Pokemon Go and Data Usage

  Are you or your kids having fun playing  Pokemon Go ? While you're trying to Catch 'Em All, make sure you're aware of your cellular data usage. Keep in mind that Pokemon Go requires your phone to be constantly checking and transmitting your location via GPS. And because the app also requires you to be outdoors and moving around, you will definitely be using a cellular connection rather than a Wi-Fi connection. To top it all off, the game uses your camera a lot, so your battery will quickly drain too. Here are some tips to keep your data usage under control:    • Download all app updates and in-app purchases over Wi-Fi.    • Only play in areas where public Wi-Fi is available.    • Set a mobile data limit for yourself. On Android, go to Settings > Wireless & Networks > Data Usage > Data Usage Date Cycle > And select a date range. On iPhone, you can disable the app from using cellular data altogether by going to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Usage.    • Avoid downloading/streaming videos, music, and media while playing.    • Close out of other open apps that may be using up data.    • Restrict background app data. On Android, go to Settings > Application or Apps > Pokemon Go > Data Usage > Restrict Background Data. On iPhone, you can stop apps from refreshing in the background by going to Settings > General > Background App Refresh> Pokemon Go.    • Disable notifications under your phone's Settings app. Email and push notifications from various apps also eat into data.    • And finally, we know it's hard, but pace yourself. Moderation is key. ;-)

Are you or your kids having fun playing Pokemon Go? While you're trying to Catch 'Em All, make sure you're aware of your cellular data usage. Keep in mind that Pokemon Go requires your phone to be constantly checking and transmitting your location via GPS. And because the app also requires you to be outdoors and moving around, you will definitely be using a cellular connection rather than a Wi-Fi connection. To top it all off, the game uses your camera a lot, so your battery will quickly drain too. Here are some tips to keep your data usage under control:

• Download all app updates and in-app purchases over Wi-Fi.

• Only play in areas where public Wi-Fi is available.

• Set a mobile data limit for yourself. On Android, go to Settings > Wireless & Networks > Data Usage > Data Usage Date Cycle > And select a date range. On iPhone, you can disable the app from using cellular data altogether by going to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Usage.

• Avoid downloading/streaming videos, music, and media while playing.

• Close out of other open apps that may be using up data.

• Restrict background app data. On Android, go to Settings > Application or Apps > Pokemon Go > Data Usage > Restrict Background Data. On iPhone, you can stop apps from refreshing in the background by going to Settings > General > Background App Refresh> Pokemon Go.

• Disable notifications under your phone's Settings app. Email and push notifications from various apps also eat into data.

• And finally, we know it's hard, but pace yourself. Moderation is key. ;-)

Thumb Cellular to conduct testing of the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) in the Thumb Area

On June 20, 2012 at approximately 1:00PM wireless subscribers in the Thumb Cellular service area may receive text-based messages testing the new Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS).

Using CMAS, Thumb Cellular will forward alerts from government agencies to individuals’ wireless devices, informing subscribers of public safety and severe weather emergencies. The alerts are designed to help citizens respond appropriately and save lives and property. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are implementing CMAS as a result of the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act passed by Congress in 2006.

Messages will indicate that it is a test message and is free of charge.  Currently, the models that Thumb Cellular sells with CMAS capabilities are the Motorola Milestone X2 and BlackBerry smartphones with software version 7.1.  Any wireless phone with CMAS capabilities will receive the test messages if they are within the testing area regardless of which cellular carrier they have service with.

CMAS provides three types of messages—Presidential (national defense), Imminent Threat (severe weather or public safety emergency), and AMBER (child abduction) alerts. These alerts will be sent free of charge to wireless subscribers in a targeted geographic area corresponding to the scope of the emergency. In the event of an actual emergency, such as a tornado or flood, the alerts will provide information about actions that wireless customers can take to protect themselves and their property. 

Wireless subscribers can chose to opt out of receiving the Imminent Threat messages and AMBER Alerts (Presidential Alerts cannot be disabled) by changing settings in their phone.  For more information visit www.thumbcellular.com/data-plans/emergency-alerts.html

Additional information about CMAS is available on the FEMA website: http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/cmas.shtm 

 

###

FEMA to conduct required monthly testing of the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS)

On May 16, 2012 at 1:00PM wireless subscribers across the nation, including the Thumb Cellular service area will receive a test message from FEMA.  This will be the first date for monthly testing of this service.  A Nationwide required monthly test of the Commercial Mobile Alert System will be conducted the third Wednesday of each month at 1:00PM EST.

Using CMAS, Thumb Cellular will forward alerts from government agencies to individuals’ wireless devices, informing subscribers of public safety and severe weather emergencies. The alerts are designed to help citizens respond appropriately and save lives and property. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are implementing CMAS as a result of the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act passed by Congress in 2006.

The test messages will say, “This is a test of the Commercial Mobile Alert System. This is only a test.”

Currently, the models that Thumb Cellular sells with CMAS capabilities are the Motorola Milestone X2 and BlackBerry smartphones with software version 7.1.  Any wireless phone with CMAS capabilities will receive the test messages if they are within the testing area regardless of which cellular carrier they have service with.

CMAS provides three types of messages—Presidential (national defense), Imminent Threat (severe weather or public safety emergency), and AMBER (child abduction) alerts. These alerts will be sent free of charge to wireless subscribers in a targeted geographic area corresponding to the scope of the emergency. In the event of an actual emergency, such as a tornado or flood, the alerts will provide information about actions that wireless customers can take to protect themselves and their property. 

Subscribers have the option to opt-out of receiving the Imminent Threat Alerts and the Amber Alerts if they do not wish to receive them.  This can be done by changing the Emergency Alerts settings in their handset.  For step-by-step instructions, please visit:  /data-plans/emergency-alerts.html

 

Additional information about CMAS is available on the FEMA website: http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/cmas.shtm  

Thumb Cellular Donates $2,000 to Area Charities

The votes are in, and Thumb Cellular is excited to announce $2,000 in donations to local charities, including $800 to My Friends Care Cancer Fund – In Honor of Lauren Hood.

For more than 10 years, employees at Thumb Cellular have participated in the “Casual for a Cause” effort.  Each Friday the employees at Thumb Cellular have the option to wear jeans to work in exchange for a $2 donation to the Casual Fund.  At the end of the year, the staff at Thumb Cellular selects charities to donate the funds they’ve collected. This year they decided to do it a bit differently.  They asked their customers to nominate a charity that they thought deserved the donation, then voting took place on the top five nominated charities.

The top five charities nominated were Thumb Industries, Human Development Commission’s Foster Grandparent Program, Kingston United Methodist Food Pantry, My Friends Care (In Honor of Lauren Hood) and Brown City Schools-Be the Change.  After 30 days of voting, over 5,000 votes were cast on the Thumb Cellular website and in the offices.

The charity that received the most votes was My Friends Care Cancer Fund – In Honor of Lauren Hood.  Lauren Hood is the 2 year old daughter of Shane and Colleen Hood of Caro.  She was recently diagnosed with a rare metabolic storage disorder called Hurler’s Syndrome and needs a bone marrow transplant.

Thumb Industries came in second place and received $500; Kingston United Methodist Church Food Pantry came in third place and received $300; fourth and fifth places went to Brown City – Be the Change and Human Development Commission’s Foster Grandparent Program which received $200 each.  For more information on these great organizations, visit www.thumbcellular.com/charity.

“We were overwhelmed by the participation from the community throughout this process.  I think they chose some great charities for us to donate to and hopefully also raised some awareness for these organizations in the process,” said Paul Picklo, Thumb Cellular general manager.

Thumb Cellular to Launch Commercial Alert System

PIGEON, MI – Testing has begun for the new Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) that will be launched by Thumb Cellular this April.

Using CMAS, Thumb Cellular will forward alerts from government agencies to individuals’ wireless devices, informing subscribers of public safety and severe weather emergencies.

When fully operational in April, CMAS will provide three types of messages—Presidential (national defense), Imminent Threat (severe weather or public safety emergency), and AMBER (child abduction) alerts. These alerts will be sent free of charge to wireless subscribers in a targeted geographic area corresponding to the scope of the emergency. In the event of an emergency, such as a tornado or flood, the alerts will provide information about actions that wireless customers can take to protect themselves and their property. 

Of the three types of alerts, two of them (Imminent Threat and AMBER) can be opted out of by the customer.  The Presidential alerts will be received by all subscribers who have a CMAS-capable device.

“The testing went fairly well,” stated Paul Picklo, general manager of Thumb Cellular.  “We had a couple of hiccups, most notably that we had a setting in the test platform to rebroadcast the message every five hours, which caused some confusion and aggravation to some customers.”

“We truly apologize for that,” Picklo said. “We found the error, and we don’t anticipate that happening again.”

Currently, Thumb Cellular has only limited models that have the capabilities of accepting CMAS messages.  They include the Motorola Milestone X2 and a couple of newer BlackBerry devices.

“This government initiative wasn’t mandatory so not all carriers chose to participate; therefore not all phone manufacturers have been building the CMAS capabilities into their devices.  Going forward, however, we’re going to see many more devices that that have accept the CMAS messages,” Picklo said.

“It’s one of those things we hope we never have to use, but if we do Thumb Cellular and our customers are ready,” Picklo said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are implementing CMAS as a result of the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act passed by Congress in 2006.

Additional information about CMAS is available on the FEMA website: http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/cmas.shtm 

Thumb Cellular Asks for Customers’ Input on Yearly “Casual for a Cause” Donation

For more than 10 years, employees at Thumb Cellular have participated in the “Casual for a Cause” effort.  Each Friday the employees at Thumb Cellular have the option to wear jeans to work in exchange for a $2 donation to the Casual Fund.  At the end of the year, the staff at Thumb Cellular selects charities to donate the funds they’ve collected. This year they’ve decided to do it a bit differently.  They are asking their customers to nominate a charity that they think deserves the donation. 

Thumb Cellular is taking nominations from now until February 15th.  You can nominate your favorite charity one of several ways:  Visit the Thumb Cellular website (www.thumbcellular.com/charity) and click the “nominate a charity” link, text the name of a charity to 4483 (GIVE), post it on their facebook wall, send a tweet (@thumbcellular), email them at sales@thumbcellular.com or stop into one of their offices to submit your nomination.   Customers may send one nomination per day.  On February 16th  the top 5 nominated charities will be announced and voting will begin.  Customers can then cast their votes (via text, online or in person). The charity with the most votes will receive a $800 donation.  The charity in second place will receive $500; third place will receive $300; fourth and fifth place will receive $200 each.

“There are a number of great organizations in our area, so we thought this year we’d let our customers help determine where these funds go,” said Paul Picklo, Thumb Cellular general manager.

So Thumb Cellular is asking you to log in, stop in, tweet or text them your favorite charity to help put them in the running for a donation.

Thumb Cellular Partners with Verizon to Bring LTE to Michigan’s Thumb Area

PIGEON, MI., Jan. 7, 2011 / -- Thumb Cellular has entered into an agreement with Verizon Wireless to participate in the LTE in Rural America program. Under this program, Thumb will deploy and operate a state of the art 4G LTE wireless network which will provide greater telecommunications capabilities and choices for the residents of Michigan’s Thumb area.

Ed Eichler, President of Thumb, said, “We have a commitment to the communities that we serve and a dedication to maintain state of the art technologies for those that live in our service areas.  Our decision to deploy LTE technology with its blazing fast speeds will benefit our customers and will complement our current wireline, and wireless CDMA services to provide the best broadband experience for our existing and new subscribers.”

"Thumb is a forward-looking wireless company and a broadband leader in their community. We are looking forward to working with Thumb to ensure that the people of Michigan’s Thumb area will benefit from 4G LTE service," said Molly Feldman, VP of Business Development for Verizon Wireless.

Under the agreement, Verizon Wireless will lease to Thumb its 700 MHz upper C block wireless spectrum in the Thumb Cellular service areas where Verizon Wireless has not constructed a network. Using the leased spectrum, Thumb will construct and operate a 4G LTE network in three counties in Michigan serving Thumb customers, Verizon Wireless customers and customers of other LTE in Rural America participants. In addition, Thumb customers will have access to Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network throughout the United States.

About Thumb Cellular:  Thumb Cellular is a subsidiary of Agri-Valley Communications which has a long and rich history of meeting the telecommunications needs of the rural communities it serves.  Agri-Valley Communications is a locally- and family-owned business which is parent to Thumb Cellular, Agri-Valley Broadband, Agri-Valley Services and Pigeon Telephone Company, an independent local exchange carrier. 

Thumb Cellular Goes Casual For a Cause

It’s been another exciting year for the employees at Thumb Cellular as they participated in the Casual For a Cause effort.  Each Friday the employees at Thumb Cellular have the option to wear jeans to work in exchange for a $2 donation to the Casual Fund.  At the end of the year, each of the four Thumb Cellular offices select a charity in their area to donate the funds they’ve collected.  This year each office donated $500 to the charity of their choice. 

The Pigeon Office chose to donate to Military Mailing Day which took place in Pigeon on November 9, 2010.  Military Mailing Day was a collaborative effort between the Pigeon District Library, the Pigeon Post Office, the Pigeon Rotary Club and Elkton-Pigeon Bay Port Schools.  Care packages were sent to military men and women serving overseas and in the US as a way to say ‘thank-you’ for their service.

The staff in the Bad Axe Office donated $500 to the Huron County Interfaith Clothe-A-Child program.  For more than 30 years, Huron County’s Interfaith Board, which oversees the Clothe-A-Child project, has provided area kids in need with a new outfit just in time for the holiday season.

The ladies at the Caro office chose to donate their $500 to Cass City Rotary’s Christmas for Kids program.  The Cass City Rotary Club has made it a tradition to reach out to families in need at Christmas, fulfilling the wishes of youngsters who might otherwise find very little under their trees.

The Sanilac County Child Abuse and Prevention Council was the charity of choice for the Sandusky office.  The Sanilac County Child Abuse and Prevention Council’s was founded in 1992 and its mission is to stand up for safe and happy children, because “it shouldn’t hurt to be a little squirt.”

Paul Picklo, GM of Thumb Cellular, explains, “Thumb Cellular and all of its employees enjoy this effort.  It gives the staff a chance to dress casual each Friday, knowing that the money they donate goes to great causes.”  

Staff in the Bad Axe office present a check to one of the Clothe-A-Child program organizers. Staff in the Caro Office present a check for Christmas for Kids to Colleen Langenburg from the Cass City Rotary Club. Tracie Schuette from the Sandusky office presents a check to Kris Kreger, member of the Sanilac County Child Abuse Prevention Council.

Thumb Cellular Scholarship

The staff at Thumb Cellular is again “Dressing Up” their efforts to help area high school seniors.  For the eighth straight year, Thumb Cellular is awarding three $500 scholarships to graduating seniors to use in their quest for higher education.

This program, known as “Scholarship Day” started in 2002, with employees of Thumb Cellular all dressing alike one day a month, in exchange for the company donating this money for the scholarships.

“In the past we have had many outstanding applicants and it’s an excellent opportunity for Thumb Cellular staff to see the quality of students going on to higher education from our area,” General Manager, Paul Picklo stated.

Last year’s recipients were: Emily Martin, Cass City High School; Tyler Bradley, Peck High School; and Hilary Edwards, Bad Axe High School.Each student was presented with a $500 scholarship at his/her school’s year-end awards ceremony.  The winning essays that have been submitted in the past eight years can be viewed at Thumb Cellular locations in Bad Axe, Caro, Pigeon, or Sandusky. 

Thumb Cellular plans to once again award three area seniors with $500 scholarships in the 2010-2011 school year.  Details on how to apply for the scholarship will be available soon.

Thumb Cellular wishes all students well in their continuing education. 

Thumb Cellular staff members dressed in their matching "Thumb Cellular Scholarship Day" shirts.