AT&T Might Finally Ditch ‘5GE’ Marketing Following National Advertising Board Recommendation

Following a challenge from T-Mobile, the National Advertising Review Board today announced that it has recommended that AT&T discontinue its “5G Evolution” or “5GE” marketing claims, noting that they may be misleading to consumers.


“5G Evolution” is the branding that AT&T has been using in areas where the latest 4G LTE technologies like three-way carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO, and 256-QAM are available. Since the release of iOS 12.2, AT&T has been displaying a “5GE” label in place of “LTE” on iPhones that connect to its network in areas where those technologies are available.

In a statement shared with MacRumors, AT&T said that it “respectfully disagrees” with the decision, but will comply as a “supporter of the self-regulatory process.” AT&T added that it is not currently using “5G Evolution” branding in its advertising, but it did not confirm whether it will stop using the “5GE” label on smartphones.

AT&T respectfully disagrees with the reasoning and result reached by the Panel majority. AT&T’s customers nationwide continue to benefit from dramatically superior speeds and performance that its current network provides. As a supporter of the self-regulatory process, however, AT&T will comply with the NARB’s decision.

AT&T has since launched its actual 5G network in select cities in the United States. The first 5G-enabled iPhones are expected to launch later this year.

Tags: AT&T, 5GE

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Following a challenge from T-Mobile, the National Advertising Review Board today announced that it has recommended that AT&T discontinue its "5G Evolution" or "5GE" marketing claims, noting that they may be misleading to consumers.


"5G Evolution" is the branding that AT&T has been using in areas where the latest 4G LTE technologies like three-way carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO, and 256-QAM are available. Since the release of iOS 12.2, AT&T has been displaying a "5GE" label in place of "LTE" on iPhones that connect to its network in areas where those technologies are available.

In a statement shared with MacRumors, AT&T said that it "respectfully disagrees" with the decision, but will comply as a "supporter of the self-regulatory process." AT&T added that it is not currently using "5G Evolution" branding in its advertising, but it did not confirm whether it will stop using the "5GE" label on smartphones.
AT&T respectfully disagrees with the reasoning and result reached by the Panel majority. AT&T's customers nationwide continue to benefit from dramatically superior speeds and performance that its current network provides. As a supporter of the self-regulatory process, however, AT&T will comply with the NARB's decision.
AT&T has since launched its actual 5G network in select cities in the United States. The first 5G-enabled iPhones are expected to launch later this year.
Tags: AT&T, 5GE

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Major U.S. Internet Providers Agree Not to Terminate Service for Non-Payment, Lift Some Data Caps

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in the United States, people are relying heavily on home internet connections for work and school as many employers have asked employees to work from home and schools have canceled classes for the next few weeks.


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today said [PDF] that major U.S. internet providers, including Comcast, AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter, Sonic, Cox, Verizon, and more, have all agreed not to terminate service for any residential or small business customers unable to pay their bills due to the coronavirus.

Non-payment will not result in cancelation for the next 60 days, with internet providers also agreeing to waive late fees for payments and open WiFi hotspots to any American who needs them.

Along with the major internet providers, many other smaller internet providers across the United States have also agreed to the terms, which the FCC has called the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. FCC chairman Ajit Pai said that it is “imperative” that Americans stay connected.’

As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and causes a series of disruptions to the economic, educational, medical, and civic life of our country, it is imperative that Americans stay connected. Broadband will enable them to communicate with their loved ones and doctors, telework, ensure their children can engage in remote learning, and–importantly–take part in the ‘social distancing’ that will be so critical to limiting the spread of this novel coronavirus. That’s why I’m asking all broadband and telephone service providers to take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. I don’t want any American consumers experiencing hardships because of the pandemic to lose connectivity.

Some internet providers have also agreed to suspend data caps in states that have them, such as AT&T. AT&T yesterday told Motherboard that it is waiving internet data overages for all customers who do not already have unlimited home internet access.

Comcast has not waived fees for data overages, but it is providing higher connection speeds on its Internet Essentials plan, which is a service for low-income Americans.

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Amid the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in the United States, people are relying heavily on home internet connections for work and school as many employers have asked employees to work from home and schools have canceled classes for the next few weeks.


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today said [PDF] that major U.S. internet providers, including Comcast, AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter, Sonic, Cox, Verizon, and more, have all agreed not to terminate service for any residential or small business customers unable to pay their bills due to the coronavirus.

Non-payment will not result in cancelation for the next 60 days, with internet providers also agreeing to waive late fees for payments and open WiFi hotspots to any American who needs them.

Along with the major internet providers, many other smaller internet providers across the United States have also agreed to the terms, which the FCC has called the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. FCC chairman Ajit Pai said that it is "imperative" that Americans stay connected.'
As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and causes a series of disruptions to the economic, educational, medical, and civic life of our country, it is imperative that Americans stay connected. Broadband will enable them to communicate with their loved ones and doctors, telework, ensure their children can engage in remote learning, and--importantly--take part in the 'social distancing' that will be so critical to limiting the spread of this novel coronavirus. That's why I'm asking all broadband and telephone service providers to take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. I don't want any American consumers experiencing hardships because of the pandemic to lose connectivity.
Some internet providers have also agreed to suspend data caps in states that have them, such as AT&T. AT&T yesterday told Motherboard that it is waiving internet data overages for all customers who do not already have unlimited home internet access.

Comcast has not waived fees for data overages, but it is providing higher connection speeds on its Internet Essentials plan, which is a service for low-income Americans.
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AT&T TV Live Streaming Service Launches Nationwide With Set-Top Box and Two-Year Contract

AT&T today announced the nationwide launch of AT&T TV, which is a live TV streaming service that is available through a set-top box powered by Android TV (via Variety). This isn’t the same thing as AT&T TV Now, the company’s app-based live TV streaming service available on Apple TV and other devices.


After testing AT&T TV in 13 markets, the company is moving AT&T TV to the forefront of its TV business with the launch of the service this week across the United States. Simultaneously, DirecTV plans will no longer be actively marketed as AT&T plans to deemphasize the DirecTV branding moving forward. However, DirecTV plans will still be available to purchase.

The new service offers hundreds of live TV channels, 500 hours of cloud DVR storage, and 40,000 on-demand titles. With the box, you’ll be able to watch Netflix, Disney Plus, YouTube, and HBO Max as well. The Google Play store will be supported, allowing you to further expand its usage with more than 5,000 apps.

Similar to ‌Apple TV‌, the AT&T TV voice-enabled remote comes integrated with Google Assistant for controlling channels, volume, playback, smart home devices, and more. If you search for movies and TV, results will show options for both streaming content, as well as those available for rental and purchasing on Google Play Movies & TV.

AT&T TV works on any high-speed internet connection, and it can also be bundled with AT&T’s 1-gigabit Internet plan. AT&T TV packages start at $49.99 per month for 12 months with a 24 month agreement when you buy the service standalone. According to the fine print on AT&T’s website, the prices will be higher in the second year.

Specifically, this means that prices nearly double after the first 12 months with the service. The entry-level Entertainment plan has about 70 cable channels at $49.99/month for the first year, and from the 13th month onward it will run you $93/month. The Ultimate tier has more than 170 channels at $69.99/month for the first year, and then from the 13th month you’ll pay $135/month.

“Our customers told us what they want from their TV service and we built AT&T TV around that,” said Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Consumer. “AT&T TV is live TV made easy and when you add AT&T TV to our amazing 1 gigabit AT&T Internet you can’t go wrong.”

There is also a $19.95 activation fee and prorated early-termination fees if you cancel before your two year contract is up. You do get the Android-powered box for free, but if you want to add more into your home you’ll have to pay $120 per box.

Over-the-top streaming TV services have been facing numerous issues lately. AT&T rebranded DirecTV Now to AT&T TV Now in 2019, and has been facing ongoing subscriber loss amid increased prices and poor service reliability. Meanwhile, Sony bowed out of the game for good and shut down PlayStation Vue in January.

Variety asked AT&T’s executive VP of broadband and video, Rasesh Patel, if the company is worried about customers’ reactions to the high cost of AT&T TV once prices go up. According to Patel, the company feels confident about AT&T TV because of the “product experience” with the set-top box, which is “very unique.”

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with AT&T. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Tag: AT&T

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AT&T today announced the nationwide launch of AT&T TV, which is a live TV streaming service that is available through a set-top box powered by Android TV (via Variety). This isn't the same thing as AT&T TV Now, the company's app-based live TV streaming service available on Apple TV and other devices.


After testing AT&T TV in 13 markets, the company is moving AT&T TV to the forefront of its TV business with the launch of the service this week across the United States. Simultaneously, DirecTV plans will no longer be actively marketed as AT&T plans to deemphasize the DirecTV branding moving forward. However, DirecTV plans will still be available to purchase.

The new service offers hundreds of live TV channels, 500 hours of cloud DVR storage, and 40,000 on-demand titles. With the box, you'll be able to watch Netflix, Disney Plus, YouTube, and HBO Max as well. The Google Play store will be supported, allowing you to further expand its usage with more than 5,000 apps.


Similar to ‌Apple TV‌, the AT&T TV voice-enabled remote comes integrated with Google Assistant for controlling channels, volume, playback, smart home devices, and more. If you search for movies and TV, results will show options for both streaming content, as well as those available for rental and purchasing on Google Play Movies & TV.

AT&T TV works on any high-speed internet connection, and it can also be bundled with AT&T's 1-gigabit Internet plan. AT&T TV packages start at $49.99 per month for 12 months with a 24 month agreement when you buy the service standalone. According to the fine print on AT&T's website, the prices will be higher in the second year.

Specifically, this means that prices nearly double after the first 12 months with the service. The entry-level Entertainment plan has about 70 cable channels at $49.99/month for the first year, and from the 13th month onward it will run you $93/month. The Ultimate tier has more than 170 channels at $69.99/month for the first year, and then from the 13th month you'll pay $135/month.
"Our customers told us what they want from their TV service and we built AT&T TV around that,” said Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Consumer. “AT&T TV is live TV made easy and when you add AT&T TV to our amazing 1 gigabit AT&T Internet you can’t go wrong.”
There is also a $19.95 activation fee and prorated early-termination fees if you cancel before your two year contract is up. You do get the Android-powered box for free, but if you want to add more into your home you'll have to pay $120 per box.

Over-the-top streaming TV services have been facing numerous issues lately. AT&T rebranded DirecTV Now to AT&T TV Now in 2019, and has been facing ongoing subscriber loss amid increased prices and poor service reliability. Meanwhile, Sony bowed out of the game for good and shut down PlayStation Vue in January.

Variety asked AT&T’s executive VP of broadband and video, Rasesh Patel, if the company is worried about customers' reactions to the high cost of AT&T TV once prices go up. According to Patel, the company feels confident about AT&T TV because of the "product experience" with the set-top box, which is "very unique."

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with AT&T. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Tag: AT&T

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U.S. Carriers Facing $200M in Fines for Selling Customer Location Data

As expected, the United States Federal Communications Commission today proposed fines against the four major wireless carriers in the United States for improperly sharing and selling real-time customer location information without taking “reasonable measures” to protect against unauthorized access to the data.


In a statement [PDF] released today, the FCC says that T-Mobile should pay the most, while Sprint should pay the least. T-Mobile faces a proposed fine of more than $91 million, while the FCC wants AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to pay over $51 million, $48 million, and $12 million in fines, respectively.

The fines vary based on the length of time that each carrier sold access to its customer location information without safeguards and the number of entities to which each carrier sold access.

Along with the proposed fines, the statement from the FCC admonishes the four carriers for disclosing customer location data without authorization to third-party entities.

“American consumers take their wireless phones with them wherever they go. And information about a wireless customer’s location is highly personal and sensitive. The FCC has long had clear rules on the books requiring all phone companies to protect their customers’ personal information. And since 2007, these companies have been on notice that they must take reasonable precautions to safeguard this data and that the FCC will take strong enforcement action if they don’t. Today, we do just that,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “This FCC will not tolerate phone companies putting Americans’ privacy at risk.”

All four of the major U.S. carriers sold customer geolocation information to data aggregators like LocationSmart and Zumigo, with those companies then reselling the data to third-party location-based service providers. The data was ultimately provided to law enforcement officials, bounty hunters, bail bondsman, and more.

The FCC says that though exact practices varied, each carrier relied heavily on contract-based assurances that the location-based services providers they worked with would get consent from the customer before accessing the customer’s location information, which did not happen.

Carriers had “several commonsense options to impose reasonable safeguards,” but ultimately “failed to take the reasonable steps needed to protect customers from unreasonable risk of unauthorized disclosure.”

The fines proposed by the FCC today are not final and each carrier will be provided with an opportunity to respond and provide evidence and legal arguments before final fines are imposed.

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As expected, the United States Federal Communications Commission today proposed fines against the four major wireless carriers in the United States for improperly sharing and selling real-time customer location information without taking "reasonable measures" to protect against unauthorized access to the data.


In a statement [PDF] released today, the FCC says that T-Mobile should pay the most, while Sprint should pay the least. T-Mobile faces a proposed fine of more than $91 million, while the FCC wants AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to pay over $51 million, $48 million, and $12 million in fines, respectively.

The fines vary based on the length of time that each carrier sold access to its customer location information without safeguards and the number of entities to which each carrier sold access.

Along with the proposed fines, the statement from the FCC admonishes the four carriers for disclosing customer location data without authorization to third-party entities.
"American consumers take their wireless phones with them wherever they go. And information about a wireless customer's location is highly personal and sensitive. The FCC has long had clear rules on the books requiring all phone companies to protect their customers' personal information. And since 2007, these companies have been on notice that they must take reasonable precautions to safeguard this data and that the FCC will take strong enforcement action if they don't. Today, we do just that," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. "This FCC will not tolerate phone companies putting Americans' privacy at risk."
All four of the major U.S. carriers sold customer geolocation information to data aggregators like LocationSmart and Zumigo, with those companies then reselling the data to third-party location-based service providers. The data was ultimately provided to law enforcement officials, bounty hunters, bail bondsman, and more.

The FCC says that though exact practices varied, each carrier relied heavily on contract-based assurances that the location-based services providers they worked with would get consent from the customer before accessing the customer's location information, which did not happen.

Carriers had "several commonsense options to impose reasonable safeguards," but ultimately "failed to take the reasonable steps needed to protect customers from unreasonable risk of unauthorized disclosure."

The fines proposed by the FCC today are not final and each carrier will be provided with an opportunity to respond and provide evidence and legal arguments before final fines are imposed.


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FCC to Propose Fining AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile $200M for Sharing Customer Location Data

The United States Federal Communication Commission is expected to propose fining AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint $200 million in total for improperly disclosing real-time customer location data, reports Reuters.


Proposed fines for the four major carriers in the United States could be announced as soon as tomorrow, and the carriers would have the chance to challenge the fines before they become final. The precise amount each company is fined could change, and could possibly increase.

The FCC in January confirmed that several wireless carriers in the U.S. violated federal law by failing to protect sensitive customer data that included real-time location information.

Carrier location selling practices were uncovered last year when Motherboard reported that Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile had been selling subscriber geolocation data to third-party companies like LocationSmart and Zumigo, with those companies passing the data along to bounty hunters, bail bondsmen, and more.

The FCC launched an investigation into the practices after the U.S. Committee on Energy and Commerce in November 2019 accused the FCC of “failing in its duty to to enforce the laws Congress passed to protect consumers’ privacy.”

This article, “FCC to Propose Fining AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile $200M for Sharing Customer Location Data” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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The United States Federal Communication Commission is expected to propose fining AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint $200 million in total for improperly disclosing real-time customer location data, reports Reuters.


Proposed fines for the four major carriers in the United States could be announced as soon as tomorrow, and the carriers would have the chance to challenge the fines before they become final. The precise amount each company is fined could change, and could possibly increase.

The FCC in January confirmed that several wireless carriers in the U.S. violated federal law by failing to protect sensitive customer data that included real-time location information.

Carrier location selling practices were uncovered last year when Motherboard reported that Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile had been selling subscriber geolocation data to third-party companies like LocationSmart and Zumigo, with those companies passing the data along to bounty hunters, bail bondsmen, and more.

The FCC launched an investigation into the practices after the U.S. Committee on Energy and Commerce in November 2019 accused the FCC of "failing in its duty to to enforce the laws Congress passed to protect consumers' privacy."


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FCC: Wireless Carriers Violated Federal Law by Sharing Consumer Location Data

One or more wireless carriers violated federal law by failing to protect sensitive customer information like real-time data location, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai confirmed today in letters sent to Congress as part of a wireless location investigation [PDF].

As noted by Bloomberg, Pai’s letter comes after the U.S. Committee on Energy and Commerce in November accused the FCC of “failing in its duty to to enforce the laws Congress passed to protect consumers’ privacy.”


The accusation was referring to major wireless carriers disclosing real-time consumer location information to third-party data services, with data services then selling that sensitive info to a variety of companies without customer consent.

The location selling practices surfaced last year after Motherboard reported that Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile were selling subscriber geolocation data to third-party companies like LocationSmart and Zumigo, with those companies then passing it along to bounty hunters, bail bondsmen, and more.

The FCC’s letter confirms that one or more wireless carriers violated the law by sharing location data with third-party services, though it does not specify which carriers have done so. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have all been questioned about their data selling practices in the past.

Pai says that he’s committed to ensuring that carriers comply with the Communications Act and the FCC’s rules, and the carriers that have been found in violation of the law could be facing fines.

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One or more wireless carriers violated federal law by failing to protect sensitive customer information like real-time data location, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai confirmed today in letters sent to Congress as part of a wireless location investigation [PDF].

As noted by Bloomberg, Pai's letter comes after the U.S. Committee on Energy and Commerce in November accused the FCC of "failing in its duty to to enforce the laws Congress passed to protect consumers' privacy."


The accusation was referring to major wireless carriers disclosing real-time consumer location information to third-party data services, with data services then selling that sensitive info to a variety of companies without customer consent.

The location selling practices surfaced last year after Motherboard reported that Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile were selling subscriber geolocation data to third-party companies like LocationSmart and Zumigo, with those companies then passing it along to bounty hunters, bail bondsmen, and more.

The FCC's letter confirms that one or more wireless carriers violated the law by sharing location data with third-party services, though it does not specify which carriers have done so. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have all been questioned about their data selling practices in the past.

Pai says that he's committed to ensuring that carriers comply with the Communications Act and the FCC's rules, and the carriers that have been found in violation of the law could be facing fines.


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AT&T Launches 5G Network in 10 Cities

AT&T today announced that it has launched its 5G network in its first ten markets: Birmingham, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Providence, Rochester, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. AT&T has PDF maps of coverage areas within these cities in its press release, and the carrier is aiming for nationwide 5G coverage in the first half of next year.


For the time being, customers with the new Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G will be able to access AT&T’s 5G network, with more devices coming in the future. Apple is expected to launch its first 5G iPhones next year, likely in its usual September timeframe.

The 5G network AT&T is launching today is for the sub-6GHz spectrum, which offers broad coverage at speeds that are a step up from LTE. A separate flavor of 5G operates on the mmWave spectrum and offers even faster speeds but with shorter range, and is thus best suited for very dense, highly trafficked areas. AT&T refers to its mmWave 5G service as 5G+, and it launched in pockets of 12 markets almost exactly a year ago.

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes there will be four flagship 2020 iPhones next September, with all of them capable of supporting both sub-6Hz and mmWave 5G technology in select markets such the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. Other countries will see only sub-6Hz support, while 5G may be disabled entirely in other countries where 5G isn’t widely available, in order to reduce Apple’s costs.

AT&T was of course notorious for branding some of its enhanced 4G LTE network as “5G Evolution” or “5GE,” which began appearing in the iPhone status bar with iOS 12.2, confusing some users who thought they were able to access true 5G networks.

Tags: AT&T, 5G

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AT&T today announced that it has launched its 5G network in its first ten markets: Birmingham, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Providence, Rochester, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. AT&T has PDF maps of coverage areas within these cities in its press release, and the carrier is aiming for nationwide 5G coverage in the first half of next year.


For the time being, customers with the new Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G will be able to access AT&T's 5G network, with more devices coming in the future. Apple is expected to launch its first 5G iPhones next year, likely in its usual September timeframe.

The 5G network AT&T is launching today is for the sub-6GHz spectrum, which offers broad coverage at speeds that are a step up from LTE. A separate flavor of 5G operates on the mmWave spectrum and offers even faster speeds but with shorter range, and is thus best suited for very dense, highly trafficked areas. AT&T refers to its mmWave 5G service as 5G+, and it launched in pockets of 12 markets almost exactly a year ago.

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes there will be four flagship 2020 iPhones next September, with all of them capable of supporting both sub-6Hz and mmWave 5G technology in select markets such the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. Other countries will see only sub-6Hz support, while 5G may be disabled entirely in other countries where 5G isn't widely available, in order to reduce Apple's costs.

AT&T was of course notorious for branding some of its enhanced 4G LTE network as "5G Evolution" or "5GE," which began appearing in the iPhone status bar with iOS 12.2, confusing some users who thought they were able to access true 5G networks.

Tags: AT&T, 5G

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Review: AT&T’s Power Drum Can Charge Your Apple Watch and Another Qi Device on the Go, but Phones Are a Bit of a Balancing Act

Ever since the Apple Watch launched in 2015, we’ve seen countless products that save up some counter or desktop space by letting you charge your ‌Apple Watch‌ and iPhone in one spot. There are numerous versions of this type of accessory, and now AT&T has released its own with the Power Drum.

The Power Drum is a cylindrical charger with a small 3-inch footprint that houses a built-in ‌Apple Watch‌ charger and is topped with a Qi-compatible wireless charging surface (subtly designed with the AT&T logo). The Power Drum can be used as a desktop charger through the included micro-USB charging cable, or on-the-go thanks to a 3,000 mAh internal battery.


There are a few things that work for the Power Drum, but to start with its most glaring issue, the accessory is just too small to reliably use as a wireless charger for the ‌iPhone‌. With just a 2-inch base to place your ‌iPhone‌ on (the top portion is smaller than the foot of the Power Drum), placing my iPhone 11 Pro Max on the Power Drum every night for the past week or so always felt like a risk.

Going about this process is frustrating because I had to not only aim for the Qi hotspot on my ‌iPhone‌, but also ensure that the ‌iPhone‌ was properly balanced on the Power Drum at the same time. The right wireless charging position typically never aligned with the perfect balancing position, and it always left me uncertain about leaving my brand-new ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ dangling above the stand for any length of time.


In terms of ‌iPhone‌ charging, I found the Power Drum to offer the typical wireless charging performance. It trickle charged my ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ at a solid rate overnight, but on a few occassions I did notice charging stopped before my ‌iPhone‌ was topped off. As a mobile battery, the Power Drum just isn’t sensible for the Pro Max. Its 3,000 mAh battery can offer a bit of charge to the 3,969 mAh battery on the Pro Max, but once you account for the efficiency loss of wireless charging, the Power Drum doesn’t come close to fully charging the smartphone.

AT&T’s accessory makes more sense as an ‌Apple Watch‌ charger in both desktop and mobile formats. I was able to charge my ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 5’s ~300 mAh battery multiple times without needing to fuel up the Power Drum. This makes the accessory a solid ‌Apple Watch‌ charger for places where a cord is unable to reach, like a bathroom countertop, but it is something you’ll have to remember to charge up every few days.


The Power Drum separates into two parts, including a rubberized base and the central drum-shaped battery. Under the base are inserts sized for each version of the ‌‌Apple Watch‌‌, helping to make sure your ‌Apple Watch‌ lines up with the charging puck on the front of the Power Drum.


The drum simply nests into the base, allowing you to place your ‌Apple Watch‌ around the drum and use Nightstand Mode, but I never found the two pieces were secured together enough. Easy disassembly will make packing it for travel less of a pain, but could also result in lost parts (particularly those ‌Apple Watch‌ case sizing inserts).


AT&T intends you to charge an ‌Apple Watch‌ and smartphone simultaneously, but I found the device to be more useful as an ‌Apple Watch‌ and AirPods charger. The Qi mat is just big enough for the AirPods Pro to fit, so it’s less of a risk than placing your ‌iPhone‌ on the top of the mat.

This makes the Power Drum a convenient home hub for your Apple accessories if you have a nearby outlet to keep it constantly plugged in. Still, even with my ‌AirPods Pro‌ I had to occasionally shift the ‌AirPods‌ around to find the right charging spot on the Power Drum.

Bottom Line

There are aspects to the design of the Power Drum that work, but AT&T’s overall execution of the device is lacking. Charging your ‌iPhone‌ on the accessory is simply not a good idea, so you’ll really only want to look into it if you have an ‌Apple Watch‌ and another, smaller Qi-supported device like the ‌AirPods‌.


But at $99.99 ($59.99 on sale), there just aren’t enough positive aspects of the Power Drum to recommend it. For those interested in learning more, you can find the Power Drum on AT&T’s website.

Note: AT&T provided MacRumors with the Power Drum for the purpose of this review, and no other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with AT&T. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Tag: AT&T

This article, “Review: AT&T’s Power Drum Can Charge Your Apple Watch and Another Qi Device on the Go, but Phones Are a Bit of a Balancing Act” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Ever since the Apple Watch launched in 2015, we've seen countless products that save up some counter or desktop space by letting you charge your ‌Apple Watch‌ and iPhone in one spot. There are numerous versions of this type of accessory, and now AT&T has released its own with the Power Drum.

The Power Drum is a cylindrical charger with a small 3-inch footprint that houses a built-in ‌Apple Watch‌ charger and is topped with a Qi-compatible wireless charging surface (subtly designed with the AT&T logo). The Power Drum can be used as a desktop charger through the included micro-USB charging cable, or on-the-go thanks to a 3,000 mAh internal battery.


There are a few things that work for the Power Drum, but to start with its most glaring issue, the accessory is just too small to reliably use as a wireless charger for the ‌iPhone‌. With just a 2-inch base to place your ‌iPhone‌ on (the top portion is smaller than the foot of the Power Drum), placing my iPhone 11 Pro Max on the Power Drum every night for the past week or so always felt like a risk.

Going about this process is frustrating because I had to not only aim for the Qi hotspot on my ‌iPhone‌, but also ensure that the ‌iPhone‌ was properly balanced on the Power Drum at the same time. The right wireless charging position typically never aligned with the perfect balancing position, and it always left me uncertain about leaving my brand-new ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ dangling above the stand for any length of time.


In terms of ‌iPhone‌ charging, I found the Power Drum to offer the typical wireless charging performance. It trickle charged my ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ at a solid rate overnight, but on a few occassions I did notice charging stopped before my ‌iPhone‌ was topped off. As a mobile battery, the Power Drum just isn't sensible for the Pro Max. Its 3,000 mAh battery can offer a bit of charge to the 3,969 mAh battery on the Pro Max, but once you account for the efficiency loss of wireless charging, the Power Drum doesn't come close to fully charging the smartphone.

AT&T's accessory makes more sense as an ‌Apple Watch‌ charger in both desktop and mobile formats. I was able to charge my ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 5's ~300 mAh battery multiple times without needing to fuel up the Power Drum. This makes the accessory a solid ‌Apple Watch‌ charger for places where a cord is unable to reach, like a bathroom countertop, but it is something you'll have to remember to charge up every few days.


The Power Drum separates into two parts, including a rubberized base and the central drum-shaped battery. Under the base are inserts sized for each version of the ‌‌Apple Watch‌‌, helping to make sure your ‌Apple Watch‌ lines up with the charging puck on the front of the Power Drum.


The drum simply nests into the base, allowing you to place your ‌Apple Watch‌ around the drum and use Nightstand Mode, but I never found the two pieces were secured together enough. Easy disassembly will make packing it for travel less of a pain, but could also result in lost parts (particularly those ‌Apple Watch‌ case sizing inserts).


AT&T intends you to charge an ‌Apple Watch‌ and smartphone simultaneously, but I found the device to be more useful as an ‌Apple Watch‌ and AirPods charger. The Qi mat is just big enough for the AirPods Pro to fit, so it's less of a risk than placing your ‌iPhone‌ on the top of the mat.

This makes the Power Drum a convenient home hub for your Apple accessories if you have a nearby outlet to keep it constantly plugged in. Still, even with my ‌AirPods Pro‌ I had to occasionally shift the ‌AirPods‌ around to find the right charging spot on the Power Drum.

Bottom Line


There are aspects to the design of the Power Drum that work, but AT&T's overall execution of the device is lacking. Charging your ‌iPhone‌ on the accessory is simply not a good idea, so you'll really only want to look into it if you have an ‌Apple Watch‌ and another, smaller Qi-supported device like the ‌AirPods‌.


But at $99.99 ($59.99 on sale), there just aren't enough positive aspects of the Power Drum to recommend it. For those interested in learning more, you can find the Power Drum on AT&T's website.

Note: AT&T provided MacRumors with the Power Drum for the purpose of this review, and no other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with AT&T. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Tag: AT&T

This article, "Review: AT&T's Power Drum Can Charge Your Apple Watch and Another Qi Device on the Go, but Phones Are a Bit of a Balancing Act" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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AT&T Unlimited &More Premium Wireless Plan Bundles Spotify Premium at No Extra Cost

After partnering with Hulu, Spotify today announced that it will bundle its Premium plan with AT&T’s most expensive wireless offering. Specifically, if you pay for AT&T’s Unlimited &More Premium plan, you’ll have the option to get a Spotify Premium monthly subscription at no extra cost (via Variety).


AT&T’s Unlimited &More Premium plans start at $80 monthly per line, and if you are an existing Spotify Premium customer who has &More Premium, you’ll be able to keep your current Spotify account when signing up for the offer.

Spotify is one of seven options in AT&T’s entertainment bundle, and customers can also choose one of the following as their free add-on: HBO, Cinemax, VRV, Showtime, Starz, or Pandora.

“We continue to build relationships with world-class partners like AT&T to bring our Spotify Premium product to new audiences in the U.S. and across the globe,” Marc Hazan, Spotify’s VP of premium partnerships, said in a statement.

AT&T will also offer select wireless customers a six-month free trial of Spotify Premium. According to AT&T, this is the beginning of an “ongoing collaboration” with Spotify, which just reached 108 million paid subscribers around the world as of June.

The new AT&T entertainment bundle with Spotify Premium will be available from tomorrow, August 6.

Tags: Spotify, AT&T

This article, “AT&T Unlimited &More Premium Wireless Plan Bundles Spotify Premium at No Extra Cost” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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After partnering with Hulu, Spotify today announced that it will bundle its Premium plan with AT&T's most expensive wireless offering. Specifically, if you pay for AT&T's Unlimited &More Premium plan, you'll have the option to get a Spotify Premium monthly subscription at no extra cost (via Variety).


AT&T's Unlimited &More Premium plans start at $80 monthly per line, and if you are an existing Spotify Premium customer who has &More Premium, you'll be able to keep your current Spotify account when signing up for the offer.

Spotify is one of seven options in AT&T's entertainment bundle, and customers can also choose one of the following as their free add-on: HBO, Cinemax, VRV, Showtime, Starz, or Pandora.
“We continue to build relationships with world-class partners like AT&T to bring our Spotify Premium product to new audiences in the U.S. and across the globe,” Marc Hazan, Spotify’s VP of premium partnerships, said in a statement.
AT&T will also offer select wireless customers a six-month free trial of Spotify Premium. According to AT&T, this is the beginning of an "ongoing collaboration" with Spotify, which just reached 108 million paid subscribers around the world as of June.

The new AT&T entertainment bundle with Spotify Premium will be available from tomorrow, August 6.

Tags: Spotify, AT&T

This article, "AT&T Unlimited &More Premium Wireless Plan Bundles Spotify Premium at No Extra Cost" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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AT&T Named 2019’s Fastest U.S. Mobile Network in Annual PCMag Carrier Showdown

AT&T is the fastest mobile network in the United States according to PCMag‘s latest annual mobile network comparison, which was released this morning.

For the test, PCMag employees drove through 30 cities and 25 states across the U.S. and ran more than 60,000 mobile speed tests to determine the speediest mobile network. The tests were conducted using Samsung Galaxy S10 devices on networks from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.


This year, AT&T edged out Verizon, the winner for the past five years, thanks to AT&T’s focus on improving its LTE network in preparation for 5G technology. While all four networks improved overall on both speed and reliability compared to last year, AT&T improved a bit more than the others.


AT&T won or tied for first place in 15 of the 30 cities tested, and it tied or came out on top in all rural regions. AT&T was on top overall in the northwest, southwest, north central, and northeast, while Verizon won in the south central region and T-Mobile came out ahead in the southeast.


AT&T has been making improvements to its 4G network and has been labeling those 4G enhancements as “5GE,” but really it’s the same 4G LTE technology offered by other wireless companies as well. Still, these efforts to improve the 4G network ahead of 5G have led to overall speed boosts for AT&T customers.

The full results of PCMag‘s 2019 mobile carrier speed testing can be found over on the PCMag website.

This article, “AT&T Named 2019’s Fastest U.S. Mobile Network in Annual PCMag Carrier Showdown” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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AT&T is the fastest mobile network in the United States according to PCMag's latest annual mobile network comparison, which was released this morning.

For the test, PCMag employees drove through 30 cities and 25 states across the U.S. and ran more than 60,000 mobile speed tests to determine the speediest mobile network. The tests were conducted using Samsung Galaxy S10 devices on networks from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.


This year, AT&T edged out Verizon, the winner for the past five years, thanks to AT&T's focus on improving its LTE network in preparation for 5G technology. While all four networks improved overall on both speed and reliability compared to last year, AT&T improved a bit more than the others.


AT&T won or tied for first place in 15 of the 30 cities tested, and it tied or came out on top in all rural regions. AT&T was on top overall in the northwest, southwest, north central, and northeast, while Verizon won in the south central region and T-Mobile came out ahead in the southeast.


AT&T has been making improvements to its 4G network and has been labeling those 4G enhancements as "5GE," but really it's the same 4G LTE technology offered by other wireless companies as well. Still, these efforts to improve the 4G network ahead of 5G have led to overall speed boosts for AT&T customers.

The full results of PCMag's 2019 mobile carrier speed testing can be found over on the PCMag website.


This article, "AT&T Named 2019's Fastest U.S. Mobile Network in Annual PCMag Carrier Showdown" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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