AT&T: A Mobile Provider With No Mobile Website? WTH?

AT&T: A Mobile Provider With No Mobile Website? WTH?

By: Katherine Meyer
November 17, 2011

Mobile Websites: Easy to Navigate

We write about the importance of mobile websites for businesses on a regular basis and every time I think I can’t be surprised by the fact that a business doesn’t have a mobile website, someone proves me wrong. This time, it was AT&T. You know – only one of the biggest suppliers of mobile connectivity there is. Arrrrgh.

As my fellow iProduct loving friends might already be aware, the most recent iterations of the iOS software have added some significant new bells and whistles for iPhone users. One very cool thing that Apple finally got around to doing in the iOS4 release is allowing iPhone owners to utilize their phone as a personal hotspot. The iOS update with the hotspot feature was released back in February but, because it occasionally takes me a while to get with the program, I didn’t actually look into the hotspot until I upgraded to iOS5 last month.

Remembering some murmurs I’d heard about hotspots and the like, I pulled out the old omnipresent iPhone and went online to investigate cost, available bandwidth etc. Dude! I couldn’t believe it!

Of all the businesses on the planet NOT to have a mobile version of a website AT&T — you’re killing me. Channeling Alanis Morrisette here, isn’t it ironic,? I mean a mobile provider with no mobile site…am I right?

Color me intrigued – further investigation was impossible to resist, so I dug in. Out of four major carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon) only two out of four have mobile sites! Sprint and Verizon have mobile sites that allow their consumers to shop, check coverage in the area or manage their accounts from their mobile devices. I know that AT&T and T-Mobile merged in the last six months, but you’d think that allowing consumers to access and manage their accounts directly from their phones would be pretty high on the “UX must have” list.

Here’s a look at the good, the bad and the ugly:

I think what is most striking about this experience is, of all businesses out there, you would think mobile providers would especially recognize that 25 percent of the population accesses the internet ONLY through their mobile devices. Further, they, of all people, should know that 81.3 million people used their mobile devices to make payments in 2009, and that M-commerce is predicted to reach $119 billion in the US by 2015.

So tell me AT&T, why in the world do you not have a mobile enabled site? Am I crazy or is AT&T missing out on a big payday?

P.S. See that image up there in the top righthand corner? That’s the mobile website of our friends at Cabot. Clean, uncluttered, easy to navigate. Want to know where to start for your own mobile website, aim for something like this?

  • Thanks, Shelly, for outing these folks. I have AT&T and figured maybe I didn’t configure something right since I don’t do a lot of accessing of their site on my mobile devices. Good to know it’s not me!

  • Another reason I’m with Verizon. Holla!

  • Another reason I’m with Verizon. Holla!

  • Anonymous

    It’s so not you Sara :))

  • Anonymous

    LOL! I actually have had pretty decent service with AT&T … but this was pretty ironical. Yes, I said ‘ironical.’

  • You know, even if they know something we don’t – like the coming of phones/mobile software that will handle regular websites with ease – there’s no excuse for not making the sites accessible by mobile in the meantime. Used to have a mobile skin to my WP site. When it broke, I was really upset. Finally asking a designer friend of mine to just make an entirely mobile version of the entire thing. I’m not exactly on an ATT budget but I can’t see how any company can just not address it at all.

    Even commenting systems are figuring out how to work on mobile device. Shame to find some major mobile carriers are not. Sure they have apps = but there’s always something you need to get from l site.

  • Anonymous

    Let me know if you need help with your mobile site, Tinu. We build them all the time and they are very inexpensive. Especially for a sistah :))))

  • I’ll definitely need help with the one for my membership site, thanks.The one for the main site is already in progress.

  • I’ve always thought this was ridiculous. I can pretty much do everything I need to via the AT&T app, but every once in a while, I do need to go to their site, and it’s a nightmare. 

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been trying to pay my bill online via ATT forever – and finally gave up. It is SOOOOO very frustrating!!! Glad to know I’m not alone!

  • Cjaggwe

    Tmobile has a mobile site but because you use an iphone ( piece of crap ) you can’t view it

  • ShellyKramer

    Haha! I love my iPhone 🙂