Entries in AT&T (41)


Verizon and AT&T Deploy Trucks to Help Sandy Victims Recharge

Verizon Wireless(NEW YORK) -- As many without electricity gather in Starbucks or banks to get a little bit of power and access a Wi-Fi signal, AT&T and Verizon are stepping up their efforts to help.

Both of the cellular carriers have announced Thursday that they will be deploying stations to help provide power and connectivity for Hurricane Sandy victims. They will also offer free charging at their store locations in areas affected by the storm.

Verizon has deployed what it calls Wireless Emergency Communications Centers, or WECCs, on Staten Island, at Monmouth University, and in Toms River, N.J. The trailers provide outlets to charge phones or computers, computer workstations for victims to get online, as well as wireless phones for people to use. In addition to those WECCs, Verizon is offering free device charging and domestic calls at Verizon stores.

AT&T is doing more in the heart of New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced during his press conference Thursday that AT&T will be positioning its own charging stations or trailers at food and water stations, which are being set up in all the five boroughs of New York City. Similar to Verizon, AT&T is offering free charging at its other stores in the Northeast.

AT&T is also allowing for recovery donations to be made via text message. You can pledge $10 to the Red Cross (REDCROSS), Salvation Army (STORM) and to the American Humane Society (HUMANE).

The four major U.S. carriers -- AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile -- have issued statements about their continued efforts to restore full service on the East Coast.

"The vast majority of our cell sites in the Northeast are online and working. We are making progress in areas that were especially hard-hit, including New York City and New Jersey, where flooding, power loss, transportation and debris all pose challenges," an AT&T spokesperson told ABC News.

On Wednesday, AT&T and T-Mobile announced that they were joining hands, allowing their networks to interoperate. If AT&T service is down in one area, customers will be able to use T-Mobile's service and vice versa.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


AT&T Workers in Indiana Claim Lunch Break Violations

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Workers for AT&T in Indiana claim in a lawsuit that they are forced to endure odd and punitive lunch break restrictions such as a ban on napping after eating a ham sandwich.

According to a class action suit filed by 11 employees against AT&T Midwest, the telecommunications company has forced technicians to endure “heavy restrictions” on their unpaid lunch break or risk discipline.

According to the suit, employees allege the telecom company allows them to eat packed lunches in vehicles during unpaid lunch hours, but not spend the remainder of the lunch break reading newspapers, napping, or using personal computers or music players in vehicles.  Workers also are barred from idling vehicles for air conditioning or heat during lunch.  Manhole workers must stay and guard the area during lunch break; they cannot go more than one-half mile from one assigned job to another for lunch or face discipline.

“AT&T is committed to full compliance with all federal and state laws, including the wage and hour laws, and has received numerous awards for being an employer of choice,” Marty Richter, a spokesperson for AT&T, said in a statement to ABC News.

Kimberly Jeselskis, an attorney for the plaintiffs, responded in a statement to ABC News: “Obviously my clients disagree with that statement since we filed this case and there’s a companion case currently pending in Wisconsin detailing the same issues.”

The lawsuit, first posted on Courthouse News, continues, “the company’s restrictions on movement and activities during the unpaid lunch break and its productivity measurement system put pressure on the technicians to work through all or part of the lunch break without pay (rather than sitting in a potentially cold or overheated vehicle doing nothing).”

The lawsuit alleges violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act by “treating the time allocated to the technicians so-called meal breaks, AT&T has failed to pay the technicians time and a half for all such hours worked in excess.”   The lawsuit alleges violation of Indiana wage laws and violation of Indiana record-keeping laws.

The suit is seeking to have the unpaid lunch break deemed illegal under the FLSA and state law, payment of attorney fees and damages.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


AT&T Follows Verizon, Launches Shared Data Plans

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The nation's two largest carriers are shaking up their data plans to help keep up in a world where more people and their families now own multiple smartphones and tablets.

On the heels of Verizon's announcement in late June of its "Share Everything" data plans, which lets customers share a bucket of data across phones and tablets, AT&T has announced today its very own "Mobile Share" plans.

The new offerings, which will be available in late August, will let new and existing AT&T customers buy a single "bucket" of 3G or 4G data, which they can use for web surfing, email, apps, etc., on any device included. The plans will also include unlimited voice minutes and text messages. Before this, customers had to buy specific data plans for each device.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


AT&T Aided Cell Phone Thieves, Suit Claims

David McNew/Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Wireless carrier AT&T is the target of a class-action suit that claims the company profited  from cell phone theft by aiding and abetting thieves.

The suit filed in California Superior Court by three plaintiffs alleges the wireless carrier assisted thieves “in earning illegal profits, by turning on, or ‘re-activating’ said stolen phones.”

The plaintiffs claimed in court documents that AT&T representatives said they were unable to block usage of stolen phones, and in turn made millions of dollars from the activity.

“Defendants actively have, for years, participated in this practice in order to make millions of dollars in improper profits by forcing legitimate customers…to buy new cell phones and buy new cell phone plans,” the documents stated.

AT&T was unable to be reached for comment.

The company announced this week it would join forces with other wireless carriers to block stolen cell phones and work with the FCC to create a database of smart phones and tablets that are reported lost or stolen.

Verizon and Sprint previously blocked stolen phones. AT&T and T-Mobile joined this week after the FCC and law enforcement pushed for a national database of stolen devices to be created. The new database will render the stolen devices worthless.

A decade ago, cellular devices accounted for 8 percent of thefts in large cities. They now account for more than 40 percent of thefts, according to the FCC.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


AT&T iPhone Owners Can Now Unlock Phones

AT&T/Apple, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- AT&T has long clamped down its customers’ iPhones to its network. But it’s finally easing up: The carrier’s iPhones can now be “unlocked,” meaning they can be used on other carriers after a certain period of time.

A spokesman for AT&T told the New York Times that the carrier would ease up its policies for customers whose accounts were in good standing and who didn’t have a long-term commitment with AT&T. AT&T had no further comment for ABC News.

Those good-standing customers can have their phones unlocked remotely or at an AT&T retail store. Once their phones are unlocked, owners can use them on other GSM cell and data networks by popping in other SIM cards. In the U.S., the AT&T iPhone is compatible only with T-Mobile SIM cards; Verizon and Sprint use different, CDMA cellular technology.

This capability is of greatest help to those traveling outside the United States. Instead of paying for expensive global service from AT&T, an owner of an unlocked phone can pop in a SIM card from a local GSM carrier and pay much cheaper local rates.

AT&T iPhone customers could previously unlock their phones by “jailbreaking” them — through software that circumvented both Apple and AT&T.

Sprint and Verizon have already provided an unlock feature for customers in-contract.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Nokia Lumia 900 Released in AT&T Stores Nationwide 

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Nokia Lumia 900 smartphone began selling at AT&T stores across the country on Sunday, and it's expected to be a top competitor of the highly popular iPhone and Android phones.

Nokia celebrated the weekend with a kickoff event in New York City's Times Square on Friday with a performance by Nicki Minaj, the company said in a press release. The new phone, which is available for $99.99 on a 2-year contract from AT&T, hit stores two days later.

The phone has 4G LTE speeds and it's designed to give users easy access to their email, music and social media.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


AT&T and CWA Union Continue to Negotiate after Contracts Expire 

David McNew/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- AT&T announced on Sunday that it will continue to negotiate with one of its unions after it failed to reach agreement to renew four contracts by the April 7 deadline, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

Employees in the Communications Workers of America union will work under the terms of the expired contract while negotiations continue. The four contracts--East, Legacy T, Midwest and West--cover almost 40,000 employees.

The CWA has been pushing to address issues such as weekend days off and health-care benefits. The union represents around 16 percent of AT&T's 256,000 employees.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


AT&T Seeks Quiet Settlement in Data Limiting Case

David McNew/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It's an unlimited buffet; just don't take more than one plate.

That's what a Simi, Calif., man who sued his iPhone carrier AT&T says is the situation he faces as a heavy user of wireless data services.

Matthew Spaccarelli took the company to small claims court in California in January, alleging that the company had slowed his data capacity while he continued to pay for the unlimited data plan. AT&T slows or "throttles" their data capacity for top data users in some geographic regions.

Following the court judgment on March 2, which awarded him $850, Spaccarelli received a letter from AT&T scolding him for tethering his iPhone to another device and offering a settlement to resolve their dispute, so long as Spaccarelli was willing to keep quiet about it.

Spaccarelli has been very public and vocal about the lawsuit with AT&T and has encouraged others to sue the company as well. He set up a website,, where he posted all of his court documents and advice to help others who might want to pursue their own lawsuits against AT&T. And then he worked with the website PublikDemand, which allows consumers to band together to complain about a company's policies, to set up a page about his lawsuit there. Spaccarelli's how-to guide for suing AT&T is now posted on that website, too.

"AT&T customers using as little as 1.5 gigabytes per month have been subject to throttling—creating painfully slow access to Web browsing and causing video streaming to not work at all," Spaccarelli wrote on PublikDemand. "It's not fair for AT&T to make a promise of 'unlimited' data to customers when they buy the phone while burying terms in their contracts that give the company the right to cut down data speeds and charge additional fees for increased usage."

Spaccarelli said he was not interested in a settlement.

"You settle before court," Spaccarelli said. "They sent a letter that has all this talk about settlement, but I had no interest. I just want to know, what is your next step, are you going to file an appeal, can they give me a head's up?"

Spaccarelli said he expects AT&T to file an appeal, which would allow the case to be heard in front of a judge with attorneys present.

"I'm just a dumb trucker, and there are going to be all these attorneys and I just got a personal injury attorney. But I think I could go up against any of them, because it makes sense to me and it made sense to one judge already," Spaccarelli said.

AT&T, however, told ABC News that Spaccarelli initiated the discussion and the company politely responded.

"Mr. Spaccarelli reached out to us to initiate a discussion, and naturally, we responded to him to hear what was on his mind and discuss his data usage," AT&T spokesman Mark Spiegel wrote in an email to ABC News. "We typically enter into non-disclosure agreements when people want to discuss the settlement of pending disputes."

The company also threatened to end his phone service if Spaccarelli did not agree to the settlement discussions. Spaccarelli admitted to violating an AT&T user agreement when he tethered his iPhone with other devices.

"Mr. Spaccarelli has said he tethers a second device to his smartphone, which is something that our unlimited data plans don't allow. For customers who tether, we have plans that allow them to do just that," Spiegel said.

"It really is as simple as this," Spaccarelli said. "Number one: lacking any controls. And number two: boundless or infinite. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition of ‘unlimited.’ It's been around for so long I don't know why they don't know what it means. That really says it all," Spaccarelli said.

Both AT&T and Verizon, two major mobile carriers, implement throttling on heavy-data users. The policy slows down the amount of data users' phones can access at one time. AT&T has said recently that said "unlimited" users who exceeded 3GB per month would be throttled because they are in the top 5 percent of data users in our network, according to PC Mag.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


AT&T iPhone 4S Now Has 4G…Kinda Sorta

Tony Avelar/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Amongst all the new iPad details revealed Wednesday, Apple also released an update to its iOS software for the current iPhone and iPad. And while there’s a laundry list of new features, it brings "4G" to AT&T iPhone 4S owners...sort of.

Those that updated their AT&T iPhone 4S with the newest software may notice that a 4G indicator has now taken the place of the 3G logo in the top left corner.

However, that doesn’t mean iPhone users will be getting faster speeds on their iPhones. Apple and AT&T have simply changed the naming to reflect AT&T’s new name for its HSPA+ network.

“AT&T iPhone 4S customers have been getting 4G speeds since day one,” AT&T’s Director of Corporate Communications Emily J. Edmonds told ABC News.

Apple maintains that this is simply a name change on its part as well.  "AT&T has rolled out a nationwide HSPA+ network and they refer to this high-speed network as 4G. With iOS 5.1, iPhone 4S users will now see this reflected in the status bar,” Apple’s Natalie Harrison told us.

AT&T has faced a lot of criticism from technology experts on its 4G nomenclature. Although the network is technically faster than traditional 3G networks from Verizon or Sprint, it isn’t as fast as LTE, which many consumers have come to associate with the “4G” term. AT&T has been calling its HSPA+ network “4G” for the last year and many smartphones available from the carrier, such as the Galaxy Note, etc. are marketed as 4G.

The new iPad, however, will have true 4G or LTE service from both AT&T and Verizon.

It’s all a tad confusing, but the point is: not all 4G is equal and AT&T’s 4G status on the iPhone 4S certainly doesn’t mean you will see any difference in speed compared with when it said “3G” just yesterday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Apple Unveils New iPad with Higher Definition Display

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Apple announced its new iPad on Wednesday -- a powerful updated model with a new processor and a high-definition display.

The new "Retina Display" screen has 2048 x 1536 resolution, which is higher than that found on any other tablet on the market. The result, said Apple, will be much crisper pictures and video. After weeks of rumors that it might be called the "iPad 3" or "iPad HD," Apple only referred to it as "the new iPad" at Wednesday's rollout in San Francisco.

Apple senior vice president of marketing, Philip W. Schiller, touted the new screen on stage. "You are going to see sharper images," he said. "Photos are just going to look amazing."

On the outside, the new iPad looks very similar to the tablet Apple has been selling for more than a year. But with an A5x processor and quad-core graphics, Apple said images would have 44 percent greater "saturation" than one sees on the previous model. There will be 3.1 million pixels on the screen, or 264 per inch.

The new tablet will have 10 hours of battery life, Schiller said, nine hours when receiving 4G signals. It will be all of 9.5 mm thick.

Schiller said the new iPad would have a more powerful "iSight" camera built in, similar in resolution to the 8 megapixel camera in the iPhone 4S. The camera, he said, can capture 1080p video. It also has image stabilization.

Apple has also added 4G LTE capabilities from Verizon and AT&T, meaning those who opt for the 3G / 4G models will get faster browsing and Internet speeds. This is the first time Apple has decided to integrate LTE into one of its products. The base model, which will start at $499, will have 16GB of memory and only Wi-Fi connectivity.

Apple said it would start taking pre-orders for the new iPad in 10 countries on Wednesday, and it will be available March 16. A version with 64GB of memory will retail for $699.

Presiding over the announcement was Tim Cook, Apple's new CEO and founder Steve Jobs' chosen successor. "You are going to see a lot more of this kind of innovation. We are just getting started.” Cook said.

Among other features, the new tablet will take dictation. Speak into a microphone, Apple said, and your words will be transcribed on the screen.

The new iPad announcement comes as the company faces stiff scrutiny over how its products are made in China. Following reports of underage labor and unsafe working conditions, the Fair Labor Association will submit a report on Apple's Foxconn production lines this month. ABC News got an exclusive look inside Apple's production line last month.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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