AT&T Increases Phone Activation and Upgrade Fee from $20 to $25

AT&T Activation Fee

Changes in the current wireless market don’t seem to be favoring local phone service subscribers in United States. All phone service providers seem to be interested in generating financial profit by digging deeper into the pocket of their customers.

That’s true!

First, Verizon Wireless increased their upgrade fee from $20 to $30. Now AT&T has also followed in the footprints of Verizon Wireless. Last week, AT&T discontinued discounts on its lifeline phone services. Now the local phone service provider has increased its activation and upgrade fee from $20 to $25 for non-contract phones.

This is not the first time this has happened:

AT&T, one of the leading local phone service providers in US, has increased activation and upgrade fees several times. Earlier it was around $15. The company increased it from $15 to $20 in 2016 during the month of April. Now it has been increased again to $25, says, PhoneScoop.

According to AT&T:

This recently increased activation fee to $25 will be applicable to new activation or upgrades when consumers purchase devices on agreements for installments.

Moreover, any new customer bringing their phones to the carrier will be charged the fee of $25. They will charge this fee of $25 when they bring their phones for activating a new line of service. The company will not charge the fee to any customer applying for upgrading phones on existing lines, says AT&T, the local phone service provider in the US.

In Addition to This:

The company is making some more changes. These changes are going to be minor. Furthermore, these changes will be related to activation and upgrade fees. On the other hand, AT&T still charges $45 for activation and upgrade. This fee is charged on the contract of two years. However, these contracts are not available for every device.

AT&T’s Reason behind Increasing Activation and Upgrade Fee from $20 to $25:

AT&T has its own reason to increase the activation and upgrade fee from $20 to $25. The company had almost secured 1.5 million subscribers during the third quarter of 2016. But the company faced the loss of nearly 268,000 postpaid subscribers in no time. Most of the subscribers that bid adieu to the company were using affordable phones. The company successfully posted a US wireless operating margin of nearly 29.6 percent. Even then the company faced significant loss of revenue year-after-year.  This mainly happened due to a constantly decreasing subscriber count and equipment revenue. Therefore, the company is planning to charge a little more to every customer in the form of activation and upgrade fees for recovery of lost revenue.

Possible Effects:

The company seems to be in a hurry to recover its losses in revenue. Therefore, it might be a little difficult for some low income phone service users of AT&T to digest this increase in activation and upgrade fee from $20 to $25. It is too early to predict the possible impact of this decision on AT&T’s low income phone service users and also on the company’s revenue and growth in the long run.

AT&T Cancels Discounts on Lifeline Phone Services for Cheap Home Phone Service Users

AT&T Lifeline Phone Service


These times do not seem favor AT&T low income phone service subscribers. They are receiving a financial blow from AT&T. The MPSC (Missouri Public Service Commission) has allowed AT&T to cancel discounts given to poor and disabled customers on lifeline phone services.

AT&T has Given a Reason

AT&T filed its response in this regard to the Missouri Public Service Commission and stated a reason for this decision. According to the company, no more than 6900 low income phone service subscribers are receiving discounted life line phone services. The number of such users has come down by almost 85% since 2008. It appears as if low income phone service subscribers are also switching to wireless phone services. They no longer seem to be interested in discounted lifeline phone services on their wire-line.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noticed more than 59% of cheap home phone service subscribers reside in wireless only households. CDCP had confirmed the fact in 2015. This is possibly why AT&T seems to have made this decision.

The Office of Public Counsel Is Not Happy With This:

The office of Public Counsel responsible for taking care of the public’s interest argued against this decision by AT&T before the Public Service Commission. In accordance with the Acting Public Counsel, Mr. James Owen, “We heard from people who still use it and were asking us to stop” it.

Acting Public Counsel James Owen is Mainly Concerned About Old and Handicapped People:

This is true. He expressed it openly and said that they may find using a cellphone difficult or confusing. This can make life difficult for them to get connected with their near and dear ones or emergency services as cellular phone services in some rural areas can be problematic.

Mr. Owen Lost the Argument Because…

AT&T did everything right from the factual point of view and used the law accordingly. The company said that the discounts on lifeline phone services are being provided by some wireless phone service providers throughout its area. Therefore, anyone losing the lifeline discount on their AT&T home phone can get a Lifeline discount for cellular phone services.

This is Exactly Where AT&T Won the Argument:

According to the federal rules, any low income phone service provider can drop its own lifeline service if some other carrier is providing it to users. This left the Public Service Commission with no choice but to rule the argument in the favor of AT&T and allow the service provider to cancel the discount on lifeline phone service to cheap home phone service users.

Some Final Words

It is a tough blow to the poor families using discounted landline services of AT&T in rural areas. Hopefully, it does not make their life difficult and they find it easy to switch to wireless services and get the same kind of discount. It will be too early to predict the impact of this service on poor families residing in rural areas. Therefore, only the time will tell after the company stops providing the discount on lifeline services in July 2017.

Verizon Wireless Increases the Upgrade Fee From $20 to $30

Verizon Wireless

The wind does not seem to be flowing in favor of Verizon Wireless phone service users. Customers hoping to ditch their old phone and switch to a new one at Verizon Wireless must get ready to pay a $30 upgrade fee instead of $20.

According to Fierce Wireless, one of the leading telecom news provider, the phone service provider has confirmed the news on its official website.

The Price of Upgrades is not in favor of Verizon Wireless Customers

This is not a good news for users planning to upgrade to a new device at Verizon Wireless soon. In addition to this, the phone service provider has also decided to scrap the two-year-service-contract as well as subsidies for devices to its existing customers.

Verizon Wireless has a Reason to Do So:

According to Verizon Wireless insiders, the company’s cost for providing phone/device services has increased significantly. Moreover, such fees are a way for phone service providers to cover increased cost related to delivering the largest and fastest 4G LTE services in the United States.  This is further confirmed through the total decreased capital expenditure of Verizon Wireless during the third quarter of 2016.

Verizon Wireless’s Definition of Increased Cost:

When enquired about the meaning of the increased cost, the company insiders defined it as an ongoing cost for the purpose of maintaining and enhancing the network. They did not say anything else in this regard.

Fran Shammo Says…

According to Mr. Fran Shammo, CFO at Verizon Wireless, the company is spending CapEX around wireless for LTE densification.  This is for the purpose of covering the increase in the use of streaming videos. “We see that continuing to increase, so we are really preparing for two years out from where our usage is today so we are densifying the network,” says he. He further added that the company has also launched LTE Advanced service for over 90% of local phone service users in the United States and is also getting ready in advance for 5G technology.

What Actually does this Increase Mean for Customers?   

All Verizon Wireless local phone service users will have to pay this $30 upgrade fee every time they wish to upgrade to a new phone on an existing line of service. This upgrade fee does not have anything to do with the activation fee. It is totally separate from the activation fee charged to customers. This activation fee will specifically be applicable to local phone service users buying phones at retail price or using the device payment program of Verizon Wireless. This upgrade fee will be refunded to local phone service users of Verizon Wireless returning their device within the 14 day period from the actual date of purchase.

At last:

The increase in the upgrade fee and scrapping of the two-year-service-contracts have come at a time when most of the wireless service providers are giving up those plans in favor of EIPs. Now it will be very interesting to see the reaction of Verizon Wireless’s existing/potential customers in this regard.

Keep coming back for further updates in this regard from Verizon Wireless.

T-Mobile Beats All Carriers in Speed Test and Plans to Roll Out 5G Services


Local phone service providers in the United States are leaving no stone unturned when seeking growth options/opportunities in the wireless sector. Popular local phone service providers like Verizon Wireless, Sprint and AT&T are launching new programs and services every other day for this purpose. Therefore, T-Mobile, with over 300 million subscribers in United States is trying to match that pace. The company is planning to roll out 5G services for its local phone service subscribers.

Rolling out established 5G Services on Commercial Front will Take Time:

This is exactly what T-Mobile currently believes in. Most of the manufacturers and service providers have anticipated a lot of success for 5G in 2020. However, T-Mobile is not so confident in this regard. Rolling out established 5G services for local phone subscribers will require a number of years.

T-Mobile’s Proclamations:

The company is waiting for 5G services to be available to get rolled out for commercial purposes. T-Mobile did not take much time to remind us that the company is the only provider of 1 GBPS speed on its own network throughout the United States. The company also proclaimed to have almost 313 million local phone service subscribers in the United States. This number is hardly one million less than the number of subscribers associated with Verizon Wireless. This number talks volumes about the place occupied by T-Mobile in the market in competition with AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

Android Headlines Say…

5G is extremely stimulating. The standard of 5G is still very much indefinite. As for reason, all phone service providers will have to construct new telecommunications right from scratch.

Neville Ray has something to Say:

He is the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) at T-Mobile. According to him, the company is fully equipped with enough options to beat competitors like Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and AT&T. T-Mobile came up with a significant achievement related to UL and DL throughout in MBPS. T-Mobile has bagged first place with 24.4 and 12.1, with Verizon Wireless placing second with 24.3 and 8.5. AT&T is sitting in the third spot with 23.9 and 7.6 whereas Sprint INC. gets the wooden spoon with 15.2 and 4.8.

There is something for the Phone Service Provider to Worry About:

When it comes to the performance of Extended Range LTE, T-Mobile easily beats the competition. T-Mobile’s Extended Range of LTE services performs at least four times better in buildings and six times better from the towers, capable of delivering coverage to at least 250 million phone service subscribers across more than 500 metro cities in United States. The phone service provider has successfully beaten its competitors in terms of speed. However, the company has been called out by Netherlands. Much of its credit goes to Zero rating of services for streaming video and music.

At last:

Although T-Mobile has successfully defeated industrial competitors like AT&T, Sprint INC. and Verizon Wireless, the company needs to pay heed towards its Zero rating services for streaming video and music online to successfully roll out 5G services. Now it will be interesting to see what the company decides to do in this regard in the time to come.

Keep coming back to our website as will keep you updated in this regard.

Speculation about the Possibility of Sprint and T-Mobile Merger Worries Customers

Sprint and T-Mobile Merger

Something fishy seems to be going on in the US wireless market. The internet has suddenly become home to speculations about the possibility of merger talks between Sprint and T-Mobile. These rumours making the rounds on the internet are causing butterflies in the stomach of phone service users and consumer advocates.  Some industry experts are declaring it as the only way for both Sprint and T-Mobile to be able to compete against Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

How This Deal Could be Possible

It’s the second attempt of Sprint to buy its rival after failing in 2014. The credit goes to the immense pressure from the FCC (Federal Communication Commissions). However, this deal now could easily be possible under the Trump Administration as per Wall Street and Consumer Advocate.

Trump’s Meeting with Masayoshi Son Fueled Such Speculations:

President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting with Masayoshi Son, the Chief Executive Officer of Sprint’s parent company, fueled these speculations. Both of them were looking satisfied after the meeting as they made the announcement of a $50 billion deal by SoftBank in the United States. SoftBank had paid the amount of more than $20 billion for Sprint INC. in the year 2012. Sprint ran after T-Mobile. The FCC had to intervene and block this deal. Now Masayoshi Son has again expressed his interest in T-Mobile in 2016. Albeit, nothing has been officially said/announced in this regard.

Phone Service Subscribers Also Say Something:

Consumer advocates are totally skeptical at the consolidation. This is very much true about the market that is full with phone service providers like Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T trying to outcompete their rivals fiercely on market front.

Former FCC Chairman Calls it Against the Interests of Consumers

“Having four providers has been a boon for investment, consumers, and the public interest,” says Mr. Michael Copps, Former FCC Chairman from 2001 to 2011. According to him, allowing two of the topmost phone service providers in United States combine is like moving in the wrong direction. This is only going to increase the burden of cost on consumers and leave them less choice. He is not in favor of the Sprint and T-Mobile merger.

Most of Users Also Agree:

Even customers are of the same view. Many of them were asked in regard to a potential merger between T-Mobile and Sprint on Facebook. Most of the customers openly praised T-Mobile for their excellent quality of phone service. On the other hand, customers lambasted Sprint’s services. Some of them even talked about leaving T-Mobile if it is bought by Sprint INC.

Final Words:

T-Mobile is about to secure first place ahead of industry leaders like Verizon Wireless and AT&T, leaving them behind convincingly. However, not all of the things or industry experts are negative about this potential merger between T-Mobile and Sprint INC. It is too early to say for sure how this will turn out as the Trump administration takes over the reins from the Obama administration.

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