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AT&T logo

AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph) is one of the largest telecommunications providers in the United States. It is also noted for being the birthplace of the Unix operating system, and the C and C++ programming languages.[1]


AT&T was incorporated in 1885, but traces its lineage to Alexander Graham Bell and his invention of the telephone in 1876. As parent company of the former Bell System, AT&T's primary mission was to provide telephone service to virtually everyone in the United States. In its first 50 years, AT&T established subsidiaries and allied companies in more than a dozen other countries. It sold these interests in 1925 and focused on achieving its mission in the United States. It did, however, continue to provide international long distance service.[1]

AT&T logo 2005

AT&T logo in 2005.

The Bell System was dissolved at the end of 1983 with AT&T's divestiture of the Bell telephone companies. AT&T split into three parts in 1996, one of which is Lucent Technologies, the former systems and equipment portion of AT&T (including Bell Labs).[1]

Wireless services[]

AT&T GSM Network Technology

Advancement of AT&T's wireless technology.

AT&T's 2G and 3G services were based on GSM and its derivative UMTS, respectively.[2] AT&T Wireless was the iPhone's first exclusive carrier until February 10, 2011, when rival carrier Verizon released a CDMA-capable iPhone 4, ending Apple's exclusivity agreement with AT&T.[3]

Apple devices exclusively carried by AT&T[]

Retirement of 3G service[]

AT&T shut down its GSM-based 3G network on February 22, 2022 to make room for faster 4G and 5G services.[4][5] This affected all older iPhone models that do not support Voice over LTE (iPhone 5C, 5S and earlier). This also affected the 3G-enabled original iPad and iPad 2.[6]


External links[]

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