Every now and again, on streaming service provider dominates this column. This week, it’s AT&T and DIRECTV NOW that are making the news. This should come as no surprise. The communications giant has a lot of big plans for improving many of its services. It also has dropped its support for at least one of its streaming devices. So, there are some big changes coming from AT&T/DIRECTV and Solid Signal is excited to tell you all about it…
AT&T 5G Foundation Headed to 100+ Markets
That’s right, AT&T’s 5G Evolution technology is launching in parts of more than 100 national markets. This means the communications giant will continue to upgrade cell towers with LTE Advanced features such as 256 QAM, 4×4 MIMO, and 3-way carrier aggregation. These technologies boost the existing LTE network to provide faster speeds. Right now, this lets AT&T customers with newer 5G Evolution and LTE-LAA capable devices to access faster speeds.
In the future, the improvements being made today will lead to an upgrade to 5G. The ultimate goal of 5G home Internet is to bring fiber Internet speeds without the cost of running fiber to each house. With 5G, AT&T promises wireless 5G Internet to homes, which is something that many people have been wanting for years. This wireless experience, when available, would be faster, more responsive, and more secure, according to AT&T officials.
AT&T has plans to make 5G Evolution technology available in 500+ markets later this year. Some of these include sections of Baltimore, MD; Charlotte, N.C.; Cleveland; Denver; Detroit; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City; Las Vegas; New York City; Philadelphia; Portland; Raleigh; Salt Lake City; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.
AT&T Watch: a Sports-Free Version of DIRECTV NOW
Are there any DIRECTV NOW viewers who want a sports-free version of this streaming service? Apparently, this is a thing and AT&T is working to provide it. To deliver this, the communications company is creating a new service called AT&T Watch. It will have a monthly cost of $15 and be a sports-free version of DIRECTV NOW. This service is expected to be offered free to AT&T Wireless customers.
A sports-free streaming service comes as no surprise to anyone here at Solid Signal. There are plenty of people who just don’t want this type of viewing. This creates the potential for these budget conscious streamers to not pay for something they don’t watch. The only question we have is why AT&T would call this service AT&T instead of using its established DIRECTV NOW moniker? Perhaps the name AT&T Watch helps differentiate this new service and makes it sound more mobile friendly?
DIRECTV NOW Drops Support For First Gen Fire Stick and Fire TV
Without any warning, DIRECTV NOW dropped its support for the first generation Fire Stick box. On April 17, users got the news via message from DIRECTV NOW after uploading an update. This was a big disappointment for many, who reportedly thought that DIRECTV NOW would announced a DVR rollout. On DIRECTV NOW Help Twitter page, the company announces its only support Fire Stick Generation 2+ at this time. A day before, DIRECTV NOW announced it was dropping its support for the first generation Fire Stick.
More Streaming News Next Week…
So, this is the news about AT&T and DIRECTV NOW as we currently know it. As we get more updates on these and other items of interest, we’ll pass them on to you. The same goes for other streaming service providers. Solid Signal is happy to keep streamers informed. See you next Saturday!