Entries Tagged as 'AT&T'

Here’s what happens to most printed phone books…

If you advertise in a phone book, here’s where your advertising dollars are ending up — and you’re helping to destroy the environment as well; cutting down trees, wasting energy to produce and distribute (and recycle). Think about where you spend your advertising dollars and make both effective and green choices.

Phone books in a recycling dumpster in Milton, Santa Rosa County, Florida, US.

Originally posted 2013-11-29 22:00:39.

Cricket Wireless

The continuing saga of trying to locate the best value cellular wireless plan for me has a new chapter…

About two months ago I started to make the switch to Cricket Wireless (you can use the link on the sidebar to get information directly from their site).

While I didn’t think Straight Talk (via AT&T) was expensive, it seemed like lowering my cost a little (the plan rates include taxes on Cricket) and going with a “MVNO” that was actually owned by AT&T would in the end be a better idea… and since my $50 promo card arrived today I figured it was time to share what I’ve found.

If you take advantage of the BYOD program, Cricket (like AT&T) will push out APN settings to your handset, making the transition fairly seamless (NOTE: if you move an activated SIM card to another device there is no way to have Cricket re-push the APN settings, so you’re going to end up entering them by hand… it would be nice if they at least stored the APN on the SIM).

If you’re used to AT&T (particularly pre-paid or an MVNO — remember, there’s no roaming), then your service will be just the same… and your LTE speeds will likely be extremely good (they’ll be the same as they were before).

Also, one of the huge advantages of Cricket over Straight Talk – they have real customer service, who can actually provide service.

Now, a few hints about switching.

First, definitely use my link (I get a referral bonus for you); but if you’re doing two lines, then use yourself to refer your second line.

Second, setup each line on a separate account initially and choose the $50/month or better plan with auto-pay… that will give you $5 off the second month, and it will give you your third month free (promos might change).

Third, order the SIM or handset online and avoid the $25.00 activation fee a local Cricket reseller is going to charge you.

Fourth, once you have your free month, then you might be able to combine lines together for more savings.  NOTE: the first two lines with auto-pay or multi-line discount are the same — so little reason to combine them unless you have at least three lines (the auto-pay and multi-line discounts don’t stack).

If you’re porting your number, go ahead and order your new SIM and turn off your automatic payment with Straight Talk; your number port is “pre-positioned”, so when you pop your SIM in and activate your new Cricket service online the number will port instantly, and your APN will push out within half an hour.

Originally posted 2015-05-02 12:00:21.

iPhone 4

Yesterday (Monday) Apple CEO Steve Job unveiled the iPhone 4 — you know, the phone that his arrogance and ego caused a reporters home to be raided and computer and media to be confiscated (enough reason in itself that I would never buy one).

The iPhone 4 itself is thinner, lighter, able to multi-task, shoot reasonably high quality video and stills, has a font and rear facing camera — and tons and tons of limitations.

To coincide with the release of the new iPhone 4 AT&T eliminated their $30 flat rate data plan; but of course Apple is sticking with AT&T as the exclusive American provider for the iPhone 4 (which probably has a great deal to do with the fact that it didn’t get the name iPhone 4G since AT&T doesn’t have a 4G network).

I personally just don’t get it — if what AT&T says about how little most of their customers use data is true, then why do they sell so many iPhones?  Do people really doubt their self worth so much that they feel they need to carry around a shinny gadget to try and make others think better or them (the joke would be on them — watching someone fumble with an iPhone and barely able to make or receive a phone call with it certainly doesn’t improve their images).

And remember, AT&T maintains that iPhones cannot be unlocked (though iPhones purchased through other providers get unlocked directly by Apple once customers have satisfied their contractual commitments all the time).

It’ll be interesting to see how the Apple -HTC lawsuits play out — I think it would be all too sweet if the big bully in Cupertino got bitch slapped a few times.  And I wouldn’t lose any sleep when AT&T finds themselves in hot water over the issue of “unlocking”.

Most people don’t have a clue what to do with a smart phone, so I’d suggest you purchase something practical that meets your needs, and not treat your phone like a fashion accessory.

You’ll have to wait until 24 June for the launch — like most every Apple announcement, they’re just baiting the trap at the moment.

Originally posted 2010-06-08 02:00:07.

AT&T, the death of Netflix

On 2 May 2011 AT&T will implement usage surcharges for their high speed internet services.  DSL customer will have 150GB included with their package, and U-Verse customer will have 250 GB included with their package.

AT&T maintains that only 2% of their customers will be effected…

As I’ve said before, if only 2% of the customer are going to be effected, AT&T wouldn’t take any action —  it’s easy to see that AT&T is doing this because they feel this is a way to produce a larger revenue stream for a service they previously advertised and sold to be “unlimited” — so you can view this as nothing short of radically changing the service after the fact, and charging more for less (remember, AT&T just raised their rates).

The effect of this type of cap is that if you used your internet service to watch movies, you’d better be careful — you won’t even be able to watch one per day; you’ll have to worry about watching one HD movie every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

I personally have always felt AT&T was a horrible company, and certainly from my view point it reenforces that view every day with actions like this.


Monthly Activity 150 GB 250 GB
Send/receive one page emails 10,000 emails


10,000 emails


Download/upload a medium resolution photo to social media site like Facebook 3,000 photos


4,000 photos


MP3 Songs downloaded 2,000 songs


3,000 songs


Stream a one-minute YouTube video (standard quality) 5,000 views




Watch hour-long TV Shows (high quality) 100 shows

-and –

200 shows

-and –

Stream full length movies (Standard Definition: SD; High Definition: HD) 20 SD or 10 HD movies 25 SD or 13 HD movies

Usage examples are estimates based on typical file sizes and/or duration of file transfer or streaming event.


Originally posted 2011-03-31 02:00:25.

AT&T Cell Phone Rates

I was looking at AT&T cellular rates; primarily because I was thinking about getting a SIM card to play with, and it struck me that the pre-pay rates seemed like they were less than the regular contract rates (yeah — you get a discount phone with a contract, but unlocked GSM phones are fairly easy to find).

So, AT&T wants $69.99 for an unlimited talk/text plan per month; plus an activation fee — and for that 2 year contract you get a discounted handset.

AT&T also offers and unlimited talk/text plan for $60 per month (pre-pay) and there doesn’t seem to be any activation fee and of course no contract (you don’t get a discounted handset; but often you can buy GoPhones for “free” when you consider some of them have SIMs loaded with airtime).

AT&T also offers the unlimited talk/text plan for $2 per day (only days you use)… so if you weren’t a heavy user you might find this works out great for you.

Now there is a catch with pre-pay; you can roll over you minutes from period to period as long as you keep add money to your account; and if you add less than $25 you’ll have to add more in 30 days, if you add $25 or over then you have 90 days, and $100 (or more) you have a year… so it probably makes sense to add either $25 when you need it (or every 90 days) or you could do the $100, but that’s a fair amount of money to have sitting in an account not being of any real use to you.

There is also a $75 plan that provides unlimited talk and text for the month, plus 200MB of data (that’s a little over $20 worth of data for $15, which only makes sense if you’re going to peg you data usage right at 200MB — if you go substantially under you may well be better off just paying the $0.01/KB).

You can still get a much better deal for cellular with other companies; and their are unlimited flat-rate resellers of AT&T GSM service ($40/month) in many areas; plus there’s MetroPCS (which offers 4G service in metro areas they serve) and Cricket (which has fairly good roaming coverage) that offer very aggressive pricing in markets they serve.

Bottom line, figure out how you’re going to use your cell phone, and find a plan to will work the best for you.

FYI – if you need/want an AT&T SIM card, look on eBay, you can get a 64KB new SIM card for $3.49 delivered (AT&T would charge you $24.95 plus tax).

Originally posted 2010-10-28 02:00:15.

Straight talk about cellular service

I’ve been a Verizon Wireless customer for a very very long time, and except for a short flirtation with MetroPCS (or as it’s often called — GettoPCS) I’ve been reasonably loyal.

But that’s about to change.

This week my Google/LG Nexus 4 arrived as well did an AT&T SIM card (through Straight Talk available on-line or at Wal-Mart).

I have an old Verizon plan, unlimited for a reasonable price (roughly $82 with tax after my 20% discount through a previous employer); and I had a Google/Samsung Galaxy Nexus S2, so I enjoyed LTE (in areas where Verizon had LTE service).

With Straight Talk, I’ll get unlimited AT&T services (MVNOs don’t generally have access to LTE) for $45 per month plus tax; but wait, until 18-Feb-2013 Straight Talk is offering a $2.50 reduction on your monthly service if you sign up for auto-pay (if you currently have Straight Talk with auto-pay, cancel your auto-pay and immediate set it back up to take advantage of the discount). Note, the $2.50 discount does not apply to your initial service payment, that’s going to be $45.00 plus taxes even if you immediately sign up for auto-pay.

I activated the SIM (you don’t actually even need a phone to activate a SIM card, you use a “serial number” they provide with the SIM card to register everything, then just pop it in the phone) on Thursday morning (yesterday), didn’t want to do it Wednesday night after returning from Mardi Gras (even though the phone and the SIM were laying on the front porch — sleep was more important).

And voila, it works — and it works well.

Straight Talk actually offers service on all four major networks: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

For AT&T or T-Mobile you simply need an unlocked GSM phone and the SIM for the network you would like service on (purchased through Straight Talk / Walmart). Or you can just purchase a handset with a SIM installed directly from Straight Talk / Walmart. Note, if you go with an unlocked GSM phone, there will be a couple settings you’ll have to change on the handset to have full function with the network; but those are well documented online.

For Verizon or Sprint you must purchase a handset from Straight Talk / Walmart that works on the network you choose. You can purchase a used Straight Talk handset on Craigslist or eBay, but remember that if it’s marked as stolen or lost, you might not be able to activate it.

And… the cost of the service is the same, regardless of what network you’re on, and the service is unlimited (keep in mind unlimited in cellular speak doesn’t mean what it does in the rest of the English language, if you use abusive amounts of service you’re likely to get throttled or terminated).

Now what’s the catch — well… you deal with Straight Talk customer service rather than the network’s customer service (let’s face it — they’re all horrible, and hopefully you’ll never need to deal with them at all); you don’t have access to partner or roaming, only the network you actually have service with (which really doesn’t matter generally unless you travel to fringe areas — and if that’s the case, stick with what works); you don’t have a contract (oh, wait, that’s not a catch); you own your handset outright (though Straight Talk does offer insurance on handsets they sell; or you can do what I do and pay for the service with a credit card that provides some level of cellular handset insurance coverage free).

And yeah I hear all of you — what about the iPhone… well, Straight Talk will sell you one (and Walmart has 0% financing so you can spread out the payments over a year), or if you’re going with AT&T or T-Mobile service you can just purchase a GSM handset from the Apple store or buy one used.

I’ve actually been considering switching for about a year; originally I was fixated on going with Verizon service since it was the only carrier I trusted, but times change. AT&T has been busy building out it’s network and increasing coverage, Verizon has been busy reinforcing the fact that they don’t care about their customers and re-tuning their towers to support LTE data services (and apparently forgetting that some people still want to make voice calls).

Now your mileage may vary, and the downside of choosing Verizon or Sprint is that you’re stuck with the selection of handsets offered by Straight Talk (which isn’t the latest and greatest — other than the iPhone 5); with AT&T or T-Mobile you can choose any handset (by just getting the SIM).

I don’t think this is the end of traditional wireless carriers, after all, Straight Talk depends on them for the actual service, but pre-paid unlimited plans like this truly seem to be the most economical way to have cellular service; and you don’t have to miss out on the latest and greatest equipment (with GSM service), all you have to do is front load the cost by buying the handset outright.

My guess is with more consumers buying handsets outright, the price of handsets will actually moderate closer to what they really cost, and not carry a surcharge to support the deep discounts the manufacturers give to cellular carriers to woo them to offer their handset.