Verizon Archive

How To Get Your AT&T and Verizon Account Usage via SMS on Your iPhone

If you are an iPhone user on AT&T there are several tidbits of information you can get about your account and usage via SMS directly from AT&T.  Using codes and texting them to AT&T can send you a wealth of information such as how many minutes you have used in your current billing cycle, how much data and messaging you have used, checking your account balance and even paying your bill.  These have actually been available from AT&T for many years now but they are buried and not well documented.  Fortunately on the iPhone they are easy to find.

On your iPhone, go to Settings>Phone>AT&T Services.  The AT&T Services menu will be the very last item on the Phone AT&T Services Pagepage.  There you will see the full list of text codes available from AT&T as well as the ability to simply tap-and-dial Directory Assistance.  To use one of the text codes, just tap the item you want to see.  Your iPhone will send a message to AT&T (at no charge to you) then flash up a Thank You screen for you to dismiss.  After a minute or two you will receive a text message with the appropriate information you requested.

Here is a full run down of the codes available:

  • Check Bill Balance *225#
  • Pay My Bill *729
  • View My Data and Messaging *3282# (*DATA#)
  • View My Minutes *646# (*MIN#)

You can also access the Voice Connect service by using the code *08 on your iPhone (in the Phone app or by tapping this under AT&T Services.  If you need Directory Assistance, you can tap the Directory Assistance button here or you can dial 411 on your iPhone.

At the very bottom of the AT&T Services page is a button to access  your AT&T Account.  Information TextThe only problem with this is it brings up the AT&T site which can be a bit challenging on the iPhone’s display in Safari.  Ideally it would be great if this linked to the AT&T app which you can download for free.

Using these built-in services can help you manage your data consumption and phone usage without having to stop and actually call AT&T or log into their site.  It is quick, accurate and easy to do.

For Verizon users, you have similar codes available.

View My Minutes #646 (#MIN)

View My Data and Messaging #3282 (#DATA)




Review of Verizon 4510L 4G MiFi

While wireless networks have continued to become ubiquitous throughout much of the world, there are times when they simply are not available or the price for accessing them is too expensive.  How hotels can get away with charging $15.99 for 24 hours of WiFi access on a 2GB 802.11B connection is… well, it’s criminal.  But I digress.

I recently picked up a Verizon 4510L MiFi to cover me when I do not have WiFi access and after putting it through its paces the last couple of weeks I’m nothing short of impressed.  The 4510L supports Verizon’s 4G LTE network so download andVerizon 4510L MiFi upload speeds are amazingly fast.  Plus the coverage is in virtually every major metro area meaning that you can be assured that you will be able to get Internet access from anywhere.  Even if 4G isn’t available, the device will drop down to 3G support.  This exceptional coverage and the pricing structure that Verizon has put together for the 4510L makes it very attractive, with the device priced at $49.99 and a 5GB per month data plan priced at $50.  Need 10GB and you only bump up to $30 more ($80/month).  If you are looking at covering your connectivity needs with a MiFi, this one from Verizon should make your short list.

Apple Updates Apple Store App for iPhone – Adds Carrier Choices and Account Management

Apple has just released an update to the Apple Store app for iPhone.  The new 2.1 version brings several new features that should make the Apple Store buying experience a little bit better and more complete.

First, when you are ordering an iPhone, you can now get plans from the three carriers here in the United States.  That means you can chose AT&T, Verizon or Sprint as your carrier of choice.

Second, you now have account management functionality built into the app.  This allows you to edit your account and billing options directly from in the app.  Previously you had to go to the Apple website to make these changes.

Finally, the app is now available and supported in the Netherlands.

Having updated the app on my iPhone I have not found to many significant differences between the look and feel of the old version compared to this one.

The Apple Store app is free of course and available in the App Store.

Get the Apple Store app in the App Store

Verizon Sold 4.2 Million iPhones in the 4th Quarter of 2011 according to Bloomberg

Bloomberg is reporting that Verizon saw 4.2 million iPhone sales in the last quarter of 2011, doubling what they had in the 3rd quarter.

The demand suggests Verizon Wireless is winning an increasing share of new iPhone users, after gaining rights to offer the handset to its subscribers last year. In the third quarter, Verizon added 2 million customers for the device, trailing the 2.7 million iPhone activations at AT&T Inc. (T), which has offered the handset since 2007.

You can read the full article on Bloomberg.  Clearly these numbers indicate that Verizon users have wanted the iPhone and while Android-based devices remain strong for the carrier, Apple is quickly becoming the flavor of choice for many.  What is more telling is the number of new customers that Verizon had in the 3rd quarter, some 882,000.  That compares to the reported number for AT&T at 319,000.  AT&T has consistently been in the lower quadrant when it comes to network satisfaction and customer satisfaction.  It would see, as they say, the proof is in the pudding with these new account numbers.

So who is curious how Sprint did with their iPhone activations? :-)

Curious if you qualify for upgrade pricing on an iPhone 4S? Find out directly from AT&T or Verizon

Curious if you qualify for upgrade pricing on an iPhone 4S?  There is a quick and easy way for you to find out if you are already an AT&T or Verizon iPhone user.  Just follow this link:

You will find out exactly what an iPhone 4S will cost you with a 2-Year Contract.


Apple posts support document outlining GSM and CDMA iPhone differences

With the release of the iPhone 4 on the Verizon network, there have been a lot of questions around how an iPhone 4 on their network functions as compared to the GSM version running on the AT&T network.  It seems Apple has addressed this in very clear terms in a support document released yesterday on the Apple support site.

The document outlines how different functions of the iPhone 4 are impacted depending on if you are on a CDMA or GSM network.  It covers things such as Call Forwarding, Caller ID and Call Waiting just to name a few.  It’s short posting but it should help clarify the differences beyond what is already known:  CDMA networks can’t do voice and data at the same time.

Will Verizon’s offer of unlimited data bring it back to AT&T iPhone users?

We are still a couple of weeks away from the iPhone 4 hitting the shelves at Verizon and already there is a lot of talk about the data plans that the company will be offering.  In a post earlier today on The iPhone Blog (TiPB), it appears that Verizon will be charging $29.95 per month for unlimited data on their version of the iPhone 4.  This is the same pricing as AT&T use to have before eliminating their unlimited plans last year.  AT&T grandfathered all iPhone users who had unlimited plans but if you made ANY change to your account they would move you to a limited plan.

It has been clear that while AT&T has not publicly that you can move back to an unlimited account, I know they have been able to do it because they have moved me back to it after they made a mistake on a recent upgrade on my account.  So if you are an iPhone user and have moved from the unlimited plan to a limited plan and want to move back, with a little persuasion you could likely move back…. but I digress.

The real question is this:  Will AT&T offer unlimited plans again in earnest in an effort to combat migrations to Verizon?  I think it is a valid question because it is clear that these two carrier giants are more than willing to go toe-to-toe with each other.

The other big question:  Does it really matter?  I have an unlimited plan but in reviewing my AT&T account the last six months, I have only gone above 1.2GB once in that time – 800MB less than the 2GB cap.  I often use WiFI connectivity on my iPhone, especially when doing app updates, etc.

So what do you think?  Do you think AT&T will bring back unlimited plans?  Does it really matter or is it simply a “good press” thing?  Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

How Verizon will prove it isn’t all AT&T’s fault

Today for many iPhone fans and Verizon users, it is a golden day.  The much rumored CDMA version of the iPhone will hit the carrier next month and undoubtedly there will be scores of people leaving AT&T for Verizon and many new iPhone users will spring up for Verizon from those who simply did not want to use AT&T or were scared by all of the much publicized network issues.  And while I think that the iPhone coming to Verizon is very much a good thing, it will come at a cost to Verizon, namely in larger network loads and new customers gobbling up more bandwidth.  Ultimately this will prove that connectivity issues with the iPhone are not all at the feet of AT&T.

First I will disclose that I am a long time AT&T customer and have zero interest in changing that fact.  I have also said many times that the challenges that AT&T has had with connectivity and the iPhone is partly related to their network not being up to snuff.  They simply under reacted and while you can absolutely say they should have known better, the fact is they under estimated the impact the iPhone would have on their network.

Verizon of course has learned from this and has spent billions (just as AT&T has done) on their network to try to be as ready as possible for the iPhone and likely will do better initially than AT&T did with the device on their network.  But there will be troubles and here is why:  The iPhone is always on network.

Let me explain.  By default (and design) the iPhone is configured to be on the carrier network all the time.  This allows you to get your emails in the background, update apps in the background, sync up with Exchange, etc.  Even when the device is sitting idle on your desk it is still tapping the data network every so often to check for things it needs to update.  To be fair, most other mobile devices do this as well but the iPhone is a bit more chatty, again by design.  Couple this with the well documented fact that iPhone users consume more data than the average mobile device user and you have a constant flow of data going from the carrier’s data network to the iPhone.  Times 15 million or whatever the number of iPhone users is today.

Verizon is going to face the exact same problem because it is a phone problem, not a network problem.

Don’t get me wrong:  I love the iPhone.  I think it is a stellar device and while it isn’t perfect by any stretch, my productivity with it has exponentially jumped since I moved to it last year.  But can be improved and with the iPhone 4, many of my complaints about the iPhone as a platform went away.  But there are still fundamental design items that impede network performance.  While iPhone users, the press and the blogosphere have been quick to lay all the blame at the feet of AT&T, it isn’t 100% their fault.  The iPhone on Verizon will prove that fact.

We can argue “fastest network” all day long and 3G coverage all day long as well.  Frankly, I think this more dependent on where you live than anything else as both AT&T and Verizon have gaps in their networks.  While you may only get one bar with AT&T in a place you will get 4 with Verizon.  The reverse is true in other locations.  So in my mind, that argument is redundant.

What I think will happen is that the Verizon network will indeed slow down when the iPhone and people move away from AT&T or get an iPhone for the first time.  At the same time, those who are dissatisfied with AT&T will jump ship and move to Verizon on the promise of a faster experience.  At the end of the day – about six months from now – I’m willing to bet we hear complaints about both carriers and their data speeds.  Indeed one could make the argument that AT&T will improve simply because there are going to be less iPhone users on their network.  But regardless of this fact, Verizon will experience slow downs.

Bank on it.

Verizon iPhone expected tomorrow – so will it rock your world?

Tomorrow it is anticipated that Verizon will announce the arrival of the iPhone on the carrier’s network.  So a simple question for all of you:

Would an iPhone on Verizon rock your world?

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