while they’re stuck at home. Starting April 2, there will be a number of measures in place to keep subscribers connected — including 15GB of additional hotspot data.

FCC plans to hit U.S. cellphone carriers with massive fines

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Verizon
All the major carriers are about to get fined.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

America’s largest cellphone carriers are about to get hit with hundreds of millions of dollars in fines from the Federal Communications Commission according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Officials at the FCC found the companies broke the law by selling customers’ location data to third parties and are prepared to make AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint pay big time. The companies have reportedly been notified that fines could be on the way.

ViacomCBS readies new streaming service to compete with Netflix and Apple TV+

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CBS
CBS All Access was one of the first TV streaming services to launch.
Photo: CBS

Apple TV+ is about to get even more competition in the form of a new streaming service currently in development by ViacomCBS.

Now that the Viacom and CBS merger was approved at the end of 2019, a new report claims company execs are plotting a way to combine the current CBS All Access service with Viacom’s assets, among which are Paramount’s trove of over 3,600 movies.

AT&T lost $1.2 billion last quarter building HBO Max

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HBO Max
Anyone who enjoys binging Friends episodes better learn this name.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Executives at AT&T have quickly learned that building a streaming service to compete with Apple TV+ and Netflix isn’t going to be cheap. During the company’s latest earnings call, AT&T revealed that it has already lost $1.2 billion during the creation process of HBO Max that is set to launch this May.

AT&T 5G network expands to NYC and five other cities

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AT&T
5G is finally on the way.
Photo: Mike Mozart/Flickr

The race to build the nation’s best 5G network ahead of the 5G iPhone’s launch is heating up with AT&T expanding its 5G low-band service to six new cities, including NYC.

AT&T now boasts 19 cities with some 5G coverage. Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Detroit and Baltimore are the four other cities added recently.

AT&T opens 5G network to consumers in 10 cities

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AT&T logo
AT&T just began offering low-band 5G to consumers.
Photo: Luismt94/Wikipedia CC

Starting today, AT&T consumers in 10 cities can connect to this telecom’s 5G network. While faster than 4G, this is low-band 5G, a slower form though with greater range than mmWave.

At this time, only one handset supports this service.

AT&T subcribers suffering lengthy voicemail outage

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AT&T-trucks
Are you getting your voicemails?
Photo: AT&T

Many AT&T customers in the U.S. are experiencing voicemail issues amid a lenthy outage. Some customers say they have been unable to access messages since September.

AT&T is aware of the issue, but there’s no clear explanation of what’s causing it — or how long it will last.

AT&T and T-Mobile join forces to fight robocalls and scammers

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spam-call
Suck it, spammers!
Photo: Icons8/Unsplash

AT&T and T-Mobile today confirmed an unlikely partnership for a wonderful cause. The rival carriers are joining forces to fight robocalls and scammers.

Both will deliver the FCC-recommended STIR/SHAKEN standards to digitally validate calls across their networks. It will make it easier for customers to filter out unwanted calls.

AT&T gives free Spotify Premium to unlimited subscribers

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Spotify discover weekly, daily mix, playlists, and sharing features
This should help Spotify grow its subscriber base.
Photo: Ian Fuchs

AT&T is ready to sweeten the deal for some of its monthly subscribers by offering free Spotify premium as of its new entertainment perks.

The carrier revealed its new entertainment perks today that also gives customers the option to choose HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz or Pandora as their free entertainment options. Even if you don’t have a qualifying wireless plan, you can still get some other Spotify perks.

Most Americans are excited about 5G

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2020 could be Apple's greatest year so far
There’s pent-up demand for a 5G iPhone.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A large percentage of Americans are happy that 4G wireless networks are being supplanted by faster 5G ones, according to a recent survey by a respected market-research firm. And a majority of US consumers are very interested in getting a phone that supports these speedier networks.

AT&T is America’s fastest LTE mobile network

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AT&T logo
AT&T came out on top.
Photo: Luismt94/Wikipedia CC

AT&T has beaten out its rival networks to claim the title of fastest LTE carrier in the United States.

That’s according to a new rundown of mobile networks by PCMag. The publication issues its report every year, with Verizon and AT&T typically battling back and forth for first place. This year was AT&T’s turn — marking the first time in six years that it’s managed to overthrow Verizon.