Items tagged with 4G

A recent and rather extensive test of 4G LTE networks in several parts of the United States revealed that competition is heating up in the high-speed wireless space. It also showed that Sprint, home of the "cut your bill in half" promotion and enticing unlimited data plans, still hasn't caught up with its competitors, though it's improving. The folks at PCMag ran 131,000 test cycles in more than 30 U.S. cities across the country. They partnered up with Chevrolet, which lent the team three vehicles equipped with AT&T OnStar 4G LTE. Thousands of miles later, Verizon... Read more...
NVIDIA, a major player in the graphics chip market, announced today that it's winding down its Icera modem operations in the second quarter of its fiscal 2016 and is open to selling off the technology. So ends NVIDIA's short-lived plans to break into the smartphone market, as it's now focused on other categories, including gaming, automotive, and cloud computing. The chip maker acquired UK-based Icera in 2011 for $367 million and, at the time, had big plans of getting into mobile. Icera was an attractive buy for NVIDIA because of its baseband technology, and in particular its line of software modems... Read more...
MetroPCS, the flagship prepaid brand owned by T-Mobile, is offering its customers a chance to upgrade to an unlimited 4G LTE data plan for just $50 per month. It's a limited time offer that's available until April 5, 2015, and if you sign up by the deadline, MetroPCS says you'll get unlimited LTE with no pre-planned end date "MetroPCS has a solid track record of giving customers the best value in prepaid wireless and schooling the competition at the same time," said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. "MetroPCS is at it again today with 4G LTE Unlimited for just $50 bucks, the best value... Read more...
T-Mobile may not have snagged third place just yet, but that hasn’t broken the carrier’s stride. Fans of the self-proclaimed “un-carrier” T-Mobile are getting another prepaid choice when the company launches the Simply Prepaid service on January 25. The plan starts at $40 per month, which nets you unlimited data, talk and text, on its 4G LTE network, though your data “bucket” is 1GB. Exceed the 1GB limit and your data speeds will be throttled (to 128 kbps speeds) until the end of the month. That’s actually not a bad deal.  The other two tiers in the Simply Prepaid plan... Read more...
There's a new SHIELD tablet coming to town, and this one wields 32GB of built-in storage and 4G LTE connectivity certified on AT&T's high-speed network. That's twice as much storage as the Wi-Fi version, and when you activate NVIDIA's SHIELD tablet on a qualifying LTE plan through AT&T, you'll receive a $100 bill credit that offsets the price difference. The SHIELD 32GB 4G LTE models runs $399 MSRP, versus $299 MSRP for the 16GB Wi-Fi model. The obvious advantage of having a 4G LTE radio is the ability to connect online where open Wi-Fi signals aren't available, thus allowing you to stream... Read more...
The wireless price wars have begun. Sprint fired off the first shot when it rolled out new Family and Individual plans last week, and now T-Mobile, the nation's fourth largest wireless carrier and former acquisition target of Sprint, is firing back with a deal of its own -- for $5 extra per month, Simple Starter customers can quadruple their 4G LTE data cap to 2GB. "People who use loads of data use T-Mobile," said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. "And it’s no wonder. The old guard telecoms punish people for using more data on their networks with crazy overage charges and fees.... Read more...
Earlier this week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler penned an open letter to Verizon telling the wireless carrier that he's "deeply troubled" by its decision to throttle data for the top 5 percent of users subscribed to the company's unlimited data plans. The way Wheeler sees it, Verizon isn't trying to relieve network congestion, but is instead targeting a group of users to squeeze more money out of them. Not so, says Verizon. The Verge got its hands on a copy of Verizon's response to Wheeler's angry letter. Verizon's response highlights the fact that customers will only see slowdowns in data service... Read more...
For years, Verizon and the other telcos have imposed limits on supposedly "Unlimited" data plans and justified those limits with dubious appeals to network quality of service. While throttling data usage makes a great deal of sense in certain contexts (downtown rush hour being an excellent example), most companies don't throttle based on time of day or local conditions. Verizon's latest attempt to slice off a bit more profit for itself may have been a bridge too far, however, as FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has gotten involved with investigating the company's practices. As we covered earlier this week,... Read more...
Verizon Wireless has a message for data hogs subscribed to its unlimited 4G LTE service, and to paraphrase, it goes something like this: 'Slow your roll, or we'll slow it for you.' To be more specific, starting in October of this year, Verizon will begin throttling the data connections of users who fall within the top 5 percent of data users subscribed to an unlimited plan using a 4G LTE device. This is essentially the same policy Verizon rolled out to its 3G subscribers three years ago. Now that more people are hopping onto 4G LTE networks, Verizon is trying to make sure that a relative few don't... Read more...
This week, Broadcom announced that it would exit the LTE modem market and shut down its LTE research division. The move comes less than a year after Broadcom bought Renesas' (formerly known as NEC) LTE modem -- and that purchase was supposed to give Broadcom a leg up in modem design after its own in-house LTE product had failed to ship. With Broadcom gone, Qualcomm is, for all intents and purposes, the Emperor of LTE mountain. The market shift has happened quickly -- look at where revenue share sat in 2009, when 4G was still on the horizon and 3G modems were the norm.   Qualcomm is still the... Read more...
Intel has announced a new partnership with mobile SoC developer Rockchip, with plans to bring new Android products to China beginning in the first half of 2015. The partnership will use Intel's SoFIA platform with an integrated 3G radio and Atom processor initially, though Intel does plan to deliver a follow-up version of that platform with LTE connectivity later next year. The idea behind the partnership, according to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, is to leverage Rockchip's market penetration and channel sales and combine them with Intel's own CPU technology. When asked, Krzanich indicated that Rockchip... Read more...
Securing patents is an important part of doing business in today's corporate world. Lenovo understands this, hence why it just agreed to purchase a portfolio of mobile technology patents from Unwired Planet for $100 million dollars in cash, the two companies announced. The deal also gives Lenovo a term-based license to Unwired Planet's patent portfolio. In total, Lenovo gains access to 21 patent families owned by Unwired Planet, the most important of which are for certain 3G and LTE mobile technologies. "This investment is an extension of Lenovo's existing intellectual property portfolio," said... Read more...
The FCC has approved an AT&T acquisition of Leap Wireless, which includes Cricket and all of its 4.6 million customers--but the agency did not greenlight the deal without caveats. AT&T does get all of Leap Wireless’ spectrum, networking equipment, and “other assets”, but the company will have to divest spectrum in some markets to avoid anti-competition problems. More notably, AT&T has agreed to launch LTE service using Leap Wireless’ unused spectrum within 90 days so that the latter’s (former) customers get access to AT&T’s 4G network, and LTE... Read more...
Technology development company MagnaCom thinks it has a new wireless approach that could revolutionize wireless communication. That's the bottom-line takeaway from the company's presentation (in-person demonstrations will be given at CES in January). With a sheaf of freshly minted patents and an impressive pitch, MagnaCom is claiming that its use of WAve Modulation (WAM) instead of the current QAM (Quadrature Modulation) will provide the bandwidth next-generation content networks desperately need. WAM vs. QAM To understand what MagnaCom is claiming, we need to first talk about the current system.... Read more...
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