Items tagged with 4G

 AT&T is already embroiled in lawsuits over its “5G Evolution” service, or 5G E, which the company claims enables speeds up to 2x faster than traditional 4G LTE on compatible devices. Competitors, however, have taken AT&T to task over this claim, and allege that 5G E is nothing more than a misleading marketing tactic designed to deceive consumers and gain a leg-up as true, next-generation 5G networks begin rolling out. A study that was just released by Opensignal seems to jibe with what AT&T's competitors have to say. AT&T’s 5G Evolution service is enabled by a handful of key upgrades to the company’s existing 4G LTE network: carrier aggregation, 4x4... Read more...
Back in January, OpenSignal released a mobile speed report that showed T-Mobile beating the competition in overall network connectivity in the US. The self proclaimed 'uncarrier' took the lead in five of the six categories, including 4G LTE download speeds and availability, though Verizon was not far behind. Now two months later, OpenSignal has published another report that takes a closer look at the battle for 4G supremacy between T-Mobile and Verizon. "In our national report, released in January, we saw T-Mobile win our 4G availability award by just a hair: while its users were able to access 4G connections an average 93.1 percent of the time, Verizon was close on its heels with scores of 92.7... Read more...
Alphabet's Project Loon team has sent LTE balloons up in the sky over parts of Puerto Rico. Project leader Alastair Westgarth stated in a blog post that his team was working with the government of Puerto Rico, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), FEMA, and others to make this happen. The team is also collaborating with wireless carrier AT&T to deliver emergency Internet services to the hardest hit parts of the island. "Working with AT&T, Project Loon is now supporting basic communication and internet activities like sending text messages and accessing information online for some people with LTE enabled phones. This is the first time we have... Read more...
T-Mobile recently signaled the end of data plans as you know them with the introduction of a singular option (with add-ons, of course), taking jabs at Verizon in the process, and now it's claiming bragging rights over its biggest rival in network performance. Make that more bragging rights—T-Mobile says its 4G LTE network is already the fastest, and now it's even speedier thanks to the roll out of 4x4 MIMO. "Verizon loves to scream about the massive amounts of money they’ve spent on their network over the last decade. It is a staggering, mind-blowing sum of money. But, here’s something even more mind-blowing: Verizon has spent billions on their network, and it is still slower than T-Mobile, and... Read more...
Verizon just launched LTE Advanced technology to bring 50% faster peak wireless data speeds. This launch includes 288 million people in 461 cities across the United States. Customers will be able to experience faster music, video, gaming, and VR streaming. How does Verizon’s LTE Advanced work? Verizon utilizes software that combines two or three bandwidth channels into one larger channel. This channel then sends out data sessions through the most efficient “route”. The technology is often referred to as “carrier aggregation” and it employs a combination of 700 MHz, AWS, and PCS spectrum. Two-channel carrier aggregations can produce peak download speeds of 225 Mbps, while three-channel carrier... Read more...
T-Mobile, now the third largest wireless carrier in the United States (behind Verizon and AT&T), is planning a series of special promotions for the holiday season. It's called Un-carrier Unwrapped and for the next month, T-Mobile will introduce a "special gift" for customers each week, starting with three full months of unlimited high-speed 4G LTE data. The three free months of data applies to all active Simple Choice postpaid customers, including business customers. Once a qualified user blows past his or her monthly data allotment and Data Stash, they can keep going without incurring any additional fees. As for how many customers realistically will benefit from this, T-Mobile didn't provide... Read more...
T-Mobile's outspoken CEO John Legere has never minced words when addressing the competition and he's been known to ruffle some feathers on occasion (you can ask Sprint boss Marcelo Claure about that). However, his latest Internet tirade isn't directed at Sprint or Verizon or AT&T, it's at a minority of customers who have been "stealing data" from T-Mobile through unauthorized tethering. When customers purchase T-Mobile's unlimited 4G LTE plan for their smartphones, they receive a fixed amount of LTE for tethering at no extra cost. Legere frames the offering as a courtesy for those times when broadband access isn't available or convenient. Should a customer reach their high-speed tethering... Read more...
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 Wireless emerged as the big winner with America's fastest mobile network, delivering... 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 that could be used in a number of wireless devices. Part of NVIDIA's hope was to bake Icera into... 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 anywhere!"Anyone activating a new line or upgrading their smartphone before April 5 can snag a Samsung... 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 are as, well, simple as the first. Jumping to $50 a month gets you the same unlimited data, talk, and... 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 movies and play multi-player games on the go. NVIDIA says the tablet is fully unlocked and has the... 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. Get Verizon’s $50 plan and use just one gig more data, and the price jumps to $65. It’s... 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 "under very limited circumstances" and only at "particular cell sites experiencing unusually high demand."... 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, Verizon recently announced that it would "extend its network optimization policy to the data users... 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 ruin experience for the masses. Image Source: Flickr (Mike Mozart) "We understand that our customers... 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 leading provider, no question, but ST-Ericsson, Texas Instruments, MediaTek, and Infineon all have... 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 would provide certain supplementary technology, possibly including the GPU, and said that Intel... 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 Jay Clemens, General Counsel of Lenovo. "It will serve the company well as we grow and develop our... 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 service will come to six markets in Texas within 18 months. Current Cricket coverage map But wait,... 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. All existing cellular technology is based on QAM. In QAM, data streams are amplitude modulated --... Read more...
Like a lot of companies in the run-up to CES in January (brace yourselves for the onslaught in the next few weeks), HP is announcing a fleet of new computers. The new machines are in HP’s portfolio of “Elite”-branded products and include a pair of notebooks, a pair of desktops, a touchscreen monitor, and education and configuration/deployment services for businesses. The HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 ($1,299) is a 14-inch (1080p HD) notebook that’s just 15.9mm thick, weighs 3.3 pounds, dual-core Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, and 4G LTE. The display offers optional touch capabilities, and there’s a handy Ultraslim Side Docking Station for easy peripherals connectivity.... Read more...
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