Soup is ready to get his first smartphone. Leo says the number one thing to decide is which carrier he wants. Then choose the phone from there. He'll want the carrier that offers the best coverage in his area. Service-wise, they're all horrible in some way. But coverage is better for some than others.
Jason has a landline that he uses for calls, but AT&T is now giving him uVerse and they didn't tell him. He's really not happy and wants to change carriers. Leo says that they probably disconnected his copper phone line as well. In fact, they probably cut the copper line. That's dangerous because only landline phones work during an emergency, and VOIP won't.
The FCC is looking into this practice for that reason. 911 will stop working when the power goes out. Jason should file a complaint with the Public Utilities Commission about it.
Jason wants to get a new Galaxy Note 4, but he doesn't want to lose his unlimited data plan. Leo says that AT&T is always looking for a reason to take unlimited data away from those who are left using it. And frankly, most people who have it don't use that much data and they're really paying for what they don't use. Either Jason could get a plan that would cover the data he uses, or he could go to T-Mobile and get unlimited. Most of their plans are unlimited, but would throttle his speeds after he reaches a certain limit.
Rick says that he hears that with Sprint, if they upgrade to the new iPhone, they won't be able to talk and surf at the same time. Leo says that he can on AT&T and Verizon, though. Verizon moved over to Voice Over LTE and Leo thought Sprint was moving that way too, but apparently they haven't. T-Mobile will also work. Any GSM network will do it, and Leo suspects that Sprint will eventually go that way.
There isn't much competition among broadband providers in the United States. Most people only have a choice between a cable company and a phone company, and both act like monopolies; both have poor customer service. We know that the answer to protect net neutrality isn't government intervention, which carries potential risks, but in competition. If there were several internet service providers, there would be better prices and better service.
In their effort to replace their failed UVerse Internet and Entertainment packaging, AT&T wants to buy DirecTV. AT&T has also promised everyone that if the deal goes through, prices will drop. Leo says that would be a first. All too often, when there's less choice, prices go up. And with Comcast going after Time Warner and now AT&T going after DirecTV, he doesn't expect prices to drop any time soon. Quite the opposite, actually.
An unknown number of AT&T Mobility customers had their data shared by a third party partner of AT&T, the company reported in an official filing. The data pertained to unlocking capabilities of mobile phones in a third party phone market. The data included social security numbers and dates of birth.
AT&T says that all affected customers have been notified, but they won't say how many were affected. The law says that you must notify authorities if it's over 500.
Lee has a Blue Life View mobile phone. The phone has dual sims, which is primarily used overseas when crossing international borders.
Leo doesn't like that it uses Android 4.2, which is a bit dated. Also, since it's an international phone, he'll want to check that the frequencies from his carrier are supported. It won't support LTE, which means he won't get the fastest data. But it's not bad for the money. Leo recommends getting the Motorola Moto G, which has the same specs for half the price. It isn't dual sim, but unless he's traveling overseas, it's more than enough.
Frannie learned to build computers from Leo and Patrick several years ago. But now, she's a bit lost with all this mobile phone stuff. She picked up a Samsung Galaxy 4, while her husband got an iPhone 5S. He hates the 5S and she loves the Galaxy 4. Leo says that aside from the junkware, it's a nice phone. But what she wants to know is, how does she back it up? Leo says that there's a default setting that lets Google backup apps and settings. When she signs into Google, it starts backing up automatically.
Whenever you're traveling to another country, it's essential to plan for how you will stay connected. Simply using your phone overseas will result in a bill that could reach into the thousands of dollars. Here's a breakdown of the options you have:
Use Wi-Fi Only