Verizon Communications Stories March 25, 2016

netflix

If you’ve ever been disappointed with the quality of Netflix videos when streaming them on AT&T or Verizon, and cursed the network for its poor connectivity, it appears that your wrath should instead have been directed towards Netflix.

The WSJ reports that Netflix has been deliberately throttling video on mobile devices for more than five years, but only admitting it now …

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Verizon Communications Stories October 26, 2015

wifi-calling

Wi-Fi calling – the iPhone feature Apple introduced in iOS 8 – is a really handy feature, routing phone calls over Wi-Fi when the mobile signal is poor or non-existent. There’s just one problem: it’s illegal for U.S. carriers to support the feature because it breaks the TTY text-chat protocol used by some hearing-impaired users. AT&T asked the FCC to grant it a waiver to switch on the service, and now Verizon has done the same.

The two companies have, however, adopted different positions on the service …  expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories September 14, 2015

Apple discontinues combined Apple Watch + iPhone AppleCare packages

 

On the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus announcement day, Apple increased the pricing of its AppleCare+ protection plan from $99 to $129. We’ve since discovered that Apple has additionally discontinued its combined plans for the Apple Watch and iPhone. Since the launch of the Apple Watch earlier this year, Apple offered combined packages that allowed a customer to protect both devices on a single plan. Now, customers must purchase both plans separately. The combined packages did not bring any discount or value over purchasing the plans separately, so the discontinuation of the program does not come as a major change for consumers. Apple has told employees that customers who have already purchased the combined plans will not be affected through their deals.

Verizon Communications Stories July 14, 2015

T-Mobile launches competitive new Family Plan, offering $30/per 10GB line

T-Mobile’s Uncarrier Amped moves are still going strong. Just days after announcing its cross-border ‘Mobile Without Borders’ plan, the magenta carrier has unveiled a brand new family plan.

With the new plan, two customers can get 10GB per line for $100 per month. Each additional line is then $20 per person, each with 10GB data allowance. As a special offer, T-Mobile is also giving customers a fourth line for free. Between now and Labor day, customers will be able to sign up to four lines with 10GB data on each, for $120 per month.

Verizon Communications Stories May 5, 2015

T-Mobile hits back at Verizon’s ‘Never settle’ ads, offers free try-out & switch deal

T-Mobile is hitting back at Verizon’s ‘Never settle’ ad campaign, offering to lend Verizon customers a new smartphone and port their existing number to it for a 14-day trial. If customers prefer T-Mobile’s service, the company will pay off Verizon’s Early Termination Fees up to a maximum of $650.

Any outstanding payments on your phone are also paid off, within the same overall limit, when customers choose to trade in their old phone for a new one on T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plan.

T-Mobile promises you won’t lose out if you choose to stay with Verizon. You always retain your existing phone, the carrier will refund any fees incurred on its own network and will pay any costs for switching back to Verizon.

The offer opens on 13th May, running until the end of the month. Visit t-mobile.com or one of the company’s retail stores between those dates for details. The company introduced crowd-sourced coverage maps back in March, extending its LTE data rollover deal to prepaid customers in the same month. Verizon cut most of its data plan prices by $10/month back in February.

Verizon Communications Stories December 15, 2014

uncarrier-8

T-Mobile has announced that it will be unveiling its latest contract-free deal in a livestreamed ‘fireside chat’ tomorrow, Un-carrier 8.0.

Un-carrier 8.0 is ready to roll, and you’re invited to join us for the unveiling of one of our biggest and boldest moves yet! This one is so big we had to keep it a surprise.

Join John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, as he unveils the news during a live fireside chat with David Pogue of Yahoo! News. David will be taking questions for John from Twitter through @JohnLegere and @Pogue and the #Uncarrier8 hashtag.

The company hasn’t hinted at any of the details, but we’ll of course let you know …  expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories August 12, 2014

Carrier1

A significant number of Apple Stores in the United States will likely begin offering iPhone sales via the latest carrier financing programs later this month, according to several sources. We previously detailed that Apple Stores will soon offer iPhones on AT&T Next, Verizon Edge, and the T-Mobile Jump plans, and now we’ve learned some new information on the matter. We’re told that Apple is tentatively planning to begin rolling out the programs on Wednesday, August 20th as a pilot.

Of course, this could slip back a few days as this new program’s existence has not even been officially confirmed by Apple.  We’ve also been sent a couple of slides from internal Apple employee training materials showcasing what exact plans will be offered. The slide above details the differences between the plans, and the photo below compares the perks of each program. Also, it does not appear that Sprint’s latest financing offerings will be in the mix for Apple Stores anytime in the near future. Will you buy your iPhone 6 at the Apple Store via carrier financing? Tim Cook certainly thinks you should.

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Verizon Communications Stories July 27, 2014

iphone

Apple is preparing a significant expansion of its iPhone sales capabilities in its official retail stores, according to sources. Late in August, many Apple Stores in the United States will kick off a pilot program for customers to be able to purchase a new iPhone via the latest carrier upgrade programs: AT&T Next, T-Mobile JUMP, and Verizon Edge. Currently, iPhones bought at Apple Stores must either be purchased on a two-year deal, or at full-price (unlocked) with no contract…

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Verizon Communications Stories May 16, 2014

The four largest carriers now support texting 911, but most emergency call centers don’t

When the FCC set a voluntary deadline of yesterday for putting in place technology to allow people to text 911, all four of the main national carriers complied. But since most emergency call centres aren’t yet equipped to receive texts, don’t expect to be using it any time soon.

The FCC said that the ability to text 911 could be a life-saver for those with hearing or speech impairments, as well as in situations where it might be dangerous to make a phone call – while a crime is in progress and the perpetrator within earshot, for example.

But the wireless trade association, the CTIA, warned that even where 911 texting is supported, it’s still impossible to guarantee immediate delivery of texts. We’ve all experienced examples of texts that arrive the next day, so the advice remains to make a voice call wherever possible.

The FCC has uploaded a list of emergency call centres accepting 911 texts. If you attempt to text 911 in an area where the service is not supported, you’ll get a text bounce-back. Needless to say, please do not test the service.

Verizon Communications Stories April 22, 2014

iphones

How much did your iPhone cost? If you said $199, $299 or even $399 you’re somewhere near $350 off. As some consciously forget, the carriers often shield the owner from the real total cost of the iPhone. That may not last.

iPhone sales could be hurt as carriers switch from so-called subsidized contracts, where customers pay only a fraction of the cost a new iPhone up-front, to deals where the true cost of the phone is more visible, argues a piece in the WSJ.

Many U.S. iPhone customers are not aware that the full cost of an iPhone ranges from $549 for a 16GB 5c to $849 for a 64GB 5s. The reason is that carriers have traditionally asked for only $0 to $200 up-front, hiding the balance of the cost in the monthly tariff. With carriers now switching to separate instalment costs for the phone, and the cost of upgrading every year or two more visible to consumers, analysts believe some will choose to upgrade less often …

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Verizon Communications Stories December 13, 2013

(via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbtaylor/5725362250/in/photolist-9HVYJf-dUa6Vv-9p5wzz-dktAoT-8zr6jL-8niyxG-ahWGGU-ahWGHh-ahWGHm-ahWGH3-8oqttH-dnDryR-8nfrfD-9HFdUX-c83Cah-7JfazN-e2xr5t-bURuKH-e1kDuL-9MSHjY-adVi2Z-aptqJu-ccdK8C-bmKsbu-bURuWi-ccdKcf-ccdKi5-e1faCa-8SdCBv-8MmowQ-dMm3Uk-dMrBxA-fmgSPT-dFmKF4-dFmqQ4-cCuqoG-ccdKb9-e1eY4P-8jshhM-e1eYeV-9GDiuc-9GGb4A-9MSF1E-dLUyCK-8niyGq-8nixJY-8nfrBp-g2sFSy-g2t57H-9Tufzo-9Trpo6/" target="_blank">Flickr</a>)

Almost two years to date since AT&T pulled its bid for T-Mobile USA, rival carrier Sprint is reportedly preparing its own offer to purchase the fourth largest carrier in the US.

That’s according to a The Wall Street Journal report which claims Sprint is currently looking into regulatory concerns that could be voiced if the third largest US carrier acquired the company which runs the fourth largest US carrier.

Sprint hasn’t yet decided whether to move ahead with a bid. Going forward despite regulators’ concerns would be highly risky. Any pursuit of a bid by Sprint could be aimed at testing antitrust officials’ reaction to a deal, and a bad reaction could put an end to the effort. expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories December 9, 2013

Verizon is almost fixed in New York as AT&T announces LTE roaming in Canada on Rogers

Verizon’s problems with LTE capacity in NY are almost at an end, claimed CEO Lowell McAdam during an investor conference on Monday. Describing the issues as “a short-term blip,” he said the company was “now back to where we want to be.”

Verizon identified 49 cell sites in the New York area where capacity was insufficient, and said that all but seven of them had been strengthened.

AT&T, meantime, said that it has become the first U.S. carrier to offer international LTE roaming thanks to an agreement with Rogers Communications to allow customers access to LTE data when visiting Canada. The Rogers LTE network covers approximately 70 percent of Canada.

Roaming is not, however, cheap. For occasional use, you’re charged $15.36/MB. Alternatively, you can sign up for a Data Global Add-on packages at $30/month for 120MB, $60/month for 300MB or $120/month for 800MB. The two more expensive packages also give you 1GB of wifi usage where available.

Full AT&T press release below … 

Verizon Communications Stories November 21, 2013

Anticipated Retina iPad Mini shortages take effect as carrier dates slip

Analyst predictions that the Retina iPad Mini would be in short supply in the run-up to the holidays appear to be confirmed by slipping dates for the cellular models at carriers, reports CNET.

Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are all back-ordered on the cellular version of the Mini Retina, with Verizon’s date now slipping to December 2.

Last week, Verizon had been saying November 25. And the carrier isn’t saying when the device may arrive in stores, according to a company spokesperson. T-Mobile is now showing the Mini Retina back-ordered 6-8 weeks. AT&T is saying 21-28 days for orders to ship.

Apple made store purchase of the new iPad Mini exclusive to personal pickup, though availability of cellular models currently looks very poor. Apple is currently quoting availability of 5-10 days for all four major US carriers for iPad Minis ordered from its own website.

The Retina iPad Mini was well-received in reviews and is expected to be a popular holiday gift.

Verizon Communications Stories November 13, 2013

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Verizon Wireless, once the gold standard for LTE, has admitted that it is struggling to keep up with demand in the big cities – with some users being dropped down to slower 3G speeds. The carrier’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said yesterday:

There are certain pockets where we’re absolutely going to experience that down tick from the LTE network down to 3G because of capacity constraints …  expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories October 18, 2013

2012-iphone4s-gallery2-zoom

There was a lot of confusion yesterday when Verizon’s results were discussed, with more than one commentator confusing activations and sales. For the record, what Verizon announced was that 51 percent of its activations were iPhone, not 51 percent of its phone sales.

If you doubt the importance of this distinction, I have one word for you: T-Mobile. As of 11th April, the carrier had two million iPhone activations. Its iPhone sales as of the same date? Zero: T-Mobile didn’t start selling iPhones until the following day.

The difference between the two numbers is particularly dramatic with high-end handsets like the iPhone …  expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories October 1, 2013

Verizon confirms software glitch allowed upgraders to keep unlimited plan, but deal will be honored

AllThingsD has confirmed our suspicion that it was a software glitch that allowed iPhone upgraders to keep their unlimited data plans.

There is, however, good news for those lucky enough to have upgraded their phones before the glitch was caught:

[Verizon] said it would honor the unlimited plans of those customers who managed to upgrade while Verizon was working to fix its software.

Verizon Communications Stories September 12, 2013

walmartc

Walmart has announced that it will be offering both of the new iPhone models in their 16Gb versions, the 5c at $79 (a $20 saving) and the 5s at $189 (a $10 savings). Walmart offers the phones on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.

What’s interesting here is that Apple Stores usually do price matching so it might be worth a try after waiting on line on launch day. Best Buy will also price match often, so this could trigger markdowns all over …  expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories September 4, 2013

telus-iphone-5-disc

A new leaked doc from Canadian carrier Telus (via MobileSyrup) shows that the carrier has plans to discontinue the iPhone 5 on September 28 just days after the next-generation iPhones are rumored to launch. Although it would lend weight to the theory that Apple could get rid of the iPhone 5 since the rumored iPhone 5S and especially the lower cost iPhone 5C are so close internally to the current device, the doc only shows that the 32GB and 64GB models will be discontinued, which might be a clue the 16GB iPhone 5 will stick around as an entry level model.

Keeping the 16GB iPhone 5 seems to line up with what we’ve been hearing at Verizon and adds even more weight to the theory that Apple will keep the iPhone 5 around as a lower cost option perhaps in between the 5S and the 5C in much the same way that the last-gen iPhone 4S currently occupies the $99/plan spot in Apple’s lineup.

On the other hand, often-accurate KGI analyst Mingchi Kuo said earlier this month that he thinks Apple will stop selling the iPhone 5 at the end of Q3 2013 and continuing selling the iPhone 4S until the end of the year.

Apple yesterday sent out invites to the September 10th event and is expected to start selling the iPhone 5S and 5C starting around the 20th of September.

vodafone_inventory

Update: Similar chatter is coming out of Vodafone Germany, indicating that the 32GB and 64GB iPhone 5 and 16GB iPhone 4S will soon be discontinued. expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories September 3, 2013

5c1

Update: A bunch more cases have been added below.

Evleaks, a source with an excellent reputation for reliability, has tweeted two photos of aftermarket iPhone 5C cases, together with a very specific shipping date: 8am on 20th September.

It’s widely expected that Apple will announce the 5C (along with the iPhone 5S) on 10th September, and that it will go on sale on the 20th. Both T-Mobile and Verizon have blocked employee vacations around this date.

The photos as posted were rather small – we’ve enlarged them to give a better look …  expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories June 9, 2013

AT&T slips in some bad news ahead of WWDC: Upgrade eligibility moved from 20 to 24 months

Not a bad PR move on AT&T’s part: While everyone is getting hyped for WWDC, Ma Bell throws the same curve ball that Verizon threw at us in April. You must now wait the full 24 months to be eligible for phone upgrades rather than getting in at 20 months as you could have previously.

Today, we’re announcing a 24-month upgrade policy across all of AT&T’s wireless products and services.  This aligns device upgrade eligibility with our standard two-year wireless agreement and it applies to any customer whose agreement expires in March 2014 or later.

The move shouldn’t be a huge deal for iPhone customers who are used to two year cycles who can plan ahead to 2014.

Verizon Communications Stories May 23, 2013

administrative-fee. Thanks reader Kory for screenshot

AT&T started this month charging an administrative fee of $.61/month/user for its mobile customers in addition to its current fees. While the fee may be small, as the Verge notes it adds ‘up to hundreds of millions of dollars’ over 24 month contracts and millions of customers. What gives?  An AT&T spokesperson told us:

Consistent with similar fees charged by other carriers, the monthly fee of 61 cents per line will help cover certain expenses, such as interconnection and cell site rents and maintenance

The fee applies to consumer mobility lines as well as IRU lines –  the kind of business lines where the employee pays the bill directly.

AT&T isn’t alone in this endeavor. Verizon charges admin fees of $0.91 and Sprint charges $1.99.  (Plus more for regulatory fees.)  T-Mobile’s combined regulatory programs fee is $1.61.  On this basis, AT&T’s is still the lowest of all carriers.  It still sucks though. “expenses, such as interconnection and cell site rents and maintenance” seems like it should be part of the current fees and that fee is easier to raise because it isn’t part of the publicized rate plan.

Update: TheTechBlock notes that you may be able to cancel your plan because of this fee. A nice way to slip out of your subsidized plan? expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories March 4, 2013

verizon-iphoneVerizon CFO Fran Shammo spoke at the Duetsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom conference this morning, where he was asked a few questions related to the iPhone. Verizon reported its fourth quarter 2012 earnings last month with 9.8 million smartphone activations—a record 6.2 million of which were iPhone. We knew about half, or 3.1 million, of those iPhone sales were driven by the first full quarter with the iPhone 5, but today Shammo talked about just how important getting the free iPhone 4 was during the quarter:

But this past fourth quarter you had a couple — you had really one thing happen that never happened before, especially with Verizon Wireless, and that was for the first time ever, because of the iPhone 5 launch, we had the 4 at free. So it was the first time ever you could get a free iPhone on the

Verizon Wireless network. So that produced a lot of volume for us. We had a lot of new customers come into Verizon who took that free phone, and that was great for us because again if you think about — we sold a lot of LTE product in the fourth quarter. We sold a lot of 3G product from the iPhone products in the fourth quarter.

But that is key for us, because if you think about our two networks it is important for me as I migrate people into the 4G network I still have this very large 3G network that operates very efficiently. We are not investing any more capital in that network other than to keep it up and running, so no more coverage capital, no more capacity capital. If I can keep that network up and running that just generates more contribution margins for us. So it is critical for us to balance that. But, again, I think you had one point in time where you had a free phone, a free Apple phone that never happened before with us and that generated a lot of volume.

While noting that 53 percent of the carrier’s smartphone activations were iPhones in 2012, Shammo was asked about the opportunity to incentivize employees to sell non-Apple devices that would also come with lower subsidies for Verizon:

The answer is, no, we don’t and it is critical that we don’t do that. The reason for that is because what is more important for us is when a customer walks into a store that customer walks out with a phone that they will be happy with and not return under our 30-day guarantee. Because the worst thing that can happen for us is for me to incentivise a salesperson to get you into a phone that you walk out the door with thinking you are going to like and in three days you come back because you don’t like it. Therefore, now I’ve just subsidized two smartphones because that phone you used I can’t resell as a new phone.

You can read more from Shammo’s presentation and where he discusses the growth of Share Everything plans, tablets, and more here.

Verizon Communications Stories January 23, 2013

As previously announced, today Apple is reporting its Q1 2013 earnings results. There is much uncertainty going into today’s call with Apple shares down significantly in recent months to roughly $500 since hitting a high of over $700 per share in September. With the iPhone 5 landing in a total of 100 countries last month, as well as iPad mini making its way to new markets, Wall Street estimates Apple will report between 47.5 million and 53 million iPhones sold and iPad sales between 23 million and 25 million. Compare that with Apple’s Q1 numbers last year: 37 million iPhones and 15.43 million iPads sold. Earlier this week Verizon reported 6.2M iPhone activations for the quarter, around half of which were iPhone 5 sales.

We’ll be providing blow-by-blow coverage of the earnings call in our live blog below at 2 PM Pacific/5 PM Eastern time. Stay tuned to 9to5Mac.com’s homepage for additional coverage:

Head below for updates… expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories November 21, 2012

Report: iPhone 5 supplies significantly improving at US Apple Stores

Apple recently changed shipping times for iPhone 5 from “2-3 weeks” to two weeks for orders from its website, indicating the company is starting to iron out production delays and catch up to demand. Today, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster noted checks of 100 App Stores show supplies of iPhone 5 are increasing through Apple’s retail stores, as well (via Fortune). According to Munster’s checks, iPhone 5 is currently available in 92 percent of Apple Stores for Sprint, 82 percent for AT&T, and 72 percent for Verizon:

AT&T and Verizon have shown dramatic improvements in availability, while Sprint has maintained consistent availability. Last night, our checks indicated that Sprint phones were in stock at 92% of Apple Stores, AT&T was available at 82% of stores and Verizon at 72% of stores. Additionally, we note that wait times for online phone orders dropped to two weeks as of today.

Munster said he believes “within the next two weeks that customers will be able to purchase iPhone 5s at Apple Stores same day,” which is obviously great news for Apple and consumers leading into the holidays.

Verizon Communications Stories November 8, 2012

Verizon Wireless says 4G LTE rollout to be completed by mid-2013

Speaking at a conference with investors this morning, Verizon Wireless CFO Fran Shammo revealed that Verizon would roll out its LTE network completely by mid-2013. FierceWireless reported today’s timeline is six months earlier than previous estimates released by Verizon. Verizon’s LTE network will match its 3G CDMA coverage area once the rollout is complete. Additionally, Shammo commented on the early problems the LTE network suffered. However, he said with over 80 percent of the country’s population now covered, it is now stable. According to Big Red’s latest numbers, 14.9 million LTE devices are currently on the network.

In retrospect, the nation’s largest carrier AT&T plans to have 250 million people covered by the end of 2013, with a completed roll out of 300 million people planned by the end of 2014.

Shammo also revealed today that the company’s new Share Everything data plans introduced in late June now makes up 13 percent of current Verizon customers. The shared data plan allows customers to share data with up to 10 devices through a single account. [FierceWireless]

Verizon Communications Stories October 18, 2012

Verizon has reported its Q3 2012 earnings this morning with “a third consecutive quarter of double-digit percentage growth.” The nation’s second-largest carrier claims it experienced $29 billion in total operating revenue (3.9-percent gain over last year) and sold 6.8 million smartphones in total for the third quarter. Of the 6.8 million, Verizon reported selling 3.1 million iPhones. Just over one-fifth (or roughly 651,000) of those were the iPhone 5 that saw supply constraints. To compare, during Q2, Verizon sold 2.7 million iPhones.

The carrier also shed more light on its aggressive LTE rollout across the country. Its LTE service is now available to 250 million people in 419 markets across the United States. Furthermore, on the company’s earnings call, CFO Fran Shammo reiterated that its new Share Everything data plan has been “successful and well-received.”

You can find the press release below for specifics:  expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories September 21, 2012

Study shows AT&T still dominates iPhone in US with as much as 68 percent of all early sales

Internet analytics company ComScore just revealed record-breaking numbers and carrier sales data for the iPhone 5.

The noteworthy tidbits:

U.S. online pre-orders for the iPhone 5 took just three days to hit 96 percent of the iPhone 4S’ numbers during its entire first month. ComScore disclosed 24 more million Americans owned a smartphone in July 2012, however, compared to October 2011, which likely affected the record sales. It also claimed a “substantial group of consumers held out for the iPhone 5.”

The iPhone 5 is also the fastest-selling iPhone ever offered through AT&T, as the carrier boasted 68 percent of total U.S. online sales for first three days of the iPhone 5’s release (including Apple.com carrier sales). ComScore noted AT&T was an exclusive iPhone carrier for a long time, though, so it made a “safe assumption” that AT&T is “home to the highest share of iPhone enthusiasts.” ComScore also mentioned iPhone 4 owners on AT&T are now eligible for upgrades, where as the iPhone 4 debuted on Verizon in February 2011, for instance, so those consumers are not eligible yet.

The iPhone 5 unveiled Sept. 12 and over 3 million people in the U.S. immediately searched the term “iPhone 5″. The Web experienced 6.3 million searches for term, with 4 million more queries following in the days after.

Verizon Communications Stories August 27, 2012

Reports emerged over the weekend about AT&T forcing its employees into a Sept. 21 to Sept. 30 “Vacation Blackout”.

According to an AT&T sales rep, AT&T staff has been given a vacation blackout from September 21 to September 30, just like Verizon employees. Our source also mentioned that blue carrier employees are undergoing training for an “iconic release.”

“Not true!” we’ve heard. We reached out to AT&T to see what it had to say regarding the above. An AT&T spokesperson told us this morning that there is no company-wide vacation blackout for the end of September.

We also talked to AT&T reps at other stores who implied more people are being put on duty, depending on staffing levels of that particular store, but there is no “blackout.” One New York employee will even sit out the first week of the iPhone launch due to a long-planned vacation.

TechCrunch sourced one rep from a single AT&T store, which may have its own little under-staffed blackout, but, as we heard, the policy is not nationwide.

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Verizon Communications Stories August 23, 2012

J.D. Power and Associates is out with the second half of its 2012 “U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study”, and Verizon once again come out on top for network performance in five of the six regions included in the report. Only second to U.S. Cellular in the North Central region, Verizon posted the best overall network performance among the other carriers in the remaining regions based on 10 key problem areas that could impact the customer experience.

For a 16th consecutive reporting period, Verizon Wireless ranks highest in the Northeast region. Verizon Wireless achieves fewer customer-reported problems with dropped calls, initial connections, transmission failures and late text messages, compared with the regional average. Verizon Wireless also ranks highest in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest and West regions… U.S. Cellular ranks highest in the North Central region for a 14th consecutive reporting period. Compared with the regional average, U.S. Cellular has fewer customer-reported problems with dropped calls, failed initial connections, audio problems, failed voice mails and lost calls.

The study also covered the customer experience specifically for data-related problems. Not surprisingly, LTE device users experienced significantly less issues than older 3G devices like the iPhone:

The study finds that the number of data-related problems, especially those related to slow connection speeds, is significantly lower among customers using 4G LTE-enabled devices than among those using devices with older 3G/4G technology standards, such as WiMAX and HSPA+… For example, among customers with 4G LTE-enabled devices, the problem incidence for excessively slow mobile Web loading is 15 PP100, compared with the industry average of 20 PP100. Furthermore, the overall problem incidence for excessively slow mobile Web loading is even higher among customers with WiMAX and HSPA+ technology

Based on responses from over 26,000 U.S. wireless customers, the report explained how network performance was calculated: expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories July 31, 2012

Verizon iPhone Personal Hotspot settings (Image: TechCrunch)

Verizon was fined a measly $1.25 million today for blocking access to tethering apps mostly on the Android platform. That does not apply to most iOS users (currently), however. That is because this ruling —for now— only affects LTE 4G devices. With the next-generation iPhone, which will launch in mid-September, heavily rumored to be the first iPhone to include LTE access, this will affect those choosing to go with Verizon Wireless for their fancy new iPhone.

The ruling asserts that Verizon must not charge an additional fee for tethering on its devices—so long as they are not on the grandfathered unlimited data plans. The iPhone has included tethering support since iOS 3.0, and the feature was taken to the next level by Apple and Verizon Wireless with the launch of the Verizon iPhone 4 and the wireless Personal Hotspot feature in early 2011. The feature was soon spread to iPhone carriers globally with iOS 4.3.

Earlier this year, Apple brought the Personal Hotspot feature to its tablet with the LTE iPad. Something notable with Apple and Verizon’s agreement for the iPad is that the wireless tethering feature is included in the pre-paid data plans. If a user pays a certain amount for data, they will not have to pay anything extra to access the wireless tethering system. With the LTE iPhone, according to today’s FCC ruling, users will have the same, great experience.

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Verizon Communications Stories July 18, 2012

Verizon extends 4G LTE to 33 new markets, touts more coverage than competitors combined

Verizon Wireless plans to expand its 4G LTE coverage tomorrow to 33 new U.S. markets. The carrier will then boast 337 LTE markets, which places it ahead of competitors by a wide margin, and it hopes to reach 400 total by the end of 2012. Verizon also announced it is broadening coverage in 32 existing markets.

Check out the list below (via Verizon Wireless): 

  • The 33 new markets: El Dorado/Magnolia and Russellville, Ark.; New London County, Conn.; Fort Pierce/Vero Beach and Melbourne/Titusville, Fla.; Columbus and Rome, Ga.; Burley, Idaho; Mattoon, Ill.; Anderson and Muncie, Ind.; Manhattan/Junction City and McPherson, Kan.; Lafayette/New Iberia, La.; St. Joseph, Mo.; Bozeman/Livingston, Kalispell and Missoula, Mont.; Goldsboro/Kinston, Roanoke Rapids and Rocky Mount/Wilson, N.C.; Zanesville, Ohio; Meadville and Punxsutawney/DuBois/Clearfield, Pa.; Orangeburg, S.C.; Sherman/Denison, Texas; Cedar City and Logan, Utah; Rutland/Bennington, Vt.; Lynchburg and Winchester, Va.; Bellingham, Wash.; and Beckley, W.Va.
  • The 32 expanded markets: Mobile, Ala.; Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla.; Hilo, Honolulu and Kahului/Wailuku/Maui County, Hawaii; Blackfoot/Idaho Falls/Rexburg, Idaho; Peoria, Ill.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Wichita, Kan.; Baton Rouge, La.; Baltimore, Md.; Kansas City and Springfield, Mo.; Akron, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, Ohio; Allentown/Bethlehem, Harrisburg and Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Pa.; Columbia and Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; Provo/Orem and Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah; Fredericksburg, Va.; and Seattle, Wash.

“With more markets than all other U.S. wireless providers combined, our customers are the first to learn of the great advantages of the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network for streaming video, downloading files, uploading pictures and so much more, at consistently reliable fast data speeds,” said Verizon Wireless’ Chief Technical Officer Nicola Palmer.

Apple’s new iPad supports 4G LTE networks in the U.S. and Canada. The upcoming new iPhone is expected to feature LTE capability too.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Google.

Verizon Communications Stories June 28, 2012

Verizon Wireless launches Share Everything plans

Verizon Wireless’ Share Everything plans go live today.

Current Verizon customers can upgrade, but new customers must choose a Share Everything plan. Verizon is scrapping the family plans and individual tiered plans for incoming subscribers, because the new options provide unlimited talk, unlimited text, and shareable data with pricing based on how much data is consumed.

Unlimited plans are not profitable for Verizon, which stopped offering unlimited data last year, due to growing smartphone usage clogging the carrier’s pipelines. The new standard is quickly becoming 4G LTE, so Verizon is likely trying to capitalize on every bit of data funneled through its network.

Verizon’s new strategy is the first of its kind in the U.S. It notably allows users to share data with up to 10 devices through a single account, but users can also fly solo with plans starting at $30 for 2 GB of data.

Visit the Share Everything website for all the details, or check out the full price sheet at Verizon’s Share Everything Calculator page.

Cross-posted on 9to5Google.

Verizon Communications Stories June 18, 2012

Verizon announces ultra-high speed FiOS ‘Quantum’ service, up to 300 Mbps for $210 a month

Verizon announced tiers for its new high-speed Internet FiOS “Quantum” service today. It ranges from $65 to $210 a month, and it is available in double or triple-play bundles and stand-alone plans. Verizon will continue offering its entry-level $65 15/5 Mbps service, but it will introduce new plans including: 50/25 Mbps, 75/35 Mbps, 150/65 Mbps, and 300/65 Mbps. The company noted they are “by a wide margin the nation’s fastest, mass scale residential Internet speeds.”

Three of those speeds ¬¬ 75/35, 150/65 and 300/65 — are twice as fast as those previously offered.1 In addition, Verizon will continue to offer its entry-level speed of 15/5 Mbps… The two highest downstream speed offers – 150 and 300 Mbps – and the new 65 Mbps upstream speed are by a wide margin the nation’s fastest, mass scale residential Internet speeds available. By contrast, the fastest Internet speeds offered by cable-company challengers top out at 105 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream. (This FiOS Internet speed grid shows specific examples of the benefits of faster downstream and upstream speeds.)

Verizon noted existing customers can upgrade free, but they will on-average pay $10 to $15 more per month. The company also outlined the different pricing options for new customers:

For new customers, prices of triple-play bundles of 15/5 Mbps FiOS Internet, FiOS TV and FiOS Digital Voice unlimited calling will range from $99.99 to $144.99 per month, depending upon which FiOS TV package is ordered. The packages are: Prime, with more than 200 channels and more than 50 HD channels; Extreme, with more than 290 channels and more than 70 HD channels; and Ultimate, with more than 380 channels plus premium movie channels, and more than 110 HD channels).

Double-play bundles of the 15/5 Mbps FiOS Internet and FiOS TV range from $84.99 to $129.99 per month. Stand-alone 15/5 Mbps service costs $69.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $64.99 per month with a two-year contract.

Triple-play bundles of the 50/25 Mbps speed range from $109.99 to $149.99 per month for new customers. Double-play bundles with FiOS TV range from $94.99 to $134.99 per month. The stand-alone version costs $79.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $74.99 with a two-year contract.

Triple-play bundles of the new 75/35 Mbps speed range from $114.99 to $154.99 per month for new subscribers. Double-play bundles with FiOS TV range from $99.99 to $139.99 per month. The stand-alone costs $89.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $84.99 with a two-year contract.

Triple-play bundles of 150/65 Mbps speed range from $169.99 to $174.99 per month for new FiOS customers. Double-play bundles with FiOS TV range from $154.99 to $159.99 per month. The stand-alone costs $99.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $94.99 with a two-year contract.

The new 300/65 Mbps tier, offered as a stand-alone only, costs $209.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $204.99 with a two-year contract.3

Verizon Communications Stories May 17, 2012

Best Buy & Sam’s Club now offer iPhone 4 for $50 on contract

Best Buy this week began offering the 8GB iPhone 4 for $49.99 on the usual two-year contract through Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T— just like Target, many regional carriers, and other retailers following the trend. That is $50 off Apple and many other retailers’ $99 price tag. Unlike some of the other offers, it does not appear to be an in-store only deal, because free shipping is included. The offer is listed as valid between “5/11/12-6/30/12” and is available through BestBuy’s website now. However, some models are currently listed as “not available for shipping.”

As noted by a reader in Phoenix, AZ, at least some Sam’s Club locations appear to be offering the Verizon iPhone for $48.

Verizon Communications Stories April 24, 2012

AT&T is still the “iPhone network,” according to numbers  from its quarterly earnings report. AT&T sold 5.5 million smartphones in the quarter, but 4.3 million of the smartphones activated were iPhones. That means the iPhone represented a whopping 78 percent of total smartphone sales (although some “iPhone activations” could have been hand me downs). Additionally, AT&T’s postpaid customers are almost 60 percent smartphone customers, which means AT&T’s iPhone customers represent a huge percentage of its base—nearly 5o percent and growing.

Verizon announced numbers last week including 3.2 million iPhones sold. While the iPhone is down significantly from the holiday quarter, it is up from 3.6 million activations in Q1 2011. Apple’s earnings will be reported at the end of the day today.

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Verizon Communications Stories April 2, 2012

Consumer Reports took a beating for measuring the new iPad’s heat and charging non-issues under intense loads. However, it still overwhelmingly recommended Apple’s new device.

The high-resolution screen of the new iPad establishes a new benchmark in excellence, providing the best rendering of detail and color accuracy we’ve ever seen on a tablet display. As a result, the iPad tops our new tablet Ratings, posted today.

Performance on the new iPad ($500 to $830) was superb in virtually every other way as well. The 5-megapixel camera took very good photos. Verizon’s 4G network yielded very fast, dependable connectivity to a 4G-compatible version of the iPad in our informal tests. And despite the energy-intensive display and graphics, the iPad still has longer battery life than all other tablets.

Responding to consumer comments on the new device, and to coverage from other reviewers, we also carried out further tests that confirmed the new iPad is warmer in its hottest spots than the iPad 2. But we didn’t find those temperatures to be cause for concern. In addition, further tests of observations we made that the new iPad was not recharging when playing a demanding, intense video game, showed that the problem was limited to times when the device was playing a demanding game with the screen fully bright. Our high overall judgment of the new iPad was not affected by the results of either battery of tests.

The biggest downfall? expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories March 6, 2012

It is interesting how little Verizon has to provide, yet the splash page they put up today still screams “iPad!”.

Notably, the graphic image file name is:766x385_HP_pre_NO_optin.jpg but somehow we don’t think Verizon’s big surprise is the recently discontinued HP Pre.

Update: Now AT&T has their version up:

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Verizon Communications Stories February 14, 2012

Following Wall Street Journal’s report last night that AT&T and Verizon will carry the LTE iPad 3, the publication is reporting that Apple is now testing an 8-inch iPad in its labs. While WSJis not exactly sure the version will launch, it does claim the iPad is being tested.

Officials at some of Apple’s suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has shown them screen designs for a new device with a screen size of around 8-inches, and said it is qualifying suppliers for it. Apple’s latest tablet, the iPad 2, comes with a 9.7-inch screen. It was launched last year.

WSJ’s sources said the 8-inch iPad’s screen would pack a 1,024-by- 768 display similar to the current iPad. The smaller version will apparently also pack a LTE chip inside, as WSJ said the iPad 3 would.

There is always the chance that the 8-inch iPad will not see the light of day, because Apple tests things and sometimes does not bring them to market. An 8-inch variant of the iPad would be a close competitor to Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which has seen great growth.

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Verizon Communications Stories February 13, 2012

Adding to earlier reports today, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Verizon and AT&T will carry the iPad 3 rocking LTE. Also backing up earlier claims, WSJ said Apple would hold its media event to unveil the iPad 3 during the first week of March.

Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. will sell a version of the coming iPad that runs on their newest fourth-generation wireless networks, according to people familiar with the matter, as the battle to cash in on big investments in mobile broadband heats up.

It is not certain if Sprint will carry the LTE version on its upcoming LTE network, according to the publication.

One of its sources is the infamous Captain Obvious:

When LTE isn’t available, the new iPad will default to a slower network technology, one of these people said.

The iPad 3 is rumored to feature Apple’s A6 quad-core processor, Retina display, LTE, upgraded camera, and more, according to multiple sourcesiMore reported today that the iPad 3’s announcement will occur specifically on March 7 with a launch shortly after.

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Verizon Communications Stories January 24, 2012

Despite reports that Verizon’s fourth quarter earnings were hurt mainly by high subsidies for iPhone, Verizon announced on Tuesday it sold 4.3 million iPhones– over 50 percent of the 7.7 million total smartphones sold during the quarter. This statistic follows reports earlier this month that Verizon sold approximately 4.2 million iPhones during the holiday quarter. Compare that figure to the 1.6 million 4G LTE smartphones sold during the same quarter, of which the carrier offers more than 18 (mostly Android) devices versus a few iPhone models. These numbers show consumers are still choosing 3G iOS devices over the latest generation of 4G LTE smartphones from other vendors.

According to Barclays Capital analyst James Ratcliffe, even with the high subsidy, Verizon will see a positive cash flow of approximately $1,600 per iPhone. His estimate is based on the nearly $2,000 spent over a two-year contract and a $400 subsidy for the same period. Ratcliffe explained to Bloomberg:

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Verizon Communications Stories December 30, 2011

Verizon Wireless has been under fire this week after announcing it would begin imposing a $2 fee on customers who do not have their bill set to be paid automatically, and instead pay it through electronic check. Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced they would begin investigating Verizon’s new fee. Shortly after, Verizon announced on its website that they will not impose the fee to meet with customer’s requests.

The company made the decision in response to customer feedback about the plan, which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions. The company continues to encourage customers to take advantage of the numerous simple and convenient payment methods it provides.

Verizon said this fee was going to help move customers to a more convenient payment method. Luckily, they have chosen to go the other way. expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories October 21, 2011

Carrier Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of U.S. telecommunications firm Verizon Communications and UK multinational mobile network operator Vodafone, today announced financial results for the September quarter. Big Red sold two million iPhone units which represents a 300,000 units decline compared to the June quarter. Verizon was also behind rival AT&T which yesterday reported activating 2.7 million iPhones in the quarter out of a total of 4.8 million total devices.

In a separate statement, rival AT&T said it activated a million units of the new iPhone 4S on its network as of Tuesday, while Verizon made no mention of iPhone 4S in its quarterly filing. iPhone 4S went on sale in the United States, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Canada and Japan on Friday, October 14. The phone will roll out to 22 new countries later this month, with regional online Apple Stores in those countries accepting reservations beginning today.

Verizon’s full press release is right after the break.

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Verizon Communications Stories September 28, 2011

Just like Verizon, T-Mobile has chosen to side with Samsung in its fight against Apple reports Foss Patents. T-Mobile’s reason, in response to a preliminary injunction proposed by Apple, is that they don’t want key 4G devices to be banned for the holiday season. And since it doesn’t look like T-Mobile is getting the iPhone anytime soon, Samsung’s 4G phones could be a big part of their sales. Check out T-Mobile’s response below:

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Verizon Communications Stories September 24, 2011

Verizon sides with Samsung in Apple litigation. Why?

Here’s the story (via Daring Fireball). The short of it is that Verizon asks the court not to issue Apple’s requested injunction against Samsung products because an injunction “is not in the public interest… It significantly limits consumer options and crippling the free flow of goods to Verizon and its customers”. The obvious response is […]

Verizon Communications Stories September 22, 2011

Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam

At an investor conference yesterday, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam made the simple argument:

I have taken the position that the AT&T merger with T-Mobile was kind of like gravity. It had to occur, because you had a company with a T-Mobile that had the spectrum but didn’t have the capital to build it out. AT&T needed the spectrum, they didn’t have it in order to take care of their customers, and so that match had to occur.

I don’t think that I’ve heard a rationale for the merger stated more succinctly.

But coming from AT&T and T-Mobile’s biggest rival, you know it is a bunch of horses**t.

Since when does a company CEO say something to the effect of “We want our competitors to be stronger and better equipped to compete with us and take our customers”?

The reason why Verizon is in favor of the deal is because it eliminates a low-cost player in the market and brings the U.S. closer to a telecom duopoly, in which AT&T and Verizon can set prices.  Just recently, Verizon was forced to offer a $50 pre-paid data plan that competes with Sprint’s Virgin and T-Mobile.  With Verizon/AT&T running the show, they won’t need to make moves like that.

It’s pretty obvious to anyone not on an AT&T or Verizon payroll (including fifteen members of Congress led by North Carolina’s Heath Shuler) that a merger would be horrific for wireless competition in this country.

No one with an eighth-grade education really believes that any merger, telecom or otherwise, has ever created jobs or competition in the marketplace which is what AT&T is somehow trying to argue. Hopefully this thing is killed. Soon. expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories August 4, 2011

While Google passed the 40% smartphone share (Microsoft must be happy!) in the US threshold, Apple continues to outpace the industry as a whole posting modest 1 point gains in the US smartphone category according to comScore.   Apple moved up from 25.5% in March to 26.6% in June on the year old iPhone 4 model which also saw its US debut on Verizon.

Apple also moved up in the hardware category, below:

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Verizon Communications Stories July 28, 2011

Update: AT&T has officially verified this information.

A new change for AT&T Wireless’ Unlimited Data subscribers will soon be taking place. Rumored to be starting in the first week of October, we’ve heard that AT&T will start throttling the data speeds of the network’s top data hogs.  As Verizon (PDF) and Virgin have recently done, AT&T will be adopting a similar plan to try to curb the problem of data congestion and overall network issues that have hurt its 3G network’s performance since the onset of the iPhone.

AT&T will also be releasing its first LTE devices later this year.

We’ve heard that AT&T will rejigger its insurance structure that week as well, which makes us think a certain high profile device may be launching on or around that time.

The throttling plan will work like the others’. The heaviest users will see significant speed decreases for one billing cycle once they go over a threshold of data (we’re guessing 2-4GB?).  These heavy users will still be able to access the network, but at a much slower speed.  At the start of the next billing cycle, their speeds will return to normal.  We don’t have numbers for AT&T’s throttle speeds but Virgin takes you down to 256Kb/s once you’ve reached their 2.5GB limit (not too bad actually – sometimes we’re happy to get 256kbs).  Interestingly, Virgin’s throttle also will also be implemented in the first week of October which may indicate that they’ll be carrying a certain high profile mobile device as well.

Frankly, throttling isn’t so bad if done fairly.  It is a good way to penalize heavy users but without them having to worry about overage charges.  For high end users, however, it wold make sense for AT&T to add the ability to buy more regular speed data like they do now… expand full story

Verizon Communications Stories July 22, 2011

As Apple prepares for its official iOS 5 launch in the fall (likely in September), the company has unleashed their latest iOS beta as on over-the-air update. This over the air process will only work for those running iOS 5 beta 3. Apple warns that doing an OTA update will delete your photos and will require a physical re-sync:

NEW: If you are doing a OTA software update from beta 3 to beta 4, you will need to re-sync your photos with iTunes.

iOS 5 also includes all new notifications with Notification Center, iMessages, Newsstand, and more. OTA updates will come over 3G, as we revealed a few weeks ago.

Update: As expected, it works over 3G (on Verizon!!!) Video below:

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