Items tagged with LTE

It's a connected world—except when it isn't. Sure, there are a zillion (well, 280 million, according to Statista) free Wi-Fi hotspots around the world, and we're all almost always tethered to some device or another. But what about those times when you need to be connected, but aren't? Perhaps when you're on the road in a remote location, when you can't find a Wi-Fi hotspot, or when it's simply inconvenient to do so. Well, that's the problem always-connected PCs aim to solve. They're machines that use the practically ubiquitous cellular network to ensure that you don't need to worry about hotspots: If you need to get online, whether for work or pleasure, just boot up and your PC automatically... Read more...
No Wi-Fi, no problem. Back in June, Samsung rolled out its second-generation Chromebook Plus V2, which is a premium 2-in-1 convertible running Google's Chrome OS. Today, Samsung is expanding the family with the inclusion of a new LTE option, which gives you on-the-go connectivity when a Wi-Fi hotspot isn’t available nearby. The new model is simply called the Chromebook Plus V2 (LTE), and makes use of an unspecified Intel LTE modem. No other specs change with the addition of LTE, but the price of entry does increase from $499 to $599. That means that you'll still get a 12.2-inch Full HD touch screen display (300 nits), a Kaby Lake-based Intel Celeron 3965Y dual-core processor running... Read more...
There has been a myriad of complaints about the new iPhone models in their short time on the market. Some of the big complaints about the iPhone XS and XS Max include unreliable charging with many users claiming that the smartphones often won’t recognize the charger. Users have also complained that the new iPhones have less run time per charge and that the cellular and WiFi signals are weaker than on previous iPhone models. PC Magazine has taken an iPhone XS and had Cellular Insights perform testing on it and other smartphones using fancy Rohde & Schwarz measuring equipment. The iPhone XS and XS Max both use an Intel XMM7569 in part because of the legal wrangling going on between... Read more...
You may have noticed that the new batch of iPhones Apple recently announced do not embrace 5G connectivity, even though wireless carriers can't stop talking it. Apple is going to wait at least one more generation. That doesn't mean the new iPhone models don't deliver a bump in wireless performance. They do, as evidenced by results collected by SpeedSmart. SpeedSmart posted the results to Twitter and they show impressive speed gains from the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, compared to the previous generation iPhone X. Faster uploads and especially faster downloads can be seen across AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. For whatever reason, Sprint is curiously missing from the roundup. In any event, here's... Read more...
Qualcomm and Apple have been battling it out in court for well over a year with regards to licensing agreements and patent infringement. The pair has waged a war of words in public over the disagreements, and now Qualcomm is letting real world results speak for themselves with regards to the performance of its chips versus the "alternative" that Apple would be stuck with if it decides to completely abandon Qualcomm products. According to the analysis using user-submitted results to Ookla's Speedtest connectivity benchmark collected during Q2 2018, Android smartphones equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processor and complementary Snapdragon X20 LTE modem are completely dominating the... Read more...
Samsung is getting ready to release another smartwatch, and there are plenty of rumors and speculation leading up to the launch. There is also some conflicting information out there. The name is no longer one of them—in a new listing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Samsung refers to its upcoming wearable as the Galaxy Watch. It's a brand new listing with the FCC, so the information can be considered up-to-date and representative of the current build, and likely the final build since its presumably headed to market soon. On top of that, this is not the first semi-official confirmation. Just last week, Samsung registered the Galaxy Watch branding with the Korean Intellectual... Read more...
A new attack that takes advantage of flaws that are inherent to LTE technology has surfaced called aLTEr. The exploit was discovered by an international team of security researchers and is able to redirect users to hostile websites. The exploit works in part by taking advantage of the fact that there is no integrity checking built into the lower layers of LTE. That lack of integrity checking allows nefarious hackers to use DNS packets directing traffic to website addresses to steer user requests to malicious DNS servers. Attackers could then take the user to whatever website the attacker wants. These websites could be used to launch attacks of other types on unsuspecting LTE users. A passive... Read more...
Sprint is offering a deal that folks who are interested in one of the new slick little Qualcomm Snapdragon Always Connected PC Platform devices will really love. The deal allows eligible devices to get free unlimited LTE data for the entirety of 2018. There are three devices that are eligible for the free data offer, including the ASUS NovaGo, HP Envy X2, and the Lenovo Miix 630. All three of those devices are on the aforementioned Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform and employ a Qualcomm X16LTE modem. The 2-in1 machines look very similar to the Microsoft Surface Pro with ultra-portable detachable or convertible designs, some with keyboard covers. The fine print on the deal notes that the free... 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...
Researchers at Purdue University and the University of Iowa have just exposed a list of LTE vulnerabilities that could create quite a headache for carriers (and consumers) if not fixed soon. Using a framework the researchers call LTEInspector, eight of the ten new vulnerabilities were tested as working on a testbed with SIMs from 4 different carriers. Vodafone cellular tower in Germany (Flickr: Vodafone Medien) There are many possibilities of the chaos these vulnerabilities could create, but one brought to the forefront would let an attacker spoof the location of a customer, even without the appropriate credentials. In the list (which can be seen below, and was grabbed from the research... Read more...
The European Commission has been known to levy stiff penalties on some of the world's biggest technology firms over various anticompetitive practices, with Qualcomm now being the latest. In a press release issued today, the European regulatory agency announced it was fining Qualcomm €997 million, equivalent to more than $1.2 billion in U.S. currency, for abusing its dominant market position in LTE baseband chipsets. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons via Maurizio Pesce Specifically, the European Commission took issue with Qualcomm paying Apple billions of dollars over the past half decade to exclusively use its modem hardware inside the company's iPhone and iPad products. In other words, Qualcomm... Read more...
Amid an escalating legal battle between two technology giants, it seems that Apple would like nothing more than to sever ties with Qualcomm in the construction of its iPhone and iPad products. Apple relies on Qualcomm to supply high-speed LTE models for its mobile gadgets, but has been looking at Intel to replace at least some of its orders. Now it's being reported that Apple has MediaTek on the radar as well. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons via Solomon203 According to Digitimes, Apple has already switched half of its baseband modem chipset orders from Qualcomm to Intel, though the last we heard (in October) nothing was yet official. Industry sources tell the news and rumor outlet that Apple... Read more...
Qualcomm had a busy day yesterday. For one, the company announced a new flagship mobile processor, the Snapdragon 845, that will end up in high-end smartphones. It also unveiled always-connected Windows 10 PCs running Snapdragon 835 hardware, with the likes of ASUS and HP joining the fun. And if all that were not enough, Qualcomm has partnered with AMD to support always-connected PCs on Ryzen mobile platforms, with its Snapdragon X16 LTE modem. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons via Maurizio Pesce "Both AMD and Qualcomm have shown a consistent commitment to delivering products that redefine next-generation mobile user experiences," said Kevin Lensing, corporate vice president and general manager,... Read more...
The legal spat between Apple and Qualcomm has just taken an interesting turn, and this time around, Intel has been drawn into the mix. Qualcomm has just sued Apple (again) and it alleges that the company violated a chip software license agreement by sharing that code with Intel. If you recall, Apple began using Intel as a secondary supplier for iPhone LTE modems when the iPhone 7 launched in 2016. The modems are features in GSM iPhone models that are available for AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Given that Intel is a rival to Qualcomm with regards to winning lucrative contract dollars from Apple, it stands to reason that the company would be miffed if Apple was sharing its confidential software... Read more...
After apparently getting its signals crossed, Microsoft has finally settled on an official launch date for the Surface Pro with LTE. Microsoft Surface Chief Panos Panay made the announcement this week at the Future Decoded event, stating that the long-awaited tablet will be available on December 1st. If you recall, this date was first revealed by Surface Pro program manager Tim Golik back in late September. The launch date reveal by Golik was apparently provided by mistake, and Microsoft later issued a statement, claiming, "The Surface Pro with LTE will be available later this year. We will have more to share regarding specific timing and market availability in coming months." Things took an... Read more...
Microsoft is prepping a version of its popular Surface Pro tablet/laptop/2-in-1/convertible (or however you want to classify it) with a Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 modem inside. A peek at the Surface Pro's product page in the Microsoft Store now states that the LTE-equipped variant will be available sometime next spring, and not on December 1 as a Surface Pro product manager stated last month at Microsoft's Ignite conference. There is an FAQ section at the bottom of the Surface Pro product page and one of the questions asks when LTE will be available. It goes like this: When will LTE be available? The new Surface Pro with LTE will be made available for purchase at retail Spring 2018. We're excited... 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...
One of the things that helped T-Mobile to grow so fast was the reintroduction of unlimited data plans. We all know that "unlimited" really isn't unlimited though and when the T-Mobile One plan debuted it had a cap of 32GB of use per month before data prioritization.  That cap was raised to 50GB in September. Customers on that unlimited plan and many of T-Mobile's other plans had access to data in other countries baked in if they needed it.That roaming data was specifically for Mexico and Canada. T-Mobile has now stepped in and is limiting the amount of roaming data available to people in those countries starting on November 12. T-Mobile wrote, "Starting November 12, 2017 customers... Read more...
Sometimes the things that Alphabet/Google tries to do out of its X branch sound insane, but this is why it's called the moonshot factory. One of the odd projects that has come out of X is Project Loon. The idea behind this project is to strap hardware that beams internet down to the masses underneath high altitude balloons. X has gained permission to blanket the devastated territory of Puerto Rico with LTE internet access using Project Loon balloons. After Hurricane Maria made landfall and devastated the area, the electric grid and wireless communications are still mostly out of service. According to the FCC, a full 83% of cellular sites remain dark in Puerto Rico. FCC chairman Ajit Pai said,... Read more...
When Microsoft announced the current generation Surface Pro (4th gen, if you're keeping score), the company revealed that an LTE model would be added to the product mix. Well, it's over four months later and we still haven't laid eyes on this mysterious Surface Pro LTE. However, a new report suggests that the cellular SKU is just a few months away. This news comes courtesy of Tim Golik, who is a program manager for the Surface Pro. According to Golik, the LTE-equipped version of the Windows 10 convertible will be available on December 1st. We were not made privy as to whether the device will be available to purchase on that date, or if it will simply be available for pre-order. Microsoft refused... Read more...
The Apple Watch Series 3 was released last week to mixed reviews. While some reveled in the ability to make phone calls without needing to be tethered to an iPhone, nagging connectivity issues lead many reviewers to shun the hot new wearable. However, now that the device is out into the hands of millions of customers, you knew what was coming next: the teardown, of course. The folks at iFixit broke out their heating pad and knife to slice into the Series 3, much like it did with the previous generation Series 2. Inside, they found that the layout of the device's internals hasn’t changed much, although a "whole new section of RF chips" was discovered, which obviously relate to the newfound LTE... Read more...
Verizon Wireless has announced to 8,500 customers in rural parts of the country that it will no longer service them and all of their phones on their accounts as of October 17. The reason that Verizon Wireless is ditching these 8,500 rural customers, that have a total of 19,000 lines, is excessive data usage on networks owned by Verizon Wireless's roaming partners. In rural parts of the country where Verizon lacks its own wireless network, the carrier has partnered with smaller regional wireless carriers and allows its customers to roam on those networks free of charge. With the return of "unlimited" data plans, Verizon has decided this was a bad move and it is ditching those customers despite... Read more...
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