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March 31, 2015
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U-verse® with AT&T GigaPower(SM) Launches Today in Cupertino – SYS


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CUPERTINO, Calif., March 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – Imagine downloading 25 songs in less than one second, or before you can even crank up the volume. Imagine loading your favorite HD movie in less than 36 seconds, a fraction of the time it takes to pick which movie to watch.

It’s now a reality for qualifying residents and small businesses with today’s launch of U-verse with ATT* GigaPower in parts of Cupertino, Calif.** U-verse with ATT GigaPower delivers the speed you need to power all of your devices and connect you to the content that matters most.

The ATT GigaPower network provides consumers access to the fastest Internet available in Cupertino, featuring speeds up to 1 gigabit per second.*** Ultra-fast Internet improves the customer experience for consumers and small businesses using the network to connect to the cloud, videoconferencing, online gaming or for other services.

U-verse with ATT GigaPower customers are also getting faster Wi-Fi speeds. They’ll receive an upgraded residential gateway that takes advantage of the latest in Wi-Fi technology. The new gateway lets you connect even more devices with faster speeds from nearly anywhere in your home or business.

ATT GigaPower customers will continue to have access to award-winning TV services. For example, they can watch and record up to five HD programs at the same time. ATT GigaPower subscribers will also be able to record and store more of their favorite shows–up to 900 hours of SD or 330 hours of HD programming. Customers can access the ATT U-verse app on more than 30 smartphones and tablets to watch more than 230 live TV channels in their home, and up to 130 live TV channels while on the go – that’s more live TV channels on the go than cable. Customers can also stream video on-demand, schedule DVR recordings and more from the U-verse app.

Consumers in eligible areas can choose from a variety of plans. ATT offers single, double and triple play bundles, so customers can select a combination of services to fit their needs. The packages below include waivers of equipment, installation and activation fees.

  • U-verse High Speed Internet Premier: Internet speeds up to 1Gbps starting as low as $110 a month, or speeds at 300Mbps as low as $80 a month, with a one year price guarantee.****
  • U-verse High Speed Internet Premier + TV: Internet speeds up to 1Gbps and qualifying TV service starting as low as $150 a month, or speeds at 300Mbps and qualifying TV service as low as $120 a month, with a one year price guarantee.
  • U-verse High Speed Internet Premier + TV + Voice: Internet speeds up to 1Gbps with qualifying TV service and Unlimited U-verse Voice starting as low as $180 a month, or speeds at 300Mbps with qualifying TV service and Unlimited U-verse Voice as low as $150 a month, with a two year price guarantee.

“ATT has been bringing the latest, most advanced technology to our customers for well over a century, and today we continue that tradition by launching U-verse with ATT GigaPower – the fastest high-speed Internet available – in Cupertino,” said Ken McNeely, President of ATT California.  “Cupertino has fostered an environment where innovation can thrive, and we are proud that they are the first city in California to get the ultra-fast speeds on the ATT GigaPower network. This investment will help empower the next generation of entrepreneurs and creative thinkers in Cupertino and across the Valley.”

“We are proud to be the first city on the west coast to launch the ATT GigaPower network, bringing the speed of fiber to homes and businesses,” said Cupertino Mayor Rod Sinks. “People come to Cupertino from around the world, and want to connect with families and culture in their home countries, as well as with work colleagues and customers worldwide. We place high value on education and access to information, and GigaPower enables more and improved services, from remote learning to telemedicine to entertainment. “

The success of the first ATT GigaPower market in Austin led to a major expansion beginning in 2014. ATT is considering expanding its all-fiber network to up to 100 cities and municipalities across 25 markets. U-verse with ATT GigaPower is currently available to many consumers and small businesses across parts of the Austin, Cupertino, Dallas, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem markets. ATT has already announced plans to deliver ATT GigaPower in parts of 10 additional markets – Atlanta; Charlotte and Greensboro, N.C.; Chicago; Houston; Jacksonville, Fla.; Miami; Nashville, Tenn.; St. Louis and San Antonio.

Frost Sullivan recently recognized ATT for its leadership in high-speed Internet services, awarding the company the 2015 North American Competitive Strategy and Innovation Leadership of the Year Award for Broadband. The analyst firm praised ATT for its “aggressive pursuit of higher bandwidth access” for customers through its ATT GigaPower network initiative.

Additionally, ATT has committed that upon approval of its proposed acquisition of DIRECTV, the company will expand the ATT GigaPower network to an additional 2 million customer locations. All of these 2 million locations are over and above what the company announced in 2014.

ATT has invested in California communications networks, people and local communities for 137 years.  Between 2012 through 2014, ATT invested $475 million in its best-in-class wireless and wired networks in San Jose, driving a wide range of upgrades to enhance reliability, coverage, speed and performance for residents and business customers.  ATT employs more than 34,000 people across the state.

For more information, or to check availability, please visit att.com/gigapower.

* ATT products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of ATT Inc. under the ATT brand and not by ATT Inc.
** Initial availability limited to select areas. May not be available in your area.
*** Internet speed claims represent maximum network service capability speeds. Actual customer speeds may vary and are not guaranteed. Actual speeds vary based on factors including site traffic, content provider server capacity, internal network management factors, customer device capabilities and use of other U-verse services.  Max speeds may not be realized if 2 or more HD shows viewed at same time. For more info, go to www.att.com/speed101
**** U-verse with ATT GigaPower Premier offer is available with agreement from customer to participate in ATT Internet Preferences. ATT may use Web browsing information, like the search terms entered and the Web pages visited, to provide customers with relevant offers and ads tailored to their interests.

About ATT
ATT Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – ATT operating companies – are the providers of ATT services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the network with the nation’s strongest LTE signal as well as the nation’s most reliable LTE network, ATT is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, ATT also offers the best global wireless coverage, based on offering voice and LTE data roaming in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier, and offering more world capable wireless smartphones and tablets than any other U.S. based carrier. It also offers advanced TV service with the ATT U-verse® brand. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. 

Additional information about ATT Inc. and the products and services provided by ATT subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com/aboutus or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/att and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/att.

© 2015 ATT Intellectual Property.  All rights reserved. ATT, the ATT logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of ATT Intellectual Property and/or ATT affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

Information set forth in this news release contains financial estimates and other forward- looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in ATT’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. ATT disclaims any obligation to update or revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.

ATT Inc. ATT Inc.

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To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/u-verse-with-att-gigapowersm-launches-today-in-cupertino-300057364.html

SOURCE ATT Inc.

March 31, 2015
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Amiibo, $50 Credit Among Blockbuster PS4 Deals

Ahead of the Easter Holidays in the United States, retailer Target is slashing the cost on big name games for the Xbox One, offering cheap Amiibo figures for the Nintendo Wii U and giving every PS4 shopper $5 in credit.

News of Target’s ridiculous game deals first surface this past Sunday when the retailer posted online versions of is weekly ad promising deep discounts on relatively new games and even the consoles themselves. Like most deals offered by Target, whether the savings included in the ad are available for you depends on where you live and whether Target has any of the items still left on store shelves.

target dealstarget deals

As far as the Xbox One is concerned, there’s not much savings to be had. Target is advertising the Halo: The Master Chief Collection Xbox One bundle that Microsoft and other retailers are also selling for $349.99. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is the massive compilation of Halo games that include John 117. It originally arrived on store shelves last year. That being said, headlining the games deal is a $50 Target gift card for users who purchase the PS4 bundle that contains a digital copy of The Last of Us Remastered. The Last of Us originally launched in 2013, but was remade with better graphics and access to downloadable content for PS4 users last year. Besides new graphics there’s an improved combat mechanic and other extras included in the later version bundled in this PS4 deal. Amazon currently sells the The Last of Us Remastered for $47.49.

Battlefield Hardline, Evolve, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, Grand Theft Auto 5, Bloodborne, MLB 15: the Show and NBA 2K15 are among the titles that Xbox One and PS4 users can pick up with a buy one get one free offer directly from Target this week. All of those games are relatively new, meaning any savings for users at this point is a pretty decent bonus.

Joining the impressive list of games on sale at Target are big discounts on Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 and Skylanders Trap Team. Skylanders Trap Team normally costs $69.99, but its on sale for $39.99 this week. The Disney Infinity Starter pack is normally $74.99, but costs just $39.99 this week. Late last year Nintendo revealed is own plastic figures that add different classic characters to their games. Nintendo calls their figures Amiibo and sells them individually. Target’s blockbuster games deals this week include a 25% discount on individual Amiibo, Skylanders and Disney Infinity figures. This part of the Target games deals alone is big news as the physical characters rarely go on-sale without being resold used at places like GameStop.

Of course, with deals like this there are terms and conditions. Target says that user can only purchase a single PS4 Last of Us bundle and get the $50 gift card. Additionally, the $50 Target Gift Card can only be used for a future purchase. Presumably, store employees won’t have a problem with shoppers paying for games or other accessories separate from their PS4 console purchase.

The Buy One Get One Half Off doesn’t exactly have any onerous terms, but doesn’t include one caveat. Target says that it stores will only chop half off the game that costs the least of the two shoppers purchase. In doing so Target has ensured that users who purchase the most recent titles stand to save more than those who buy cheaper titles.

The advertisement does note that its stores aren’t giving out rain checks for the games. Target is also offering $30 gift cards with the purchase of the iPad Air and iPad Air 2. These deals will end on Sunday, April 5th.

March 31, 2015
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Telstra boosts data on broadband, mobile

Australia’s largest telecommunications company Telstra has boosted the data on its fixed and mobile plans, and has introduced new data packs aimed at reducing bill shock for mobile customers.

As of April 9, customers signing up for Telstra mobile contracts, either with a handset or on a BYO plan, will receive between 500MB and 7GB of additional data on their plan.

For the Mobile Accelerate handset plans, customers paying AU$95 per month will receive 3.5GB per month on top of their monthly 2.5GB per month, for a total of 6GB per month.

Customers on the AU$130 per month plan will receive 10GB per month instead of the normal 3GB.

On the BYO plans, customers paying AU$45 per month will get 2GB instead of 500MB, while customers on AU$55 will get 3.5GB instead of 1.5GB. Customers paying AU$70 per month will get 6GB instead of 2.5GB, and customers on AU$95 per month will get 10GB instead of 3GB.

Business plans have also received a boost, ranging from an extra 500MB on the AU$65 per month plan, up to an extra 7GB on the AU$135 per month plan.

The new contracts also include a six-month subscription to Presto, the video-on-demand service owned by Foxtel — a company half owned by Telstra.

The company also announced on its blog on Tuesday that it would follow in the footsteps of Optus and Vodafone, and allow customers to opt in to have AU$10, 1GB data packs automatically added to a customer’s account when they reach their monthly mobile data limit.

Customers can opt in via the Telstra 24/7 app or online.

The data expires at the end of each month, and the customer returns to their regular monthly limit at the start of each new month.

The change of tune comes in contrast to comments from CEO David Thodey when Optus and Vodafone first announced their own plans to tackle bill shock in 2013.

“We manage the excess data usage very closely. It’s a fine balance you’ve got to get, because excess data usage might be good for revenue, but it really annoys customers, and you get bill shock and all those sorts of things,” he said at the time.

“I’m not so driven by what others say. I’m more driven by what we do for our customers and what is right for us. I think we’ve got a pretty good feel on that. I’m not inclined to talk about what we’re going to do next month, but I can tell you we know very intimately whatever is going on in the market and we respond.”

Over the past few weeks, Telstra fixed-line broadband customers have also been receiving an email advising a data top up for using their services. The amount varies, but customers will keep that amount for the life of their plan.

Telstra said it will boost the data of all 2.5 million broadband customers across ADSL, cable, and the National Broadband Network (NBN) over the next few months.

March 31, 2015
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Is fibre optic cable key to Africa’s economic growth?

Fibre optic cable

In the developed world fibre optic cables like this are what keep many people connected

The elite of Kenya’s much-heralded entrepreneurship revolution work in an ultra-modern. co-working space overlooking the bustle of Nairobi.

Their businesses are reliant on the high-speed internet available here.

The Nairobi Garage is one of a limited number of work spaces in the city boasting a dedicated 25 megabits per second [Mbps] fibre internet connection.

Fibre is definitely not the norm in Kenya – a country viewed as a leader in African technology innovation. In financial terms, fibre internet is way beyond the grasp of most entrepreneurs and small businesses.

A 25Mbps connection costs in the region of $4,000-$5,000 (£2,700-£3,380) a month.

Nairobi Garage

Nairobi Garage is one of the tech hubs that have made the Kenyan capital a technology powerhouse

Pulling together

“Tech is taking off in Kenya thanks in large part to the arrival of fibre internet – unfortunately the cost of this to companies is still extremely high.

“Large companies like banks can afford the prices of corporate internet, but for start-ups and SMEs [small and medium sized enterprises] the costs are crippling,” says Hannah Clifford, general manager at Nairobi Garage.

Over 100 small businesses have started out life in the communal work space, which currently accommodates 30 start-ups all using the stable high-speed internet connection offered at a subsidised cost.

“Through shared work spaces like Nairobi Garage, which is aimed at supporting the start-up sector, young businesses and entrepreneurs are able to get internet access as part of their office space at very affordable rates.

“High-speed, reliable internet is vital for these young businesses to compete with the likes of Silicon Valley,” she says.

Nairobi Garage

A decent internet connection is vital to the success of many start-ups

‘Human right’

Companies such as Liquid Telecom are working to make fibre internet a reality across Africa. By the end of the year it will have spent about $500m (£337m) laying more than 18,000Km of fibre cable on the continent, making it the owner of the largest fibre network in Africa.

It has also started working on providing fibre-to-the-home – a service now beginning to be enjoyed by some customers in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Chief executive Nic Rudnick is convinced that fibre roll-out is a human right as well as a business necessity. He says the “backbone” Liquid is laying will contribute to Africa’s economic growth.

“Liquid Telecom was founded based on a conviction that telecoms connectivity is now a basic human right. We’ve devoted a tremendous amount of time, strategic thinking and good old-fashioned hard work to create the largest and fastest single fibre network across Africa,” says Mr Rudnick.

“Traffic comes onto it from across Africa and from other continents. Access is not limited to just our direct business and retail customers. We sell capacity to other operators.

“I firmly believe that the small businesses of Africa need access to affordable broadband to grow. Fibre is key to the future economic prosperity of Africa.”

Liquid Telecom chief executive Nic Rudnick

Liquid Telecom chief executive Nic Rudnick believes internet connectivity is a human right

Liquid Telecom workers laying cable

The company is working hard to increase its cable infrastructure

In the ether

However, not all believe that fibre is the right solution for Africa.

Alan Knott-Craig, founder of South Africa’s Project Isizwe, believes wireless technologies are the way forward. He aims to bring free internet to everyone in South Africa by installing wi-fi hotspots in low-income areas across the country.

“Fibre is not the future for Africa. The distances are too big, the existing footprint too small. Wireless is the future,” he says.

According to Mr Knott-Craig, satellite and microwave technologies will dominate African transmission networks in the future, while wi-fi and 3G will provide connectivity over that last mile to the home or office.

Workers haul part of a fibre optic cable onto the shore at the Kenyan port town of Mombasa in 2009, bringing internet connectivity from the United Arab Emirates

Workers haul part of a fibre optic cable onto the shore at the Kenyan port town of Mombasa in 2009

One reason for this, he believes, is that wi-fi is the most suitable form of connectivity for mobile devices – Africa’s breakthrough technology – and as such, is the best way to achieve universal internet access.

“Wi-fi is the only economically feasible technology. Not only is it robust, but most families already have access to a wi-fi-enabled device,” he says.

Satellite nation?

Not surprisingly, satellite connectivity provider, Gilat Satcom, agrees.

The company points to the fact that fibre laying in Africa has mostly been restricted to big cities. But World Bank data estimates that only 37% of Africa’s population actually live in these urban areas.

Satellite is the therefore the most effective way to reach rural areas, and thus the majority of the population, Gilat believes.

“In the smaller cities, towns and rural areas, wireless broadband and satellite are still the only practical options,” says Dan Zajicek, Gilat Satcom’s chief executive.

School in South Africa

Project Isizwe aims to bring free internet to all in South Africa by installing wi-fi hotspots in low-income areas

“Despite a few predictions that demand for satellite would start to drop away as the amount of operational fibre in Africa increased, the opposite has occurred,” he says.

As demand for satellite connectivity is expected to take-off, providers such as Gilat are racing to improve their technologies so that costs can come down.

“We think that rural Africa will continue to depend on satellite capacity over the next few years,” says Mr Zajicek.

“The good news for people and businesses in Africa is that we expect a significant fall in prices as a new generation of satellites are being launched to replace old satellites.

“Improvements in compression techniques used by the smart satellite providers will also reduce costs passed on to end-users.”

A standard unlimited 1Mbps satellite package for a small business will start from $50 (£34) per month, says Gilat.

Join the dots

One thing everyone agrees on is that widespread internet access can have a profoundly positive effect, particularly on small businesses and in lower-income areas.

“The most immediate impact is making it easy to find jobs online and apply electronically,” says Isizwe’s Mr Knott-Craig.

“There are job seekers that have been recorded at 1am on a Monday morning searching for jobs,” adds the projects chief operations officer, Zahir Khan.

Man using his smartphone

Mobile phones are one way to get rural communities online using 3G or 4G technology

“We have students and learners that are using the services daily for research to improve the quality of their assignments and report submissions,” he says.

Another point of agreement is that the cost of internet must come down if this impact is to be felt.

“3G is virtually ubiquitous in Africa, provided you have money. If you are poor the internet is inaccessible because 3G data rates are simply too expensive. The need and the highest impact is in low income communities,” Mr Knott-Craig says.

In the meantime, technology hubs remain a lifeline for small business in much of Africa.

“It’s great to be able to provide fast internet in a continent that is still seen by many outsiders as being behind – and because of this, mobile and web businesses will be the future of Kenya’s success, that, I’m sure,” says Nairobi Garage’s Hannah Clifford.

“It’s really inspiring to see these changes happening.”