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19 Jul

AT&T® Commences Its 5G Evolution Network At Indianapolis

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5G Evolution Network

AT&T® has declared that it has launched its ultra-fast 5G Evolution network in parts of Indianapolis. In view of this, the telecom provider has completed the upgrades for the 5G network in the region that includes centralized-RAN, 256 QAM, 4X4 MIMO, and three-way carrier aggregation.

AT&T® is certainly the fastest internet provider in many regions of the US, and implementing a full-scale development of its network and infrastructure in the city of Indianapolis will make them even more superior. Besides, this will also aid in assisting with many of the futuristic developments planned for the city such as self-driving cars.

AT&T® has made a considerable investment of more than $350 million in the last three years for developing both the wired and wireless networks in Indianapolis. Marachel Knight, senior vice president of Wireless Network Architecture and Design at AT&T® said, “We’re excited to launch these new, faster, wireless technologies in Indianapolis as we march towards standards-based mobile 5G. The upgrades in Indianapolis are crucial to the future of next generation connectivity in this city.”

Previously, AT&T’s announcement of deploying 5G Evolution network in about 20 metros by the year-end has met with criticism from other providers. AT&T® has stated that it is in the process of finalizing the standards of 5G networking technology and justified its usage of the 5G Evolution brand. Moreover, the company has made significant contributions to the development of 3GPP wireless standards process and is collaborating with numerous technology companies for deploying 5G networks across the regions.

According to AT&T® officials, the 5G Evolution network will offer twice the speeds than the standard 4G LTE network. This will allow the customers to experience a faster internet connectivity experience and download speeds than was previously possible.

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3GPP Wireless Standards Process

Customers having the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones can access this best internet service and technology upgrades from AT&T®. The company also revealed that the service would be increasingly accessible as numerous 5G Evolution capable devices are expected to be released in the coming months.

AT&T® has also unveiled its new Distributed Antenna System (DAS) and expanded the network capacity to its nine existing systems in Indianapolis. This will provide maximum internet connectivity across larger venues such as airports, shopping malls, and stadiums. The carrier expects to install the LTE-LAA and 4-way carrier aggregation in numerous parts of 5G Evolution metro areas by the year-end.

The launch of 5G network in Indianapolis by AT&T® follows the successful deployment of this networking technology across Austin lately.

14 Jul

Cox® To Renew Nationwide Deployment Of Gigabit Services By 2020

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Nationwide Deployment Of Gigabit Services

Cox Communications® has renewed its strategy of deploying gigabit services across the country by the year 2020. By implementing this nationwide strategy, Cox® intends to become the fastest internet provider offering gigabit internet services to the customers. Previously, the telecom provider has made several unsuccessful attempts in expanding its gigabit speed offering across the country.

Cox® has entered with its 1-gig services into parts of 13 states among its 18 state footprint. Their latest announcement of nationwide gigabit deployment will pave the way for improving the internet connectivity and speeds across most regions in the country.

Recently, Cox® declared that it intends to use a strategy that involves both fiber and DOCSIS 3.1 to achieve the rollout of its 1-gig services. The deployment of fiber between its network and DOCSIS 3.1 will further expand its gigabit services across more regions of the country. In view of this, the provider has made plans in carrying out several large-scale upgrades of its HFC plant to DOCSIS 3.1 by putting new Converged Cable Accessed Platform systems (CCAP). According to Cox®, about a third of the CCAP installation would be carried out by the end of the year.

Cox® Vice President, Philipp Nutsugah stated, “Cox®, at the end of the day, is a connectivity company. And so, take the city of San Diego for instance, not only have we built out… fiber to the home in the city of San Diego, we also have a significant deployment of business B2B fiber.”

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Converged Cable Accessed Platform Systems

This will facilitate the availability of the D3.1 service to the customers by the year-end. However, the DOCSIS 3.1 service will be only available to the customers by next year.

“We’ve got some real interesting partnerships on the Wi-Fi side of the house so in the gas-lamp district, as an example, we worked with the city of San Diego… for them to allow us to hang, unobtrusively, Wi-Fi access points on those historic streetlamps throughout that district,” Nutsugah further added. “We’ve partnered with them to have Cox® Wi-Fi all through Balboa Park. We got on the USS Midway. So we have worked very closely with the city of San Diego to have that connectivity available.”

By implementing a combination of fiber and node plus zero, Cox® will be able to offer much larger bandwidth and capacity for other features such as public Wi-Fi services. Moreover, Cox’s significant investments in broadband connectivity across the country will also make possible the development of smart cities in the near future.

13 Jul

Comcast® Partners With Assurant® In Offering Mobile Device Protection Plans

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Mobile Device Protection Plans

Comcast® has entered into a new collaboration with Assurant®, a risk management solutions provider, for providing mobile device protection plan for its customers. This latest Xfinity® Mobile Protection Plan will offer the customers with repair and replacement of the devices in case of data loss or theft, accidental damage and other hardware issues.

With this new offering, Comcast® is seriously considering the upgrade of its mobile networks for better service and security. The company had begun its wireless offering Xfinity® Mobile lately with plans included a $65 unlimited package and a $12 per gigabyte option.

Numerous other internet providers and Telcos such as T-Mobile®, AT&T®, Verizon®, and Sprint® have already collaborated with Assurant® for providing device protection plans to their customers. Assurant’s mobile device protection plans offer complete assistance in case of any issue with the device while also providing a quick and comprehensive solution for resolving the problem.

The new device protection plan with Comcast® will consist of unlimited customer support, specialists’ guidance for solving various technical issues. This solution is not only limited to mobile phones though, but would be extended to a range of other devices as well such as TV’s, laptops, routers/modems, as well as home automation systems like thermostats, lights, and alarms.

Besides that, Comcast® customers are also made available access to the Assurant® app Pocket Geek that offers several self-diagnostic tools, security aspects, alerts, and troubleshooting advice. Moreover, customers can also access the Personal TechPro customer support specialists.

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Quick And Comprehensive Solution

Currently, iPhones users with an Xfinity® Mobile subscription get access to AppleCare Services. In addition, the Assurant® protection is also extended by Comcast® to serve on devices such as Samsung® Galaxy and Apple® iPhone for a price of $12 per month. Besides, the protection plans will also enable the customers to carry out an upgrade of their devices every twelve months without needing any early upgrading fees.

This offering comes along with its protection on damage, breakdowns, and loss that are not covered under the manufacturer warranty. Comcast’s decision to implement device protection on their customers comes ahead of the offerings made by other internet providers to their customers. Companies like Sprint® provide entry-level Assurant® protection of two tiers for a rate of $9 per month. Included with this is automatic data backup along with repair and replacement of the device.

11 Jul

CenturyLink® Abandons DSL Usage Caps By Ending One-Year Usage Metering Trials

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No Usage Caps

CenturyLink® Inc. is on course of becoming the fastest internet provider in the country, and in view of that, the Telco has terminated their one-year trial in Washington by getting rid of the usage caps for low-speed DSL users. The provider has stated that the trials of the usage based metering in Washington do not comply with its intention of providing valuable offers, plans, and pricing to its DSL services.

CenturyLink® declared this new move saying, “Because this approach no longer aligns with our goal to simplify offers and pricing for our customers, we have decided to end this program, effective May 3, 2017.”

CenturyLink’s new declaration concerning the data caps and metering will provide bill credits to the customers based in Yakima, Washington who were charged with excessive fees during the trial periods. The company has stated that, “If you incurred overage charges related to this program, those charges will be credited and appear on your June or July monthly billing statement. No action is required on your part, and there are no impacts to your existing CenturyLink® service.”

Reports say that CenturyLink® has commenced the launch of its metered billing in the previous year that focused on select DSL customers based in Yakima, Washington.

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CenturyLink® Internet

As a part of the trials, the company imposed a 300 gigabyte-per-month cap along with overage fees of $10 for every additional 50 GB of usage. In addition, there were numerous other usage caps put forward by CenturyLink® such as 150 GB to 250 GB according to the speed of the customer’s line. However, there were no additional charges imposed by the company for the user penalties such as exceeding the monthly usage allowance.

With 6 million subscribers, CenturyLink® arguably offers the best internet service in various parts of the country. The rolling back of its usage metering is a sign that the company is not intending to impose the overage fees into other locations under its service footprint. However, customers must still abide strictly with CenturyLink’s “Excessive Use Policy”, which puts up limitations of 150 GB or 250 GB per month to the customers.

The policy also states that it “reserves the right to disconnect your service after the third month of excessive usage in a rolling 12-month period.” CenturyLink® has also announced that automatic disconnection of customers who exceed the limits will not occur again. The provider is taking measures to encourage customers in minimizing their data usage and for upgrading to higher speed data plans.

10 Jul

New Broadband Tariffs And Data Caps By Cox® And CenturyLink®

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New Broadband Tariffs

Subscribers of both Cox Communications® and CenturyLink® would have to pay overage fees if the data consumption exceeds set data caps. This news may augur well to those who subscribe broadband, or not so well for netizens, depending on usage policy of either carrier. Cox Communications® have started to levy subscribers’ overage fees in four new American states namely Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Arizona recently.

Netizens or anyone can crosscheck set speed and data consumption limits of both carrier and their best internet service, broadband. Prior to implementing overage charges, Cox® subscribers were paying a flat tariff to access broadband internet no matter the usage. Cox® has let their regular subscribers use 1 terabytes a month, even as overage charges clock at $10 a month for additional 50 GB each, in the unlimited broadband plan. Later in 2017, Cox® would introduce a mega unlimited internet plan to subscribers, indicate reliable sources.

One terabyte is a lot of internet for netizens, but who knows, they may have to get their heads around with new pricing mechanism from Cox® later in the year. Netizens use data habitually and consume cheap internet from carriers to play games, watch videos, access social media, send e-mails, etc. It is said that the data caps are one and the same for Cox®, and Xfinity® terabyte internet plan which also gives 50 GB each for $10 extra.

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Internet Data Caps

CenturyLink® has an “Excessive Use Policy” acronymed EUP. What’s more, the data caps were even lower for CenturyLink® last year, as low as 300 gigabytes. It was a worthy yearlong trial, but the Telco giant has put a full stop to the “usage-based billing program” in WA and Yakima of late. CenturyLink® is giving bill credits to those who cross set caps in Washington as well as to those of you who paid more bill than usual in Yakima.

“If you incurred overage charges related to this program, those charges will be credited and appear on your June or July monthly billing statement,” CenturyLink® said. “No action is required on your part, and there are no impacts to your existing CenturyLink® service.”

Besides, the Telco giant “reserves the right to disconnect your service after the third month of excessive usage in a rolling 12-month period” which was applicable for last year.

07 Jul

Charter® Testing Its New Skinny Streaming Bundle

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Skinny Streaming Bundle

Charter Communications®, one of the fastest internet provider and cable company in the country, has commenced the testing of a sports-less streaming service that could offer around 25 channels. The service will be made available for the customers for a price of $20 per month and is offered on Android, iOS, Amazon, Xbox One, Samsung Smart TVs, and Roku devices. The major programming packages offered in this new service includes 25 of the common cable channels such as AMC, Fox, CBS, PBS, TNT, FX, and Food Network.

Justin Venech, spokesperson of Charter Communications® stated, “We are testing Spectrum Stream, an IP delivered in-home cable TV product with traditional TV everywhere out-of-home streaming, to a group of prequalified and current Spectrum® internet customers to see if this smaller package resonates with a certain segment of non-video customers. It includes local broadcast channels, 25 popular cable networks and access to thousands of on-demand choices—along with options for additional news, sports and premium channels—delivered to connected and mobile devices, without requiring a set-top box.”

Moreover, the service also provides access to premium channels HBO and Showtime for an extra fee of $7.50 per month. Popular sports programming network such as ESPN is not available in the base package of the service and is only accessible by adding an extra package for $12 per month. Charter® has christened the new service as Spectrum® Stream and is currently undergoing trials for releasing in its network.

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Sports-Less Streaming

Unlike other services by various cable providers, Spectrum® Stream is an IP-based live streaming service that is delivered via a managed network for the subscribers. It is a streaming only service with no DVR and set-top box features, which subscribers can access using their smartphones or any other streaming devices. Moreover, the subscribers are also provided with a tiered access to Charter’s huge on demand services depending on their type of subscription.

By releasing the Spectrum® Stream service, Charter® intends to expand its streaming offerings along with its best internet service. By releasing this new streaming platform, the provider will step up the competition with other major MVPDs operating in the market. Several other providers are also considering the use of such skinny bundled services such as Sling TV® with its competitive pricing. Charter’s new streaming service will provide the customers with their demanded content packages for the best prices available.

06 Jul

AT&T® Improves Their Prepaid Offerings

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AT&T® Prepaid Offerings

When asked about the Target website offering airtime refill for “AT&T® Prepaid”, that the retailer site notes is the former GoPhone brand, an AT&T® spokesperson declined to comment about the plans of the carrier to rebrand the service. “We are making exciting changes to AT&T® GoPhone, our prepaid service, that our customers may start to see at national retailers,” the spokesman said. “Look for announcements in the near future.”

However, the Redditor site has shared a flyer that provides the details on the new prepaid plan rates of AT&T®. As per the flyer, there are three prepaid offerings and the 35 dollar/1 GB plan is a new low price one. This plan will be suitable for those users who do not use much data. This plan is the cheapest prepaid plan from AT&T® and the rate is far less than the unlimited offerings from the other best internet service providers in the country that starts at around 70 dollars per month.

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GoPhone Prepaid Plans

The thirty-five dollars plan also provides unlimited call and text within the United States, free texting to most countries, and 1 GB high-speed internet. When the data allowance of 1 GB expires, the speed will be throttled and the maximum speed will go down to 126 kbps.

The forty-five dollars plan can a great step up option for the heavy internet users and is still cheaper than the popular unlimited plans. This plan offers 6 GB of high-speed internet that can be enough to meet the data needs of most of the users. Apart from the internet, the users also get free roaming services to Canada and USA that is not normal in prepaid plans. Throttling is same as the thirty-five dollars plan.

The last plan is the sixty-five dollars Unlimited plan, but the plan is far from unlimited. The plan speeds are capped at 3 Mbps and there is also a soft cap of 22 GB data per month, after which throttling will be applied. All these plans are available on the official AT&T® website under the GoPhone branding. Those users who opt for autopay option will be offered a discount of five dollars and this applies to all the three plans.

30 Jun

AT&T® To Offer Wi-Fi Network Connectivity At The Mercedes Benz Stadium

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Wi-Fi Network Connectivity

AT&T®, which is one of the best internet providers in the country, has struck a deal with the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta for providing increased bandwidth for Wi-Fi network connectivity at the venue. With this new partnership deal, AT&T® has become the official communications provider of the stadium. Moreover, this deal will make Mercedes-Benz Stadium the most connected venue across the whole nation.

As a part of the deal, the carrier will also setup a permanent interactive gathering place known as the AT&T® Perch located in the concourse above the west end zone of the stadium. The press releases have stated that the Perch will consist of multiple screens in a digital media column. It will allow fans to come together and watch the NFL content along with access to DirecTV® programming, NFL Redzone, and other offered content.

According to the deal, AT&T® will offer two redundant 40 GB internet connections for powering the 1800 wireless access points distributed across the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. By deploying this large bandwidth network connectivity, AT&T® intends to use its best internet service for delivering high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity within the stadium.

The Wi-Fi network deployed in the stadium will utilize under-seat AP deployments in the seating bowl. Moreover, the carrier will also offer monitoring and maintenance of the Wi-Fi systems deployed in the stadium. AT&T® also intends to link the IPTV system of the stadium with its DirecTV® service for distributing High Definition video content across the 2000 digital displays installed in the stadium. The stadium will formally open for hosting the National Football Leagues’ Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United.

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Large Bandwidth Network Connectivity

One of the surprising aspects of the stadium networking is the absence of any mentioning regarding AT&T’s contribution on the DAS network. Previously the carrier has been mostly focused in funding DAS in large public venues and has withdrawn from providing Wi-Fi deployments in stadiums. Besides, the recently released reports never specified any details regarding the availability of SSID or reserved network spaces for the customers.

It is to be noted that Verizon® Wireless has been the major contributor in deploying Wi-Fi networks across the stadium and has aided in the funding of Wi-Fi deployments across many NFL stadiums in the country such as Denver, Seattle, Houston, Green Bay, etc. However, with this move, AT&T® is now offering its contribution in the network deployments at the AT&T® Park in San Francisco and AT&T® Stadium located in Texas.

29 Jun

Comcast® Business Concludes Fiber Optic Network Expansion Project In Downtown New Haven

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Fiber Optic Network Expansion Project

Comcast® Business, the subsidiary of Comcast Corporation®, has concluded the expansion project of its fiber optic network in downtown New Haven, Connecticut. Through this $1.7 million expansion project, Comcast®, which is one of the major internet providers in the country, will deliver 10 Gbps Ethernet capacity for several businesses centered between Tower Lane and State Street.

Small, medium companies and big enterprises operating in the region will be offered with Comcast’s high-speed Ethernet, best internet service, voice, WiFi, and TV services. For businesses, this new network offering will enable them to enhance their competitiveness in the industry and in generating employment.

New Haven is home to many small and large-scale businesses and is the second biggest city in the state of Connecticut. Mayor Toni Harp, City of New Haven said, “New Haven is a unique city in Connecticut – located on Long Island Sound, not far from New York and home to one of the oldest, most prestigious schools in the country – making it the ideal location for small and medium-sized organizations to large enterprises to operate. Comcast’s investment strengthens our local economy by offering businesses the technology infrastructure needed to better service customers and the community.”

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High-Speed Ethernet Service

Comcast® Business has already deployed many of the critical networking requirements of businesses in several other states in the country. Its assortment of Ethernet, internet, voice, and TV bundles have proven to be beneficial for businesses. By the network expansion project in downtown New Haven, Comcast® intends to cover all the major areas of the region such as Church, Audubon, Orange, Elm, and Temple streets. By implementing these developments in the networking infrastructure, Comcast® will aid in boosting the economic growth and development in the neighborhoods. Moreover, this will be also beneficial to the key institutions located in the regions such as the Yale University.

Paul Savas, vice president of Comcast® Business for the Western New England Region said, “Advanced, high-performance networking is critical to the success of today’s businesses so they can remain competitive with global firms. Comcast® Business’s investment in New Haven not only underscores that commitment to driving business growth in the New Haven area, but it brings the company’s network closer to hundreds of offices and residential buildings in these neighborhoods. This fiber expansion increases capacity and delivers advanced services, allowing us to bring new customers online quickly.”

21 Jun

CenturyLink® Extends Gigabit Broadband Services To More Businesses In Minnesota

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Gigabit Broadband Services

CenturyLink® Inc., which is one the major internet providers in the country, has declared that it has made available fiber ready broadband internet connectivity to about 32,827 small and large businesses in Minnesota. The fiber-ready service is available at speeds of about 1 gigabit per second and extends to about 1,131 multi-tenant office buildings. In addition, CenturyLink® has also made available the fiber optic network coverage to 400 MTUs in Minneapolis and 350 buildings in St. Paul.

Through their new service, CenturyLink® will provide MTU-based businesses with gigabit networking services containing equal 1 Gbps download and upload speeds. In addition, the provider will also offer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), managed IT, and cloud-based services in the area. The other key services offered by CenturyLink® consists of metro Ethernet, software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), and Multiprotocol Label Switching Virtual Private Network (MPLS-VPN).

The new offerings by the Telco come in the wake of the Digital Economic Value Index of Accenture announced the previous year, which claims that by the year 2020, about 25 percent of the world’s economy will switch to digital. With their new plans, CenturyLink® will rapidly transform the way businesses operate with the reliance of digital technologies.

By deploying the gigabit best internet service, CenturyLink® will enable the several businesses operating in the Minnesota region with advance networking connectivity features. This high-speed fiber based broadband internet connectivity would be of immense help to businesses operating in the specified regions as it offers a host of other bundled features like voice support and cloud-based solutions that allow sharing them among several key business locations.

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Fiber Ready Broadband Internet Connectivity

Jonathan Weinhagen, president and CEO for the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce stated, “A highly robust, reliable network plays a critical role in attracting businesses of all sizes to the Twin Cities and helps Juus maintain our standing as one of the best markets for business. CenturyLink’s continued network infrastructure investments in the Twin Cities not only strengthen our connectivity, but expand economic opportunities statewide.”

Duane Ring, Midwest region president for CenturyLink® said, “By offering fiber-ready services to multi-tenant unit office buildings across the state, CenturyLink® is creating a foundation to attract new businesses and drive economic growth. Businesses can not only easily gain access to our powerful network to meet their increasing technology demands, but also utilize CenturyLink® for affordable and scalable business solutions.”

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