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.