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30 Jan

5G Business Strategies Laid Out by Telecom Giants

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5G Business Strategies

AT&T® is all set to provide its customers a full spectrum of 5G services. It does so in hope that people make full use of the available technology for beneficial purposes. The whole nation is vastly dependent on technology for their services. They use it for a diverse range of purposes such as connecting a single location, mixed reality, all the way to artificial intelligence. Besides, they are also offering one of the country’s cheapest cable TV services. Below is a look into the business strategies adopted by the AT&T®.

The three main foundation stones of services are:

  • Mobile 5G
  • Fixed Wireless
  • Edge Computing

“The 5G services we’re rolling out and combining with our advanced network capabilities will help businesses fundamentally change for the better,” said CMO of AT&T® Business, Mo Katibeh. “It will open up opportunities to increase revenue, reduce operational costs, and ultimately create amazing new experiences for employees and customers. Whether it’s a local startup, a growing regional company, or national enterprise, these 3 pillars are going to be groundbreaking.”

Mobile 5G

Mobile phones occupy a more important place in business than ever before. Employee communication and point-of-sale are literally impossible without mobile phones. Thus, it is imperative that 5G service provides an effortless transition between LTE, Wi-Fi, and 5G. Two new devices supporting 5G are in the pipeline, set to be released in 2019. AT&T® is also collaborating with Samsung for two smartphones

At the moment, 12 cities have a functional mobile 5G network. There is ongoing effort to improve and maximize the performance of 5G based data services in these locations.

Fixed Wireless

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Being one of the best cable and internet companies in the country, AT&T® fixed wireless broadband with flexible data options to suit the need of the business persons. The company connects with nearly 2.2 million locations using fiber. It has undertaken the responsibility of upgrading the network framework of the nation.

Edge Computing

Edge computing is yet another of the technological innovations that can make use of the cellular data to improve the operations in a huge way. It allows businesses to channel application-specific traffic to intended locations. This covers the edge of the network, the cloud, and their premises.

In addition to these services, the AT&T® Business also offers access to AT&T® Multi-Access Edge Compute (MEC). This solution makes use of a software-defined network to allow quicker data processing, apart from offering flexibility of services.

16 Nov

Video Streaming Platform in the Offing for Broadband-Only Subscribers

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Video Streaming Platform

One of the top cable providers, Comcast® plans to launch a product for internet-only customers that will allow them to aggregate some streaming applications, comprising Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime, with a voice remote. According to sources close to the developments, the company is planning the launch in reaction to the challenge of navigating video amid an array of sources.

The product, which will initially be an STB and meant to be a similar platform to XFINITY® X1, will rollout in 2019, according to reliable sources. However, the cheapest cable TV provider has declined to comment on its future plans.

It presently gives video subscribers access to X1, which aggregates cheapest cable TV with several of the same applications that will also be available on the upcoming product, like YouTube and Netflix. However, sources say that the new product will not have cable TV, even though it will give Comcast® subscribers the option to rent movies and shows and upgrade to a video package.

The product is not a competitor to Apple TV or Roku since it will not allow subs access to hundreds of applications, comprising streaming TV bundles such as DIRECTV NOW® or Sling®. Those services are competitors to the video bundle of Comcast®, and the company would not be able to push video service to broadband subs if it lets them access those bundled over the top (OTT) services. The company has not decided the precise number of applications that will be made accessible through the product, revealed sources.

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Rather, the company said they want it to be the hub to connected home. Besides aggregating streaming applications, it will also let customers control anything that is connected to the web, comprising smart locks and thermostats.

Comcast® will be marketing the new product to broadband-only subscribers, which seems in line with the recent business situation of the company. It added 334,000 residential broadband subs in the third quarter of 2018 and sees broadband as the main growth factor of its telecom business. It has around 25 million overall residential broadband subs. Recently, Comcast® also announced that it is now the largest gigabit internet provider in the US.

Sources also revealed that the cable giant has not decided on its upcoming product’s price. One thing is for sure going by reported information – it will be a streaming platform for internet-only subscribers.

12 Nov

TOKU® to Premiere Hair Extensions to Us Audiences This November

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Video Streaming Services

TOKU®, the 24/7 live as well as on-demand TV network that delivers sought-after Asian action films and cult classics that are dubbed to English language, recently announced the US premiere of the horror movie titled “Hair Extensions”. The spine-tingling horror film will premiere on TOKU® on November 17, 2018, at 10:00 pm EST.

The movie tells the story of a mortuary attendant, who sells black hair that holds a dark secret. The hair sold by the morgue attendant comes from the dead body of a girl, and things turn chilling when it keeps growing. The work directed by Sion Sono has standout performances from Megumi Sato, Chiaki Kuriyama and Ren Osugi.

“The U.S. premiere of Hair Extensions is a testament to our commitment to offering the very best in Asian-Pacific entertainment. Starring the unforgettable Ren Osugi, the film’s unique theme promises to keep audiences on their toes,” said Jesús Piñango, who is Olympusat’s Director of Television Content Strategy.

Adding more excitement, TOKU® is featuring Young Sherlock beginning November 08, each Monday at 08:00 pm EST. The drama from China is about Di Ren Jie, who stops an attempt to assassinate Empress Wu. Impress by Di Ren Jie’s quick thinking and bravery, Empress Wu orders him to look into the matter. Directed by Lin Feng, the drama features an ensemble cast led by Stephy Qi, Bosco Wong, and Ma Tianyu.

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Besides, TOKU® will feature Gachinko Running’s network premiere on November 11, 2018, at 10:00 pm EST. The story of the Japanese film, directed by Akira Hirose and set in Kirikaze High, follows the continuous battle for supremacy between school class cliques. When new school kids tip the balance, stakes are determined in a speedy drift race. The movie stars Joe Hyûga, Takeshi Hokumen, and Hisashi Fukuda.

TOKU® is owned and operated by the media corporation named Olympusat®. The corporation is a leader in Hispanic TV and media space, a position it established via its English and Spanish TV networks. TOKU® is presently available also on cable providers AT&T’s U-VERSE® and Comcast’s XFINITY®. In case you do not subscribe to cheapest cable TV, you can tune into TOKU® via its online streaming service or Amazon Prime®.

26 Jul

How to Pay Less for More Cable TV

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Cable TV Providers

There are plenty of cable TV options available to the average consumer these days, and in many ways, that makes it hard to choose the one that works best for you. It needs to be said that there are hordes of people who want no more than a few channels at an affordable price, as opposed to the hundreds that many subscribers pay dear amounts for. Following are some ways to find the cheapest cable TV options you can get in your area, and a look at how to reduce your monthly bill after sufficient time has passed.

Research your Possible Options

There are many ways a customer can go when choosing a TV package, and you should be versed with what is within your grasp. There are plenty of things you would do well to learn, such as the basics, the bundles, and the advanced uses. Simply knowing these options well is a good way to steer your decision in the right direction. For instance, in the U.S., every cable TV provider has to give a “basic cable option” that covers local-access channels and broadcast channels, as well as the public service and government channels.

The government controls the pricing on these packages, which often come at less than $20 a month, although many cable providers understandably neglect to mention them on their websites. Go up a tier and you would find the “standard” or “expanded basic” package from each provider, which offers more channels, but for a higher price. However, the provider would normally tout this as the cheapest cable TV package they are providing.

The bottom line is that you need to know how little you can get what you pay for. Package pricing and channel lineup can also vary with region, which is why it is vital to not leave out the fine print when you read the from your are about to sign. Be aware of the basic cable provision requirements as laid out by your government-run communications agency, so that you know what any provider is legally mandated to give you.

Determine the Coverage you Need

The cheapest cable TV package would sure cost you the least, although you would definitely not get a large channel lineup in a plan titled “basic”. The good part is that you would be paying the minimum amount every month. However, if you know your family needs more than this, be specific while choosing.

You may be big on sports, or even arts, in which case it is often best to pick what the provider recommends based on your preference. It gets hard when the people in the family have conflicting entertainment needs, and you need to make sure everyone is happy. However, if you monthly budget cannot handle a plan on one of the top tiers, everyone would need to compromise.

There may be channels that cost extra which air less than a handful of shows that you want to watch. If that is the case, give serious thought to waiting for the DVD release instead, or watching these online. Again, read the fine print, and plan ahead so you do not make an ill-advised choice, like subscribing to 24 months’ worth of kid’s channels when your child is entering his or her teens.

Go by Provider

  • First off, start with finding out which providers offer the cheapest cable TV packages in your neighborhood. You may be in an area which some of the major companies do not service, so check who does. A simple search on Google with your zip code at the end should get you what you are looking for. If a provider you are interested in does not offer a deal as sweet as what you found online, roll up your sleeves and get ready to negotiate.
  • Call them up. As said, most providers would not advertise their cheapest cable TV package, for the simple reason that they are not required to. Checking their website would only show you the “standard” package, and stuff priced higher. To know about the cheapest cable TV package they are offering, you will need to call in person and ask for that specific bit of information. If you do decide to sign up and want some changes made, this too will need to be specified over the phone.
  • Make sure you ask for the “basic” package, and do not let them talk you into getting “standard” or “expanded basic”. Keep steering the conversation back to what you called to find out about, and if need be, remind them that this is something they are legally required to sell. The last card you can play is telling them this is simply all you can afford, at which point most salespeople would pick something over nothing, especially if you sound like a potential cord-cutter. Find out about channel lineup and pricing, and if some of your favorites are included or can be added to the cheapest cable TV package they are offering.

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There is always the chance you will be unsatisfied with what the “basic” package brings. If that happens, the next thing to do is Google for the cheapest cable TV deals inside the “standard” tier. Just search for “cheap cable” followed by your zip code, and you will get enough to work with. Some sites allow you to draw up charts to visually compare pricing from different providers.

Give thought to what channels and features you will get for a given amount. On a cautionary note, be suspicious of deals that come at low monthly rates for limited periods; it is a given that the company will raise the price after you have gotten hooked on their programming, which is bound to happen, because TV is addictive.

Getting your Monthly Bill Lowered

After you have been enjoying the entertainment benefits of your TV package for a while, you may start feeling that you are paying overly for what you are getting. This is particularly likely if you did not go for one of the cheapest cable TV deals originally, but instead chose a plan with more bells and whistles. Luckily, there are ways to cut your bill while hanging on to the reality shows and sports programming you really love.

Jump to a Lower Tiered Package

Evaluate your usage monthly, and see if you need all of those premium channels. Packages with more channels would weigh down your bill, so if you see any features, which you can comfortably do without, drop them. This will not go unnoticed, and there is every chance that a company rep would call you up to ask why you are choosing to go this way.

Be blunt and tell them you do not want to pay as much as you used to, but are willing to meet them somewhere in the middle where pricing is concerned. Wait and see if these words work magic, because they almost always do.

Try Bundling Internet with TV

This is one of the best ways to save money, as long as you get both services from the same provider. Not only do you have to pay just a single bill at the end of each month, but also the individual prices usually drop substantially. If you speak to the right sales rep, you may even get further discounts. In a nutshell, any company would want to get you to buy more stuff from them.

A bundle deal essentially requires you to pay for both services even at times when you end up needing just one of them, which is good from the provider’s perspective. However, if you foresee that happening, keep getting your services separately, no matter how hard they try to get you to bundle them. Risking an ETF is definitely not a smart thing to do as an entertainment consumer.

Sign a Long Term Contract

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A contract or a service agreement is seen as a bad thing by most people, but you should know that the ones who agree to this are more likely to get attractive discounts from their providers. A two-year agreement, for instance, gives the company the guarantee that you will stay on for that time period, or pay an early termination fee to get out. This means they probably have distinct on- and off-contract pricing, and the former is what you want to be able to partake in.

If you are sure you will not switch providers before a contract would expire, then there is simply no good reason not to sign one. As the benefits of this rush in, you may even get more value for money than you would have signing up for the cheapest cable TV deal you could find.

Shop Around

Both your current provider and their competition offer services you should check out. They probably provide far better deals than they advertise, a lot similar to their cheapest cable TV deals. Many companies draw in new customers with tempting packages, usually featuring either cheaper prices or higher value for money. If your contract is about to expire, you can go to another provider and get something similar.

If you decide to stay on instead, and see that new customers are being treated to far better plan features for the same price you pay, call up the provider and ask them why a loyal customer like you is not getting the same perks. This should elicit the reaction you want, especially if you tell them your neighbor is getting a far more attractive price despite being a relatively new user.

Call and Demand a Discount

Sometimes this is all it takes to shave a substantial amount off your monthly bill, and you will not know unless you have tried. Every cable TV provider is willing to talk pricing at any time of day, and even more so if you are currently approaching the end of your contract. Call them up and ask what they can do for you. If you get the right service rep on the phone, be patient, and play sufficiently nice, they would probably call you back with the kind of sweetened deal you were looking for. At the end of the day, this soundly beats signing up for the cheapest cable TV deal you can find.

Negotiate

If the provider will not give you TV service for a cheaper price, start negotiating. Many providers are agreeable to haggling, and you can get them to listen if you quote the competition’s pricing, and subtly hint at a chance of you ending your contract. To know about what the competition is offering, Google their plans. If you keep trying, at the very least, they are bound to give you a slight raise in internet speed, or a couple premium channels. Something is better than nothing, and you can always try again.

Tell Them you Will Leave

Stay polite, but if the negotiations do not go your way, then tell them that you believe you can get better service elsewhere. Any representative’s first instinct is to try and keep you from doing that, and if they have to offer up an enticing deal to that end, they probably will. Better yet, when you call, say it is to complain about the pricing, or lower your plan, or even cancel. Chances are you will be treated to a “special” deal that not everyone gets.

Companies allow representatives to offer these to reel in customers who look like they will probably leave. Such a plan may even cut your monthly bill by up to $20, and that is a definite steal. This too beats signing up for the cheapest cable TV deal you can find.

Switch Providers

If you find your current provider is not giving enough for the money you pay them each month, and talking to them has not helped, then switching may be the only imperative. This is where the lack of a contract comes in handy; subscribers bound by one would have to dish out exorbitant early termination fees (ETF) for essentially breaking it.

After the end of your contract, use the tricks above to get the best deals out of the subscriber you next sign up with, and while opting for the cheapest cable TV deal may sound good, there is wisdom in seeing if you can get better value for money on a higher tiered plan. You can even call a competitor before switching, and see what offers mentioning your current provider gets you.

29 May

U-verse® Earns Top Spot in American Customer Satisfaction Index

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Pay TV Broadcaster

AT&T’s U-verse® was ranked 1st as per American Customer Satisfaction Index’s rankings of pay-TV services with a score of 70. U-verse® retained the same score as in 2017, but since Verizon’s Fios® slipped 3 points from last year, it was ranked 1st in the measure of customer satisfaction levels. Besides, Dish Network® held on to its year-over-year score and was ranked 3rd in the index.

Although the satisfaction among customers for several pay-TV providers’ has slipped, AT&T’s IPTV service maintained its score and scaled to the top position. American Customer Satisfaction Index has commented that, “many aspects of the customer experience have deteriorated” for subscription-TV providers.

“Customer service representatives are perceived as less helpful and courteous (77), but the speed of transactions at service centers is unchanged (76),” ACSI report said. “Viewers say that TV signals are slightly less reliable (74) and service disruptions are more frequent (72). As the battle for content continues, viewers are increasingly disappointed with the range of channels and premium channels available (both 73). Call centers remain a low point for the industry and continue to decline (down 3% to 63).”

AT&T® offers U-verse® with options to bundle cheapest cable TV packages with internet and telephone plans. The subscribers of the IPTV service offers a lineup of bundled packages to choose from, with options to record multiple shows and access on-demand content. The Telco giant delivers the cable TV alternative to customers using a combination of fiber optic infrastructure and existing cable lines in the subscribers’ place.

Apart from that, American Customer Satisfaction Index also ranked cheapest cable TV alternatives or streaming services that provide over-the-top content to customers. Among video streaming services, Netflix, Sony’s PlayStation™ Vue, and Amazon® Twitch shared the top position with a score of 78 each.

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This was the first time the nationwide subscriber satisfaction measure added the rankings for streaming services. “Video streaming services are doing well by avoiding some of the most hated aspects of other telecom experiences,” noted ACSI in its report. “For most of the top-rated providers, there are no hidden fees and canceling is easy and painless.”

For instance, certain streaming services offer a free subscription for a particular period, and days prior to the completion of the trial offer, they notify the subscribers so that they can continue or cancel the subscription as per their requirement.

13 Jan

Charter Makes HITN TV Available In New Markets

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Charter Communications Video

The officials from one of the most popular Spanish language networks in the United States, HITN-TV, recently announced that the channel would now be available in a number of new markets. The expansion of this channel to new markets is actually a part of Charter Communications’ Latino View lineup of Hispanic channels in the country.

HITN-TV was already available to over 42 million households around the country, and that too, in some of the most popular markets. Under Charter’s new initiative, this channel would now be available in San Diego, Los Angeles, El Paso, Texas, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Harlingten, McAllen, and Orange counties of California.

Charter cable customers, who have subscribed to the providers Latino View package, can find HINT-TV on channel number 933 in all the above markets. HINT-TV offers a number of quality entertainment and educational programs to the viewers.

The General Manger of HITN-TV said, “Our expanded relationship with Charter will allow us to strengthen our presence in California and Texas, two of this country’s largest Hispanic markets, and validates the positive audience response to our new programming strategy.”

Charter Spectrum TV

HITN-TV Content

“We are confident that our new content offering, which includes top documentary, lifestyle, children’s, educational and political programming, will represent a fresh alternative to traditional Hispanic networks for subscribers of Charter Communications and other operators in their own language,” he added.

The cultural and educational programs offered by HITN-TV are focused on entertaining the entire family. As of now, the channel reaches more than 42 million homes across Puerto Rico and the United Sates through Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Comcast Corporation, Verizon FiOS TV, AT&T U-Verse, Dish Network, and DirecTV.

Charter Communications is one of the leading telecom industries in the United States. The acquisition of Time Warner cable and Bright House Network by Charter helped them to become the second largest cable operator in the country. Charter also offers a wide range of advanced broadband services to their customers under the Charter Spectrum Internet brand.

In addition to that, the telecom company also provides cost effective, tailored, and scalable solutions to a number of business organizations such as data networking, business-to-business internet access, business telephone, wireless backhaul, as well as music and video entertainment services. Spectrum is the latest initiative from Charter Communications and it has already become quite popular among many customers.

19 Dec

Parma City School District Families Can Avail Connect2Compete Program Advantages

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Connect2Compete

It is a time when many families are finding it hard to pay for groceries and utilities, and at such a time, Cox Communications is offering families in the Parma City School District internet access at discounted rates. The program, called Connect2Compete, offers affordable high-speed internet service to those families with K-12 children who have qualified for free or reduced school lunch via the National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Jeffrey Lavery, who is the manager public affairs for Cox Communications, Northeast, wants people to understand that Cox knows that the challenges that are faced by families these days. “Despite the proliferation of technology flowing into classrooms, the challenge remains overcoming the ‘digital divide’ – or whether students can take what they learn from these advanced classroom offerings and continue the learning experience at home with a reliable Internet connection,” Lavery said.

“Without Internet access, they’re at risk of falling behind and becoming disenfranchised. Cox Communications is teaming with districts across Cuyahoga County to identify qualified families and do whatever it takes to get them connected to the Internet,” he added.

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Kira Karabanovs, who is the director of family and community engagement for the Parma City School District, said that PCSD started The Everywhere Classroom in 2014-15 academic year. “The program, in which 1:1 technology was first distributed to every student, is transforming learning in our schools,” Karabanovs said. “The Everywhere Classroom 1:1 technology initiative supports an individualized education experience to: Advance student learning, prepare our students for the state’s mandated online testing requirements, and ensure our students are college and career ready upon graduation.”

“The Connect2Compete program is pretty simple,” Karabanovs said. “It’s about equity. Not all of our students have access to Wi-Fi coverage in their homes, but the cost of the program allows students who might not otherwise be able to afford Wi-Fi at the normal monthly rate can secure it through the program at a reduced rate make it feasible for families.”

“This program provides opportunity,” Karabanovs further added. “Skills learned in our classrooms now can grow thought home-based learning. It allows parents to engage and support their child’s learning by being able to access online programs. In addition, parents can be more engaged with our districts through social media. Connect2Compete is a win-win and allows online access to homes where it might not be possible.”

30 Nov

AT&T Reveals More Details On DirecTV Now Pricing

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DirecTV Now Pricing

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was clear about a few things during his announcement regarding DirecTV Now last month. He promised that the online streaming service would offer more than a hundred channels that includes “all the premium” channels customers wish for. He also added that this service would be available to subscribers for just $35 a month.

This announcement from the telecom company was highly greeted by subscribers and analysts, as this offering was the best package offered by a streaming service provider. However, AT&T revealed the entire pricing details of DirecTV Now a few days ago, and it might be a little less appealing for some than what they expected earlier.

Reports say that the offering of more than a hundred channels at just $35 a month will be available only to those subscribers, who sign up within a few days of the launch of the streaming service. As per the new pricing details, new subscribers who pay $35 will receive 60 popular channels. In addition to that, three more standard packages are available to DirecTV Now subscribers, which they can subscribe to: 120 channels for $70, 100 channels for $60, and 80 channels for $50 a month.

Nevertheless, subscribers will have to pay an additional amount of $5 per month, if they want to access the premium channels Cinemax and HBO. AT&T has also confirmed that their latest venture will be available only in the United States at the time of its launch. Reports from several reliable sources indicate that DirecTV Now will be available to subscribers by November 30.

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60 Channels At $35

Stephenson had earlier claimed that subscribers would be able to access “all in” on premium channels at just $35 a month. He also added that the Time Warner owned channels such as HBO would also be available to the subscribers through DirecTV Now.

“[DirecTV Now] is for the first time, 100-plus premium channels, all right, this isn’t the junk nobody wants,” Stephenson said during the announcement. “This is 100-plus premium channels, purely over the top, a mobile-centric platform for $35 a month. It has all of [Time Warner’s] content, it has all the premium content you know and love and like to watch, $35 a month, and that includes your mobile streaming costs, streaming it over the mobile Internet. So, $35, pretty much all in.”

However, the recent announcement by AT&T says, “Customers who sign up for this offer will continue to enjoy this special price for as long as you keep the package, subject only to future reasonable programming price increases applicable to all packages.”

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