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Recently we warned that the AT&T & Verizon were about to declare war against the practice of tethering a smartphone to share its data connection with iPads and other devices. It appears that AT&T and Verizon have taken the next steps to curtail tethering by blocking the Wireless Tether app on handsets on those carriers.  Most of us on T-Mobile and Sprint recognize that being able to tether your smartphones to your iPad and laptop for free is one major reason to use a smaller carrier.  For those not on AT&T & Verizon this is how to use an iPad without a 3G data plan.

The Wireless Tether app allows Android phones that have been rooted to connect devices to the wireless carrier by using the phone’s data connection over WiFi. Google thoughtfully put the ability in Froyo, and Android phone owners were quick to jump on it to avoid the monthly fees (typically $20-$30) that carriers charge for the service. Droid Life reported today that the app is no longer available on Android phones on the AT&T and Verizon networks. It no longer shows up on those phones when accessing the Android Market due to a block by the carriers.  Read more about the tethering police are indeed here as predicted.


Wireless consumers are getting gouged for services more than any other industry in the World with rates that are ridiculously expensive and not getting cheaper anytime soon.  The telecom industry is controlled effectively by two companies in the US AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) who pay the Government billions of dollars for spectrum licenses and billions of dollars to shareholders in dividends.  The wireless industry is one huge ponzi scheme that needs to change in order to spur innovation and new industries.  The current industry is a virtual oligopoly with a few other companies who don't have the resources to compete.  These spectrum licenses could be free and so could the services that support them if the revenue models were tweaked.  WiFi and many other wireless spectrum bands are unlicensed and now we have "white spaces".   There really is only one remaining company on this Earth who has the power to change and industry and that is Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).  Google could easily create free ad supported wireless networks if the FCC and carriers were not successful at blocking it first.  However, it is our mission to  evangelize it to the media until the industry changes and starts to get it. 

iCloud.com Now Redicects to Cloudme.com
Apple has purchased the domain iCloud for $4.5M from a Swedish cloud company.  It is rumored that Apple is going to start a storage locker service as well as music storage service to store your iTunes music.  I think I understand the interest to protect by starting this service.  However, consumers are using and buying music less now that services like Pandora are taking off.  This is one reason why we think it would be smart for Apple to buy Pandora now.   Will you use a media storage service from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL)? Here is a poll to express your opinion. 

Will You Use An Apple iCloud Media Storage Locker Service?
Yes
No

  

20 to 30 Million Unlocked iPhones On the Market
How many iPhones have been sold?  108 Million as of Q1 2011.  There were reports back in 2008 that between 800,000 and 1.5 million phones had been unlocked. However, now that that sales have quadrupled (see chart below) we estimate there are between 20-30 million iPhones unlocked on the market if you use this same calculation. Apple is now selling 15 million phones per quarter and quickly becoming a victim of their own success.  We did a search for used iPhone on eBay and found 10,000 used Used iPhones for $100 and 33% were being sold unlocked.   This is one of the major reasons why AT&T is buying T-Mobile and trying to consolidate the US market into only have one GSM carrier buying the last remaining GSM carrier.   See GSM CDMA unfair competition.

Unlocking is the process of using software to modify the iPhone to work with other GSM carriers if purchased from AT&T or CDMA carriers if you purchased a Verizon phone.  With such a huge number of used phones on the market, will Apple be able to continue its carrier subsidy model for phones on 3G.  It may take the iPhone 5 on LTE to revive the demand for the phone and thus one of the reasons Apple (AAPL) stock has been lagging lately we think.

New iPhone Sales Per Quarter

10,000+ Used iPhones on Ebay
After a quick search on eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) today we found well over 10,000 used phones that were selling for between $120 to $150 dollars.   It is even more amazing to see that well over 33% of these phones are unlocked 3,000+.  This means you can take the phone to any 3G GSM carrier around the World or go to T-Mobile in the US and use it on a cheaper data plan than AT&T.  Directions how to Unlock iPhone for T-Mobile here. 

This is a great deal especially if you want to do a pre-paid phone plan or don't want a long term contract. AT&T (NYSE: T) will be challenged to get $600 for the new iPhone 4 when the iPhone 3GS is also 3G and not 4G. You can also buy a $50 iPhone directly from the carrier but this requires a long term contract and who would want that?  If the phone is Verizon you can take the phone to any CDMA carrier.  Why is this important?  If the T-Mobile and AT&T merger goes through there will only be one USA GSM carrier in the US and that is horrible for consumers.  

Now that 3GS iPhone are being sold for $50 and the used unlocked iPhone market is huge. How big is the market and how many phones are jailbroken?  This is the largest category on eBay unlocked iPhones.  We think that greater than 10% of iPhones have been jailbroken and possibly 20-30 million iPhones unlocked?  We were not surprised to see that Apple supporters quickly tried to bury the link in Google.  Here is a story on how to jailbreak the iPhone 4 for T-Mobile and think this is one of the major reasons why AT&T is acquiring T-Mobile to prevent this massive defection that is going unpublicized.  If anyone has any credible sources of information we would appreciate a post in the comments section below.

Enable NEW Gmail Labs Feature Background Send

Thanks to our friends at Twit.TV Gina Trapani for recommending the use of this feature. This only seems to happen when using the Chrome, Explorer, Firefox, Safari browsers.  However, it never seems to happen when using an Android phone thank God!

Who knows why this is happening because Google most definitely has hundreds of thousands of email servers around the World to prevent this.  However, as a conspiracy theorist I wouldn't be surprised to see the evil carriers AT&T and Verizon slowing down the transmission of Gmail data.  This is exactly why we must force net neutrality on the carriers or they will do tricks like this in order to get paid.  I would be surprised to see the carriers blocking or screwing with our Gmail data.  Why? Because these evil money sucking carriers would like consumers to start paying for data downloaded just like they do on mobile phones.  They would prefer data caps and limitations on the amount of email downloaded.  

The price of $19.99 for the MyWi iPhone App is a lot better than paying AT&T $25 per month for tethering you should be entitled to under your data plan.  Paying $300 per year for tethering is absolutely ridiculous and  those who are on T-Mobile already can do it for free.  However, now AT&T is warning those who are tethering to pay but it is not clear to me that they can do anything about it.   

Create an iPhone WiFi HotSpot or iPad WiFi HotSpot without paying $25 per month.  Wherever you are - you can connect your laptop or other mobile device to your iPhone / 3G iPad easily without paying for an additional data plan.  MyWi 4.0 now works on iPhone 4 IOS 4 and will also work with all jailbroken iPhones on T-Mobile (including 2G/3G/3GS/4) and iPad on 3.1.2 or later.


We are conducting a survey of our users to see how many people actually use their 3G data plan?  Do you find yourself only using your iPad indoors and therefor not needing the 3G data plan?  Is WiFi sufficient in order to save $30 per month and avoid paying for a second data plan to AT&T or Verizon?  One would think that the data caps alone would scare anyone from subscribing to the 3G capped data plans and use the WiFI without a data plan.

Do you use 3G or WiFi more on your iPad?
WiFi
3G
4G


  




Who Really Cares About 3D on iPad?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 | , , , ,

iPad 3 Has 3D and Who Cares?
It has been reported that the iPad 3 will have 3D but does it make any sense?  I have 2 3D TV's in my home and I love them for sports.  However, I would never buy a 3D tablet and think its useless?  What is Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Sharp and Lenovo (PINK:LNVGY) thinking?  3D requires a large screen and a dark room.  There really isn't anything appealing about watching a 3D movie on a tablet or iPad in my view.  However, I would appreciate to hear any opinions otherwise below. 

What Does iPad Update 4.3.2 Fix?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 | , ,

Broken WiFi connectivity dropping?  Broken VPN software?   Why do I always have to renew my IP address in the settings to get the iPad to connect back to my WiFi router?  Are you getting a little tired of the Apple hype?   Hardware is beautiful but the software just stinks!  I am glad that I didn't pay for the useless AT&T 3G iPad Data Plan.


Radio Shack Gets Black Eye From T-Mobile
First of all I love Lance Armstrong but I am sad that he is working with a company that acts like morons.  Radio Shack is in a dispute with T-Mobile because it wants more money for adding no value to the activation service of phones of pre-paid and post-paid phones.  In Radio Shack's (NYSE: RSH) quarterly earnings release the company blamed T-Mobile for its poor sales and a 30% drop in profits.  Waa!!!

I don't have any respect for a company which blames others for its own problems and Radio Shack is a horribly run company that is impossible to work with.  Radio Shack has 1,450 locations including Target Radio Shack kiosks.   I have dealt with Best Buy Mobile and Amazon Wireless executives over the last 10 years and they are all sharp by comparison.  However, Radio Shack's management team is not impressive at all and very stuck in the 1900's of doing business.  I wouldn't be surprised to see a management shake up soon.

Would Lance Armstrong blame his bike manufacturers for not winning a race? I would be embarrassed if I was Radio Shack for not thinking out of the box and adding value to its customers in the buying process.  How about providing retail coverage maps in your kiosks powered by DeadCellZones.com?  


AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) on Tuesday sold $3 billion of bonds in a two-part debt offering comprising five- and 10-year notes, according to a person familiar with the transaction.  Is this the $3B break-up fee required to pay Deutsche Telecom (PINK: DTEGY) if the merger fails to get approved?

The $1.75 billion, five-year piece bearing a 2.95% coupon priced at a discount to yield 2.989%, or 0.97 percentage point over comparable government debt; while the 10-year, $1.25 billion piece with a 4.45% coupon priced to yield 4.459%, or 1.15 percentage points over Treasury's. Proceeds from the notes, which were rated A2 by Moody's Investors Service, will be used for general corporate purposes.

Barclays Capital (NYSE: BCS), Citigroup (NYSE: C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) were joint leads on the deal, supported by Williams Capital as a co-manager. Read more from WSJ.  What does this mean for the probability of the AT&T $20B bridge loan that JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) is leading?

Related Stories:
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10 Reasons Why AT&T Dividend Investors Are Running for the Hills

FCC Complaint Process Is Broken and Achieves No Results
The FCC is trying to Govern and approve the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile yet it provides no transparency about FCC cellular coverage complaints it has received?  Why not?  Filing FCC Complaints is a waste of time because they are simply puppets who don't take any action or share information received.   Here are your options to file a complaint that goes directly into a black hole.  These options lead you to believe the FCC is still stuck in the 1980's.  
  • Disability Access to Communications Services and Equipment
  • Junk Fax
  • Telemarketing, Prerecorded Messages and Do-Not-Call
  • Wired Telephone
  • Wireless Telephone
  • Broadband Service and VoIP
  • Broadcast (TV and Radio), Cable, and Satellite Issues
  • Tower Light Outages or Signal Interference

Millions of Consumers Will Opt-In To GPS Tracking for Free Wireless!
Would you opt-in to GPS phone tracking 100% of the time if cellular or wireless broadband were free?  A class action lawsuit was filed against Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) which I think is ridiculous. Free ad support wireless is the future of the internet and wireless and the only reason Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Apple are tracking you is to serve up a more relevant mobile ad of customized content.  Apple filed a patent application  in 2009 that shows that the company wants to use your GPS history of location data to display relevant content as well.  

This isn't a bad thing in my opinion and the class action law suit is unwarranted.  If you have nothing to hide and think this is actually a great thing for consumers.  Millions of consumers would be willing to use the service that could save them thousands of dollars per year.  Applications like Google Places run off of GPS to track where you are in order to serve up restaurants, gas stations, stores and points of interest near your location. 


AT&T's Network Is Known To Cause Heart Attacks! 
AT&T (NYSE: T) made a product announcement yesterday to start selling a portable cell tower in a suitcase.  You have to laugh when you see the product because you are more likely to die of a heart attack trying to connect to the network in an emergency.  The emergency cell tower is designed to be used and deployed in a disaster scenario when the there is no cellular service.  However, you are more likely to die of a heart attack being stuck in a dead zone before you are able to set up your emergency cell tower to get coverage.   This product is so dumb that you know the US Government will by buying these things in droves because AT&T will be terrifying officials with fear.  I have an idea . . . How about using some of the emergency funds to fix the cell coverage dead zones you already have?    If spectrum were more open in rural areas the private sector could solve the coverage issues themselves with products like: Solar Powered Remote Cell Towers

This begs the question why are they offering this if their cellular network covers 98% of the population?  This portable cell tower only covers a 1/2 mile radius and it is way overpriced. Who or what company is going to buy this for $15,000 - $45,000 depending on options?  Who is going to spend 30 minutes trying to set this up in the middle of a disaster?  How can they possibly have enough of these portable towers in place to repair their broken network when it inevitably crashes?  

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10 Reasons Why the FCC is a Joke
Despite the enforcement "lip service" you hearing from FCC Chairman Genachowski and Commissioners in the media about net neutrality or the big merger, the FCC is not working for you the consumer and are simply puppets of the carriers.  Here are two very important reasons why its a failed organizational structure.  #1) The FCC refuses to publicly acknowledge or regulate the difference between actual vs theoretical cellular / broadband coverage and therefore cannot accurately enforced competition.  #2)  99% of their $500M of annual funding for 1,900 employees does not come from the taxpayers and comes directly from fees paid by the carriers themselves.  

One of the biggest arguments in the AT&T and T-Mobile merger is that there is sufficient wireless competition and rural coverage and therefore the merger of two large carriers should be allowed.  We would argue this is totally false and we can provide thousands of consumer reported examples of where consumers can only get one carrier and sometimes 0 in certain cases.  Competition isn't fair on a regional basis and must be carefully audited by the FCC before allowing the merger to go through.  However, the FCC can't do this because they lack the resources to do it and continue to ignore the dead zone data the we generate.  This is a huge failure on the part of the Government and will come back and bite all consumers if this continues.

DeadCellZones.com has reached out to the FCC for help numerous times over the last decade and asked them to take our consumer reported dead zone data for free.  However, the FCC would rather "try" and generate their own data to mask the problems so they don't piss off their carrier constituencies.  So what did the FCC do?   The responded by launching their own FCC "Dead Zones" reporting web site a 10 years later which has failed miserably.  However, their dead zone reporting tool was "designed to fail" because the FCC doesn't really want to know the truth or regulate the wireless carriers' false coverage claims.

Folks it gets even weirder with some questions that were asked of us by FCC executives.  They asked us "why we have created dead zone the maps"?  My answer is always because its the right thing to do by showing the difficiencies of a Government agency that does't really work on the consumers behalf to regulate.  It was the aha moment for me to show there is way too much corruption between the FCC and the companies they regulate.  We won't stop what we are doing until the Government and the carriers themselves acknowledge why and what we are doing is good for consumers.  A little like "David vs Goliath".

The FCC is a "Government regulated entity" that is funded by the companies they are supposed to be regulating and not the taxpayers.  Its a huge corrupt game the the public does not understand and the financial  media ignores.  The FCC has 1,900 employees and is supposed to act as an "independent agency" of the US government with an approximate budget of $466 million which is funded by measly $1 million in taxpayer appropriations and the rest in regulatory fees paid by the largest US telecom companies: AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), T-Mobile (NYSE: DTEGY), Sprint (NYSE: S), Cox, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), TimeWarner (NYSE: TWX), CableVision (NYSE: CVC), etc.  The mission of every employee at the FCC is to write policy but does that really regulate if no one does anything or take action?  Does this sound like an independent agency or a puppet agency with 99% of its' revenue coming from the companies it regulates?

AT&T is claiming this based on theoretical coverage maps not actual coverage that real customers try and receive.  The reason Deadcellzones.com was started almost 12 years ago was because carriers were being dishonest about where they were providing coverage.  In this decade coverage and speeds have expanded a lot but the same problem still exists.  No entity is auditing the coverage maps and the actual coverage that the carriers claim to provide.  This lack of oversight only hurts the smaller consumer who lives out in the middle of Iowa or Kansas in rural America.

Related Stories:
Rural Wireless Customers Have Fewer Choices
AT&T Trying to Block Public Hearings
Wireless Consumers Are Getting Screwed

Rural regional carriers are worried about being able to compete and need the FCC to intervene in order to protect competition.  Fast forward to the minute 3 in this video and listen to Mignon Clyburn who is FCC Democratic commissioner.  The commissioner is concerned that there are areas that cover 10 million people that cover 2 or fewer carriers in some areas.  Concerned carriers include: US Cellular (NYSE: USM), Leap Wireless (NYSE: LEAP), Cellular One, Cellular South and Cincinnati Bell Wireless (NYSE: CBB), who combined have about 60% of T-Mobile USA’s customer base.  Carriers also want better inter carrier compensation and universal service reform to help bring down costs for consumers.  FCC also sees VoIP as a viable technology that should be more competitive with current voice technology.

Mt. Wilson TV Antennas Above Los Angeles
What will "White Spaces" do to the cellular business?  Will White Spaces spring up an entirely new industry that enables cheaper more efficient use of devices, data and advertising?  

Spectrum is an incredibly valuable asset for wireless cell phone providers and any technology that allows greater use of spectrum can be disruptive to incumbents (AT&T & Verizon) who don't want change.  The Wi-Fi industry is a rapidly growing industry built on top of a tiny slice of spectrum, discarded by early radio scientists.  White spaces have been considered unusable, since radios could not operate without causing interference in the neighboring channels.  However, today we have new technology to modulate signals so that to the legacy devices.  Big carriers cry foul that new free transmissions in white spaces between their channels might interfere.

"White Spaces" are frequencies unused specifically assigned for a purpose. For example Google is considering Ad Supported WiFi using the white space spectrum as free wifi starts to gain momentum to compete with expensive 4G.  The switchover to digital television in 2009 has freed up large areas between about 50 MHz and 700 MHz. In US abandoned old rabbit ear television frequencies that used UHF "700-megahertz" band, covering TV channels 52 to 69 (698 to 806 MHz).

Various proposals, including IEEE 802.11af, IEEE 802.22 and those from the White Spaces Coalition, have advocated using white spaces left from "rabbit ears" TV to provide wireless broadband Internet access.  The White Spaces Coalition (WSC) is a group of companies devoted to making use of white space in the analog television spectrum to offer wireless broadband.  It is a powerful group that aims to disrupt the dump pipe oligopoly:   Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), HP (NYSE: HP), Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), Philips, Earthlink, and Samsung are the group's public members; there are also a couple of Coalition members who prefer to remain unknown for fear of cannibalizing their cozy relationships with AT&T and Verizon who want to squash the effort. The group was in the news recently when it presented a device built by Microsoft to the FCC for testing.

First White Space access points being tested by Rice University. A Houston restaurant worker is the first user of a prototype wireless access point using low frequency signals in the so-called White Spaces between unused UHF digital TV signals  Read more


AT&T continues to lie about the T-Mobile acquisition that should not be allowed.  Here are 5 lies from their merger submission to the FCC.     

#1) AT&T (NYSE: T) does not consider the current incarnation of T-Mobile USA to be a real competitor and points to smaller rivals like MetroPCS Communications (NYSE: PCS), U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM), Leap Wireless (NYSE: LEAP),  Cellular South Inc. and Cincinnati Bell Wireless (NYSE: CBB), who combined have about 60% of T-Mobile USA’s customer base.  Read more.

#2) AT&T also claims to lack enough spectrum to launch UMTS in some markets. Spectrum shortage exaggeration.

#3) AT&T claims channel pooling for GSM services will increase capacity by as much as 15% in some areas.     How to relieve 3G data congestion.

#4)  T-Mobile's removal from the marketplace will not have a significant competitive impact.  AT&T says it is more focused on Verizon and Sprint than on T-Mobile USA, and AT&T too is seeing increased competitive threats from rapidly growing mavericks like MetroPCS and Leap and other providers.  Wireless competition

#5)  No mention of CDMA vs GSM handset competition

Is AT&T 3G Really Worth It?  (Lower is Better)
AT&T Mobility has seen an 8,000% increase in data traffic between 2007 and 2010, which coincides with the launch of Apple iPhone device exclusively on AT&T Mobility network.  AT&T also has 31 million smartphone users clogging their network with download and upload speeds that will never match WiFi performance despite the marketing propaganda?  iPhone 3G web site loading speeds are much slower on 3G and Edge when compared with WiFi.   WiFi is growing 25X faster than 3G and its questionable if users will ever pay the expensive price tag for LTE.  WiFi competes LTE and its growing 5X faster than cell phone towers.  Now that they have adopted data caps it will only get more expensive and slower.  

AT&T Subscriber Growth Plunges 88% 

AT&T's (NYSE: T) wireless subscriber growth plunged 88% from year-ago levels as Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone finally started selling at rival Verizon (NYSE: VZ).  However, the stock is This comes as no surprise to us as we predicted in our AT&T earnings preview posted this week.

AT&T's growth rate is down 90% in Q1 compared to 2010 numbers. Verizon is expected by analysts to have added 900,000 post-paid subscribers in the same quarter. AT&T is also losing customers to cheaper pre-paid carriers like MetroPCS, which is expected to add 500,000 prepaid customers in the quarter.

In the earnings call AT&T said it added a 62,000 post-paid wireless subscribers in the first quarter, compared to the 512,000 subscribers it added in 2010 when it sold the iPhone exclusively. However, AT&T added 58,000 tablet contract customers in the quarter while only adding a net of 4,000 customers for post-paid phones.

AT&T customers are leaving in droves and this is the only reason why AT&T is buying T-Mobile in order to protect its user base.

Overall, AT&T says it added a total of 2 million new lower paid wireless customers in the first quarter, a number that includes 1.3 million connected devices like Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) Kindles and MiFi hot spot boxes. These devices carry a much lower ARPU and the data subscriptions are not as predictable.

AT&T added 218,000 U-Verse broadband and TV customers.

The "Old School" telecom company is not adapting quick enough in a "New School World".  AT&T (NYSE: T) is scheduled to release its quarterly earnings and will likely be disappointing to investors in the short tern and AT&T's dividend could be in jeopardy in the long run.  Here are 10 heavily studied reasons why investors should run for the hills now if they are invested in the stock.  AT&T's 5% annual dividend could evaporate slowly as the "WiFI revolution" is starting to gain momentum.  
1)  The iPhone and iPad 3G have given AT&T a boost in subscriber additions. For example, in Q4 2010 the company added 2.8M customers.   However, 1.5M were connected devices that have lower ARPU (average monthly revenue per user).  This trend is likely to continue as free WiFi will continue to compete with expensive 4G and coming LTE.

2)  WiFi competes with 4G and AT&T doesn't have a compelling reason why users should pay the extra amount for it when iPads are used 95% indoors.

3)  AT&T data caps killing iPhone App Marketplace the thriving iPhone application business.

4) Apple stock decline recently is another reason to be concerned about the lack of 3G subscriber growth.

5) iPad 2 tablets are not price correctly and the 3G versions should be cheaper than the iPad WiFi.  The 3G iPad should be subsidized and priced at $300 if they want to keep monthly subscribers.  See how to choose iPad 2 data plan.  However, we think most people will want to use the using Pad 2 without a data plan.

6)  We have a contrarian view and have lots of evidence to believe the acquisition of T-Mobile is in jeopardy and think Obama will appose the merger.  AT&T's corrupt union is promoting bogus propoganda to promote the merger and AT&T is banking on the Union ties with Obama.

7)  AT&T's advisors are blatantly lying to on CNBC about the merger.

8)  AT&T will not be able to raise T-Mobile prices if the merger is approved

9)  10 Reasons why T-Mobile customers will leave for Sprint, Virgin Mobile, MetroPCS or TracFone.

10)  AT&T and Verizon (VZ) are losing the Net Neutrality battle because open access to data on the Internet will come a Civil Right

T-Mobile Bobsled Now Competes With Skype
Finally, Facebook comes out with a VoIP solution that competes with Skype. Anyone who downloads the Free Bobsled Facebook plugin can place voice calls to their friends through Facebook & Voice Chat with just one click. The easy browser plugin makes it quick and simple to place an quick phone calls on your computer to friends.  It takes about a minute to install direction in your browser tools.  The app is a huge productivity enhancer and eliminates the need to remember phone numbers or have a phone book of numbers. Simply click on a friend’s name to start the conversation. All calls are free from a PC to Mac or a Mac to PC regardless of where you are connecting around the World.

How will T-Mobile and Facebook make money from Bobsled?  Eventually, T-Mobile and Facebook will being selling advertising against the phone calls which sounds like a great trade off to me.  We also think that ad supported wireless services will soon be following.   Voice revenue for carriers is declining year over year very quickly and data revenue is increasing. Other VoIP companies competing with Bobsled include: Skype, Fring, Nimbuzz, Truphone and Jajah, which also use Facebook to make Free VoIP Internet calls on Facebook.

Related Stories: 
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Get Cell Phone Reception Through Wifi
Facebook Email Does Not Have VoIP Yet (Nov. 2010)

Follow Our Content Recommendations Here

In today's world media conglomerate World its very hard to compete against the big brand who throw millions of dollars to control eyeballs and advertising budgets.  However, with niche marketing and content discovering on the Internet, it is easy to find yourself enlightened as you discover new blogs not promoted by the mainstream media.  Google relies heavily on monetizing search terms because they imply intent.  However, StumbleUpon does a great job of help you discover things you might like even though you didn't have any intent to buy it or read about it.

Deadzones.com (82% of the World is a Dead Zone) is a perfect example of our content being loved by readers because our views on telecom and wireless are quite controversial and not seen in the mainstream media.  We are often referred by the telecom industry as the contrarian view of wireless telecom and take hard stances on the corruption and mass marketing deception that the industry promotes.  AT&T and Verizon control the advertising budgets of just about every media outlet and therefor just about every person is "on the take" except us. This phenomenon makes it almost impossible to be heard by the masses without a groundswell of social media support.

We have been using the StumbleUpon tool for about a year to discover new web sites as well help people find our controversial blog posts blog.photoenforced.com and deadzones.com.  Our StumbleUpon referral traffic continues to grow and I continue to get new Stumble Upon followers who are interested in our unique niche content that we offer.  One explanation for this was when Digg.com did a makeover of their site and seemed anger a core user base.  The other web site discovery tool competitor Reddit.com seems to a finicky audience and its difficult to use the tool at times.

Stumble Upon Mobile App
StumbleUpon.com was purchased by Ebay (Ticker: EBAY) for $75M in 2007 and everyone thought the tool would get buried by the huge company with PayPal making the bulk of the company's revenue.  However, the StumbleUpon.com user base and traffic continues to grow nicely for niche web sites and might someday make some money for Ebay.  StumbleUpon is increasingly becoming a great tool for iPad, Android and iPhone mobile users who might not have been directly searching for a product, idea or tip but find it serendipitously while browsing.  The one click StumbleUpon Mobile App is great if you don't feel like typing.



This data plan is way too confusing for potential customers and will likely frustrate new customers who might be interested in switching carriers.  The rule of thumb for any discount retailer is to Keep it Simple Stupid or the KISS method for marketing.  There is nothing about this rate plan posted on the MetroPCS web site that is simple.  Give me one rate plan or data plan at a single price.  

MetroPCS pricing at $40-$60 for unlimited data is pretty compelling if you like any of their phones.  Metro PCS is also one of the first discount carriers to offer LTE 4G and its CDMA network how it has to be one of the worst marketing companies in the history of telecom.  Read MetroPCS marketing needs help!  I can't understand any of their commercials and their marketing materials are built by morons.  Does MetroPCS not understand who they are marketing their products and services to?   I would hope that someone in their marketing department reads this and takes action immediately.   We would like to help promote your service but cannot possible do this with your complicated offer.  


A friend of mine asked me what I thought of Virgin Mobile's $25 unlimited data plan with no contract and I was truly stumped.  I have been covering AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile lately this has caused me to take a step back and look at the other carrier deals in the market.  The $25 and the $40 plans look like a screaming deals for unlimited text, data and 300 minutes of talk time.  Virgin operates on the Sprint 3G network and so if you are wondering about coverage read our Sprint review or see our Sprint coverage maps for coverage problem areas to avoid. Based on what I have read about the carrier it seems great even for the 1200 minutes at $40 per month but I want to hear from you.   Is it worth it to switch to the discount carrier and save hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars per year?  Does Virgin Mobile have enough quality phones to chose from.  Here some phones available at Amazon.com that will work on the Virgin network.  Please tells us what you think below in the Disqus comments box below.

    
    

Failed: Simplify Your Life Social Media Campaign
AT&T continues to fail at social media because it lack any sense of doing what is right for its' customers.  The company is run by a bunch of corporate marketing bureaucrats who would rather protect their jobs than do something that their customers actually want.  The company has invested millions of dollars into failed social media campaigns and they have no measurable results to claim.   Here are just two examples of the many hundreds of failures that AT&T has demonstrated over the years.  

AT&T Morons Thought They Could Compete With Yelp
AT&T shut down its social search site, Buzz.com today because it does not understand media and will always be a dumb pipe.  Why?  AT&T thinks its better to deflect your network problems by hijacking social media traffic and promote marketing propaganda.   AT&T also invests millions of dollars to spew out Twitter and blogger marketing BS to teenagers who spread phony messages about the service.  They seem to prefer its more productive to bury the problem versus actually dealing with issues and help your customers find solutions to their coverage issues.  Deadzones.com has preaching for a decade that carriers could simply improve their services if they would listen to their customers.  This is why we started deadcellzones.com social media maps where customers share where their cell phone service does not work.

AT&T would rather try and aggregate social media traffic from other services in an attempt to hijack advertising dollars.  AT&T's Buzz.com was designed to aggregate social networks, including Facebook , Twitter and Yelp to get recommendations on local venues. This is just a stupid strategy and any executive who thought this was a good idea should be fired.  But, according to Forbes, the carrier is refocusing on its core local advertising products, specifically on making its Yellow Pages business, YP.com, more social.  AT&T also has brand awareness, but not for one-off services like Buzz. Carriers may continue to find that they are better off throwing their weight behind an established brand, rather than trying to compete with them. They'll never have the cachet, nor the "hip" factor, that a Facebook does.  Read more

The iPad WiFi only 16 gb version is sufficient for any novice tablet consumer.  There is not need to store music, video or pictures on this device because streaming with Pandora, YouTube and Picasa eliminate the need for storage of large files.  This gives you the ability to download and use hundred of free iPad applications in the marketplace without the need for additional storage.  This is a great deal and will last you have a long time.  The iPad 2 is also on sale at Toys R' Us for $499 if you must have the latest version because an iPad without a 3G dataplan is just fine.  However, if you are giving your old iPad to your kids beware of the in-app purchase issues if you kids are playing games. 
  

Apple Class Action Lawsuit for Exploiting Kids to Make App Purchases
A father of two girls in Pennsylvania is taking Apple to court for allegedly banking millions of dollars on unauthorized in-app purchases. Garen Meguerian of Phoenixville, Penn., is the lead plaintiff in the class action lawsuit against Apple, Apple Insider reports. Meguerian claims that the company's old approach to in-app purchases on iOS devices allowed his 9 year-old daughter to purchase roughly $200 in virtual goods without permission.

Meguerian's lawsuit says the new in-app purchasing method still isn't good enough, because it doesn't protect against instances where the child already knows the parent's iTunes password. Honestly, I'm not sure what he expects Apple to do about that. Ever since Apple enabled in-app purchases in 2009, parents have been able to restrict this feature with parental controls, behind a separate PIN. At a certain point, the parent has to take some responsibility. Read more from PCWorld.com


AT&T is fighting its hardest to keep the Government merger evaluation proceedings and information discovered out of the public eye.  AT&T has filed a protective order that will keep confidential information private during the FCC proceeding so AT&T and T-Mobile trade secrets are not revealed to competitors Verizon and Sprint or the public. The FCC review will be conducted in conjunction with the Department of Justice, officials said. That includes a protective order that will keep confidential information private during the proceeding so AT&T and T-Mobile trade secrets are not revealed to competitors like Verizon and Sprint.  AT&T is relying on false assumptions about how FCC evaluates wireless competition and this is why they feel so strongly that the merger will be approved.

Why would they want to keep the DOJ and FCC review under wraps and uut of the public eye? AT&T has a a lot to hide and they know they are guilty of ridiculous anti-competitive business practices. AT&T also knows that if they can lawyer to death the FCC with provisions in the proceedings that it will stay out of the public eye. The FCC are a bunch of failed business bureaucratic wimps who are largely funded by the carriers themselves and so its a major "inside job".  There are no strong figures running the FCC so it is likely that the DOJ will be the only regulatory agency that could save T-Mobile.

We thought it would be appropriate to add a new blog post that would crowdsource AT&T's trade secrets from anyone who might want to contribute to our blog. Anyone can contribute to it.  Disgruntled employees or competitors please post your thoughts on what AT&T might be trying to hide.  

AT&T Trade Secrets Revealed

Friday, April 15, 2011 | , ,

Coming Soon!


The FCC will identify specific markets that require additional review using a test known as the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI), which measures concentration of wireless providers in the area. The commission will also look at spectrum for mobile services in a given area and see what percentage of that spectrum is held by the parties in question.

AT&T executives have argued that in a local market analysis it will show that at least four carriers and sometimes five are available in most major cities. However, consumer groups like Deadzones.com take issue with this notion and know that Verizon & AT&T are cozy cartels. It is obvious by analyzing financials of the two biggest wireless players AT&T and Verizon have a significant advantage with annual revenues almost 5X larger than the nearest competitor. AT&T & Verizon generated $100B+ in annual revenue and are getting bigger while smaller competitors aren’t able to keep up especially in light of specialized deals with companies like Apple iPhone and their huge marketing budgets.

AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile is a disaster. It stifles choice and innovation in the market, and will lead to higher prices and fewer jobs nationwide. Take action to protect all mobile users from this deal. Sign the the pledge and read below about the False Statements Made By AT&T.  

False Statement:  AT&T says the T-Mobile takeover "strengthens and expands U.S. mobile broadband infrastructure," and that it helps us "achieve policymaker goals of deploying broadband to 95 percent of the country, including smaller, rural communities."

Reality: According to recent Commerce Department data, wireless services are already available to 95 percent of Americans. If this merger goes through, analysts speculate that AT&T will decommission upwards of 40,000 wireless towers, reducing the quality of coverage for hundreds of thousands of Americans.  This is why cell tower stocks are tanking.

False Statement: AT&T says the overall average price-per-minute for wireless services has declined 50 percent since 1999, "during a period which saw five major wireless mergers."

Reality: That figure is highly misleading. While the cost to consumers for voice services has dropped, the sum total of charges on mobile phone bills has dramatically increased. Added costs include spiraling rates for texting and data services as well as hidden handset subsidies. With less competition among carriers, we can expect AT&T to charge you even more.  AT&T DataPro Data Plan.

False Statement:  AT&T says the merger "enables the next era of American innovation and continued growth of U.S. high tech industry."

Reality: The merger would allow AT&T to exert even greater gatekeeper control over what happens on the wireless Web. The company has a long history of blocking competing services like Pandora, Skype, GoogleVoice and Slingbox. And AT&T’s expanded control over the handset market will stifle innovation in devices. In the past, AT&T has crippled handheld phones that can do more than what the company wants. AT&T is killing the iPhone application marketplace with data caps because it can't handle the network.

False Statement: AT&T says the merger will expand the American workforce by moving thousands of new jobs to the United States.

Reality: When was the last time a merger actually created jobs for Americans and not more pink slips?  This merger puts the jobs of nearly 40,000 U.S. T-Mobile employees at risk. Many of the jobs at retail stores and call centers will be eliminated, and there will be more jobs lost as the effects of this merger ripple through the broader economy.  AT&T's Union is Corrupt.

Related Articles: 
Members of Congress Paid by AT&T
AT&T's Army of Investment Bankers: Evercore, JPMorgan, Greenhill
Roger Altman Lies about AT&T T-Mobile Merger on CNBC

Why AT&T Limited Data Plans Byte!
So what does AT&T's 2GB DataPro plan provide?  Many non-AT&T customers think tiered data plans are a scam to rip customers off even further.  Carriers steal you money with their text messaging scam and by  removing unlimited data plans. If an AT&T customer exceeds 2 GB during a billing cycle they will receive an additional 1 GB of data for $10 for use in the pay cycle. The 200 MB plan DataPlus is $15 per month, the DataPro 2GB plan is $25 per month without tethering and for a whopping $20 per month extra you can have the 2GB plan for $45 per month.  Here is an estimate of what the 2GB data plan will provide you in theory.

10,000 emails with no attachments
1,500 emails with attachments
4,000 web pages
500 photos to social media sites
200 minutes of streaming video

Mobile Apps Fear Datacaps
Mobile apps fear AT&T's datacaps and are killing the growth of iPhone app downloads and putting developers out of business.  Just when you thought the iPhone was getting fun to use AT&T (T) has decided to put the kibosh on your mobile app pleasure because they can't get their network in order.  This has killed the growth of application downloads in the market and the consumption of data on the phone.  AT&T is a greedy dividend pig that would rather stifle growth and innovation to collect more dollars for its shareholders.  This is very short sighted and will ultimately result in the main reason why I think Ralph de la Vega will be fired.  This change in tone by the carriers AT&T and Verizon really pisses off Steve Jobs.  I think this is one of the reasons why Apple's (AAPL) stock has been in a decline lately.  What happened to carriers and applications subsidizing applications apps with advertising?  This is one reason I think that Apple should buy  Pandora.   Here is what AT&T has done that is making their customers scared and therefore using their phone less.   Not only did AT&T put data caps on but they killed AT&T unlimited data plans

Set Up Internet Tethering for $20 per Month
Tethering is one of the most useful applications that smartphones have when you are carrying around multiple devices like an iPad or laptop. Tethering lets customers use their tethering enabled smartphones as a WiFi network to provide a broadband connection for laptop computers, netbooks or other computing devices.  AT&T smartphone iPhone customers who choose the DataPro which provides only 2 GB of data plan have the option to add tethering for an additional $20 per month.  Carriers like T-Mobile allow tethering or FREE and they also have a faster HSPA+ 4G network.  T-Mobile allows their customers to tether their unlimited data plan phones but this will clearly be put to a halt if AT&T acquires.  Protest the merger and send us your comments below about the bogus fee.

How much does the 2GB DataPro pro provide?  2 GB of data should be enough to send/receive 10,000 emails with no attachments, 1,500 with attachments, 4,000 web pages, 500 photos to social media sites,  watch 200 minutes of streaming video.  If a customer exceeds 2 GB during a billing cycle they will receive an additional 1 GB of data for $10 for use in the pay cycle. Currently, 98 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 2 GB of data a month on average but not likely those who tether their phones. 

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