The build-outs of the LTE networks of AT&T and Verizon in the United States have hit the point where they're covering smaller cities in 4G radio signals. In fact, just today Ma Bell announced that they're flipping the switch to turn on AT&T LTE coverage in 12 municipalities around the United States, though the largest in this batch is Bismark, North Dakota, population: 65,000. There used to be a time when a single new LTE network meant millions were covered — now it takes a dozen new markets to cover a mere 300,000. We're on the long tail of the LTE coverage build-out now. The full list of new AT&T LTE coverage follows.
In addition to the free messaging, AT&T is rolling out reduced international calling rates. The new World Connect Value package that includes 1¢ per minute calls to "over 35 countries, including Canada and Mexico." Those other countries are located exclusively in the Caribbean and Central and South America, and tiny nations like St. Pierre and Miquelon are counted among them.
Late last year saw AT&T adding international LTE roaming in Canada and the UK, and today they're adding 13 more nations to the list. If the added services are treated in the same way as AT&T's deals with EE in the UK and Rogers in Canada, the rates charged for the "Data Global" add-ons won't change with the addition of LTE services, though AT&T did not say if that would be the case in their press release. AT&T put a full list of the countries where you'll be able to get LTE speeds while roaming starting today.
AT&T is offerring a $100 bill credit to new and existing customers that add a device to their plan, including smartphones and tablets. For iPad users, this is on top of the $100 discount you get when buying a new iPad through AT&T with a two-year commitment.
Look, let me say at the outset that I like T-Mobile. They're the scrappy underdog of the "big four" wireless carriers in the U.S. They've shaken things up for the wireless market with their "Uncarrier" plans and they deserve a lot of credit. But I really wish they'd dial back the smack talk a bit, because I think it's starting to get in front of their message.
T-Mobile's brash CEO John Legere is no shrinking violet. He has a reputation for speaking his mind (sometimes peppering his public speeches with salty language) and lately he and his company have been going full-bore against bigger rival AT&T. So it's perhaps little surprise that Legere crashed AT&T's CES party last night and promptly got bounced in the process, according to re/code.
AT&T will soon rollout a new program that will allow customers to use AT&T's LTE network at no additional charge on top of their monthly data allotment. Sponsored Data, as it's being called, participating companies can pay when AT&T customers view their content on the network, things like movie trailers, mobile shopping, and more, and in return, they get your data.
On Friday AT&T began offering a new deal to win customers from T-Mobile: up to $450 if they switch carriers and trade in their handset. This evening in a statement T-Mobile CEO John Legere called the new AT&T plan "a desperate move" and even taunted the company, explaining how T-Mobile spent AT&T's cash that AT&T ultimately had for forfeit after the federal government stopped a merger between the two companies in 2011.