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Verizon 5G Field Testing has Begun

Posted by Kellex February - 22 - 2016 - Monday Comments Off

To kick off the week of MWC, Verizon announced this morning that they have begun pretty serious field tests for 5G, the next evolution in wireless connectivity. With 5G, as we have mentioned in the past, the goal is to push wireless connections that can handle multiple gigabits per second speeds and insanely low single-millisecond latency. Verizon also hopes that 5G will be able to handle “exponentially more connected devices” at a time. 

As of today, Verizon has been working with partners like Ericsson, Intel, Nokia, Samsung Electronics America, and Qualcomm on early field tests. They are using Verizon’s network backbone to test in both outdoor and indoor environments, which includes both residential and commercial buildings.

In the video above, you’ll see some of those environments and how these partners are testing. From home internet connections with multiple 4K videos streaming on multiple TVs, to mobile internet at gigabit speeds, to business offices carrying strong signals while processing heavy loads, 5G sure looks fun.

So when will we move beyond just field testing? It’s going to be a while, but Verizon did say they hope to start implementing 5G technologies in 2017.

Via: Verizon

Verizon 5G Field Testing has Begun is a post from: Droid Life

Samsung Gear S2 Classic With 3G/4G Coming to Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile

Posted by Kellex February - 18 - 2016 - Thursday Comments Off

Samsung’s Gear S2 Classic will soon be available as a 3G/4G model at carriers in the US including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. The device should arrive as early as March 11.

With a 3G/4G connected experience (4G is HSPA+ in this situation, not LTE), the Gear S2 Classic is capable of carrying on text conversations, receiving/placing calls, sending/receiving emails, and being prompted with other notifications, all without a phone nearby. The watch has an embedded SIM that allows it to stay connected to networks as a stand-alone device. 

Each carrier will likely charge an arm and a leg for the device or force you into some sort of contract to give it service. At this time, none of the carriers have provided pricing. However, it should arrive shortly, since March 11 is only a few weeks away.

As a recap, the Gear S2 Classic is the classicly-styled smartwatch from Samsung that runs their Tizen OS. It sports a 1.2-inch Circular Super AMOLED display (360×360), dual core processor, 4GB storage, 512MB RAM, IP68 dust and water resistance, NFC, Bluetooth, WiFi, and a 300mAh battery that can last from 2-3 days.

Via:  Samsung | AT&T | T-Mobile | Verizon

Samsung Gear S2 Classic With 3G/4G Coming to Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile is a post from: Droid Life

Alcatel OneTouch Ride-Fi hotspot available through Sprint

Posted by wicked February - 12 - 2016 - Friday Comments Off


The Ride-Fi portable LTE hotspot can now be picked up via the Sprint website, with the gadget serving as a top travel companion for those longer journeys.

The 4G LTE hotspot works via a connection to a DC power connector and from there users can expect support for up to eight wireless devices simultaneously.

Those interested in grabbing the Ride-Fi portable LTE hotspot can pick up the stick for 24 monthly installments of $7, taking the total spend to $168.

Sprint’s gadget supports tech devices of all shapes and sizes and means passengers can kick back, relax and browse the web, check email, watch videos and more.

Ride-Fi also arrives with built-in Wi-Fi and network signal strength indicators, meaning it’s easy to tell when the LTE accessory is running at full speed. When it comes to charging, plugging in a USB 2.0 cable will juice it up.

We’d say the key feature here setting apart the Ride-Fi portable LTE hotspot from other similar products is DC power support.

The fact that you can simply slot the gadget into a cigarette charger and go from there is a god-send for folk that don’t like carrying around cables all the time.

If you’re looking to stay connected in the car, the Alcatel OneTouch Ride-Fi hotspot is worth considering.

Come comment on this article: Alcatel OneTouch Ride-Fi hotspot available through Sprint

T-Mobile Promo Gets You 4 Lines of Unlimited LTE for $150

Posted by Kellex February - 3 - 2016 - Wednesday Comments Off

This morning, OpenSignal released a new report that T-Mobile is quite excited about, because it mentions their network as “closing the gap with Verizon.” That’s a big deal because Verizon’s network is almost always at the top of the charts when we think of the best network in the wireless business. To celebrate this gap closing news, T-Mobile is kicking off a new family promo that gets a family of four onto unlimited LTE data lines for $150 per month. 

The plan is similar to the one T-Mobile has opened up a couple of times now that gives families of four 10GB of data per line for $120. With this unlimited LTE plan, T-Mobile is charging you $50 per line for the first three lines and then giving you the fourth for free. It’s really that simple.

Of course, T-Mobile still offers the 10GB per line for $120 deal as well, in case you don’t need unlimited. Also, keep in mind that you can combine this new family plan with T-Mobile’s half off smartphone event.

T-Mobile says that in order to qualify for this promo, there are “no number port-ins, no trade-ins, and no need to purchase a new phone.” The deal is open to new and existing customers.

More on this new T-Mobile Unlimited deal, head over to T-Mo’s site.

Via:  T-Mobile

T-Mobile Promo Gets You 4 Lines of Unlimited LTE for $150 is a post from: Droid Life

Altair Semiconductor purchased by Sony for $212 million

Posted by wicked January - 26 - 2016 - Tuesday Comments Off


Sony announced today that they reached an agreement to purchase Altair Semiconductor, an Israel-based company that owns and produces LTE modem technology. Sony purchased Altair for $212 million USD with an expected closing date in early February.

With the acquisition, Sony will likely shift to using Altair produced LTE modems in their smartphones as they will be an “in-house” source. Sony notes that the impact on their business will extend well beyond smartphones though. Sony is looking ahead to growth in two big areas – the Internet of Things (IoT) and wearables – where they see increasing demand for LTE connectivity.

Sony says Altair’s designs are already low power consumption solutions. Sony hopes to combine their modem designs with Sony sensing technology like GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and their image sensor technology to produce cellular-connected component devices.

Besides incorporating Altair’s technology into their own products, there is a good chance Sony sees an opportunity to produce chips for use by other manufacturers. Sony already has a robust image sensor business and sees their sensors used in cameras by many other companies. They would likely welcome the chance to build a similar business in the market for wireless modem chips.

Altair was founded in 2005 by former Texas Instruments employees. They only produce LTE chips which they say makes their solutions cheaper as they are not burdened with additional costs to support 3G.

source: Sony

Come comment on this article: Altair Semiconductor purchased by Sony for $212 million

AT&T Introduces LTE Modules for IoT Devices

Posted by Kellex January - 4 - 2016 - Monday Comments Off

Our first Internet of Things story of CES 2016!

AT&T announced today that they will make 4G LTE modules available for those looking to get into IoT or the “Internet of Things.” With these modules, made by Wistron NeWeb Corp (WNC), connectivity in IoT gets access to AT&T’s ever-growing 4G LTE network. 

Off hand, I couldn’t exactly tell you of a personal use for 4G LTE IoT device, but the option allows you or companies to connect almost any device to AT&T’s network. This should make for smarter and more connected cities, trucks, cars, machinery, healthcare, and more.

In short, a 4G LTE IoT module gives almost anything a chance to become connected without the need for nearby WiFi.

The modules made by WNC will start for as low as $14.99 and will be available by Q2 of this year.

Via:  AT&T

AT&T Introduces LTE Modules for IoT Devices is a post from: Droid Life

Verizon’s LTE-U might disrupt current WiFi networks

Posted by wicked December - 7 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

verizon wireless wifi

Verizon could change the landscape of WiFi in the United States if it insists on its unlicensed spectrum. The wireless carrier seems to be bent on clearing cellular congestion by depending on chips that will make use of free airwaves that are yet to be licensed. Tech giants like Microsoft, Comcast, and Google all agree that the intention is good but it may do more harm than expected.

Verizon is set to use LTE in Unlicensed Spectrum (LTE-U) that will take advantage of a combination of home wireless routers or small cell towers. However, this combination may disrupt the current WiFi networks that people are currently using. It’s not clear how but Verizon is getting a lot of complaints and oppositions by the likes of Google, Comcast, and Microsoft. The three even went to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to delay the implementation of this LTE-U and requested for tests to be done. In a joint FCC filing, the three wrote the LTE-U “has avoided the long-proven standards-setting process and would substantially degrade consumer Wi-Fi service across the country”. Of course, Verizon refutes the claim, saying they already have research to back the technology.

FCC has not made a concrete solution yet because it is only watching the debate closely according to spokesman Neil Grace. The commission wants all companies to work things out on their own. Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman, is believed to have said these words: “Folks, you’ve got to come together and resolve this in a broad-based standard”.

The unlicensed spectrum or airwaves are already being used mostly in local networks. In one household alone, several devices are already connected from smartphones to tablets to laptops, game consoles, smart appliances, set-top boxes, and more. The three tech giants–Google, Microsoft, and Comcast–are said to be making money out of those in many different ways. They communicate over WiFi and if Verizon gets into unlicensed spectrum, WiFi could be damaged and could be taken over by the new cellular technology the carrier is planning.

Other companies are saying the this LTE-U must finally be tested and approval before being fully implemented in the United States. Note that Qualcomm already manufactures LTE-U chips because according to the chipset maker, they can coexist with other technologies. That may be true for Qualcomm but the technology isn’t widely used and accepted yet. There must be a long process of testing and approval to ensure it doesn’t interrupt WiFi networks. Aside from Comcast, Google, and Microsoft, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision also believe that LTE-U would be bad for the WiFi network.

We’ll see how these companies work things out. They really have to be on the same page before it’s too late and a new, better, and faster technology is introduced.

VIA: BloomBerg

Nexus 6P is One Step Closer to T-Mobile Band 12 LTE Support

Posted by Kellex November - 16 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

You have probably heard T-Mobile customers ask about band 12 (700MHz spectrum) LTE support for this or that phone over the past year. They talk about it a lot because it’s a huge deal in terms of connectivity on their phones, or at least will be once their phones get support for it and T-Mobile builds out band 12 in their frequently visited areas. You see, band 12 (or Extended Range LTE), at least according to T-Mobile, “reaches twice as far and is four times better in buildings,” two areas that T-Mobile has clearly needed help in over the years.

The problem with band 12 right now is that there are a couple of situations at play that need to be fulfilled in order for it to be used. First, T-Mobile has to build out band 12 support to an area. Second, you need a phone that can take advantage of it. As T-Mobile has continued to cover its subscriber base with band 12, its phone line-up is slowly coming on board as well. It hasn’t been a simple or straight-forward process, though, as phones like the Nexus 6P are still waiting for it. 

When originally announced, Google said that they were working with T-Mobile to get band 12 supported by the time the phone shipped. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. However, as of today (or at least within the last week), it looks like we are one step closer to that reality.

T-Mobile has built out a dedicated page on its website that lists the phones currently compatible with their Extended Range LTE. The Huawei Nexus 6P is now a part of the list. I was unsuccessful in seeing when the phone was added, but it appears to be a recent addition.

So now, the Nexus 6P is fully certified, if you will, for T-Mobile’s band 12, but the phone isn’t fully ready as far as we know. It will likely still take a software update from Google to enable. Thankfully, Google can be pretty quick with software updates if they want, since they send them directly to phones without much need for carrier interference.

Band 12 LTE is almost here, 6P owners.

On a related note, the LG Nexus 5X has not been listed yet by T-Mobile.

Via:  T-Mobile | reddit

Nexus 6P is One Step Closer to T-Mobile Band 12 LTE Support is a post from: Droid Life

Qualcomm’s Reveals the Snapdragon 820 With Adreno 530 GPU, Quick Charge 3.0, More

Posted by Kellex November - 10 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

This morning, Qualcomm revealed the full details of its new flagship processor, the Snapdragon 820. With this latest mobile chipset, Qualcomm set out to create a technology that was “holistically designed around enriching visual quality and audio clarity.” That’s marketing speak for a powerful graphics processing unit (GPU), better image processing, and better audio out of a phone’s speakers. It also ups the game in terms of quick charging, has faster download/upload speeds than previous chipsets, and 2x the performance of the the Snapdragon 810.

Here is a bulleted shortlist of the new features:

  • X12 LTE Modem:  Offers 3x faster “peak” upload speeds and 33% faster “peak” download speeds when compared to the X10 LTE modem found in the Snapdragon 810 and 808. With LTE Cat 12 support, download speeds can reach 600Mbps, while Cat 13 upload speeds can rise to 150Mbps.
  • Adreno 530 GPU:  Offers a 40% improvement across the board over the Adreno 430, so we’re talking better graphics performance, computer capabilities, and power usage.
  • Kyro CPU and Hexagon 680 DSP:  Up to 2.2GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU that can realize 2x performance and efficiency over the CPU in the Snapdragon 810, along with a “significant” improvement in battery life. The Hexagon 680 DSP also allows for always-on, low power sensors and “ultra-low power advanced imaging.”
  • Quick Charge 3.0:  This new quick charging is 38% more efficient than Quick Charge 2.0 and 4x faster than “conventional” charging.
  • Spectra Camera ISP:  Supports up to 28MP capture, 14-bit image sensors, hybrid autofocus, and “multi-sensor fusion algorithms.”
  • Advanced WiFi:  Supports both 802.11ad and 802.11ac 2×2-MU-MIMO WiFi, which is 2x or 3x faster than 802.11ac WiFi without MU-MIMO.

Here is a quick comparison of the 820 to the 810 and 808.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 8.28.04 AM

Qualcomm still says to not expect any phones running the Snapdragon 820 until next year.

Via:  Qualcomm [2]

Qualcomm’s Reveals the Snapdragon 820 With Adreno 530 GPU, Quick Charge 3.0, More is a post from: Droid Life

T-Mobile intros 4G LTE CellSpot, your personal 4G LTE mini tower

Posted by wicked November - 3 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

T-Mobile brings Personalised 4G LTE Coverage to Un-carrier 7.0

T-Mobile is determined to make ‘Un-carrier 7.0′ reach more cities and be used by more Americans. In the US, the number of people covered by 4G LTE hit 300 million subscribers. The mobile carrier is very much in close competition with both the other top carriers. For the past months, T-Mobile has been introducing new promos, plans, and deals that are tempting enough if you’re not subscribed to this network.

A couple of weeks ago, T-Mobile brought back the #10Gigs4all promo for a limited time. It quickly followed the announcement about some devices getting Marshmallowed soon. Just last September, T-Mobile also expanded worldwide coverage to more countries and introduced the Lifetime Coverage Guarantee. There seems to be no stopping the company especially with the Un-carrier 7.0 as it launched the T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot that anyone can buy to set up at home, office, shop, or classroom. It’s your very own 4G LTE mini tower meant to be be used indoors up to 3,000 sq. feet (about 279 sq meters).

As expected, the outspoken CEO John Legere is confident about this one. He said, “The big difference between us and the carriers is that they’ll do absolutely everything they can to bleed you dry. We’ll do absolutely everything we can and use every proven technology available to give you the best coverage possible.”

This new product brings more personalization to Un-carrier 7.0 customers. If the Wi-Fi CellSpot Router is for WiFi connection, having a 4G LTE CellSpot doesn’t depend on a wireless network but more on cellular connection—specificallly 4G LTE. This means most services from T-Mobile are ready including HD voice and VoLTE. These features bring the best mobile LTE experience to anyone, aside from assuring that each 4G LTE CellSpot will provide the customers connection all the time. This is like the Wi-Fi CellSpot Router that was released last year but this one is 4G LTE -enabled.

T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot is available free for Simple Choice subscribers. If you depend on your 3G stick, it’s time to upgrade to this 4G LTE CellSpot. Unlike other carriers, you don’t have to pay for a new device.

Other Un-carrier products and services available include a Wi-Fi CellSpot Router and 4G LTE CellSpot Signal Booster. The 4G LTE CellSpot will be ready for purchase starting November 4, Wednesday, online or in select retail stores.

SOURCE: T-Mobile

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