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AT&T To Release App To Discourage Texting While Driving

dr 300x199 AT&T To Release App To Discourage Texting While DrivingTexting while driving is a very real problem. At best it’s an annoyance to other motorists who have to contend with a person who’s probably driving too slowly at worst this habit can lead to accidents, with some of them proving to be fatal.

AT&T is addressing the problem of texting while driving behavior by releasing a new app that has been specifically designed to prevent or discourage texting while driving. The app is actually geared towards parents, who can control their children’s phones remotely by giving them access to their children’s cell phone service, allowing them to cut off the phone’s texting and internet browsing features and even the ability to receive and make calls when their children are driving. More →

NPD Reports Rise in 4G Device Sales for 4Q 2011

4g NPD Reports Rise in 4G Device Sales for 4Q 2011The market research company NPD recently released the findings of a study it made regarding the sales of 4G devices in the market. The study revealed that the sales of 4G devices grew during the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to sales posted during the fourth quarter of 2010.

NPD reported that about 35 percent of smartphones that have been sold during 2011 4Q period were equipped with 4G capabilities. NPD clarified however that 22 percent of the smartphones sold for the period also includes devices that connects with HSPA+, which is not considered a true 4G technology like WiMax or LTE. More →

Is AT&T Going to End 2G service?

att logo Is AT&T Going to End 2G service?It really is inevitable that old-school technologies will eventually be abandoned in favor of newer technologies. Sony has already done it in the mobile market with its decision to stop production of feature phones and just focusing on smartphone production. AT&T is also doing the same with, this time with mobile services.

AT&T has begun sending out notices that, while not announcing it outright, points to the fact that it is going to be abandoning its 2G network. The company has already talked about the need for additional wireless spectrum and it may follow T-mobile’s strategy of just using parts of the 2G network for 4G LTE development. More →

AT&T Reveals 3G pricing for PS Vita

sony playstation vita 266x300 AT&T Reveals 3G pricing for PS VitaOne of the cool features of the PS Vita, Sony’s new handheld gaming console, is 3G connectivity. This allows for online features to be built into the Vita without the need for WiFi. Of course, with a 3G feature, it’s logical that that this new console will be offered through mobile service providers.

Last year, Sony said that the PS Vita will be offered through AT&T. No further information were given up until this week when AT&T finally revealed the details of the PS Vita 3G service. The plan is actually similar to what AT&T already offers. More →

Devil’s Advocate: Why T-Mobile Users Will Love Their AT&T Overlords

tmobileatt 490x332 Devils Advocate: Why T Mobile Users Will Love Their AT&T Overlords

In a move that surprised tech pundits, business insiders and the press, AT&T announced that they have purchased all of T-Mobile USA for almost $40 billion.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Deutsche Telekom AG (FWB: DTE) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction currently valued at approximately $39 billion. The agreement has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. [...]

With this transaction, AT&T commits to a significant expansion of robust 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) deployment to 95 percent of the U.S. population to reach an additional 46.5 million Americans beyond current plans – including rural communities and small towns.  This helps achieve the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and President Obama’s goals to connect “every part of America to the digital age.” T-Mobile USA does not have a clear path to delivering LTE. (via Mobilize Everything by AT&T).

AT&T will face an uphill battle getting this deal approved by the feds as acquiring T-Mobile will make the company the sole GSM carrier in the US (not to mention make it even harder to resurrect net neutrality).

Although a majority of T-Mobile customers have expressed outrage regarding the deal upon Facebook, there are at least a few reasons why they may end up loving their AT&T overlords (at least in the near future). More →

Verizon iPhone One Up’s AT&T iPhone

verizoniphone3 Verizon iPhone One Ups AT&T iPhoneThe oft rumored Verizon iPhone has finally made its debut to the public to the delight of many frustrated AT&T users.

While the iPhone’s are practically identical save for the different radio chips (as Verizon uses CDMA), AT&T’s nemesis is promising one feature that may convince users to ditch Ma’Bell for Big Red.

The Verizon iPhone 4 will launch on February 3 exclusively first for current Verizon customers. It will launch on February 10 for everyone else. It will be the same $199.99 price for the 16 GB model and $299.99 for the 32 GB model. One key difference from the AT&T version is that will be able able to be used as a personal hotspot. (via TechCrunch)

Currently AT&T customers can only tether their iPhone to a laptop through a wire unless if they want to use it as a personal modem.

The fact that Verizon is allowing users to use the device as a hotspot means that users will potentially be able to connect more than one device to the iPhone as well as give them one less item to carry around with them.

While users can create a hotspot with an AT&T iPhone, they have to jailbreak (or hack) the device in order to utilize it.

Verizon’s iPhone page is already live, and it will be interesting to see if AT&T offers customers the ability to create hotspots in the future (as simply reducing iPhone prices may not convince many users to stay).

Update: Just talked to a Verizon representative, and it looks like FaceTime is unfortunately not available over Verizon’s network.

AT&T Goes to Infinity and Beyond with New Social Recommendation Tool, Buzz.com

Screen shot 2010 04 21 at 5.45.09 AM1 489x275 AT&T Goes to Infinity and Beyond with New Social Recommendation Tool, Buzz.com

AT&T has launched its newest interactive product called Buzz.com. Interestingly, aside from the similarity with Google Buzz, it seems that both service might tend to overlap in terms of function and purpose. AT&T’s Buzz is a social recommendation site with a dash of local search function. It’s a new service for sharing local tips or “buzz” with your friends.

Similar to most social media sites, Buzz.com also taps into the growing social networks. Hence you can register using your Facebook credentials. So, once you register to Buzz.com using your Facebook profile, you don’t really need to build a new community of friends or sift through rants and raves from strangers.

Buzz.com also provides personalized local search based on the recommendations of people you know and trust. Again, another vital ingredient of a successful social recommendation site.

David Krantz, AT&T President and CEO Interactive said that Buzz.com was built on the strong foundation influnced by AT&T Interactive’s leadership and success in local search.

“By offering buzz.com alongside our other local search properties like YP.COM, we create opportunity to reach a broader – and growing user segment that relies on their community to make decisions. For favorited businesses, it means immediate recognition of a loyal customer and positive exposure among a network of friends,” said Mr. Krantz.

More →

Palm’s Dynamic Duo, Pre Plus and Pixi Plus Go to AT&T

palmpixipluspalmpreplus 255x300 Palms Dynamic Duo, Pre Plus and Pixi Plus Go to AT&T

Knowing the lackluster performance of Palm’s dynamic duo, the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus did not discourage AT&T from getting the two smartphones. AT&T just announced that it will be releasing the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus with all the goodness of WebOS under its various data plans.

And are these data plans enticing enough to convince you in getting one if not both of these phones? Let’s see.  AT&T is offering the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus for just $149.99 with $49.99 discount and a $100 mail-in rebate if you opted for a two-year contract.  You will also get AT&T Wi-Fi access at U.S. hotspots as part of their unlimited data plan.

Both Pre Plus and Pixi Plus will support AT&T services such as AT&T Navigator, AT&T Address Book, YPMobile for finding local businesses. And of course, you’d also get to enjoy the specs and features of both Pre Plus and Pixi Plus smartphones running on Palm webOS.  Among these features as multitasking on apps, Palm Synergy, unobtrusive notifications, and universal search.

In addition, Palm webOS apps can be integrated into core webOS functionalities includng contacts, layered calendars, notifications and GPS. You might as well add the rich catalog of apps available at the Palm webOS applications store.

So, what will it be? Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus on AT&T or Google Nexus One?

Google Now Selling Unlocked Nexus One for AT&T, Ships to Canada Too

Screen shot 2010 03 17 at 4.18.00 AM1 490x209 Google Now Selling Unlocked Nexus One for AT&T, Ships to Canada Too

Earlier today, mobile analytics company Flurry published a report about the dismal performance of the Google Nexus One in terms of its day 74 sales from the first day it was released. According to the report, Google was able to ship only 0.135 million units of the Nexus One. Flurry then compared this with the day 74 sales of both the iPhone and Motorola Droid which were 1 million and 1.05 million units respectively.

The report certainly is not a good publicity for the Nexus One especially since Google hasn’t gone all out in terms of marketing its first major fully branded handset.

A couple of hours later, Google announced that unlocked version of the Nexus One that is compatible with AT&T 3G network and Roger Wireless in Canada is now available for sale at the Google online store.  In addition, this new version of Nexus One will also run on GSM operators worldwide.

I’m not saying that Flurry’s report has anything to do with Google’s decision to announce the availability of the AT&T and Roger Wireless compatible Nexus One versions.  But we just can’t discount this fact since Google certainly wants to protect its investment from any bad publicity, whatsoever.

Google also announced that this new Nexus One can now be ordered from Google’s web store and can be shipped to Canada. As you all know,  Google only ships the Nexus One to the U.S., HongKong, Singapore and the UK.

The AT&T and Roger Wireless compatible Nexus One get the same price as the previously released unlocked Nexus One – $529.

Fring Updates iPhone App to Allow Free Video Calls and VoIP via 3G

If the idea of talking to the camera at the back of your iPhone and then turning your iPhone as soon as you’ve spoken to see the person you’re talking to, sounds cool to you, then you might be glad to know that Fring has just enabled video calling and VoIP through 3G on their iPhone app.

Actually, this was a result of the recent announcement made by Apple opening the iPhone’s gates to VoIP calling. Interestingly, Apple made this decision even if it will affect AT&T’s revenues.

To make free voice or video calls using Fring, you simply need to fire up your Fring iPhone app and hope that the message “voip calls are not allowed…” does not appear anymore. If it does, just click “more”, then “go offline” and then open Fring again.

Meanwhile, Fring was not the first iPhone app developer who immediately took advantage of iPhone’s decision to allow VoIP calls on the iPhone. A few days ago, iCall also went live, allowing free VoIP calls for iPhone users through 3G.

Both Fring and iCall if embraced by mobile phone users would definitely make  the  VoIP through 3G market more exciting. Expect more mobile apps that will allow VoIP through 3G to be developed and hope that mobile carriers will not disallow this feature even if it affects part of their revenues.