Unlimited 4G Data is back with a vengeance. Now that Verizon has upped the ante by being the first carrier to introduce full HD Unlimited Data and 10GB of Hotspot included on their basic offering, Sprint and T-Mobile have also met the competition. Both have upgraded their offerings from Standard Def to High Def and added the same 10GB of Hotspot. Bravo Verizon for becoming relevant again. Meanwhile, AT&T has gone from delusional to just pricey. Delusional in believing that anyone would bundle their U-Verse or Direct TV just to pay $100 for Unlimited data that they cap at 22GB anyway. With Verizon jumping back in the game, AT&T removed the bundle requirement but is still way overpriced compared to the competition.
With AT&T, they actually offer HD but you must physically turn off their "Stream Saver" feature which is set to SD by default. With T-Mobile, it is necessary to enable HD pass once in their AP and you are good.
Attention T-Mobile Unlimited ONE Plan users
You are eligible for the new deal but it will not happen automatically as this is a "meet-comp" promotion. That means, if you "ask" for it, you will get it FREE. If you do not ask, your plan will remain the standard SD version without the 10GB of 4G Hotspot feature. Same with Sprint. If you are with either of these carriers, do yourself a favor and call them and ask for it. Usually you can dial 611 from your phone. Alternatively, TM's (800) number is 800-937-8997. Sprint's is (888)788-4727.
Another benefit of Verizon's new Unlimited plan is it forced TM to reduce the cost of their One Plus plan from $15 to only $5. If you do not fly often and don't need voicemail to text conversion, stay on the basic ONE plans and just ask them to add the HD and 10GB of Hotspot for FREE. Don't tell them Dr Wireless sent you though!
In the past, it was AT&T and Verizon who dictated the way things were done in the wireless industry. A funny thing happened along the way though. Those two 800lb Gorillas made a big mistake - They told their subscribers that they didn't really need unlimited data. They also claimed that offering this was not sustainable and T-Mobile would suffer network congestion.
Well T-Mobile found a way to get it done, as did Sprint. Both also had almost double the amount of available spectrum than Verizon. It is called Standard definition 4G LTE. While the speeds are just as fast, the resolution has been dumbed down to 480p from 1080p. That is still DVD-quality images and un-noticeable on most Smartphones. However, if you hook up a SmartPhone to a big Flatscreen with an HDMI cable, you will definitely see the difference. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all utilized this approach. Until last week, Verizon had not even offered an Unlimited data plan for over 5 years. AT&T had also pulled theirs about the same time as Verizon, but re-introduced it last year. The caveat was you had to "qualify" to get it. To "qualify", you had to bundle their mediocre U-Verse service, or Direct TV Home internet service. If you did that, you then "qualified" to purchase their Unlimited 4G LTE Wireless Plan for $100 per month. What a deal, huh? Late last year, AT&T was in major hot water over this plan. That's because they forgot to disclose that once you reached 22GB, your speeds were slowed down to 2G speeds. I'm not sure if management is stuck on stupid, or just de-emphasizing their wireless business in favor of their content business. In any case, I'd be more than angry if I jumped through all those hoops and then read what's available above. I'm not going to even bother comparing this plan to Sprint, T-Mobile's or Verizon's because it's over priced, and requires the purchase of a home internet bundle to even get it.
That being said, here is what you need to know before choosing an Unlimited 4G LTE Plan.
1) You must first understand that that they don't really even exist. All carriers reserve the right to throttle their users once they reach a pre-determined level of data usage. For AT&T and Verizon, that level is 22GB per month. For Sprint, it is 23GB per month. For T-Mobile, it's 28GB per month. Once you reach these thresholds, speeds will slow to the point where e-mail will still work but forget about watching video or uploading/downloading large files.
2) 4G LTE is like New York Steak. There is USDA Choice, and USDA Prime. Prime costs 2-3 x more than choice because it is far more tender and can easily be cut with a butter knife. You can call them both New York Steak but there is huge difference in quality.
3) T-Mobile already had all the other carriers on the ropes before announcing their latest Un-Carrier initiative - All taxes and fees will now be paid by T-Mobile on their Unlimited ONE plans.
This finally woke up a slumbering giant. Last Sunday, Verizon began offering Unlimited HD 4G LTE for the first time in 5 years. To top it of, this is not watered down 480p resolution but true 1080p High Definition 4G LTE Data, the "PRIME" of 4G LTE Data. The other three carriers offer Standard Definition data, the "CHOICE" quality, still good but not Prime. Both Sprint and T-Mobile do offer special "bolt-on" packages that increase the resolution from SD to HD (or Choice to Prime).
T-Mobile, in response to Verizon's new Unlimited plan, just matched it. That is, they bumped their SD plan to HD too, and also added 10GB of 4G Hotspot. It's still less money than Verizon's deal but now the same offering.
Sprint's Unlimited pricing is as low as $18 per user when you have 5 lines. Unfortunately, there is a reason for that. Sprint sells their plans for a fraction of the cost of the other carriers because their coverage and data speeds pale in comparison to the other three carriers. While this may sound tempting, it's a one year tease and the price will go back up to who knows what after that.
One of the cool things about buying service with Verizon is they are the only major carrier that does not lock their SmartPhones. With all the other carriers, your devices are locked until you do your time. That means if you sign up on a 24 month zero interest equipment deal, your carrier will not unlock the device until month 24, unless you pay it off earlier. None of the carriers advertise this but it is super-easy for us to seamlessly move subscribers from one carrier to another. In the old days, contacts, calendar, and SMS messages were often stored on the SIM card. Today, only carrier information is stored on the SIM cards. That means that all of your current data stays. No resets required, it's just a matter of swapping SIM cards and the device instantly works with the new carrier. Since each carrier is willing to buy out your service, why wait?
If you are thinking about getting a better Unlimited Plan, contact Dr WIreless and we will make it happen!
Verizon has lost it's only advantage over T-Mobile. I had suspected so much but just received confirmation from one of my colleagues. Interestingly, when T-Mobile first began their "Un-Carrier" initiatives, Verizon and AT&T totally ignored them, implying that TM was a "second tier" carrier and not worthy of comparing.
There was never any doubt which carrier has been the innovator responsible for changing the wireless landscape. After all T-Mobile was the carrier responsible for all of the below...
-Eliminating those annoying two year Contracts by eliminating device subsidies.
-First Carrier to introduce native voIP wifi dialing over 8 years ago.
-Eliminated Data Overage Charges with Throttling once you exceeded your 4G allocation.
-Eliminated Global Data and Texting costs in 140 countries making this totally FREE.
-Reduced Voice Roaming costs from as high as $6 per minute to only $0.20 per minute in 140 countries.
-Eliminated Shared Data plans by Offering totally Unlimited 4G data while other carriers phased it out.
-Introduced Music Freedom which meant music does not count against your data allocation.
-Introduced BINGE-ON Free SD 4G LTE Video Streaming without limits
-Introduced "Data Stash" allowing unused data to roll over to the following month if not used.
-Introduced Mexico and Canada as FREE local service with no roaming or long Distance toll call charges.
-Introduced extended range LTE and voLTE
-Introduced a program offering FREE wifi boosters and now, 4G LTE boosters.
-Introduced FREE SMS messaging and FREE Wifi through GOGO when flying on Airplanes
-Introduced "Get Thanked" which is Free cool stuff for all TM subscribers on Tuesdays @T-MobileTuesdays.
-Eliminated all taxes, PUC fees, carrier recovery fees and all other annoying fees so...
For regular global travelers, it gets even better. The below One Plus and One Plus International super charge your plan with faster speeds and a lot of other cool features and functionality.
If you are still with AT&T or Sprint, why?
Contact me and I will take you out of your misery.
Anyone who has ever used an iPhone is using cloud computing and may not even realize it. Whenever you input your apple ID and password, you are accessing your Apple icloud. By default, many applications like photos and documents will be saved "in the cloud". If you have ever upgraded your iPhone, and then entered your apple ID and password into the new device, you are aware of an amazing thing that happens. Your new device downloads everything that was on the old device. All applications, content and even your current screen saver, lock screen and ringtone are pulled down from the cloud and loaded on your new iPhone. The cloud also makes features like "Find My Phone", and remote locking and erasing of a lost device possible.
One of my New Year's Resolutions was that this year, I plan to physically talk to my friends and clients more and rely on impersonal e-mail less. Last year, I had a client looking for a voIP cloud phone system to replace his company's PBX. He was so impressed with my proposed solution that I thought that I should also try implementing it. I don't impress very easy but loved everything about having a Virtual PBX in my office and all of my communications simplified down to one phone number. As my old landline could not do video calls, SMS, or receive faxes, this was a no brainer. Two of my favorite features are Video Calling and being able to share my screen with four users simultaneously. This is great for my webinair tutorials. Did I mention that my office is now any place that has an ethernet port or computer that I can plug my business phone into. This makes moving from one office to another a piece of cake. No more expensive wiring jobs or expensive monthly PBX maintenance contracts. I've found that my office phone system follows me anywhere there is an internet connection which makes life better!
Face the facts! That old expensive analog Private Branch Exchange (PBX) was impressive in it's day but as useful as a typewriter today. You can ride it like it's the Titanic or bail now for today's Digital voIP technology. One of the common objections I get is people seem to think that a voIP system utilizing the internet cannot be as reliable as an analog system. The reality is that cloud voIP is more reliable for several important reasons. First, with a voIP system, your "PBX" is not in your office, it's in the cloud. Even if your office had it's internet connectivity interrupted, you can either take your voIP office phone anywhere there is an ethernet computer port to plug into. You can also set up your cellphone to ring if you don't answer your office line.
In the old days, large companies utilized analog Private Branch Exchange (PBX) Systems to handle all telephone calls. These systems allowed the company to "park" and transfer voice calls to the appropriate extension. They only handled voice calls and you were charged for each call. Imagine being charged for each e-mail you send. Not only are Hosted Voice Solutions far less expensive, they also introduce a host of cool collaborative functionality as you will see below. One of the biggest problems with analog PBX systems was the cost to operate and maintain them. Buying a PBX without also taking a maintenance service contract was not a very smart option. If you think the service contract is costly, try calling a PBX technician for help without a contract.
By purchasing Hosted Exchange Services, you eliminate all of the hardware and service contract expenses. After all, a hosted phone system consists of just three things. A desktop voIP phone, the internet, and a Hosted Provider.
Aside from reducing costs, virtual phone systems are not tied to any particular location. That means you can plug your desktop voIP phone into any ethernet connection and it's business as usual like you were in your actual office.
What's really awesome about Virtual PBX systems is aside from convenience, they create a perception that your business is much larger and more successful than it may actually be. After all, it back in the day, it used to cost a bundle to own a PBX that would route calls to various extensions, play background music, offer operator support, and dial by directory capability. Add video conference calling, the ability to share your computer screen with others, text messaging, and being able to setup everything remotely over the internet and you begin to see why this is a must have for businesses.
Dr Wireless is an authorized RingCentral Business Partner. For a demonstration on how everything works, please visit our RingCentral Page or contact me.
Here are the hottest deals for 2017
Starting January 4, for a limited time, new and existing postpaid customers get 50% off an iPad mini 2 (32GB) (after 24 monthly bill credits) when purchased on EIP with T-Mobile ONE or a Simple Choice 6GB $20 or higher Mobile Internet plan.
Having trouble keeping your New Year’s resolution to get more fit? Well you’re not alone. Let Samsung help with a FREE Gear Fit2! Starting January 6, for a limited time, new and existing customers who purchase a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge can receive a FREE Gear Fit2 on any rate plan! Contact me for details.
This deal ends Wednesday, December 21st, Last chance!
Starting this Thursday, December 22 (for a limited time)...
When customers add a line on T-Mobile ONE or Simple Choice Unlimited and buy an eligible Samsung superphone on EIP, they’ll get a second Samsung superphone of equal or lesser value FREE!
The Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Note5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+, and J7 are all eligible. And with T-Mobile ONE, customers are going to get UNLIMITED talk, text, and 4G LTE data on the network built for unlimited.
You know the routine with this one: To qualify, customers just have to purchase at least one of their Samsung superphones on EIP and add a line to their T-Mobile ONE or Simple Choice Unlimited data rate plan. (Max 6 free devices. No limit on @Work.
If customers want even more, they can combine this offer with Carrier Freedom and we’ll cover their switching costs up to $650 per line! Contact me immediately as this goes for just a few days...
Stackable Offers: Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge, Note5, S6, S6 edge purchases are stackable with:
Want a FREE iPhone 7 on the Verizon Wireless Network?
Basically the promotion is that customers going with Zero interest Device Payment are getting a promotional discount off of their monthly device payment that makes the iPhone 7 32GB (in this example) $10 per month. So all you have to do is activate a new line of service while purchasing a qualifying device and you get it for (in the case of the iPhone 7 32GB) a net of $10 per month. If you want it for as low as totally FREE, you will need a qualifying smartphone to trade in (iPhone 7, 7+, 6s, 6s+, Samsung S7, S7 Edge, S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, Note5, Phone 7, Note 5, LG G5, V10 Droid Turbo 2 HTC 10). Ask me for details!
Attention AT&T Subscribers
T-Mobile just declared war on AT&T! Let’s be real, AT&T wants everyone to think DIRECTV is theirs exclusively. Well, guess what? Both DIRECTV NOW and the DIRECTV app stream data-free on T-Mobile's faster, more advanced network—a network that covers nearly every single American. And since AT&T is too distracted by their new business and DIRECTV to do right by their 110 million wireless customers. T-Mobile decided to take it from here and show them how it is done.
Starting Friday, December 16, for a limited time, when AT&T customers switch from AT&T to join our faster, more advanced LTE network, they can get a FREE year of DIRECTV NOW. (That’s a $420 value!)
This deal is perfect for a few different kinds of AT&T customers:
Offer DetailsTo qualify for this offer
Get $200 per line, for up to four lines when activating a new line or moving numbers from another carrier to T-Mobile's ONE Unlimited 4G LTE plan. Wednesday, December 21st is the last day before this deal goes away. Don't miss out. Contact Dr Wireless now!
Last chance to get a FREE $499.99 GSP1700 Satellite Phone. Globalstar's Satellite network is the most advanced. This offer requires a one year agreement that includes 100 minutes per month, unlimited inbound texting and voice mail for $65 per month ($780 per year). According to my accountant, this is 100% tax write off as a business expense. These devices are great for disaster preparedness, business continuity, crusie ships, Alaska trips, Federal parks and when going to the mountains or off the beaten path.
The above represnt the some of the best deals of the year. Why not start the new year off with a Fresh phone and less expensive wireless plan with more data?
Best Wishes for Happy Holidays from my family to yours...
John Legere, T-Mobile's brash CEO, is probably the only guy on the planet who dislikes AT&T more than I do. His "Uncarrier" initiatives must be a nightmare for his AT&T CEO counterpart, Randall Stephenson. In any case, TM is going after AT&T, this time using something right out of AT&T's own toolbox - DirectTV NOW.
AT&T has been using their relationship with Direct TV to drive business to their network. Just to even become eligible to sign up for AT&T's Unlimited Wireless plan, they require their subscribers to also bundle in either Direct TV or U-Verse, both services owned by AT&T.
T-Mobile just struck back hard at AT&T with the following Holiday Offer...
“AT&T wants you to think DirecTV is theirs exclusively, but that’s a load of crap," Legere said in T-Mobile's press release yesterday. "Both DirecTV Now and the DirecTV apps stream free on T-Mobile with a faster, more advanced network that covers nearly every American. AT&T is so distracted by their new businesses and DirecTV that they continue to ignore their 110 million wireless customers. Luckily, the Un-carrier’s here to show them how to actually take care of customers!”
T-Mobile also said it believes AT&T customers will end up preferring T-Mobile "even if you hate DirecTV NOW (we offer no guarantees, since it’s an AT&T product after all)."
As Legere noted, T-Mobile already exempted the DirecTV satellite service's mobile video app from data caps. When T-Mobile announced Binge On in November 2015, it exempted its own video service and rival video services from Verizon and AT&T, a move that may have helped fend off net neutrality challenges. DirecTV Now is a new online-only service that customers subscribe to separately from the DirecTV satellite plan, so it apparently had to be added to Binge On separately.
While T-Mobile does not charge competitors for data cap exemptions, AT&T exempts its own video from data caps while requiring other companies to pay for the same privilege. Federal Communications Commission officials recently accused AT&T of violating net neutrality rules with this practice, but AT&T yesterday told the FCC that the accusation is "nonsensical." AT&T probably has little to worry about because the FCC under President-elect Donald Trump will likely be run by opponents of net neutrality rules.
If you are an AT&T subscriber, there's a good chance you have $31 coming to you. That's because AT&T just agreed with the FTC to refund $88 million back to their subscribers. AT&T is not the first carrier to get fined for Cramming. All of the carriers have done this out of greed. Here's how it works and why it was such a strong source of revenue for carriers. In the old days, there was an option to pay for a text messaging package. Today, Unlimited texting is free. The carriers would partner with 3rd party companies, agreeing to provide the billing services for these companies. In return, these companies allowed the carriers to keep anywhere from 35-50% of the monthly revenue. One of the most popular was a service offering a joke of the day. Most people wouldn't think twice getting a joke e-mailed to them, as it wasn't costing them to receive text messages. If they knew a new monthly charge of $9.99 would miraculously appear on their phone bill each and every month, they'd likely go ballistic.
As I work with several Universities that would send all phone bills to a central accounting department for payment, this presented a huge problem. Only the end user would likely recognize bogus charges like these. The FTC indicated the refunds are related to 2014 and the companies behind two mobile cramming schemes, Tatto and Acquinity. According to the FTC's complaint in the matter, AT&T levied third-party charges – usually amounting to around $10 per month – for ringtones and text message subscriptions on customer accounts without their knowledge. The FTC alleged AT&T kept at least 35 percent of the fraudulent charges.
According to the FTC, the refunds will go to some 2.7 million AT&T customers across all 50 states. The Commission said 2.5 million individuals getting refunds are current AT&T customers who will receive a bill credit within the next 75 days, while an additional 300,000 plus former customers will receive a check in the mail.
Hopefully, your check is in the mail!
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.