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AT&T

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Twitter
Here’s five bucks for your trouble.

Following its hours-long nationwide disruption on Thursday, AT&T has announced it is reaching out to “potentially impacted customers” and is slapping a whole $5 credit on their accounts, which it says is the “average cost of a full day of service.”

Hooray?


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Twitter
AT&T says its massive wireless outage was probably not due to a cyberattack.

After AT&T wireless service went out for many customers and even first responders across the US Thursday morning, one of the concerns was that the problem, and AT&T’s long delay before making a public statement about it, indicated a possible security breach.

However, according to this tweet, the company thinks it has identified the cause, described as “ the application & execution of an incorrect process used as we were expanding our network.”


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Federal agencies are investigating whether this morning’s AT&T outage was a cyberattack.

ABC News reports the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other federal agencies, are “urgently investigating” the nation-wide outage to determine if it really was a cyberattack, or a not-so-nefarious technical mishap.

Reuters also has notes from White House spokesperson John Kirby’s comments to reporters:

When asked if government communication was disrupted by AT&T outages, Kirby said: “There was some impact to Commerce (Department) but I don’t know the extent of that, I don’t think it was crippling.” He added that the FirstNet nationwide public safety network was hit but had been fully restored.

U.S. officials have been told that AT&T had no reason to think this was a cybersecurity incident, Kirby said.


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T-Mobile says we should stop looking at Down Detector.

The site, which tracks web service outages, is showing blips for Verizon and T-Mobile. Turns out... those are probably just from Verizon and T-Mobile customers trying to call AT&T users.

“We did not experience an outage,” T-Mobile writes.


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Verizon says it’s doing just fine.

Its wireless network “remains fully operational,” the company wrote this morning. But its customers could have issues connecting to users of “another carrier” — AKA AT&T, which is suffering a widespread, ongoing outage.


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The Verge
How’s your AT&T connection right now?

The nationwide AT&T outage that began early, early this morning is still wreaking havoc on the network and has left many customers without mobile service. But there are sporadic reports of people regaining voice and data.

So, how are things looking in your area? Has this totally messed with your day? Is a disruption like this enough to get you thinking about switching providers?


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Twitter
Verizon will switch to Google’s Jibe platform to support RCS messaging on Android.

Years after switching to Messages as the default texting app on its Android phones, Verizon says it is “leveling up” the next-gen text message support with a plan to move from its self-hosted servers to Google’s Jibe RCS platform.

There’s no word on when the shift will happen, but it follows similar announcements from AT&T and T-Mobile last year and should allow for a more reliable experience, which Droid-Life notes should enable read receipts and interoperability with RCS on other networks.


5G, but in space.

AST SpaceMobile, which is building the first space-based cellular network, recently secured new investments from some familiar names: AT&T, Google, and Vodafone.

Adding up to $306.5 million, that’s a hefty vote of confidence in the company’s approach, which would harness a fleet of low-orbit satellites to make direct connections to smartphones — no special equipment required. Who knows? Space 5G could be coming to Android phones sooner than later.


A group of people in blue lab coats stand behind a very large satellite array.
Image: AST Mobile via Business Wire
AT&T is powering the cellular connectivity for a security camera.

With the new Remo Plus DoorCam 3 Plus LTE, AT&T’s LTE network can serve as a backup if the camera’s Wi-Fi connection drops out. This isn’t the first security cam with cellular connectivity, but it’s nice to see the feature coming to more cameras.

The DoorCam 3 Plus LTE will launch around late March, with pricing available in a similar timeframe, according to AT&T’s Mike Van Horn.


A photo of the Remo Plus DoorCam 3 Plus LTE.
The Remo Plus DoorCam 3 Plus LTE.
Image: Remo Plus

The race to 5G is over — now it’s time to pay the bill

Networks spent years telling us that 5G would change everything. But the flashiest use cases are nowhere to be found — and the race to deploy the tech was costly in more ways than one.

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RCS messages on AT&T could be getting better.

AT&T is moving to Google’s Jibe platform, which will mean that AT&T users “will get the latest RCS features instantly,” according to Android boss Hiroshi Lockheimer. 9to5Google reports that AT&T’s previous backend would occasionally run into errors, so hopefully the change to Jibe is an improvement.

More than 800 million people have access to RCS, but iPhones still don’t.


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Apparently, they were all losers in the race to 5G.

Wireless carriers haven’t been able to monetize 5G, and telecom companies are in crisis. Sean Kinney at RCR Wireless bears the bad news in a new report from an industry event:

The optimism around 5G as some sort of panacea to any sort of business problem is giving way to disillusionment. Cost pressure is mounting, headcount reductions are happening, and outright cynicism is in the offing. This raises a question: if operators, for whatever reason, cannot leverage 5G to grow revenues and deliver innovation, do they drop the pretense and face the harsh reality that connectivity is a commodity and should be sold as such? 

Guess we can look forward to even more creative new ways for carriers to charge us more!


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External Link
Coming together to fall apart.

This retrospective report from The New York Times has all the juicy details about how the merger between AT&T and Time Warner became one of the worst in history:

But for sheer strategic miscalculation and poor execution, AT&T’s management of Warner Media may have no rival in recent corporate history.

It’s a long, but fascinating read, featuring interviews with former Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes and former AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.


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AT&T is waiving wireless fees for customers affected by Hurricane Ian.

Ian is starting to make landfall in Florida, and AT&T says it’ll waive text, talk, and data overage fees for both postpaid and prepaid wireless customers with billing addresses in 828 zip codes across Florida from September 28, 2022 through October 28, 2022. The company is also prepping its huge Network Disaster Recovery team, which has everything from truck-based mobile cell towers to entire basecamp setups for field work.