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20 Sep

AT&T® to Follow the Market for 5G Rollout

Att Internet
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5G Mobile Service

Recently, the best internet provider AT&T® announced that it plans to roll out the 5G service in a dozen cities by 2018 and named seven cities the company plans to connect to the 5G network early 2019. The Dallas-based carrier is rolling out the required equipment to support the fresh wireless standard across the US. However, the fastest internet provider plans to allow the market to guide where and when it turns on 5G, said AT&T® Labs President cum Chief Technology Officer, Andre Fuetsch.

“Over time we’ll just have see how much [5G] device penetration happens over time,” Fuetsch said. “That will determine, really, the pace of how 5G gets built.” He also added that it is compliant with the wireless standards body 3GPP’s specification. That means phones on the 5G network of the company will be able to switch over to 4G radios seamlessly when required, and the Telco will not have to upgrade equipment or subscribers’ phones to make them compatible with the wireless standard.

With the correct radios, 5G promises superfast speeds. Unlike with those previous technologies, the throughput subscribers will receive with 5G could either match or better those of residential internet connections. In some cases, subs could see 1 Gbps speeds or more, which is around what fiber optic internet broadband services like Verizon Fios® offer.

The CTO of AT&T® Labs is helping guide the 5G effort of the fastest internet provider. However, the actual 5G speeds customers get could differ from one place to the other. That is because to deliver the quickest service, telecommunication companies will have to use radio towers that can transmit data at mmWave frequency bands in the rage of 24 GHz and more.

Signals sent in the said bands do not go through walls or do not tend to travel extremely far. Therefore, to cover the exact area that low-frequency bands were able to, they will have to use more radio towers. This will make deployment pricier.

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Carriers can make use of lower-frequency bands in order to deliver the 5G service, but only at a moderately quicker speed than what 4G can deliver, said Fuetsch. He also said that top speeds might reach about 1 Gbps, but average speeds will probably be in the hundreds Mbps. Besides quicker speeds, 5G promises lower latency.

“If you’re in one of our millimeter-wave zones … you can expect gigabit-plus speeds. Not just peak speeds but average speeds,” AT&T® Labs CTO said. “In other areas, you certainly will get some speed advantages, you will also get reduced latency, but you won’t get as much speed as you would with a millimeter wave connection.”

17 Sep

How to Find the Best Internet Providers near you

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Internet Providers Near Me

Best Internet Providers

The internet speed requirements of both resident and business customers have considerably increased over the last few years. This is because most of us have become too reliant on the internet these days. We use the internet connection at our home to access social media platforms, browse the web, play online multiplayer games, stream video contents, and a lot more.

Likewise, business owners and employee also depend on the internet connection at their office to video conference with clients, hold online meetings, and to complete their monthly and daily work targets. So, if your internet connection is slow or unstable, then you will find it very difficult to carry out the above-mentioned basic internet related activities.

Such internet issues can be very irritating and frustrating and if unresolved, they might put your entire business operations at greater risk. If you wish to avoid such hassles, then you need to ask yourself who are the best internet providers near me. Subscribing to the fastest internet provider who offers you access to a high-speed internet connection with zero lags or interruptions will help you to enjoy an internet using experience at your home and office.

Things to Consider before Choosing a Certain Internet Provider

There is a wide variety of internet connectivity options, internet providers, internet plans, and other options available to customers who are shopping for internet services. The abundant number of choices available to you might make you feel a little bit overwhelmed and confused. If you are stuck in such a difficult scenario, then Google ‘best internet providers near me’, as this will help you to find reliable internet providers in your area. However, it is significant to note that the internet requirements of users may considerably vary from one another. So, the first and most important thing you need to do is to determine how much speed is required for your business related or personal tasks. Once you have figured that out, take a look at the results of your previous ‘best internet providers near me’ Google search.

You will now need to thoroughly go through the different internet plans of each one of the providers. This will help you to identify an internet plan that suits your requirements with ease. However, some of the terms used by internet providers might seem new to you, so it is best to learn what these terms mean before subscribing to a certain fastest internet provider.

Basic Internet Terminologies

Shopping for internet services used to be a straightforward and simple task until a decade ago. However, that’s not the case these days. The innovations and advancements in the field of technology have enabled internet service providers to improve the coverage, speed, and other aspects of their internet connection.

Moreover, multiple numbers of internet connectivity options are also offered by most of the leading internet providers in the United States. When you are exploring your options for internet service, you will most likely come across a few internet terminologies, which may seem new to you. Some of the most common basic internet terms used by internet service providers are the following.

Bandwidth

In simple words, the term ‘bandwidth’ can be defined as the amount of internet data that your internet service provider is capable of transmitting in a given time interval.

Download Speed

Download speed, which might also be called as ‘down’ or ‘downspeed’ by internet providers, can be described as the internet speed at which you can download and stream contents from the web to your PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone, and other internet enabled devices.

Upload Speed

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Upload speed is a term which is used to define how quickly your smartphone or computer can send data to the web. If you are a person who uploads data and other files into the cloud, then you will surely need access to an internet connection with good upload speeds.

Mbps and Gigabit

Mbps or Megabits per second is actually a unit of measurement of internet data. On the other hand, internet speed that is very close to 1000 Megabits per second is called as Gigabit.

Data Cap

Some of the internet providers restrict the amount of internet data users can use in a month. The caps or limits set on your monthly internet data by the provider is called as data cap. Internet users who exceed the monthly data cap will either have to pay additional fees or their internet speed will be significantly reduced.

Internet Speed

Speed is one of the crucial factors that you will need to consider before selecting the fastest internet provider near you. That said, some customers particularly the ones who have never subscribed to an internet provider often claim that they are unable to identify their internet speed requirements.

In most cases, a high-speed and reliable internet connection that offers an internet speed of 25 Mbps or more is ideal for most users. One to three people will be able to stream HD video contents on multiple devices if they have access to such an internet connection.

On the other hand, internet connections that are slower than 15 Mbps would not be suitable for residential customers with multiple internet users. Moreover, you won’t be able to enjoy a fine streaming experience with such an internet connection. However, an internet connection with 15 Mbps or lower speed is ideal for light internet activities such as web browsing, checking emails, and accessing social media platforms.

Light Internet Users

Users who are new to the world of internet services will probably have no clear idea on how much speed they need. However, most of these users will be using their internet connection to check emails and access social media platforms. Such users will be happy with a reliable internet connection that guarantees a maximum internet speed of 5 Mbps at all times.

Average Users

As you would probably know, Netflix, DirecTV Now®, Hulu, and several other streaming services have gained immense popularity among customers in recent years. In fact, a major percentage of internet users are using the internet to watch their favorite TV shows and movies through streaming services. Such users should look for an internet connection with 25 or more than 25 Mbps speed.

Heavy Internet Users

Some customers particularly the ones who use streaming services on a regular basis should subscribe to an internet provider who guarantees a minimum internet speed of 100 Mbps. These kinds of internet users will surely exceed their monthly data limit, which means that it is best to opt for an internet plan with no data limit restrictions.

Finally, you should also note that the pricing patterns, packages, and other deals offered by internet providers will vary from one another. So, you need to ask yourself who is the best Internet providers near me and how do I get the best deals in the market. If you are able to find answers to these two questions, then you will be surely able to get a good deal from the fastest internet provider in your area.

How to Speed Up My Internet Connection

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High Speed Internet

Customers who have subscribed to an internet connection often complain that the speed offered by the provider is not that impressive. If your internet connection is slow or unstable at times, then you should immediately get in touch with your internet service provider and ask them why you are experiencing such an issue.

The internet provider might ask you to upgrade your current plan to a new internet plan with greater speeds. However, if you don’t think that’s a good idea, then it is best to switch to a new internet provider. This will help you to catch promotional offers and deals that are exclusive for new customers.

It is best to thoroughly go through the different internet plans of your preferred fastest internet provider. This will easily enable you to identify the best internet deals in the market that are suitable for your requirements. If you wish to know more about the internet providers who are operating in your area, then Google ‘internet providers near me’ and check out the results.

However, in some rare cases, the slow internet connectivity issues that you are experiencing might be due to the problems at your end. If you are using an old and low performing PC, then your computer might be the major culprit behind the slow internet issues that you are experiencing. So, make sure to check these things before switching to the fastest internet provider.

Tips to Improve the Internet Speed and Performance

Internet users who love to stream TV shows and blockbuster movies on streaming services will certainly get irritated and frustrated when they encounter lags and interruptions. These kinds of slow internet issues will surely ruin your binge-watching experience, which is something we all wish to avoid.

However, there are a few simple yet effective solutions that might help you to improve the speed of your internet connection. Before you switch to a new internet provider, make sure to try these handy tips, as it might help you to boost the speed of your internet connection with ease.

Check your Monthly Data Caps

Several internet users often fail to realize the fact that the monthly data caps set by internet service providers are the major culprits behind slow internet speeds. Most users especially the ones who play online games and stream tons of video contents will surely cross 1 TB or 2 TB data limit in just a couple of weeks or so.

Once you have exceeded the monthly data limit, the speed of your internet service will be considerably reduced by the provider. If that’s the issue, then you can solve the issue by purchasing additional data but you will have to pay an extra fee. However, you will be able to avoid all such hassles by choosing an internet plan with no monthly data caps.

Reset your Router

Routers are one of the most critical elements of your internet connection. However, most users prefer not to reset these devices. Issues with routers may also be a reason why your internet is slow. So, make sure to reset the router at your home or office at least once every month.

However, if your internet connection is experiencing serious speed related issues, then it is best to reset the router every day. Resetting this device will stimulate the connection with your internet service provider, which may in turn boost the speed of the connection. In some cases, you might even have to replace your wireless router with a new one. If that’s the case, then it is best to get in touch with professional technicians for further assistance.

Use Ethernet Connection if Possible

A major percent of internet users uses Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) to connect their devices to the internet. There is no denying the fact that wireless connections are convenient and excellent but they are not that fast. Ethernet and other cable connections are more reliable and faster than wireless connections. This is because these cables capture signals directly instead of relying on over-the-air transmissions.

So, connecting some or the entire internet enabled devices in your home or office to the internet with an Ethernet cable might help you to get access to higher internet speeds. Desktop computers, laptops, Xbox, PlayStation, gaming consoles and TV are some of the devices that you can be connected to the Ethernet.

In addition to these three techniques, you should also consider installing a reliable anti-virus program to your laptop and using a streamlined browser. This will considerably reduce the chances of your computer getting slow.

Conclusion

The number of internet service providers in some parts of the country might be limited to three, two, or one. Even if there is only a single internet provider in your area, you will still be able to enjoy the luxury of selecting a plan from a wide variety of internet plans. This is because most internet providers near me offer a plethora of internet plans to users. So, instead of looking for the fastest internet provider in your region, you need to shift your focus to how to capture the best internet deals in the market.

16 Jul

Things to Know before Choosing an Internet Provider

High Speed Internet

Best Internet Service Provider

In simple words, high-speed internet can be defined as a generic term that is used to describe an internet connection that is faster than the traditional dial-up internet. Internet service providers often call high-speed internet as broadband internet. In fact, different types of high-speed internet connectivity options are available to customers in the United States of America, and fiber, cable, and DSL are the most popular internet connectivity options that you will come across when you are shopping for broadband internet.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)

Most of the DSL internet service providers in the country use the local phone in your home or office to bring high-speed internet. DSL internet connection uses different frequencies for both internet and phone, which means that customers will be able to use both of these services without any interruptions or delays.

The maximum download speed offered by the leading DSL internet providers is less than 10 Mbps. However, this internet speed is sufficient for browsing emails and accessing social media platforms, which means that DSL internet connection is the ideal choice for beginners. Yet if you are a person who loves to stream HD video contents without any delays or interruptions, you will surely need access to an internet connection that delivers at least 20 Mbps speed. So, customers who belong to that category should find the fastest internet provider in the area.

Cable Internet

Cable internet providers incorporate the use of cable wires to deliver high-speed internet to the customers’ homes. The use of cable wires instead of traditional telephone wires has enabled them to offer higher speed when compared to the speed of cable internet service.

Customers who have access to the basic plan of cable internet are able to enjoy an internet speed of 100 Mbps. This means that cable is one of the ideal choices available to heavy internet users. Another significant thing you should note is that cable internet service is far more reliable than DSL internet service. Further, a recent report published by the Federal Communications Commission indicated that most of the cable internet providers in the US deliver advertised or faster internet speeds to their users. Yet the major downfall of cable internet service is that it comes with a higher price tag.

Fiber Optic Internet Service

If you wish to gain access to a faster internet service that guarantees internet speed above 200 Mbps, then it is best to choose fiber optic internet service. The fastest internet provider in your area will be most probably offering their service in this form. However, the bad news is that the availability of fiber optic internet is a bit limited at the moment.

Internet Service Providers In Your Area

Fiber Internet Provider

Some of the popular fiber optic internet providers in the country recently announced that they have been trying to expand the coverage of fiber optic internet service. This means that this incredibly fast and reliable internet service might be available in more parts of the country by the end of the year. So, the first and most important thing you should do is to find the fastest internet provider in your area and ask them whether fiber optic internet service is available to you or not. If not, then you will have to settle for DSL or cable internet connection.

Other Options for Internet Access

In addition to these options, customers also get to choose satellite internet service, especially in those areas where cable or DSL lines are not available. Satellite internet is one of the cheapest internet connectivity options available to customers but the catch is that the speed of this service is a lot less when compared to the speed of fiber optic and cable internet connection. However, satellite internet service is available in most parts of the country including remote and rural areas.

Dial-up is another type of internet service that uses the telephone line in your home to deliver internet. Yet dial-up internet has become a less popular option of customers due to the low speed it offers. Besides, customers who are using a dial-up internet connection will not be able to use internet and phone at the very same time because the signals are transmitted through the exact same frequency.

How Much Internet Speed Do I Need

Customers who are new to the world of high-speed internet often wonder how much internet speed they really need. It is true that figuring out the internet speed requirements of your home or office may seem like a challenging task. However, if you are ready to spare a quality amount of your time on research, you will be easily able to determine how much internet speed you really need.

The speed of your internet connection is measured based on how fast the data packets are transmitted from the web to your mobile device or home computer. Internet download and upload speeds are usually measured in Mbps or megabits per second. Most of the leading internet providers usually set bandwidth in a certain way to ensure that the maximum amount of speed is available to users for downloading and not for uploading. This may seem problematic to the internet users who heavily rely on cloud-sharing applications for storing large amounts of data. If you are such an internet user, you must look for a fastest internet provider who offers evenly balanced upload and download speed.

Recommended Speed for Common Internet Activities

Majority of the internet users in the country use the internet connection at their home to watch HD video contents and TV shows through streaming services. If you wish to enjoy a fine streaming experience, then you should certainly check out the internet plans of the fastest internet provider near you. The minimum internet speed required for using streaming services is estimated to be around 10 Mbps. However, the reality is that 10 Mbps is the lowest recommended speed. So, if you are planning to browse social media platforms while you are streaming contents, then you will have to look for a higher tier.

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Telecommunication Services

If you wish to do more than a single internet activity, you need to add up the recommended internet speed. For example, internet users who want to browse Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as stream video contents at the very same time should look for a fastest internet provider who delivers at least 15 to 20 Mbps speed. Moreover, if you wish to eliminate the occasional internet slowdown, make sure to a choose plan with more than 20 Mbps internet speed.

Most homes in the United States usually have more than five internet enabled devices. What is more interesting is that there will be multiple internet users in most houses. So, if there are two or more heavy internet users at your home, make sure to consider the internet requirements of each one of them before subscribing to a fastest internet provider.

You should also note that the use of streaming services on a daily basis could consume huge amount of internet data. Some internet providers have put a monthly data cap on their internet plans. This means that the speed of your internet connection will be considerably decreased once you hit the monthly data limit. If you want to avoid that, look for an unlimited internet plan with no monthly data limits.

Quick Tips

Most families in the country usually choose a basic internet plan that offers a download speed of 20 Mbps and an upload speed of 5 Mbps. Users who have subscribed to such an internet plan will be able to stream HD video contents without any delays. Moreover, they could also enjoy web surfing and other light internet activities.

One of the leading streaming service providers, Netflix, suggested that subscribers would need access to an internet connection with 5 Mbps speed to stream HD video contents. However, the internet speed required for streaming 4K Ultra HD content is estimated to be more than 25 Mbps. So customers who are planning to stream videos with 4K resolution and want to connect multiple devices to the internet should look for an internet plan with a minimum internet speed of 200 Mbps.

Finding the Fastest Internet Provider near you

When looking to subscribe to an internet connection, you should realize that the plans, pricing patterns, connection types, and deals offered by internet service providers might significantly vary from one location to another. This means that you do not need to look for the fastest internet provider in the country; instead, you should start looking for the fastest internet provider in your location.

Customers who are living in the metropolitan cities of the country do enjoy the luxury of choosing an internet provider from a wide variety of options. However, that is not the case when it comes to the remote and rural parts of the country. Only a few internet providers will be offering their services in these parts of the country.

Still, it does not matter whether you live in a rural part of the country or in a bustling city – if there are a couple of or more internet providers operating in your area, then you will need to compare their different plans, policies, and several other factors in order to make an informed buying decision. Some of the best internet providers in the country who offer customers access to high-internet speeds are as follows.

AT&T®

The fiber optic internet service of AT&T® guarantees an exceptional download speed of 1000 Mbps to customers who are living in the major cities of the country. Customers who have access to such a high-speed internet connection will be able to download more than 25 songs in a second. Even if the fiber optic internet service of AT&T® is not available in your area, you can subscribe to the DSL internet service of the fastest internet provider. The DSL broadband internet service of AT&T® is available in approximately 38% of the entire United States. In fact, more than 120 million people in the country are currently using the internet services of AT&T®.

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High Speed Internet

Customers who are planning to subscribe to AT&T® internet should note that some of the plans of the provider contain a monthly data cap of 1 TB. If you choose such a plan, then the amount of internet data that you can use in a month will be just 1 TB. This might not seem like an attractive option to heavy internet users who loves to stream plenty of HD video contents.

CenturyLink®

Just like AT&T®, CenturyLink® also offers both fiber optic and internet connection to internet users in the US. The best thing about CenturyLink® is that their high-speed internet service is available in several states that are not served by AT&T® and other fiber optic internet providers. In fact, CenturyLink® offers an impressive download speed of 1000 Mbps in Northeast and Southern states of the United States, which in turn made them the fastest internet provider in these areas. However, the availability of CenturyLink® fiber optic internet service is still a bit limited.

Customers who are living in areas where the fiber optic internet service of CenturyLink® is not available do enjoy the luxury of subscribing to the DSL internet service of the provider. However, the speed available to customers who have subscribed to the DSL internet service will not be that high when compared to fiber optic internet service.

Comcast XFINITY®

Comcast XFINITY® is another provider who offers both fiber-optic and cable internet service to customers. What makes XFINITY® an attractive option is that the fastest internet provider offers consistent high-speed to customers in almost all their markets. Most XFINITY® customers are able to enjoy excellent internet speeds of 50, 100, 150 Mbps and more.

The highest internet speed offered by XFINITY® is around 2000 Mbps or 2 Gbps, which is pretty impressive. Although the 2 Gbps internet speed is available only in some states, a fascinating thing about XFINITY® is that their other internet packages are available in most states. In fact, the fastest internet provider is currently offering their service to about 41 states in the United States.

XFINITY® offers a wide range of internet plans in order to ensure that the internet requirements of all their customers are met. The basic plan of XFINITY® that offers an internet speed of just 10 Mbps is ideal for users with basic internet needs. At the same time, XFINITY® also offers internet plans with 2 Gbps speed to make sure that the requirements of heavy internet users are also met without any concerns.

Promotional Deals and Bundling Options

Most customers who are shopping for high-speed internet often fail to realize the fact that internet service providers usually offers exciting new deals and promotional offers to lure in new customers to their offerings. If you ask your preferred fastest internet provider whether you are eligible for such deals or offers, then they might able to offer you a better deal. This will surely help you to save hundreds of dollars.

Customers who are on a tight budget should also consider bundling either two or three of their telecom services together. Most of the leading internet service providers in the country offer bundling options to customers. Bundling TV, internet, and home phone, or bundling any two of these services will result in great savings. In addition to saving money, you will also be able to get access to number of features and you can pay for all these services through a single bell.

Conclusion

When looking for a high-speed internet service, you should realize that some internet providers might ask you to sign a long-term agreement while signing up for their services. It is true that entering into a one or two year agreement with a fastest internet provider will save money and help you to avoid installation fees. However, the catch is that customers who opt out of the agreement before the contract period expires might have to pay additional fees. So, consult with the customer support technicians of your preferred internet service provider to clear all your doubts and concerns regarding their services and pricing policies before you sign the agreement.

22 Jun

AT&T® Hints New Business Plans after the Acquisition of Time Warner®

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Video Streaming Services

Now that their acquisition of Time Warner’s media assets is completed, AT&T® is planning to launch a new streaming service, and acquire more companies to bolster its advertising platform. The CEO of AT&T®, Randall Stephenson, revealed their future plans to a news channel, a day after the Telco acquired Time Warner® and got control of Turner Broadcasting, Warner Bros., and HBO.

The best internet provider will make a formal announcement about the acquisitions it will make in future to improve their advertising platform. “We’re standing up a significant advertising platform; you should expect some smaller [mergers and acquisitions] in the coming weeks to demonstrate our commitment to that,” Stephenson said.

Reports say that the Telco will launch AT&T® Watch TV in the upcoming months, which is a streaming service that comprises the programming from Turner’s cable networks. The AT&T® CEO said that Watch TV is an extremely “skinny bundle” that will not comprise programming centered on sports. “It will be entertainment-centered. If you’re an AT&T® unlimited customer it will be free, or you can buy it for $15 a month on any platform.”

The unlimited wireless plans of AT&T® already have HBO prior to the purchase of the media company, which came into effect after a federal judge announced a ruling in their favor recently. “Those are the kinds of things we’ll be bringing to market [because of the Time Warner® buy],” Stephenson further said. “These will be ad-supported models.”

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He also said that, “Every single one of our mobile customers will get” the streaming service, even though it is unclear as to what it means because only subscribers with unlimited data packages will get AT&T® Watch TV for free. More details about the streaming service will be revealed once the best internet provider makes a formal announcement soon. Meanwhile, the spotlight remains on the advertising platform’s launch, which was revealed to a channel after the acquisition of Time Warner®, now renamed it to WarnerMedia, by AT&T®.

The fastest internet provider has been making ads a larger part of their business over the recent past, and is expected to deliver content inclusive of advertisements on different platforms now that the streaming service is on the cards. Although, the media speculates that AT&T® could let their non-unlimited mobile subscribers stream AT&T® Watch TV without having to use up the data limits.

08 Jun

AT&T® Conducts 5G Demonstration at Warner Bros. Studios

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5G Demonstration Conducted

AT&T®, who is the fastest internet provider in several parts of the United States, will have to patiently wait until June 12 to know whether their proposed $85 billion dollar deal will Time Warner will come into fruition or not. Reports from several reliable sources indicate that Judge Richard Leon will be finally making a decision on the mega-merger between the telecom companies. However, the officials from both Time Warner Inc. and AT&T® are highly hopeful that the judge will pass their request to complete the deal.

AT&T® recently staged a major conference at the Warner Bros. Studios of Time Warner in Burbank, California. The conference hosted by AT&T® featured presentations on artificial intelligence, immersive entertainment, and edge technologies. In addition to that, AT&T® also conducted a 5G demonstration and film award ceremony at the same venue.

The 5G-enabled virtual reality demonstration of AT&T® allowed three participants who were in different locations to enjoy a concert together at the very same time. The president of technology and operations at AT&T®, Melissa Arnoldi, claimed that the participants were able to enjoy an immersive experience through the 5G demonstration and they were fascinated by the quality of the service.

The telecom giant, AT&T® organized the 5G demonstration by seeking the help of their partners. Ericsson® and Intel® who are the partners of AT&T® had helped the telecom company during their first 5G tests, which took place in a carwash in Austin, Texas a few months ago. Reports claim that the partners of AT&T® are also happy with the results of the their recent 5G demonstration.

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“We had a lot of questions when we started. And we’re confident we have all the answers we need to deploy a mobile 5G network that works for people all over the country,” Arnoldi said. She also added that they were able to demonstrate 5G after two years of effort and testing. The officials from AT&T® also confirmed that they have already tested 5G in Michigan, South Bend, Indiana, Waco, Texas, and Kalamazoo over the last few years.

In a recent statement, AT&T® also confirmed that they will be launching a new mobile 5G network in about 12 cities in the country by the end of the year.

04 Jun

Comcast® Shares Learning of Moving to a New Software Architecture

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Video Monitoring System

Moving from a monolithic to microservices architecture comes with its own set of challenges, and creating an ideal foundation for that is important. Even the software professionals of Comcast® know that, as reflected in the words of one of the senior executives in their IT team. Xfinity Home® offers features like round the clock video monitoring with notifications to integrated smartphones. Recently, the residential security system from the best internet provider has incorporated connected home and home automation solutions.

Comcast’s Sr. Dir. Software and IoT Platform Engineering, Tom Hughes, has said that, “It became clear to us that our monolithic legacy architecture was not going to provide us the flexibility and agility we needed to serve our customers, [so] building a microservices platform was the obvious choice.”

Previously, the best internet provider has implemented microservices architecture for its Xfinity® X1 platform, so it is not new to that. However, this is Comcast’s first major move from monolithic to microservices architecture, which necessitated a change in perspective and processes from their team of software professionals. Hughes said that the software team of Comcast® considered a decision for building a cloud agnostic architecture for moving between several private and public cloud environments from a new perspective.

“We underestimated the complexity involved with implementing this decision and the impact that it would have on our velocity. Once we pivoted to an approach focused on a single cloud environment [AWS] for this specific project, we realized the rate of development and advantages to leveraging components native to that environment,” he said.

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High Speed Internet

The company’s software team had to work with monolithic apps previously, but moving it to microservices architecture had made them amend perspective and personal egos. “It’s sort of like retraining yourself to limit what you’re trying to accomplish and what the purpose of a given service is and not making it more complex than it needs to be,” Hughes added.

The experience of Comcast®, while successful, shows that organizations must approach the shift from monolithic to microservices architecture by fully understanding associated challenges that come with it. Giving insights on the topic, Anne Thomas, the Vice President and Analyst for Enterprise Software at Gartner for IT Leaders, said that software professionals must be proficient at software architecture to even attempt implementing that transition at an enterprise level.

05 Apr

CenturyLink® Puts Focus on Cyber Security after a Big Acquisition

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Denial Of Service Attacks

CenturyLink® recently said that the company now has an accountability to make sure it can prevent cyber attacks, toward their customer base, that comes from the public internet. Following the acquisition of Level 3 Communications® last year, CenturyLink® has improved the visibility into traffic throughout their large network.

“We do a lot of work to keep the internet running and protect the internet not as a service, but we have to act as good stewards of the internet because we control and see so much of it,” said CenturyLink’s Vice President of Global Security Services, Chris Richter. “We believe that all network service providers should do what they can within the realms of economic feasibility to protect the internet. For that reason, when we know there’s bad actors on our backbone using our infrastructure, we want to keep it as clean as we possibly can, which is what compels us to take down the 35 bot net organizations every month we do.”

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Command-And-Control Networks

The acquisition of Level 3 Communications® has improved the cyber security capabilities of CenturyLink®, which the company achieved by offering their business subscribers upgraded visibility into cyber attacks. The acquisition has enabled the fastest internet provider to monitor more than 114bn NetFlow sessions as well as 1.3bn security events and respond to and mitigate around 120 Distributed Denial of Service attacks each day, and remove roughly 35 command-and-control networks on a monthly basis.

CenturyLink® has enhanced NetFlow infrastructure in order to facilitate collecting data concerning the company’s network traffic into threat analysis engines. Note that Level 3 Communications® has done that in their network prior to being acquired by CenturyLink®. Henceforth, enhancing NetFlow infrastructure proved to be a smooth one for CenturyLink®. “It was fairly straightforward to do,” Richter said. “All we had to do was make the additional investment in the new collectors and direct that NetFlow information to our Threat Intelligence Labs where the collectors are and adjust for a lot more information.”

“This was something that the legacy CenturyLink® customer base had been asking for,” he said referring to business customers of the Telco giant. “When they heard about what the legacy Level 3 portfolio offered, they wanted that level of visibility and granularity on the CenturyLink® side.”

28 Mar

Comcast® Reveals How X1 Voice Remote Helps Derive Consumer Insights

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X1 Voice Remote

Comcast® is deriving customer insights through the queries cable customers make via the X1 Voice Remote. The Comcast® Vice President of Research and Development, Amit Bagga, talked about this at an event held in Austin, titled ‘2018 South by Southwest’. He said that customers made voice queries while streaming the 2018 Winter Olympics through Comcast’s NBC broadcast network. To be specific, a customer of the cable giant could use the voice remote to stream live content on Xfinity® TV, search info pertaining to the games and athletes, and replay a highlight they may have missed.

“We doubled the number of [voice] commands from Rio, which was a Summer Olympics,” Bagga said. “And the Winter Olympics are not as popular, or as watched, as Summer Olympics. That just gives you the scale in terms of how many people used voice to actually discover the [Winter] Olympics’ content.”

He also added that the voice command would affect how Comcast® customers discover content and how they would stay interactive not just while programming but even when ads air on the TV. While the best internet provider has employed an array of communications methods in order to illustrate the usefulness of voice-controlled navigation of X1, many customers will query about something that interests them at a given time.

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Voice-Controlled Navigation

Bagga said, “A lot people do ask those questions. And people will try and see if it works. And that allows us, in turn, to gather the data and build some of the feature developments. We do look at the data we are getting.”

For instance, a query which a Comcast Xfinity® customer often voice out to their voice remote includes a request to order a food item while watching the TV. As an example of that, the VP of Comcast’s Research and Development said, “Pizza is one [thing] a lot of people will ask for: Ordering pizza, because a lot of people want pizza with it. That’s one that a lot of people ask for, and it’s something that we plan to support at some point.”

It is not possible always for a particular brand to satiate the requests from a Xfinity® customer, but figuring out what consumers need from the service throws cues to customer behavior and how Comcast® can derive strategies in the future based on that.

05 Jan

Comcast® Increases Prices of Triple-Play Packages and Other Services

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Comcast Corporation® has stated that it has increased the prices for their triple play packages in 2018. The packages will now cost an additional amount of $5 per month for the year and will result in an increase in the monthly charges collected from customers. Comcast® in spite of being the best internet and TV provider faces stiff competition from various streaming services such as Netflix. The increase in prices for the year is to address the threats faced by these streaming services and ensure its continued operation by offering uninterrupted cable services to customers.

Comcast® first initiated the hike in charges in the regions of Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Wilmington by late December. Comcast® has informed Xfinity customers across the regions regarding the increase in charges of the services. The price increase is also because Comcast® customers are provided with more services for the charges paid. However, this increase in prices will not affect a majority of the customers as most of them are under contract or promotions. The increased prices will come into effect for customers after their promotions and contracts have been expired.

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HD Complete XF Triple Play Bundle

As a result, a Preferred XF Triple Play Bundle is going to cost about $166.49, which is higher than the previous amount of $161.49. Likewise, for the Starter XF Triple Play Bundle, the price has increased to $153.49 per month while the monthly rate of HD Complete XF Triple Play Bundle has also been increased to $251.49. In its broadcast television lineup, the rate for the channels has also increased to $7.50 per month and regional sports fees to $6.75 per month.

Moreover, the modem rental fees of Comcast® have increased to $11 per month from the previous $10. Alongside that, Comcast® has also increased the rates for its services and installation to $40 from the $35.20, which is about 13.6 percent higher. The telecom company has put forward plans to minimize service calls and service personnel consulting by handling out self-installation kits and remote support and diagnosis via call centers.

Jennifer Bilotta, Comcast® spokesperson stated, “We continue to make significant investments in our network and technologies to give customers more for their money – like faster Internet service and better Wi-Fi, more video across viewing screens, innovations like X1 and a better customer experience. We must pass along a portion of these higher costs to our customers. As a result, on average, nationally, the customer bill will increase by 2.2% in 2018.”

13 Dec

AT&T® Introduces Real Time Text (RTT) to Discontinue its Old TTY Technology

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Modernizing Telephony Networks

In its relentless push for modernizing its existing telephony networks, AT&T® has introduced a new service known as real-time text (RTT). The launch of this new service will replace the TTY technology that it had relied for about 50 years. The newly introduced real-time text (RTT) is actually a text-based service that will remove many of the limitations of the older TTY service. As the best internet service, AT&T® has incorporated several new technologies into the RRT.

Real-time transmission of each of the RRT text character is one feature. It provides a more conversational flow of communication along with voice. The older TTY technology requires that the users send messages in turn, which lacked efficiency and speed. AT&T® has designed the RTT to work seamlessly across both Android and iOS smartphones that have updated operating system. Moreover, accessing this service does not require the use of specialized equipment.

With this new service, customers are provided the option to establish communication with RTT and TTY users. Besides, it will also help them connect to 911 centers and relay services operating around the region. The origins of the TTY service go back to the 1960’s, as it was introduced as a reliable means for the deaf, hearing impaired or speech-disabled customers to communicate with each other directly or indirectly via a telecom relay service provider. However, AT&T® has assured that this feature will remain intact in the new RTT service.

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Support Non-Voice Conversations

Users with such disabilities will still be able to communicate with other through the TTY or text messaging service. TTY systems broadcasted the tones from a keyboard stroke by the user over a phone line to the other end and support non-voice conversations. AT&T® has urged the FCC to consider RTT as a reliable service to serve as an alternative for customers with any hearing or speech disabilities.

Moreover, the Telco has mentioned that the calls made with the RTT will be billed as voice calls. Linda Vandeloop, Assistant Vice President of Federal Regulatory, AT&T® has said, “This launch on AT&T’s network is the first step in making RTT as widely available as possible. Initially, AT&T® RTT users will be able to communicate with other users on AT&T’s network. By the end of the year, more carriers will deploy the service, enabling communication between networks.”

“By 2021, most if not all carriers will be offering RTT,” She further stated. “So, half a century after TTY was first introduced, AT&T® is excited to be leading the charge and offering this new service making communications even more accessible for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or have a speech disability.”

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