AT&T U-verse, commonly called U-verse, was an AT&T brand of triple-play telecommunications services, although the brand is now only used in reference to the IPTV service. Launched on June 26, 2006, U-verse included broadband Internet (now AT&T Internet or AT&T Fiber), IP telephone (now AT&T Phone), and IPTV (U-verse TV) services in 21 states.
|Founded||June 26, 2006|
|Defunct||September 2016; 2 years ago|
|Select US States|
SBC announced its plans for a fiber-optic network and Internet Protocol television (IPTV) deployment in 2004 and unveiled the name "U-verse" (formerly "Project Lightspeed") for the suite of network services in 2005. Beta testing began in San Antonio in 2005 and AT&T U-verse was commercially launched June 26, 2006, in San Antonio. A few months later on November 30, 2006, the service was launched in Houston. In December 2006, the product launched in Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Hartford, Indianapolis, and other cities in their vicinities. In February 2007, U-verse was launched in Milwaukee. One month later service was initiated in Dallas and Kansas City. In May 2007, U-verse launched in Detroit, Los Angeles, and surrounding areas. Launch continued in Cleveland, Akron, and San Diego in June 2007. The Oklahoma City and Sacramento launches occurred in August 2007. In November 2007, service was started in Austin. In December 2007, U-verse was launched in Orlando and St. Louis. A controlled launch was also initiated in Atlanta that month marking the first launch in the Southeastern United States. On December 22, 2008, the product debuted in Birmingham. On January 25, 2010, AT&T announced that U-verse was available to over 2.8 million households.
AT&T Phone (formerly known as AT&T U-verse Voice) was added on January 22, 2008, and was first available in Detroit. In 2008, U-verse availability approached 8 million households and over 225,000 customers had been enrolled, with new installations reaching 12,000 per week. By 2009, 1 million Phone customers and 2.1 million U-verse TV customers had been enrolled.
At the end of 2011, U-verse was available to more than 30 million living units in 22 states and U-verse TV had 3.8 million customers. By mid-2012, AT&T had 4.1 million U-Verse TV subscribers, 2.6 million Phone subscribers, and 6.5 million Internet subscribers.
By the third quarter of 2012, AT&T had 4.3 million TV subscribers, 2.7 million Phone subscribers and 7.1 million Internet. This represents 7% growth quarter on quarter. The actual number of customers is lower, as most customers subscribe to a bundle (such as TV and Phone) and so are counted in both categories.
At an analyst meeting in August 2015, following AT&T's acquisition of satellite provider DirecTV, AT&T announced plans for a new "home entertainment gateway" platform that will converge DirecTV and U-verse around a common platform based upon DirecTV hardware with "very thin hardware profiles". AT&T Entertainment and Internet Services CEO John Stankey explained that the new platform would offer "single truck roll installation for multiple products, live local streaming, improved content portability, over-the-top integration for mobile broadband, and user interface re-engineering."
In February 2016, Bloomberg reported that AT&T was in the process of phasing out the U-verse IPTV service by encouraging new customers to purchase DirecTV satellite service instead, and by ending the production of new set-top boxes for the service. An AT&T spokesperson denied that U-verse was being shut down and explained that the company was "leading its video marketing approach with DirecTV" to "realize the many benefits" of the purchase, but would still recommend U-verse TV if it better-suited a customer's needs. AT&T CFO John Stephens had also previously stated that DirecTV's larger subscriber base as a national service gave the service a higher degree of leverage in negotiating carriage deals, thus resulting in lower content costs.
The integration of AT&T and DirecTV is set to begin by the fourth quarter of 2016.
On May 16, 2016, AT&T announced that it will acquire Quickplay Media, a cloud-based platform that powers over-the-top video services.
On October 4, 2016, it was reported that AT&T had adopted "AT&T Fiber" as the new brand name for its fiber-based internet service, with the "AT&T Internet" brand continuing to be used for its DSL internet service.
On March 13, 2018, it was reported that AT&T has filed a trademark for "AT&T TV" with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, a possible signal that the telco company will finally eliminate its current brand names DirecTV and U-verse.
AT&T delivers most U-verse service over a fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) or fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) communications network. In the more common FTTN deployment, fiber-optic connections carry all data (internet, IPTV, and voice over IP) between the service provider and a distribution node. The remaining run from the node to the network interface device in the customer's home uses a copper-wire current loop that is traditionally part of the PSTN (public switched telephone network). In more recently constructed housing developments, AT&T uses an FTTP deployment—they run fiber-optic cable from their DSLAM all the way to an optical network terminal in the customer's home.
In areas where AT&T deploys U-verse through FTTN, they use High-speed digital subscriber lines with ADSL2+ or VDSL technology. Service offerings depend on the customer's distance to an available port in the distribution node, or the central office. To qualify for U-verse TV service (only available through VDSL2), the customer must be less than 3500 feet (1000 meters) from a VRAD, the VRAD must contain an available port, and the copper wire-loop must pass qualification. Where pair bonding is available, the maximum service distance can extend to 5500 feet (1600 meters).
In so-called "fringe" areas, AT&T provides High Speed Internet through IP-DSLAM ADSL2+, which does not require pair bonding or a VRAD and operates at slower bitrates than pair-bonded VDSL2. In practice, VRADs are not installed in many older urban neighborhoods as AT&T prepares to abandon the fixed-line broadband market.
AT&T delivers U-verse TV via IPTV from the headend to the consumer's receiver, required for each TV. Transmissions use digital H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) encoding, compared to the existing deployments of MPEG-2 codec and the discontinued analog cable TV system. The receiver box does not have a RF tuner, but is an IP multicast client that requests the channel or "stream" desired. U-Verse TV supports up to four/six active streams at once, depending on service tier. The system uses individual unicasts for video on demand, central time shifting, start-over services and other programs.
U-verse TV packagesEdit
AT&T groups its general channels into progressive packages (U-family, U200, U300, and U450); each adds channels to the package before it, with rare exceptions. All subscribers receive at least the equivalent of the U-family package, which also includes 65 of the 75 Stingray Music channels. Many U-family channels were also available on the historical U-basic package. The historical U400 package is identical to the U450 package, except that U450 automatically includes the HD Services package.
Specialty channels are grouped into a la carte packages, which can be combined with the general packages: The Sports Package; ESPN College Extra; Fox Soccer Plus HD; NBA League Pass; HD Services; HD Premium Tier; Paquete Español; and Adult. Paquete Español can be combined with a higher-tier package and is then called U200 Latino, U300 Latino, or U450 Latino. Additionally, channels grouped as Internationals are available a la carte in language groups or singly, and a number of premium movie packages are available to premium package or higher-tier subscribers. High-definition TV technology is required to access HD channels.
On February 29, 2016, the U-verse member channels: ATTention (channels 400, 962 in SD and 1100, 1400, 2500 in HD), Buzz (channels 300, 851, 961 in SD and 1000, 1300, 1851 in HD), Front Row (channels 100, 847 in SD and 1847 in HD), Showcase (channels 800, 964 in SD and 1800 in HD), Sports (channels 600, 801, 963 in SD and 1600, 1801 in HD), and U-verse Movies (channels 200, 800, 945, 960 in SD and 1200, 1850 in HD) were removed from the AT&T U-verse TV channel lineup.
- Time-delayed: Some channels have both East Coast and West Coast feeds, airing the same programming with a three-hour delay on the latter feed; the delay represents the time-zone difference between Eastern (UTC -5/-4) and Pacific (UTC -8/-7). The west feed is specified by adding "- West" to the name of the east feed. For certain time-delayed channels, both the east and west feeds are available to all subscribers; otherwise only the east feed (for the Central and Eastern time zones) or only the west feed (for the Pacific and Mountain time zones) is available, even though two channel numbers are assigned to the feeds. With the exception of California, Nevada, and westernmost parts of Texas and Kansas, the U-verse 22-state availability region is available within the Central and Eastern time zones.
- High-definition: With few exceptions, the numbers of high-definition TV channels are found by adding 1000 to the standard-definition television channel number, and HD callsigns are found by appending "HD" to the callsign of the SD channel (with or without a space). West feed callsigns typically append "-W" (or "HDW"). Most HD channels appear in the HD Services package, while the HD Premium Tier package contains approximately 25 additional premium channels.
- Local: All local broadcast channels are identified by the station's callsign and over-the-air virtual digital channel number (e.g., "WDAF-4" for Fox affiliate WDAF-TV in Kansas City, Missouri), with a few exceptions (WDJT-TV, the CBS affiliate in Milwaukee is carried on its preferred cable channel 5/1005 slot on U-verse rather than its actual channel number 58 to keep it grouped with major network affiliates, for instance). Local stations appear in the ranges 2–69 and 1002–1069. A national channel may also appear as a local channel or affiliate in the minimum package in available markets; in some such cases, the national channel is not available in the market where the local channel or affiliate appears.
- Sports: Channels in the 600s are national sports channels, available to varying tiers. The Sports Package is included with the U450 package or can be added onto a lower-tier package.
- Regional: Channels in the 700s are regional (excluding non-premium movie channels in the 790s). Subscribers each automatically receive channels that are regional to them, based on geography, in standard- and high-definition. Subscribers who wish to receive out-of-market regional channels (typically for sporting) must subscribe to the HD Premium Tier package, which includes most of the other regional channels. According to league rules, sports blackouts do apply, but rebroadcasts of games may be available out-of-market. Chicago Cubs home games televised by WGN are provided to all subscribers, who are not blacked out even if their local teams are playing at Wrigley Field.
- AT&T removed Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel from AT&T U-verse TV effective September 1, 2010, due to a carriage dispute. An AT&T spokesperson stated, "Hallmark has refused to provide AT&T and its customers with a fair deal—one that is no worse than similarly-sized and smaller providers—and refused to adhere to key obligations under our current deal", while Hallmark Channel's president and CEO Bill Abbott said he was "...stunned by the apparent disregard for the facts ... If they are really serious, my team and I are ready for truly fair negotiations." After the removal, the channels temporarily provided free previews of Starz Kids & Family and Turner Classic Movies. Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries returned to the U-verse lineup on July 23, 2015. Crown Media Holdings operates the two Hallmark channels in the United States.
- Univision tlnovelas and Univision Deportes Network began on U-verse on May 11, 2012, after a carriage agreement was signed with Univision Communications.
- Just prior to the 2010 series premiere of the AMC program Mad Men, AT&T and Rainbow Media resolved a carriage dispute without interruption to any channels. AT&T stated that Rainbow, "...had been trying to force the renegotiation of a contract for one of their other channels that is not yet expired." It was speculated that this additional contract renegotiation was for Sundance Channel and was successfully concluded, due to Rainbow Media's summation, "We're pleased to have reached an agreement with AT&T for AMC, WE tv, IFC and Sundance Channel that truly recognizes the value of our networks."
- HGTV, the Food Network, the DIY Network, the Cooking Channel, and Great American Country were temporarily inaccessible between November 5 and November 7, 2010, due to a carriage dispute with Scripps Networks. U-verse vice president Brian Shay stated afterward that AT&T had received a "fair deal".
- U-verse picked up the Longhorn Network on August 31, 2012, increasing its availability to 12.9% of the Austin, Texas television market.
- On January 15, 2013, U-verse came to terms with Disney on a new wide-ranging multiple-year carriage agreement for all Disney, ESPN and ABC Networks, which included the addition of Disney Junior.
- On February 28, 2015, 46 Music Choice channels and MC Play were removed and were replaced by 75 Stingray Music channels.
- On October 26, 2015, U-verse came to terms with Tribune Media on a new wide-ranging multiple-year carriage agreement for all Tribune stations, which includes the addition of WGN America.
- AT&T removed Univision, UniMás, Galavisión, Univision Deportes Network and Univision tlnovelas from AT&T U-verse effective March 4, 2016, due to a carriage dispute. Although U-verse was in an integration process with DirecTV, which became a subsidiary of AT&T, it did not affect DirecTV customers during the process. All of Univision's channels were later returned to the U-verse lineup on March 24, 2016.
AT&T Fiber provies fiber to the home (FTTH) service in select markets.
AT&T announced Internet 18 service (then called "Max 18") in November 2008, and Internet 24 (then called "Max Turbo") was announced in December 2009. Basic, Express, Pro, Elite and Max (VDSL) are usually available for self-installation. Max (ADSL2+), Max Plus, and Max Turbo can be self-installed if only one jack is connected for DSL (through a splitter installed by a technician), or splitter-free if no landline shares the pair. Conditions where higher speeds are still attainable through filters or quality wiring to more than one jack occur less often.
AT&T announced Internet 45 service (formerly "Power") on August 26, 2013. Internet 45 required two conditioned line pairs (pair bond) and a Motorola NVG589 VDSL2+ Gateway. AT&T charges a service fee to condition and pair bond the lines and install a new gateway, plus additional monthly charges.
Upload speeds are VDSL connections in areas that offer U-verse TV. ADSL2+ is limited to a maximum of 1 Mbit/s upload in areas that do not offer U-verse TV.
|Name||Download Speed (up to)||Upload Speed (up to)||Connection||Notes|
|Internet Basic 5||5 Mbit/s||1 Mbit/s||VDSL or ADSL2+|| Upload speeds up to 768 kbit/s with ADSL2+|
|Internet 10||10 Mbit/s||1 Mbit/s||VDSL or ADSL2+|| Upload speeds up to 1 Mbit/s with ADSL2+|
|Internet 25||25 Mbit/s||5 Mbit/s||VDSL2|||
|Internet 50||50 Mbit/s||10 Mbit/s||VDSL2|| Select markets (requires VDSL2 pair-bonding or 17 MHz)|
|Internet 75||75 Mbit/s||20 Mbit/s||VDSL2|| Select markets (requires VDSL2 pair-bonding and 17 MHz)|
|Internet 100||100 Mbit/s||20 Mbit/s||VDSL2|| Select markets (requires VDSL2 pair-bonding and 17 MHz) |
|Internet 100s||100 Mbit/s||100 Mbit/s||FTTH|| Dallas, TX; Austin, TX; Houston, TX (April 2015); Kansas City, MO; Raleigh-Durham, NC; Mobile, AL|
|Internet 300||300 Mbit/s||300 Mbit/s||FTTH|||
|Internet 1000||940 Mbit/s||940 Mbit/s||FTTH|| Dallas, TX; Mobile, AL; Atlanta, GA; Kansas City, MO; Greensboro, NC; Raleigh-Durham, NC; Austin, TX|
AT&T Phone (formerly AT&T U-verse Voice) is a voice communication service delivered over AT&T's IP network (VoIP). This phone service is digital and provides a voicemail service accessed by *98 from the home number. Customers who subscribe to both AT&T Phone and U-verse TV get features such as call history on channel 9900, which displays the last 100 missed and answered calls on the customer's TV, and "Click to Call" from the TV history. AT&T Phone includes Caller ID, Call Blocking, Anonymous Call Blocker, and many other calling features. AT&T Phone was first available in Detroit, on January 22, 2008.
U-verse uses the Alcatel-Lucent 7330 or 7340 Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) shelf, also called a video-ready access device (VRAD), deployed either in a central office (CO) or to a neighborhood serving area interface (SAI). These models are both composed of circuit boards providing service, which are fed by fiber. FTTN (fiber to the node) systems use model 7330, which uses existing copper wiring to customers' homes, leading to distance limitations from the VRAD cabinet to the customer's home. The 7330 ISAM is an internet protocol DSL access multiplexer that supports VDSL and ADSL protocols. FTTP (fiber to the premises) systems use model 7340, mostly in areas such as new neighborhoods or large housing developments, where AT&T chooses to run fiber to the household, removing the distance limitations of copper. The 7340 then connects to a serving area interface, which distributes service to homes in the neighborhood, via a dual strand fiber, which then splits into 32 customer fiber pairs. The fiber pairs typically lead to a customer's residence at the network interface device.
AT&T provides the customer premises equipment (leased for a monthly fee, or purchased with a 1-year warranty), and includes a wireless router and modem, which they call a residential gateway (RG) or internet gateway. They also provide TV receivers made by Cisco (through Scientific Atlanta) and Arris (from the former Motorola cable division) (including standard receivers, wireless receivers, and DVR receivers).
Those eligible for triple play (TV, Internet, and Phone) will use a VDSL2 transport link which uses one of the following modems:
- 2Wire 3600 (Deprecated)
- 2Wire 3800 (Deprecated)
- 2Wire 3801
- Pace 5031NV
- 2Wire iNID (which comes with the 2Wire i3812V for the outside unit, the iPSU (Intelligent Power Supply Unit) which powers the i3812V, and one or more i38HG for internet access via wireless or ethernet connectivity inside the customer premises) (Deprecated)
- Arris NVG589
- Arris NVG599
- Pace 5268AC
- Arris BGW210
Those who are eligible for double play (Internet and Phone) only, will use an ADSL2+ transport type which uses one of the following modems:
- 2Wire 2701HGV-B (the model number must contain a "V", otherwise it will not function with the U-Verse platform) (Deprecated)
- Motorola 2210-02-1ATT (the U-verse version of the 2210 and is black; the silver version is for PPPoE and not 802.1x) (Deprecated)
- Motorola NVG510
- Pace 5168NV (Only RG that can support VOIP on a 1.5 Mbit/s profile and support bonded ADSL+2)
Currently four devices support bonded pair: the 2Wire iNID, Arris NVG589 and NVG599, and Pace 5268AC. The Motorola NVG589 originally replaced the 2Wire iNID for all bonded pair installs. The NVG599 and 5268AC both have replaced the NVG589 and are used interchangeably. These three devices are capable of both ADSL2+ and VDSL.
All AT&T U-verse transport types use 802.1x authentication. This means only equipment on AT&T's approved list works with the U-verse service, as other (non-AT&T) equipment cannot authenticate with AT&T DSLAMs and GPONs. Another side-effect of U-verse's authentication protocol is the lack of bridge mode support (unlike standard DSL that uses PPPoE authentication, which is easily bridgeable). At best, the 2Wire/Pace routers support DMZ+ mode, while the Motorola devices support IP Passthrough. AT&T allows residential and business customers to pay for static IP addresses, which they support on all AT&T approved equipment (including the 2Wire/Pace and Motorola routers.)
When AT&T launched IP-DSL (ADSL2+, double play only), they installed connections with either the 2Wire 2701HGV-B or Motorola 2210 (pairing the latter with a Cisco Linksys E1000 for residential customers, or an EdgeMarc 250AEW for business customers). The 2Wire 2701HGV-B was limited to a top speed of 6Mbit/s, while the Motorola 2210 was capable of higher speeds. In later installations, AT&T standardized on the Motorola NVG510, phasing out the other routers for new service installation.
When AT&T introduced the Internet 45 tier in 2013, installations were initially done with the iNID. AT&T later standardized on the Motorola NVG589, which supports pair-bonding for both ADSL2+ and VDSL2. AT&T also uses the NVG589 in some installations where the customer otherwise is too far from a node for service. Additionally, it supports an internal battery for those who subscribe to AT&T Phone service for battery backup during power failures. AT&T no longer supplies the battery to customers for any residential service.
|Device||Transport Type||Static IP||Wireless Support||Bridge Mode Type|
Also known to work on ADSL2+
|2Wire iNID||VDSL2 Bonded Pair||Yes||802.11b/g||DMZ+|
ADSL2+ Bonded Pair
VDSL2 Bonded Pair
ADSL2+ Bonded Pair
VDSL2 Bonded Pair
|Motorola 2210||ADSL2+||No||None||IP Passthrough|
ADSL2+ Bonded Pair
VDSL2 Bonded Pair
ADSL2+ Bonded Pair
VDSL2 Bonded Pair
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- Alcatel-Lucent 7330 ISAM FTTN ANSI