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09 Jun

Charter® to Unveil Spectrum Mobile® Wireless Service by June

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Charter® is reportedly inching closer to unveiling Spectrum Mobile®, their unlimited wireless service to be delivered over mostly Verizon Wireless® network, by the end of this June. Charter® has an MNVO agreement with Verizon®, but the cable operator will also provide the best internet service over existing wireless accent points in residences and business locations. Reports also indicate that the wireless service of Spectrum® is priced at $45 a month.

The wireless service or mobile network marketed by Charter Communications® takes cues from Comcast’s similar offering, titled XFINITY Mobile®. In other words, Philadelphia-based Telco giant also has an MNVO tie-up with Verizon Wireless®. In the first year of XFINITY Mobile’s operation, Comcast® has managed to win over half a million customers to the wireless network. Much like XFINITY Mobile®, even Charter’s best internet service is anticipated to be accessible to those who have a subscriber relationship with the cable operator.

Existing residential customers that rely on Spectrum® for cable or internet will be eligible to add their wireless service and the same goes for those who want to move to Spectrum® for cable or internet. Charter’s Chief Mobile Officer, Danny Bowman, recently announced a collaboration with Comcast® for backend systems and software required for supporting the two mobile networks. Still, both companies noted that Comcast® had made investments toward a working platform’s development, which they will share with Charter®. In exchange for that, Charter® is funding the collaboration, even though the company spokespeople said that they plan to invest in future.

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The launch of Spectrum Mobile® is speculated to steal subscribers from some of the other major US carriers, but Verizon Wireless® will be able to cushion such threats through payments they will receive from Charter Communications® upon moving data through Verizon’s network. In other words, the cable operator will reportedly pay Verizon® $5 per GB of data, which Charter’s customers get to access through the wireless provider’s network.

As of now, it is unclear as to how United States Department of Justice will view mobile virtual network operators such as XFINITY Mobile® and Spectrum Mobile® when appraising competition in the nationwide wireless market. In fact, competition is an important factor that the DOJ will consider as and when they study the proposed merger between T-Mobile® and Sprint®.

17 May

Comcast® to Open Xfinity® Stores in Indiana and Illinois Soon

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Comcast Xfinity® is set to open a new store in Valparaiso city in Indiana this month. The existing and new residential customers of Comcast® can walk into the Xfinity® outlet at 2710 LaPorte Avenue for any service-related purposes. The outlet will serve as a gateway for subscribers to learn about Comcast’s services, comprising cable, best internet service, home security systems, and mobile offerings, which are being sold under the Xfinity® brand.

The outlet will allow customers to get hands-on with Xfinity® applications, which can stream cable channels and on-demand video content. The customers of the cable, telephone, and best internet service can access hundreds of channels and thousands of video-on-demand. With growing number of subscribers, it is unsurprising that Comcast® is opening several Xfinity® outlets soon.

“The stores are awesome places to visit and learn more about Xfinity® products and services from the trained store staff,” said Comcast® Senior VP for Great Chicago Region, John Crowley. “Visitors are welcome to come in and experience our products and services like they would at home.”

The existing customers of Comcast® can walk into the Xfinity® store for paying their monthly invoices, for picking up and returning equipment, or interact with new features of Xfinity®. For that, the best internet provider has installed the Xfinity® app in several mobile phones displayed in the store.

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“We’re pleased that Valparaiso is getting a new Xfinity® Store,” said Valparaiso City Mayor, Jon Costas. “Located within Valparaiso’s centrally located, dynamic retail scene, the new store will be able to serve thousands and thousands of existing Xfinity® customers and attract new ones not just from Valparaiso, but from the surrounding communities as well.”

The Xfinity® store at 2710 LaPorte Ave will stay open from 10:00 am to 08:00 pm from Mondays to Saturdays, and from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sundays. Other than the new Xfinity® outlet set to open in the city, Comcast® is also opening other such stores in Illinois. In fact, it is reported that the cable giant will open Xfinity® stores in Glenview and Kildeer in the second quarter or by summer of this year. The store doubles up as a service center of Comcast®, where customers can pay outstanding bills, manage their Xfinity® accounts, or even subscribe to newer services that get rolled out in due course.

19 Mar

AT&T® May Extend its Fiber Gigabit Service to Warren County

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Fiber Gigabit Service

AT&T® is considering extending its high-speed fiber internet service to Warren County. The launch of fiber to the region will enable more homes and offices of the county to access superfast internet connectivity for various applications. The Telco intends to offer the Internet 1000 option for the residents of Warren County that provides them with broadband gigabit internet speeds of about 1000 megabits per second. As the fastest internet provider, AT&T® intends to further expand its broadband services to more underserved regions of the country.

Two other telecommunications companies, North Central Communications of Lafayette, Tennessee, and South Central Rural Telecommunication Cooperative of Glasgow have also announced their plans to extend high-speed internet connectivity to various regions of Warren County. This has prompted AT&T® to come up with plans to offer its own improved high-speed fiber service to the county than the two communication providers. However, the officials from AT&T® did not disclose any details related to the specific areas that it intends to offers its Internet 1000 service.

According to the statement of Cathy Lewandowski, the Lead Public Relations Manager of AT&T®, “This is our initial launch announcement, and additional details of where it will launch in parts of Warren County are not available at this time.” The Telco has already invested considerably in expanding its high-speed internet to other locations in the country. Its popular Internet 1000 service has already become functional in areas of Lexington, Louisville, and Kentucky.

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Warren County Judge-Executive, Mike Buchanon, has expressed optimism regarding the extension of AT&T’s fiber gigabit service to the county. He said, “We have worked with several providers, including AT&T®, over the past several years. Although we have had no direct communication recently from them and have been given no information as to their intended timing, scope of their commitment or which parts of Warren County they intend to commit to serve, we are happy that they have responded to our efforts.”

Warren County has become a potential investment source for telecommunication companies like AT&T® and other regional service providers for offering their services. According to Buchanon, “We have worked hard to level the playing field, to create a competitive marketplace in Warren County. We continue to meet regularly with new companies and work toward the goal of countywide accessibility of high-speed internet service to every home.”

The Internet 1000 service if made available can provide the residents of Warren County with better services that can tailor the growth of jobs and the economy. Residents can opt for this Internet 1000 service for $70 per month by bundling with another service offered by AT&T®. The internet only service will cost about $80 per month.

16 Mar

Comcast Business® Introduces One Click Conferencing App to its VoiceEdge™ Service

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One Click Conferencing App

Comcast Business® has announced that it had added a new VoiceEdge™ Conferencing app to its cloud phone service. The addition of this new app will radically improve the service by making it easier to carry out and manage conference calls.

With the VoiceEdge™ Conferencing app, a single click can help in initiating a conference call and resolve any of the issues for a smoother calling experience. Available to all Comcast Business® VoiceEdge™ subscribers, this new facility can add up to 50 participants for a conference call and initiate the call using the “click to start conference” feature.

John Guillaume, the Vice President for Product Management at Comcast Business® said, “With an increasingly distributed and mobile workforce, conference calls are an important tool for keeping teams connected, but this can become challenging from a user standpoint when different people are trying to access a conference call while traveling, in remote locations, from a different office.”

“We’re continually innovating and evolving our voice platform with a focus on improving the end-user experience and overall business impact,” he further added. “With Comcast Business® VoiceEdge™ Conferencing, the days of remembering long phone numbers and PINs or asking ‘who joined the call,’ are now a thing of the past – saving our customers both time and resources.”

The Conference app for VoiceEdge™ will also make it easier for users to join a conference call by simply clicking on the “join conference” link. The app comes with several management tools and options that allow those who host the conference calls to view and identify the users who are connected to the call.

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The VoiceEdge™ Conference app is an award-winning feature developed by Comcast Business® that was conferred the 2018 Internet Telephony Product of the Year by TMCNet. Comcast® being one of the best internet service has made a new development by introducing this feature as it allows business services to become more advanced and user-friendly. Besides, the VoiceEdge™ Conference app is also available for many of the standard tools and software used for business, such as Microsoft OWA, Skype for Business, and Google Chrome.

The VoiceEdge™ Conference allows the addition of 50 participants along with a moderator for making the conference call. It essentially takes away the elaborate processes of making a conference call by providing a one-click access feature. This makes it much easier and fast to make and manage conference calls with multiple users.

It also provides improved security with the feature of PIN-protected conferencing, which is crucial for business communications. The VoiceEdge™ Conference app is compatible with various PC and mobile operating systems, including Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows.

13 Mar

AT&T® to Roll out Its 5G Services in Dallas, Atlanta, and Waco

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Rolling Out 5G Services

The development of 5G services took a major turn when AT&T® declared that it intends to first roll out its 5G network across the cities of Dallas, Atlanta, and Waco. AT&T® has been working on introducing its 5G services and the latest announcement conveys the rapid development of its 5G network. The Telco is also planning to open a 5G innovation center and test lab in Austin for further extending its best internet service. According to the official statements, AT&T® intends to debut its 5G services later this year with further upgrades planned for the beginning of 2019.

AT&T® is using the non-standalone (NSA) 5G 3GPP standards for deploying its 5G networks across the selected cities. The 5G network will use the millimeter-wave spectrum for providing the service. The customers can enjoy basic 5G services after AT&T® launches the network in the three cities. However, the Telco intends to include further additions to the network such as 5G capable smartphones and devices in 2019. Several additional spectrum bands will also be allocated in the coming years to accommodate the traffic.

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AT&T’s Senior Vice President of Wireless Network Architecture and Design, Igal Elbaz, said, “After significantly contributing to the first phase of 5G standards, conducting multi-city trials, and literally transforming our network for the future, we’re planning to be the first carrier to deliver standards-based mobile 5G — and do it much sooner than most people thought possible. What this means for our customers in these cities is that they will be the very first to access this next generation of wireless services.”

AT&T® is also planning to release the name of more cities that it intends to roll out 5G services in the coming months. It has already signed up with the Swedish telecommunications major, Ericsson for advancing its Internet of Things (IoT) solutions platform. According to AT&T®, “The experience we’ve gained by leading the industry transformation to network virtualization and software control will help our customers to get the most out of 5G. Ultimately, this means new experiences with augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR), future autonomous cars, and delivery drones.”

The setting up of the new test lab and innovation center will help AT&T® to carry out extensive testing and trials of its standards-based 5G network. The engineers are provided with a conducive environment where they can build and test the 5G networks and devices. The outdoor 5G testbed of AT&T® Labs, known as Advanced 5G NR Testbed Systems (ANTS), will be used to carry out trials 5G applications and real world user cases.

08 Feb

AT&T® Upgrades Fixed Wireless Internet Service in Arkansas

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Wireless Internet Service

The consumers in underserved and unserved areas in select parts of up to 40 counties in Arkansas can now access AT&T® Fixed Wireless Internet service. AT&T® debuted Fixed Wireless Internet in the US state back in September last year as part of their FCC Connect America Fund commitment. AT&T® has now upgraded the service in Arkansas’s rural and urban communities in order to cater to the varied broadband needs of both business and residential consumers.

AT&T® deploys the high-speed internet service without satellite via a wireless tower to a fixed antennae placed on the customers homes or business premises. AT&T® provides Fixed Wireless Internet with downstream speeds of up to 10 megabytes per second and upstream speeds of 1 Mbps at the least. “Access to broadband service is key for today’s digital economy,” said Senator Jonathan Dismang, President Pro Tempore of the Arkansas State Senate. “New technologies such as these will assist in closing the access gap that is present in certain areas of rural Arkansas. I’m excited to see AT&T® investing in this way.”

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The best internet provider now equips select parts of Arkansas counties namely Bradley, Benton, Carroll, Clark, Greene, Jackson, Mississippi, and so forth, with Fixed Wireless Internet. “It’s nice to finally have a fast, dependable connection, even though we live in a rural area,” said Judy McCool, who lives in Hot Spring County. “It’s especially great for our triplet granddaughters who live with us. Each has a laptop to complete school work and EAST Initiative projects at home. Before the new AT&T® technology was installed, we had to go to the county library seven miles away to connect to the Internet.”

“The thousands of dedicated men and women who work for AT&T® and call Arkansas home are proud to work with our state’s political leadership to provide the connectivity Arkansas’ residents and businesses demand,” said AT&T’s External Affairs Manager for Arkansas Area, Ronnie Dedman.

AT&T® started to offer high-speed internet service to more than 440,000 localities across 18 US states in 2017 as part of the FCC Connect America Fund commitment, and will continue the expansions to reach over 1.1mn areas nationwide by 2020. Considering Arkansas alone, AT&T® has committed to expand high-speed internet to over 50,000 locations throughout the Arkansas state in the years to come.

29 Jan

CenturyLink® Unveils Adaptive Network Security for Mobile Workforce

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Adaptive Network Security

CenturyLink® has rolled out its new Adaptive Network Security mobility service for meeting the demands of the increasingly mobile workforce and securing of information. This will become the standard basis of security for CenturyLink® after its acquisition of Level 3 Communications for a large sum of $34 last year.

Adaptive Network Security is an advanced networking solution that allows a highly secure connection to the internet and private network for remote users. It effectively minimizes any of the risks associated with data security while using personal devices and access through public unsecured Wi-Fi portals.

Chris Richter, the Vice President of Global Security Services of CenturyLink®, said, “Businesses today are embracing a global and mobile employee base. Thanks to the need for a constant connection on the devices of our choice, the concept of a ‘security perimeter’ can be difficult to define. Compounding matters are the unfortunate fact that public Wi-Fi remains highly susceptible to hacking, and mobile devices are prime targets, which is why enterprises need secure mobility solutions that do not hinder performance and flexibility. Our customers need to be confident their employees’ connections are secure regardless of connection type or device.”

With the introduction of this new technology, CenturyLink® is enhancing the features of its best internet service served across the country. It will enable businesses with more secure communications such as by providing them access to remote VPN access to corporate networks through high-security IPSec or SSL-based internet connections and a standard web browser.

End to end encryption is another notable feature along with tunneling. Besides, it will allow the enterprises to opt for concurrent use sessions depending on the expected users at a time than purchasing individual licenses for each of the mobile users.

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SSL-Based Internet Connections

CenturyLink® has made available its customers access to the Adaptive Network Security service via several different gateways located at various continents such as the Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America. CenturyLink’s wide-scale global VPN will cover all these gateways thus promising stringent network security to the customers accessing from anywhere. It allows remote connectivity for the employees using mobile devices while the businesses will still offer their central authentication, user role mapping, resource policies, and sign-in policies.

Chris Richter added, “It’s a big firewall in the sky with a lot more bells and whistles that make it next-gen security. The thing that was missing was mobility access. Organizations have mobile workforces using laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Maybe the office is in Chicago, but we need to access the Internet at Starbucks in L.A. This allows the mobile workforce to carry that same security policy around with them by connecting to the Internet through a regional gateway.”

15 Jan

AT&T® Walks Out of a Deal with Huawei

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The telecommunications giant AT&T® recently dropped out from the deal to sell the Huawei Smartphone called the Mate 10 to the people of the United States. Their partnership was about to unveil when they walk out suddenly. Officials, who were familiar with the deal, said that there was much anonymity regarding the deal, as the discussions were private. Interestingly, the Wall Street Journal had already reported about this change of plans by AT&T®.

The reason that made AT&T® to take such a huge step is not yet revealed. However, a group of lawmakers expressed their doubts on an important deal between an unrevealed American telecommunication company and Huawei to the Federal Communications Commission through a letter. They wrote about their concern on the deal to sell their products in the United States because of the ties of Huawei with the Chinese government. Even though the letter did not mention AT&T® specifically, their deal to sell the Huawei products in the United States was evident.

AT&T® spokesperson Fletcher Cook refused to comment on the topic, however, insiders report that the letter was reviewed by the New York Times and they said that, “the Congress had long been concerned about Chinese espionage in general, and Huawei’s role in that espionage in particular.”

Huawei, which is a private company based in Shenzhen, China, has denied to the comment that they present any kind of security risks. In a statement, the officials from Huawei stated that they delivered “premium devices with integrity globally and in the united states market over the past five years.” They further added that they would introduce new products for the American market soon.

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Huawei has a long list of setbacks regarding issues of security and this last minute turmoil is the latest among them. Huawei always faced political oppositions to its attempts to snoop on the United States market for years. This turmoil also deepened the political rift over the affairs of user privacy, security, and technology.

The lawmakers criticized the deal heavily, over the chances of Chinese access to the user data of America, regardless of the promises from the Chinese company that they will take necessary steps to make the data more secure.

Even though Huawei sells smartphones in the United States of America, they do not have deals with any of the prominent wireless carriers. The carriers, who dominate the communication market in the country includes T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T®. This makes it more difficult for Huawei to set a base in the United States.

12 Jan

CenturyLink® Formulates its Top Goals and Priorities for the New Year

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Level 3 Communications Acquisition

The year ahead is going to be largely fruitful for CenturyLink® as it lays down its goals and priorities for the year. The Telco has announced that it is focusing more on finalizing its interlinking with Level 3 Communications. By finalizing this merger, CenturyLink® intends to create a new digital experience that extends from quoting to payment for its entire range of customers. CenturyLink® acquired Level 3 Communications in the previous year for a sum of $34 billion. The goals and were laid by the Chief Financial Officer of CenturyLink®, Sunit Patel, during the Citi 2018 Global TMT West Conference in Las Vegas.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do in terms of digitizing our customer experience so people don’t have to call to find out why their network is down, how long is it going to take, etc.,” Patel said. “So I think focusing on that will simultaneously improve our customer experience; it will drive a lot of change inside the enterprise in terms of automating workflows for our employees so they can support our customers better. A digital future for us inside and how we interact with our customers is going to be pretty important.”

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Internet Of Things

Being one of the top internet providers in the country, CenturyLink® is looking for new developments to compete with other major providers. He also stressed that the approach to the market and the customers are another key goal of CenturyLink®. Moreover, the Telco has made further plans in attracting more of the enterprise market share. This includes customer organization based on segments as per their needs, capital, and strategic priorities.

Patel said, “The other big thing is the scale that we now have in the United States; we are the second-largest enterprise provider in the [U.S.], larger than Verizon® and second to AT&T®. I think that scale and the network footprint that we have will allow us to improve our win-loss ratios. We should be able to win in the marketplace a lot more because our network goes to more places than any of our competitors do.”

He also stated that there is an increase in the demand for bandwidth in this year. “Looking forward, you’re going to have a lot more bandwidth demand driven by machine-to-machine bandwidth needs, the Internet of Things (IoT), etc.,” Patel added. “There’s a constant need for more bandwidth, so while you might have different legacy services going down and new services going up, the backdrop is everyone needing more bandwidth.”

10 Jan

KTVN Channel 2 Blocked for AT&T U-Verse® Customers Following Negotiation Disputes

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KTVN Channel 2 Blocked

An ongoing negotiation relating to the agreement on extending the distribution has led to the KTVN Channel 2 being barred for AT&T U-Verse® TV subscribers based in Northern Nevada. AT&T® failed to come to an agreement in the negotiations regarding the extension of distribution and the amount the Telco is agreeing to pay KTVN for its content. Moreover, AT&T® denied the permission to offer the channel without the approval from its owner Sarkes Tarzian Inc.

Lawson Fox, who is the General Manager of KTVN said, “Negotiation has to do with the value of our programming for the system. So they pay us for the privilege of the content. We’ve done 10 of these in the last few months successfully. This is the one that isn’t complete. And the only one where we didn’t maintain carriage during the conversation.”

He did not stress on the price they require from AT&T® on behalf of offering their content. The fact is that the pricing has increased right from the previous contract. The negotiations are further stalled by AT&T’s reluctance to pay higher prices for obtaining the same content.

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Regional spokesperson of AT&T®, Steven Ramirez, said, “We want to get KTVN back into our Reno customers’ lineups as soon as possible, but by law, KTVN’s owner Sarkes Tarzian has exclusive control over whether that station remains available on U-verse or not. Sarkes Tarzian is seeking a significant increase in fees even though the same people can still watch its shows for free over-the-air on channel 2 and, often, at cbs.com or using the CBS app.”

However, KTVN is also stating that the price increase is also not that high. Fox also stresses that other TV and internet providers have already paid the new price and it is only AT&T® that is showing reluctance regarding paying the fees. AT&T® spokesperson Ramirez has also stated that Tarzian has disconnected the service based on contract disputes several times before.

Ramirez said, “Our goal is to offer customers more choice over the content they may care about most, delivered at a value they can consider justified. We want to resolve this matter quickly and reasonably, and appreciate our Reno customers’ patience while we attempt to do just that.” However, latest reports say that the negotiations are heading in a positive direction as AT&T® has finally accepted the offer made by KTVN to extend the distribution of the channel.

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