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Do you own a Windows Phone that's connected on a AT&T account? You might not be aware of this, but you can restrict the use of personal data, should you have any privacy concerns or simply do not wish for the carrier to contact you. Customer Proprietary Network Information (or CPNI) is personal information obtained by the telecommunications company through providing a service to the customer. 

So what is this all about, and should you be bothered? AT&T collects information from you based on the services you have on your account. All carriers (and many companies) carry out the same actions to offer similar services / products to customers. If you've received a call from a company you use often who are attempting to sell you a related product, this is exactly what we're talking about.

Majority of the time the offers are exclusive to that call and may not be available online or in-stores. A mobile carrier may offer the latest Windows Phone at a discounted price, or on a plan that has 6 months subtracted from the contract. In this case, AT&T will contact you and provide said offers, but according to the privacy policy the carrier will not sell / disclose CPNI to third-parties without customer consent. You'll need to check the policies of other carriers and companies to be sure they don't sell on your information.

To keep everything in check and restrict AT&T's use of your CPNI, be sure to give the carrier a call. Should you feel the need to do so with any other company, you can also enquire to request exclusion from future marketing and promotional offers where possible.

Source: AT&T; Thanks EasyPeasyJD for the tip!

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As well as the success in China, in the states Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility, had the following to say about Windows Phone and its future with Microsoft's upcoming dekstop OS release, Windows 8.

"I am really pleased with what I am seeing out of Microsoft and Nokia coming out with their first product. The operating system works really well. It is simple, it is easy to use, it is intuitive. The reception to the Lumia launch has actually exceeded our expectations. So we think there is a very good chance that Microsoft will have a very good OS that will be right in there with iOS and Android.

When they come out with Windows 8 in the fourth quarter, I think it will actually add to the value that that OS brings to the marketplace, in that that will be the first time that you can truly have a similar experience on your PC, on your tablet, and on your smartphone from soft Microsoft. From what I have seen and the previews that I have been given, I think it is going to be exceptionally good. I am very upbeat in what they are bringing to the market."

Microsoft is pushing the "three screens metro" vision with Windows Phone and the recent Xbox dashboard update. Consumers are patiently awaiting for Windows 8, which will sport the same tile system being used that's currently iconic with Windows Phone. Vega believes this familiarity with the desktop, tablet and smartphone will give consumers a reason to use Windows Phone (as well as other Microsoft products).

We already know the AT&T Mobility CEO is satisfied with the Lumia 900, and even promoted it instead of talking iPhone 5, but it's pleasing to know that he's also looking to the future of the platform, as well as Nokia and Microsoft's current push. 

Source: ZDNET

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Should the Nokia Lumia 900 be not up your street, and if 4G LTE connectivity isn't a feature you're particularly bothered about, the HTC TITAN is a highly rated Windows Phone and could well be the right one for you. We reviewed this beast of a handset (and it's successor), which is also backed by strong reviews from AT&T customers.

AT&T's web store is listing the Windows Phone for $0.01 (with 2-year contract), a good snatch for anyone interested. Featuring a massive 4.7" LCD screen, 16GB storage, 8MP camera, and a 1.5Ghz chip, the TITAN is capable of handling whatever you decide to throw at the device.  While the penny sale is a very nice deal, unfortunately the off-contract is still stuck at $549.99.

Source: AT&T; thanks Rodney for the tip!

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According to Nokia's U.S. president Chris Weber, sales of the Lumia 900, which recently launched in the states, has been outpacing supply. We've covered how the LTE Windows Phone has been out of stock more-so than anything else, which is having an effect on other markets looking to stock the device.

It would appear as though the sellout on AT&T is indeed due to demand and not simply a case of not stocking anywhere near enough units for launch, with little demand / interest present.

"Demand has been outstripping supply for the first couple of weeks, and we've been working hard to rectify that. The demand for cyan [phones] is significantly outpacing supply. When you give people something different from a design perspective—colors, etc. —it really stands out, and consumers want that."

As well as discussing AT&T and how the Lumia 900 is selling, Weber also touched on actual AT&T retail store support for the Windows Phone.

"Generally, we’re seeing very good support. It’s a work in progress."

It would appear as though Verizon is on Nokia's goal list for the future with the understanding that having the CDMA carrier on-board as well as AT&T would certainly boost growth for both the manufacturer and Windows Phone. Unfortunately, no details were revealed surrounding Windows Phone 8 "Apollo" upgrades for Lumia smartphone owners.

"Both Nokia and Microsoft understand the importance for consumers to keep their devices fresh and updated. Without any announcements being made, we're working to make sure people have fresh and updated experiences on any device they may have."

Microsoft has come a long way since Windows Mobile and the NoDo rollout following MIX'11. Nokia has a lot riding on the Lumia family of Windows Phones to rebuild the strong brand the company had many years ago when bricks were still being held to our ears. Will we see "Apollo" on our current devices? We can't possibly say, but we wouldn't rule the possibility out.

Source: PCMag; thanks everyone who tipped us!

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President and CEO of AT&T Mobility, Ralph de la Vega, was interviewed on CNBC recently answering questions surrounding both AT&T's latest financial report and the rumoured iPhone 5. One would ask, "what has this got to do with Windows Phone?" Well, nothing. But what's both humorous and surprising is Vega holds up a shiny new Lumia 900 instead of discussing the iPhone.

Check out the above video, at around the 7:40 mark. He jokes around the questions being fired by the reporters and states that the Lumia 900 is a fantastic device and carries one around with him as a daily smartphone. We're aware that Nokia has a deal with AT&T for employees to exclusively use the 4G Windows Phone, but it's good to see the captain of the ship actively promoting it on public television.

Source: CNBC; thanks Christian for the heads up!

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The Lumia 900 (both black and cyan) has gone out of stock according to the product listing at the online AT&T store. Nokia has recently confirmed a memory management issue with the Lumia 900 running on AT&T that would kill the data connection, rendering the Windows Phone almost useless for owners while on the go. 

Since the announcement was made Nokia has offered $100 on the bill of affected AT&T and Rogers customers and has also begun rolling out the firmware fix for the connectivity bug days early. There have been reports that the U.S. carrier has been pulling handsets from shelves in favour of models with the update already installed. We haven't heard anything official but this could explain why the handset is temporarily "out of stock".

 

The amount of Lumia 900s left for shipping could have been snatched up by a relatively high number of orders. Then again, AT&T has publicly stated that the Lumia 900 has been selling beyond expectations (even the cyan case was listed as out of stock). We'll not know the exact numbers, but for now it'll be an anxious wait for the second batch of handsets to be made available for orders to run through.

Let us know if you've been able to find any Lumia 900 devices locally or if you've seen that the Windows Phones were pulled due to the update issues.

Source: AT&T; thanks everyone who tipped us!

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AT&T if offering a free Samsung Focus Flash for existing customers who add a new two-year contract to their account. The 4G Windows Phone (see our review) is a perfect freebie for anyone who's looking to add a second line to their account.

Sporting a 3.7" S-AMOLED display, 5MP rear-shooter (with f2.6 lens), 1.4Ghz chip, 512MB RAM and 8GB storage, the Focus Flash is no slouch when it comes to powering the latest apps and games.

Do note that this limited-time offer is not available in-store, and a $5.95 shipping and handling fee may apply. The new service line must be a 2-year agreement with voice ($9.99/mo) and data plan ($20/mo) added. 

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AT&T has revealed that Lumia 900 marketing plans (combined with Nokia and Microsoft) will best any product they've launched before - including the famous iPhone. In an interview with CNET, AT&T device head Jeff Bradley, said that it'll be a notch up on anything the company has attempted previously.  We met with AT&T reps early today and have no doubt that AT&T's efforts to market the new Windows Phones should be a full court press.

But should we be surprised? The Lumia 900 on AT&T is Microsoft's (and Nokia's) best chance of survival in the competitive mobile market. Windows Phone has been performing arguably well with Nokia marketing the 710 and 800 on a global scale, but the Lumia 900 is the big gun for the U.S.

We previously covered how the Lumia 900 will be given "hero status" in the AT&T mobile arsenal. So how will they go about it? How will the stores convince people that Windows Phone is a solid choice against the iPhone and Android?  AT&T has told us that we can expect to see banners in windows of AT&T stores and Windows Phone walls featuring the TITAN II and Lumia 900.  In a nutshell, we were told AT&T stores are going to look like Nokia stores.

As well as the promotional material, we can confirm that we're likely to see demonstration tables, accessories (including skins, Monster Headsets, third-party cases, screen protectors, and more) and -of course- salestaff training. Nokia will be training employees to compliment the web training they'll receive from AT&T. This will hopefully result in more platform awareness internally as well as increasing the Windows Phone recommendation chance rate to customers.

Let's see what April 8th brings us, I would recommend we strap ourselves in. Then again, it could be a belly flop. Fingers crossed that it wont be and AT&T / Nokia / Microsoft get this right.

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AT&T has officially announced availability dates for both the Nokia Lumia 900 and the HTC TITAN II in a press release sent out today. The TITAN II is also set to join the 900 and be launched on April 8th, for $199.99 on contract. Should you be on the network and awaiting solid second generation handsets, the choice of the TITAN II or Lumia 900 is certainly an intriguing one.

The HTC TITAN II, a 4G LTE Windows Phone, packs a 4.7" LCD display, 1.4Ghz chip, 16MP rear camera, 512MB RAM and 16GB storage space. The handset is also heading to Telstra in Australia in early April as well, with some UK stores removing the original TITAN from product lists - we could be seeing a global rollout later in April.

Source: AT&T

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The Venue Pro, Dell's poor first generation Windows Phone, has found itself in trouble being plagued by issues (as well as lagging behind OS updates), been at the front of some good deals, and is tagged as Dell's only contribution to the platform for the foreseeable future. Should you be after the handset which sports a 4.1" AMOLED display, 1Ghz processor, 5MP camera, and a vertical slide-out QWERTY keyboard, you can pick one up for $299 unlocked. If contracts are more your scene, T-Mobile is offering the Venue Pro on a two-year plan for just $.99, not bad. 

While it's a solid deal for a Windows Phone that runs Mango smoothly, do note that there's no tethering and the compass is out of service. Be sure to check out our review for more information, and head on over to the source below to take advantage of the deals.

Source: Dell, thanks Kyle for the heads up!

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AT&T withdraws bid to buy T-Mobile

There is no joy in Dallas tonight.

After thoroughly reviewing the matter, AT&T has decided to end its bid to acquire T-Mobile. Even though the Justice Department, Federal Communications Commission and other industry members may disagree, AT&T still holds the position that such a merger would have been a good thing citing the need for more spectrum.  Spectrum needed to handle the growing consumer demand.

AT&T pledges to continue to be aggressive in leading the mobile revolution but took the opportunity to challenge policy makers to do their part. Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson stated,

“To meet the needs of our customers, we will continue to invest. However, adding capacity to meet these needs will require policymakers to do two things. First, in the near term, they should allow the free markets to work so that additional spectrum is available to meet the immediate needs of the U.S. wireless industry, including expeditiously approving our acquisition of unused Qualcomm spectrum currently pending before the FCC. Second, policymakers should enact legislation to meet our nation’s longer-term spectrum needs."

The penalty for withdrawing the acquisition proposal.. $4 Billion that will be charged against the 4th Quarter of 2011. On the plus side, AT&T will enter into a mutually beneficial roaming agreement with Deutsche Telekom. So while the sale fell through, an AT&T and T-Mobile partnership may still be a possibility.

Source: AT&T

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According to a report published over at BGR, HTC is set to launch a 4G LTE Windows Phone in early 2012, on AT&T. According to 'trusted sources' (get the pinch of salt ready), HTC will be releasing fewer handsets next year, leaving the release schedule "shockingly quiet" (makes sense to focus on quality). Two new devices were revealed, a flagship Android handset and the manufacturer's first LTE Windows Phone. The latter is questionably going to be Titan-like, sporting a 4.7" screen.

The new 4G LTE Windows Phone is slated for an apparent release on February 5th. Should the rumours prove to be true, as well as the ones surrounding the upcoming Nokia LTE device, 2012 will be an exciting year for the platform to move on up. Of course if a 4G LTE Titan is right around the corner, how many of you will be a little annoyed that you just bought the HSPA+ version? Needless to say, CES in January should be interesting...we'll be there to cover it live.

Let us know your thoughts below.

Source: BGR, thanks TheWeeBear for the tip!

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AT&T has sold out the HTC Titan

We had a feeling the HTC Titan would take off with a storm simply because it sports a massive screen and is well built (see our review), so it's good to see the AT&T website displaying a "SOLD OUT" notice for the Windows Phone. Unfortunately, this means you'll have to wait some time to get one yourself, but Best Buy currently has the Titan stocked for free, all that's required is a new two year contract to be taken out.

Source: AT&T, thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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Should you have the HTC Titan jotted down on your Santa wish list (or simply desire one due to an ending contract), then perhaps you should check out this deal found at Best Buy. The HTC Titan 4G on AT&T is going for nothing at all, all that's required is a new two year contract to be taken out (or an upgrade), starting from just $39.99 for the cheapest plan. Taking the handset without a package will set you back $649.99.

Packing a massive 4.7" screen, the Titan (our review) truly is a beast of a Windows Phone. Powered by a 1.5GHz processor and shipping with 16GB worth of storage, this handset is a perfect choice for anyone who's searching for that extra oomph!

Source: Best Buy, thanks Figure 8 Dash for the tip!

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The Samsung Focus Flash has found itself being advertised in the Washington Post newspaper among a handful of other AT&T handsets. Looking good! If you're not completely aware of the second generation Focus Flash, check out our insightful review

Be sure to check out the discounts at Amazon Wireless should you be looking to purchase this Windows Phone.

Thanks David for the images!

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AT&T has announced the release date for the HTC Titan on their Facebook page - November 20th. It will be available for $199.99 on a 2-year contract with a minimum $15 per month data plan being required. The handset, boasting a massive 4.7 inch super LCD screen, was unveiled in the U.S. at the Microsoft event in New York. Be sure to check out our first impressions of the HTC Titan.

Source: AT&T Facebook, thanks Aaron for the tip!

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If you're considering whether or not you should upgrade to the Samsung Focus S or Focus Flash, then perhaps a further $75 being subtracted from the total cost (on AT&T) could sway your mind? Over at TechBargains, they have a $75 off coupon code, which can be used when checking out for the new Samsung Windows Phone handsets (or any other phone/accessory). One reader, Ahmed, has informed us that the coupon works for the new Focus S and Flash on top of the free overnight shipping and waived activation fee. His out-the-door total cost for the Focus S was $133.74. Not bad!

The coupon will expire at the end of this month, November 30th, so there's plenty of time to decide. You can also check out our first impressions of the Focus S and Focus Flash.

Source: TechBargains, thanks Ahmed for the heads up!

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Today, AT&T has announced its Windows Phone 7.5 plans, including new phones and updates (see earlier AT&T roadmap leak). The three new devices, the HTC Titan, Samsung's Focus S and Focus Flash will all be available in Q4, though no specific date has been specified. Most impressive is the announcement of the first 4G Windows Phone, coming from Samsung.

We've all seen (and drooled over) the HTC Titan, with its gigantic 4.7-inch screen, 1.5GHz processor, 8MP camera with dual LED flash in addition it's front-facing 1.3MP camera. No doubt that the Titan will be highly anticipated and a weclome addition to AT&T's offerings.

As for the Focus S (SGH-i937 aka Kapua) it will "build on the success of the award-winning and highest selling Windows Phone in the U.S., the Samsung Focus." and will sport a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1.4GHz processor, 8MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front-facing camera, all snuggly tucked into a svelte a 8.55 millimeter profile (the current Focus is 9.9mm thick, for reference)

Finally, the Samsung Focus Flash will be geared for the more price-conscious consumer.  While it, too, will have a 1.4GHz processor, the screen measures in a tad smaller than the Focus S, at 3.7 inches, and will only have a 5MP camera.  All three will have front-facing cameras, which seems to be a standard for any new, Mango-native devices.

Speaking of which, AT&T also took the opportunity to say that they will be among the first to roll out Mango to their existing lineup of phones.  The HTC HD7S, HTC Surround, LG Quantum, and Samsung Focus will all see Mango updates "this fall,"  which could even come to mean this week.

Source: AT&T

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AT&T has filed lawsuits in eight different jurisdictions to defend itself against a wave of arbitration cases filed by Bursor & Fisher on behalf of over 1000 AT&T customers.  The New York law firm started a website called FightTheMerger.com to find a horde of AT&T users to file individual arbitration cases against Ma Bell, in order to prevent the acquisition of T-Mobile.  The method of attack was chosen because AT&T's terms of service bar customers from filing lawsuits against them, instead offering the option of third-party arbitration.

AT&T issued a statement to each court claiming that Bursor & Fisher intend to proceed with each case individually, that they are actually launching a thinly-veiled class-action suit, which is prohibited by the terms of service as well.

“This merger will provide tremendous benefits for customers and unleash billions of dollars in badly needed investment, creating many thousands of well-paying jobs that are vitally needed given our weakened economy — a fact that’s been recognized by consumers, public officials, and groups of all types. However, the bottom line here is an arbitrator has no authority to block the merger or affect the merger process in any way. AT&T’s arbitration agreement with our customers — recently upheld by the Supreme Court — allows individual relief for individual claims. Bursor & Fisher is seeking class-wide relief wrapped in the guise of individual arbitration proceedings, which is specifically prohibited by AT&T;s arbitration agreement. Accordingly, the claims are completely without merit. We have filed suit in order to stop this abusive action.”

So it looks like a battle of semantics versus loopholes that will ultimately be decided in the courts.  But even if AT&T prevails in this matter, there is still a long road ahead.  A seemingly wary FCC still needs to approve the deal, and there is a long list of other challengers as well, including advocacy groups, politicians and other carriers. 

Source: AllThingsD; Via: TechCrunch

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FCC merger reviews are often seen as a formality, if not a complete joke.  But in an interesting turn in AT&T's purchease of T-Mobile, the Federal Communications Commission said yesterday that it will be combining its review of the proposed acquisition with AT&T's recent purchase of Qualcomm's 700 MHz spectrum.  This shows that the FCC is serious about making sure that the playing field is at least somewhat level, and that AT&T actually stands a chance of being denied.

Critics, which include other carriers, politicians and current customers, have argued that it will lead to high prices and degraded services for consumers, and will hinder industry innovation.  AT&T, as you might imagine, disagrees.  They recently hired consulting firm M+R to conduct its own study of the issue, which to no surprise came back favoring the deal.  M+R researcher Allen Rosenfeld says that the FCC has it all wrong; that they should not be looking at the outcome of a deal, but the outcome if no deal is reached:

At the core of the flawed apples-and-oranges comparison is an implicit assumption that, in the absence of the proposed merger, T-Mobile USA’s current pricing structure would continue to be available to consumers. In the most-general sense, that assumption implies a continuation of the status quo for T-Mobile USA for the foreseeable future. More specifically, it assumes that T-Mobile USA’s overall customer strategy, driven by plans priced lower than AT&T’s and Verizon’s, could be sustained for years to come. A close look at the industry and the competitive outlook for T-Mobile USA, however, casts serious doubt upon the validity of the assumption that T-Mobile USA, going it alone in the absence of the merger, would be able to sustain its pricing strategy and that consumers would be better off if the merger were not approved.

In other words, T-Mobile's strategy out out-pricing the bigger carriers cannot continue on its own.  If AT&T doesn't swoop in to the rescue, poor T-Mobile will no longer be sustainable as-is, and customer rates will have to increase.  How noble, AT&T, how noble.

Source: GigaOm

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