Items tagged with LTE

Mobile phones charged with energy taken out of thin air. What sounds like a modern take on a very old magic trick is actually the Unique Selling Proposition of a smartphone case developed by Nikola Labs and presented for the first time on Monday at the TechCrunch Disrupt event taking place this week in New York City (the Ohio-based company was selected to pitch to the crowd "after being selected by the TechCrunch editorial team and the audience").  According to its developers, the Nikola Labs case is able to use its proprietary energy harvesting circuit to capture the 90 percent of waste energy that a smartphone pumps out in the form of radio frequencies (RF) — Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE,... Read more...
T-Mobile has a new trick up its sleeve that may be a precursor to its Uncarrier 9.0 event that is scheduled for March 18 in good ‘ol New York City. According to a limited number of customers that have received a text from T-Mobile, some of their phone lines are getting a complimentary upgrade to unlimited 4G LTE data (for a limited time). The text that customers received directs customers to a T-Mobile promotions pages that states: To thank you for being a loyal customer, some lines on your account are being upgraded to Unlimited 4G LTE data, starting April 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015—at no extra cost and with no action required! Surf, shop, and stream with no limits on our nationwide 4G... Read more...
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That’s is the case with the second generation Moto E, which was announced this morning by Motorola. Leading up to the launch of the new smartphone, a product listing on Best Buy’s website suggested that the device would carry a price tag of $99. However, reality hit us today, and the actual retail price is a more understandable $149. However, all is not lost because Motorola has made some significant improvements to the second generation Moto E, with the headlining feature being the addition of LTE connectivity. Motorola also boosted processing performance, moving from a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 to a quad-core Snapdragon 410. Storage... Read more...
When it comes to Android smartphones for folks that are looking for respectable performance and specs at a reasonable price, look no further than Motorola. While Motorola chastises its competitors for pushing high-end smartphones that can touch the $1,000 mark (and higher), it is happy to sell you devices like the Moto E and Moto G that cost less than $200 off contract. Two weeks ago, the second generation Moto E leaked to the Internet courtesy of product listing on Best Buy’s website (you can actually still view it here). That product listing clued us in on a prepaid version the second generation Moto E for Sprint’s wireless network. Today, the Verizon Wireless version of the smartphone leaked,... 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...
Here's a cool prospect: Imagine making a call while on-the-go, and rather than have the transmission go through a tower, it instead goes through someone else's phone. This idea isn't new, but Qualcomm has the capability to make it a standard, and with LTE Direct, it hopes to accomplish that. LTE Direct has the capability to work with phones up to 500 meters away, much further than Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which in a populated city isn't really a tall order. The ability to place a call without major help from a phone tower is only the beginning of what this technology can do. Beacons could be placed all around the city that would aide in this improved signal, but have the added ability to broadcast... Read more...
If you somehow resisted buying an NVIDIA Shield gaming tablet earlier this year, you're in luck: there's a better model ready for your hard-earned dollars. The Android-based, gaming-centric slate is now available with 32GB of storage as well as a 4G LTE radio, with pre-orders open today. It's selling for $100 more than the basic $299 Shield (which is still available, by the way), which offers 16GB of onboard storage and Wi-Fi. Twice the storage and the ability to get online while on the road is a big deal for gamers. Some may argue that this should've been on the original, but hey, better late than never. As a refresher, the upgraded Shield still packs a Tegra K1 chip, and the new LTE edition... Read more...
Hotspots are becoming less necessary due to most smartphones these days offering tethering by default, but hardcore road warriors still appreciate having a dedicated device, with its own battery pack, to provide Internet signals to a variety of hungry gadgets. Karma is stepping up their place in the game with the new Karma Go. This puck takes the place of the original, which relied on Sprint's WiMAX network. Now that LTE has shown to be the market leader, the Karma Go gains LTE support. The Go is, at its core, an LTE hotspot. You turn it on, and you can get up to 8 gadgets (laptops, phones, iPod touch, etc.) online so long as you're within range of Sprint's LTE network. What makes Karma unique... 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 trickle-down effect has applied to technology for some time, but this feels more rapid than usual. Just a few years after LTE was introduced, and reserved only for flagship phones, Qualcomm has introduced a new SoC that could bring LTE access to millions of new users. The new Snapdragon 200 tier (namely the Snapdragon 210), will offer integrated multimode 3G/4G LTE and LTE Dual SIM for entry-level smartphones. QTI also today unveiled the company’s first LTE-equipped tablet reference design, enabling OEMs and ODMs to create and introduce a new class of multimode 3G/4G LTE connected tablets. Initial versions of the tablet reference design will be available with the Snapdragon 410 and... 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...
AT&T is eager to let the world know that it will be the first to offer LG's G Pad 7.0 LTE tablet. Beginning August 8, 2014, you'll be able to waltz into an AT&T store (or navigate to AT&T's website), slam your fist on the counter (not too hard, lest you scare someone), and tell the employee on the other side to hook you up with the aforementioned tablet. There are several pricing options, depending on how you want to roll. You can choose to be billed $12.50 per month with zero down and no annual service contract (wireless service charges apply), plunk down $149.99 and agree to a two-year service agreement, or fork over a measly 99 cents if you bundle the slate with an LG G2, G3, or... 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...
It may have taken a minute or two in order to correct a situation that should never have become a situation in the first place, but according to reports, Verizon Wireless will honor a second year of free data service (100MB/month) to Chromebook Pixel LTE customers who saw their service shut off prematurely. For some unknown reason, Verizon stopped offering some Chromebook Pixel LTE customers free data service after just one year even though the device was marketed as coming with two years of service. Following complaints and an eery silence from camp Verizon, Google stepped in and offered affected customers $150 Visa gift cards for their trouble. Now we hear that Verizon is working to correct... 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...
FreedomPop announced some big updates to its free (and almost free) mobile services. The MVNO has moved to Sprint’s LTE network to offer 4G service (and is launching commensurate handsets to take advantage of it) and is also rolling out a new $20 unlimited everything plan. The unlimited plan is notable in the MVNO world as not only does it offer LTE speeds, it also allows free tethering at 4G speeds. Once a customer uses up 1GB of data for the month, they’ll be throttled back to 3G speeds, but it’s a still a major, important feature. FreedomPop is expanding its lineup of devices to include the Samsung Victory, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy S4. With those phones in hand, users get an... Read more...
Hot on the heels of the news that Verizon is doubling LTE speeds with XLTE, the company announced that it will rolling out VoLTE (Voice over LTE) service to its nationwide network at some point later this year. “Choosing a national rollout on the nation’s largest 4G LTE network, Verizon can deliver a seamless customer experience for high-quality calling and other features,” reads a post from Verizon’s Debi Lewis. “From the beginning, Verizon’s VoLTE service will offer an HD Voice experience, using the AMR-wideband standard.” Verizon will support a “robust lineup” of smartphones at launch, and more will get a software update to support VoLTE.... Read more...
If you've ever initiated a call on your LTE-enabled smartphone while in an LTE area, you may have noticed what happens once the call actually connects. It's no longer using LTE. That's because Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) remains a fledgling feature, barely supported anywhere in the world, and certainly not broadly in the United States. As with everything in the technology world, that's changing. Starting May 23rd, AT&T will bring High Definition (HD) Voice using an "all-IP, VoLTE network." At first, only select markets will be tapped, but it'll spread like wildfire after the initial launch. This will allow those speaking with HD Voice to also surf via LTE. Initially, it'll be enabled on the Samsung... Read more...
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