Tag Archives: att

FINALLY! AT&T and Other Major U.S. Carriers Will Start Tracking Stolen Mobile Phones to Reduce Theft!

10 Apr

The Wall Street Journal reports that the four major U.S. wireless carriers have reached an agreement with the Federal Communications Commission to work toward a centralized database to track and disable stolen mobile phones.

The database, which the wireless companies will build and maintain, will be designed to track phones that are reported as lost or stolen and deny them voice and data service. The idea is to reduce crime by making it difficult or impossible to actually use a stolen device, reducing resale value.

Currently, Verizon Communications Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. block phones that are reported stolen from being reactivated. AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile USA don’t. All four have agreed to be part of the new database.

The report cites a study from the New York Police Department showing that electronics are now the most commonly stolen type of property, with mobile phones accounting for over 80% of thefts in that category.

According to the plan, the major carriers will develop individual databases within six months, integrating them over the following 12 months. Smaller carriers will also join the database after that point. The database will also be interoperable with similar efforts in other countries to allow for international tracking of stolen phones, although many countries have yet to develop such databases.

As noted by ifoAppleStore, Apple has typically taken a hands-off approach when it comes to stolen phones, with Genius Bar staff routinely offering free warranty replacements in exchange for stolen phones. Apple’s policies reportedly stem from a lack of centralized tracking of stolen devices and a desire to not become involved in potential confrontations over the stolen merchandise, but an official database supported by the carriers could help Apple become more proactive about handling stolen iPhones.

via Major U.S. Carriers Agree to Develop Centralized Database to Track Stolen Mobile Phones – Mac Rumors.

AT&T Will Throttle Unlimited Data Plans (a.k.a. I hate you AT&T)

1 Mar

AT&T Will Throttle Unlimited Data Plans.

AT&T Will Throttle Unlimited Data Plans

AT&T on Thursday put limits on its Unlimited Data plans, slowing speeds for 3G and 4G customers who exceed 3 GB in a billing cycle and capping 4G LTE customers at 5 GB.

On a support page explaining the move, the carrier stressed that “you’ll still be able to use as much data as you want. That won’t change.”

Previously, AT&T had only slowed the speeds of customers who were in the top 5% of their respective markets, a practice known as throttling. Despite the changes, AT&T insists that 95% of smartphone users won’t be throttled. The change came about because “customers had told us that more clarity would be helpful,” an AT&T rep says.

Those that are affected will receive a text message explaining that their usage is near 3 GB (or 5GB for LTE users). Exceeding that threshold “will result in reduced data speeds, though you’ll still be able to email and surf the web.”

AT&T isn’t disclosing how fast speeds will run for users who have been throttled.

SEE ALSO: Your Bandwidth Will Be Throttled. Here’s Why.

Citing the strain on its network wrought by data-hungry iPhones, AT&T began throttling data for its top 5% of users last month, a practice also followed by Verizon. (Sprint, meanwhile, throttles just the top 1% of data hogs.)

Predictably, many AT&T customers have been riled by the move, citing the plan’s claim to “unlimited data.”

Though AT&T’s contract forbids such users from joining in a class-action suit, a California man last week successfully sued AT&T in small claims court, receiving a judgment worth $850.

Holy crap! Carrier IQ is secretly installed on any cell phone you have, recording every keystroke, button-press, password, website, text, and sending this to Google, AT&T, Sprint, and others.

2 Dec

If you have any decently modern Android phone, everything you do is being recorded by hidden software lurking inside. It even circumvents web encryption and grabs everything—including your passwords and Google queries.

Worse: it’s the handset manufacturers and the carriers who—in the name of “making your user experience better”—install this software without any way for you to opt-out. This video, recorded by 25-year-old Android developer Trevor Eckhart, shows how it works. This is bad. Really bad.

via Your Android Phone Is Secretly Recording Everything You Do (Updated).

Verizon just gobbled up $3.6 billion in wireless spectrum. Could it get any better for Verizon customers or any worse for AT&T customers?

2 Dec

Verizon Gobbles Up $3.6 Billion in Wireless Spectrum.

Fortunately, Verizon will continue to fuel its 4G LTE network with this new spectrum addition. That means stronger signal, wider coverage, and fewer dropped calls or failed data communication.

As an AT&T customer, I envy Verizon customers and really hope my wireless provider does something on its end to compete with VerizonWireless. Otherwise, I may be taking myself and my iPhone over to Verizon after my contract ends.

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