Items tagged with WiFi

When was the last time a wireless carrier announced a new service feature without heavy marketing fanfare? Verizon Communications’ executive vice president and CFO Fran Shammo announced Wi-Fi calling for the service this week, but seemed to play down the importance of the feature. Wi-Fi calling will let customers use their mobile phones to make calls over their home wireless networks – a boon to people who are frustrated with spotty cell phone reception in parts of their homes. XLTE-Ready Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Wi-Fi calling isn’t a new concept – T-Mobile and others already offer it – and, at least... Read more...
Although the FCC is drawing the ire of many for its new stance on net neutrality, it’s important to remember that the agency is also doing good work to get Internet access to people who will certainly benefit from it. The FCC is “modernizing” its E-rate program to increase broadband Internet access into schools and libraries all over the country, including in rural areas. This week, the FCC hit the $1 billion funding mark, which is quite fast for the E-rate program, meaning that broadband is getting into schools more rapidly and more cheaply. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler A large... Read more...
In this day and age of creature comforts and ubiquitous access to the Internet, the simple act of riding on a high-speed train is not enough to keep passengers content, nor is slow Wi-Fi while traveling the tracks across the country. Ah, but rest assured that Amtrak has a plan to improve its crummy Wi-Fi service, so if you'd rather scroll through your Facebook feed than take in the sights of the land, you'll be able to do so. Hey, we're not downing Internet connectivity, and there are legitimate reasons outside of social media why high-speed wireless access on an Amtrak train is desirable, especially... Read more...
The art of flying isn't getting any less uncomfortable, but at least you'll soon be able to get online via one more provider soon. AT&T has surprisingly announced this week that it too would love to grab a piece of the growing Wi-Fi in the sky pie, boosting 4G LTE speeds up to 35,000 feet as flyers crisscross the country. The service, planned to be available as soon as late 2015, will rival the likes of Row44 (Southwest) and Gogo (almost everyone else). AT&T will be building an air-to-ground network in the continental United States based on 4G LTE standards, using it to blast high speeds... Read more...
To misquote a famous grammatically incorrect phrase, "All your Internet is belong to Google." Eventually, anyway. Word on the web is that Google is thinking about deploying Wi-Fi networks in cities where its Google Fiber high-speed Internet service already exists, which would be a double-win for such areas. According to Computerworld, Google made the disclosure in a document making the round to 34 cities that could be next to receive its Google Fiber network in 2015. However, details are pretty sparse, with Google only saying it will discuss its Wi-Fi plans and requirements during the planning... Read more...
Wireless network speeds have improved substantially over the past decade or so, but those who can't risk a drop-out or need to get things accomplished in the fastest manner possible still revert to tried-and-true hardline connections. Quantenna is hoping to change that mindset somewhat, by announcing this week plans to offer a Wi-Fi chipset that can push 10Gbps by 2015. According to a company release, development is already underway on an 8x8 MIMO configuration that would include universal support for MU-MIMO clients and 10Gbps speeds, not to mention boosts in performance, range, and stability.... Read more...
The in-stadium experience has become a selling point for venues, and there’s a new technology available designed to make it even better. UK-based Mobbra has a special WiFi technology called Massivity that’s both aware and can also handle massive (ah, hence the name) numbers of devices at once (about 500 per access point) without the normal congestion that WiFi access points suffer from. Massivity, coupled with Fangage, can deliver all sort of real-time goodies for fans in seats at sports stadiums and concerts. For example, users could get deals on snacks and drinks, get instant replays... Read more...
Nintendo said it's planning to disconnect its Wi-Fi Connection service for Wii consoles and DS handhelds on May 20, 2014. That means no more online play, matchmaking, or leaderboards for many Wii, Nintendo DS, and DSi games. In addition, users will no longer be able to share their own generated content, exchange in-game items, or download free add-on content or downloads such as new levels or in-game items. "We at Nintendo sincerely thank our fans for their continued support of our company’s legacy systems. Your enthusiasm for games made for these systems speaks to their longevity, and the... Read more...
It's a feature that many have likely overlooked given T-Mobile's current focus on being the Uncarrier, but it's one that was universally loved by international travelers. Wi-Fi Calling essentially allows one's smartphone to make a traditional voice call using their own local (U.S.) phone number, but instead of relying on a mobile tower nearby, it relies on Wi-Fi. In a world where international roaming rates can ensure that a 5 minute phone call leads to massive bill shock back home, the advantage of Wi-Fi Calling is clear. Today, Sprint announced that it too will offer the service. According to... Read more...
It's a wireless world we live in these days, and unless you reside in an isolated area far removed from civilization and devoid of electronic gadgets, you can't walk from the bedroom to the bathroom without bonking into a barrage of wireless signals. Should we be concerned? So far so good -- we haven't mutated as a species to carry around a third arm or anything of that nature, though there are something interesting things to observe in this Wi-Fi society we've built up. One of them is recent research by a group of 9th grade female students from Denmark who discovered that the wireless radiation... Read more...
Thanks to a generous $2 million donation from financier Glenn Fuhrman, nearly 80,000 residents living in 95 city blocks in Harlem will have access to a new outdoor public Wi-Fi network at no cost to them. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced the initiative today, saying that the Wi-Fi network will be the largest continuous free outdoor public wireless network in the nation. "Our new Harlem wireless network brings critical connectivity to residents and visitors, giving them 24/7 access to everything from education materials for kids, to information about Harlem’s rich history and attractions,... Read more...
There's progress, and then there's going too far. While you won't find too many technology lovers who are opposed to having Wi-Fi below 10,000 feet or being able to leave one's Kindle on from gate-to-gate, there's a fine line here that may soon be crossed. Enabling connectivity in the sky is a godsend for those who fly frequently and need to get work done, but by and large, all of this happens at a low volume level. The noise of one's keyboard is largely drowned out by the rumble of the airline engines, and there's a good reason that most in-flight Wi-Fi services don't allow VoIP or video calls.... Read more...
Now that folks are able to read their Kindles and continue racking up high scores in Fruit Ninja while their plane is taking off and landing, we suspected that it was only a matter of time before the deaded "10,000 rule" was axed for in-flight Wi-Fi. That said, we didn't see it happening so quickly. Starting today, Southwest Airlines flyers will be able to keep their tablets, smartphones, and other WiFi enabled portable devices connected to the aircraft's internet service for the entire duration of the trip, which includes takeoff and touchdown. As Southwest puts it, customers will have the ability... Read more...
You and fourteen of your friends can stay connected via AT&T’s new Unite Pro Mobile Hotspot, which will be available for $49.99 with a two-year contract starting on November 22nd. The Unite Pro boasts 4G LTE connectivity to handle so many connections, and it has a BatteryBoost feature so you can have charge your smartphone from the mobile hotspot itself, which promises 16 hours on a single charge. Other features include dual-band WiFi and a 2.4-inch color touchscreen, and the display offers a handy visual for finding and managing connections as well as tracking data usage. The Unite Pro... Read more...
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