AT&T and Dish were the big spenders in the FCC’s wireless auction

AT&T store

There's no doubt that companies spent a ton of money in the FCC's latest wireless auction -- $44.9 billion of it, to be precise. But who was it that was so eager to part with their cash? You don't have to wonder for much longer. The FCC has revealed the winning bidders, and there's little doubt as to who the frontrunners are. AT&T was by far the biggest spender. It shelled out almost $18.2 billion for 251 licenses to use that coveted AWS-3 spectrum, or nearly three times what it spent on 700MHz frequencies back in 2008. Dish, meanwhile, made its broadband ambitions pretty clear by snapping up a sizable $13.3 billion in airwaves.

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Via: The Verge

Source: FCC, Dish, AT&T (BusinessWire)

The FTC’s latest ruling should send a chill down AT&T’s spine

AT&T Unlimited Data FTC

Is your "unlimited" mobile data really unlimited if your carrier throttles it down to slower speeds at certain times? Per Re/code, the Federal Trade Commission this week ordered prepaid mobile carrier TracFone to pay $40 million for throttling its customers' data connections despite the fact that they had signed up for "unlimited" data plans. However, it's the FTC's rationale for why TracFone should pay up that really ought to make larger carriers like AT&T worry.

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AT&T taps YouTube ‘talent’ for Snapchat ‘shows’

Snapchat's already working on a library of original content, and thanks to AT&T, there will soon be shows for viewing inside the app as well. Re/code reports that a "scripted series" with 12 episodes will feature YouTube personalities like Freddie Wong and Harley Morenstein -- in addition to the Snapchat-famous Shaun McBride. This "SnapperHero" project isn't part of the app's Discover content channel, though, as AT&T is sponsoring the videos, so they're more like produced two-minute ad spots. Yahoo and others were also rumored to be considering YouTube's "talent," so we'll see how pairing popular internet things turns out. The "show" is set to debut in the near future as the number of folks leveraging the ephemeral sharing service's platform continues to grow.

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Source: Re/code

AT&T to acquire Nextel Mexico for $1.88 billion, building out ‘North American Mobile Service’


AT&T is getting another Nextel brand under its name.

AT&T announced on Monday it’s acquiring Nextel Mexico for $1.88 billion, marking the second carrier in the region it’s purchased this month.

AT&T is acquiring Nextel Mexico’s spectrum licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 3 million subscribers. The network covers 76 million people, giving AT&T lots of room to grow in Mexico. ... Read the rest of this post here

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AT&T introduces unlimited calling to Mexico

at&t with logo

AT&T announced on Tuesday that it is now making a new calling package available, allowing its customers to get unlimited calling to Mexico. Available for a monthly price of $5 per line, the AT&T World Connect Value calling plan offers free unlimited calls to Mexico, as well as discounted calls to 225 countries.... Read the rest of this post here

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The big phone carriers might sell Google their mobile wallet

Remember Softcard (formerly Isis, but renamed for obvious reasons)? It's a joint venture that AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile started in 2010 to get into mobile payments without ceding the market to Google Wallet and Apple Pay. That hasn't quite worked out, since few want to put a $70 case on their iPhone to use mobile payments, and a caseless option for the iPhone 6 has yet to arrive. Tonight Techcrunch first reported rumors that it's in talks for a sale to Google, while Paypal and Microsoft are apparently interested too. The initial report puts its pricetag at under $100 million, less than the hundreds of millions the mobile carriers invested in it. Google and Softcard have both declined to comment on the rumor, but it seems more a matter of when and who will pick up the pieces, not if.

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Source: Techcrunch

AT&T took a $10 billion hit, but it’s hoping you won’t notice

lisbon   january 26  2014 ...

In an extra-special Friday-night-before-a-holiday-weekend news dump, AT&T just announced that its Q4 results will include about $10 billion in charges. That includes a $7.9 billion "related to actuarial gains and losses on pension and postemployment benefit plans", plus a $2.1 billion charge for abandoning some copper lines it says it doesn't need anymore. Of course, you're probably already well into whatever your weekend plans are, so you'll barely even notice this happened once you get back to work on Tuesday -- which is just how AT&T hoped it would go.

[Image credit: shutterstock]

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Via: Reuters

Source: AT&T

Sprint breaks ranks with other ISPs on net neutrality


Sure, AT&T and Verizon claim that if the FCC increases regulation of internet service to enforce net neutrality then they'd have reason to slow down investing in new upgrades, but Sprint is saying something different. GigaOm points out a letter to the FCC from Sprint (PDF) saying that it doesn't think the application of Title II classification under the Communications act (treating internet like a utility, like phone service) will cause any problems. Stephen Bye, Sprint's Chief Technology Officer writes that "Sprint will continue to invest in data networks regardless of whether they are regulated by Title II, Section 706, or some other light touch regulatory regime" -- supporting what most net neutrality advocates, including the President, are pushing for.

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Source: GigaOm, Sprint FCC Letter (PDF)

How AT&T will deliver TV (and more) over crowded LTE


During the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship, AT&T showed off a working demo of a new version of its Long-Term Evolution network: LTE Broadcast. With this, the wireless carrier is hoping to alleviate the congestion problems consumers face when they are in highly crowded places -- such as professional sports stadiums. AT&T's been working on LTE Broadcast for years, but until now has shared few details about it. In 2013, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said that the company was "all about architecting networks to deliver video," pointing out that the technology would be "mature in scale within the three-year time horizon." We're not quite there yet, but what I saw on Monday leaves me hopeful for the future of smooth, buffer-free television over LTE.%Gallery-slideshow259832%

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AT&T to begin shutting down Cricket’s CDMA network in March, iPhone users won’t be affected

Cricket Wireless

AT&T announced on Thursday that it will begin, as planned, shutting down Cricket’s CDMA network in March, taking many Cricket plans and phones with it.

The shutdown comes after AT&T purchased Cricket in March 2014. AT&T is shutting down the CDMA network to roll customers over to its GSM network. Furthermore, AT&T has slowly been farming Cricket’s unused spectrum for use with its own GSM network. AT&T will use Cricket’s spectrum, after a spruce up for its standards, to offer better coverage to customers.... Read the rest of this post here

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