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AT&T 4G LTE now available for “nearly” 280 million people

Posted by wicked April - 23 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

AT&T has announced the latest 4G LTE coverage. This time around we are seeing coverage as having been added in five markets in five states. One area included in this bunch, Parkersburg-Marietta, deals with both West Virginia and Ohio.

Otherwise, the remaining coverage is as follows; Ketchikan, Alaska; Maui, Hawaii; Cambridge, Ohio and Meadville, Pennsylvania. While the new coverage is always nice to see, the better part may be about the network as a whole.

AT&T has said the 4G LTE build is expected to be “essentially complete” by this summer. And at the present time there is AT&T 4G LTE coverage available for “nearly” 280 million people. A full list of markets can be seen in this most recent AT&T LTE infographic.

And while the 4G LTE network rollout is expected to complete this summer — that just means more users will begin looking for AT&T LTE-Advanced coverage. We have yet to see much from AT&T in terms of the LTE-A network, however that did go live back in mid-March. Coverage was limited to one market (Chicago) and support was limited to one device (a mobile hotspot).

SOURCE: AT&T

Acer Intel smartphones won’t be getting the 4G treatment

Posted by wicked April - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

It seems that Acer has no plans to out smartphones that are powered by Intel processor and support 4G LTE networks. Aside from being a rather strange arrangement given the newfound relationship between the two tech companies, it also practically keeps Intel from getting into the upper segments of the smartphone market.

It actually keeps Intel out of Acer’s own home court in that sense. Taiwan is expected to roll out its first LTE network next quarter and while Acer will indeed be releasing 4G-capable handsets for the country, Intel won’t be part of the product lineup. Instead, it will be focusing on the mainstays of mobile device processors, Qualcomm and MediaTek.

This revelation is a weird one and Acer is not really saying why or how it arrived at that decision. Acer is one of the very few mobile device makers that have been parading Intel’s mobile Atom chips in their smartphones. Perhaps Acer wants to play it safe first as it rolls out a new breed of LTE-enabled devices. It’s not that Intel isn’t capable of supporting 4G networks but it isn’t just as well-established in that field compared to the other two.

If other Intel-friendly smartphone makers, like ASUS for example, follow suit, it might very well hurt whatever’s left of Intel’s aspirations for the smartphone market. While it will likely have a few products out there, it will soon be missing out on a growing portion of the market that is increasingly heading towards 4G LTE networks. Then again, Intel has almost all but thrown in the towel in the smartphone arena when it revealed its focus on wearable technology, but even there it will be facing stiff competition unless it manages to secure a name in the smartphone race.

SOURCE: Taipei Times
VIA: CNET

OPPO R1S spotted with Qualcomm Snapdragon inside

Posted by wicked April - 15 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

It was only the other day that the OPPO R1 was trying to make its way to the US and now it seems that a new variant is already available. It is also entirely possible that this LTE-capable OPPO R1S seen at TENAA is, in fact, the very smartphone spotted at the FCC, retrofitted with a Qualcomm SoC instead of the original MediaTek.

The reason for this substantial change is the addition of LTE support. While affordable, MediaTek‘s system-on-chip isn’t exactly as capable as Qualcomm, especially when it comes to network technology. If OPPO wanted to add LTE support, it would have to switch the SoC as well, making Qualcomm’s Snapdragon the reasonable possibility. The exact Snapdragon model isn’t known yet, but there is speculation that it would be an MSM8926, one of the LTE-supporting members of the mid-tier Snapdragon 400 family.

The rest of the specs of the OPPO R1S is fairly the same as the original OPPO R1, even down to the dimensions. You have 2 GB of RAM, though some markets offer only the 1 GB variant, 16 GB of, unfortunately, inextensible data storage, and a 5-inch 1280×820 display. You also have the 13 megapixel rear camera as well as the rather large 5 megapixet front shooter. Android 4.3 is noted to be running out of the box, which puts it just one version ahead of the original R1, but still one step short from the latest Android.

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Of course, the addition of LTE is the highlight of this variant. The specs coming from TENAA show that the device supports TD-LTE, which, unfortunately, isn’t the same LTE technology used in the US. However, if the guess regarding the MSM8926 is accurate, then the chip is capable of supporting both TD-LTE as well as FDD-LTE networks in the US, reinforcing our theory that the OPPO R1S will be the variant that will hit US shores soon.

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VIA: MyDrivers

Huawei Ascend P7 revealed in TENAA certification

Posted by wicked April - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

It’s been a long while since we’ve last heard about Huawei‘s next flagship, but now it seems that the Ascend P7 will soon be ready to take flight. A collection of photos from China’s TENAA agency reveals some possible features of the smartphone, including dual SIM support and a double glass design.

The profile view of the Ascend P7 reveals two adjacent flaps beside a power button whose shape and placement reminds of the Sony Xperia Z1. While there is no specific indication that both flaps cover SIM slots, should the Ascend P7 lack any extensible storage feature, then that is the only other possibility. Also not evident but somewhat implied in these batch of photos is the possibility of the smartphone sporting glass sheets not only in front but also for the rear of the device.

The back cover has itself also been the focus of varied leaks and rumors, some of them conflicting with each other. If this TENAA certification represents the final design, then we have a clear winner, which, interestingly, isn’t the same as the leaked press renders shown last February. Not only do we have a distinctly different camera and LED flash design, which shows no room for dual LED flash, but the placement of the front-facing speakers, camera, and sensors are also dissimilar.

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The Huawei Ascend P7 is expected to sport rather current specs, like a 5-inch 1080p screen, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, and a 1.6 GHz quad-core HiSilicon Kirin 910 processor. The device is said to support LTE of the TD-LTE kind, which, unfortunately, means little if no support in the US unless Huawei decides to out a variant that specifically caters to the US.

VIA: MyDrivers

OPPO R1 spotted in FCC with LTE support in tow

Posted by wicked April - 14 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

If OPPO has gotten you interested with its range of smartphones but don’t have the budget for the latest Find 7a, then this might be a bit of welcome news. Seen making its way through the FCC approval process is the OPPO R1, which, in this incarnation, has gained support for 4G LTE.

The OPPO R1 isn’t exactly the top of its class, but that might also mean that it won’t be as expensive as OPPO’s more recent devices. The R1 offers a mishmash of mid-tier and high-end specs, such as a 5-inch 1280×720 IPS screen, 2 GB of RAM, an 8 megapixel F/2.0 rear camera, and a 5 megapixel front shooter. Perhaps the two biggest warts on the otherwise decent device is the 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek processor and the 16 GB of internal storage which cannot be expanded with a microSD card.

The version of the OPPO R1 passing through the FCC, however, adds one more feature to the device that might make it worth the dollars. The smartphone is marked as having support for LTE networks, particularly the FDD-LTE Band 4 used by US mobile carriers. No word on pricing yet, though it will hopefully come lower than most high-end flagships today. However, interested buyers might have to look towards retailers for one, as no carrier has yet included one under contract.

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Those looking for the latest, or at least semi-latest, hardware might better be off spending a bit more on a OPPO Find 7a. This one sports a 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 and a 5.5-inch 1080p display. It also has support for LTE bands used in the US, as well as an international model for those outside the country. Of course, it will cost more, with a $499 price tag, compared to the $410 of the non-LTE OPPO R1 when it was announced last December.

VIA: SlashGear

ZTE V5 Red Bull tries to take on Xiaomi

Posted by wicked April - 11 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

ZTE has just a unveiled a new budget smartphone in China, one that it seemingly poised to rival a very specific contender. With a name like “V5 Red Bull”, this device seems poised to be ZTE’s answer to the Xiaomi Redmi Note unveiled last month.

The two might indeed be mistaken for the other given their very colorful facades, but deep inside the they are very different. The Redmi Note is a rather giant device, with a 5.5-inch 720p screen, an octa-core MediaTek CPU, 1 or 2 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, and a 13 megapixel rear shooter.

On the other hand, the ZTE V5 Red Bull leans towards a smaller, but still phablet, size, with a 5-inch screen still at 720p. Deeper, the two are even more dissimilar, with ZTE sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, of which two versions are said to be available, an MSM8926 and an MSM8928. But here lies ZTE’s trump card that puts it above all of its kin. It has 4G LTE support, something that even the Redmi Note can’t boast about. It actually supports both TD-LTE and, via unlocking, FDD-LTE as well.

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That said, the ZTE V5 Red Bull is aimed squarely at the budget smartphone market. A configuration with 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of storage is marked at 799 RMB, or around $130 dollars, and quite similar to the Redmi Note. A higher 2 GB RAM and 8 GB internal storage, on the other hand, will cost 999 RMB or roughly $160. For a LTE-capable Android smartphone, that might not be a bad deal. The only question now is whether ZTE has any plans of introducing it to other markets outside China.

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SOURCE: ZTE

US Cellular 4G LTE expansion plans detailed

Posted by wicked April - 8 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

US Cellular has revealed some details on their 4G LTE expansion plans. It is looking like they have plans to add more than 1,200 4G LTE sites this year. That will bring the US Cellular 4G LTE coverage to an additional 13 states across the US. But perhaps a bit more important for current customers — this means that “more than” 93 percent of US Cellular customers will have LTE available by the end of this year.

The carrier hasn’t offered a full breakdown of those 1,200 promised 4G LTE sites, however they did touch a bit on where the coverage can be expected. The expansion will be adding “vast” LTE coverage in several states to include Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and North Carolina. There was also mention of additional service areas coming to Iowa, Illinois, Maine, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

A list of specific cities and markets included the following; Oklahoma City, Emporia, Kansas, and areas of Door County, Wisconsin. We still have quite a bit of time left in 2014, which really just goes to show that US Cellular customers may still have many months of waiting left.

Along with the increase in LTE coverage, we are seeing plenty of LTE compatible devices arriving with US Cellular. Samsung Galaxy S5 pre-orders went live a few weeks earlier with shipments expected to begin on April 9th. Of course, there are also quite a few LTE devices already available such as the Moto X, Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4.

SOURCE: MarketWatch

Lenovo acquires 3G and LTE patents from NEC

Posted by wicked April - 8 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

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It seems the hunt for Patents is not over yet as Lenovo recently announced that it has purchased a portfolio of patents from NEC consisting of 3,800 patents filed in countries from around the globe.

The portfolio consists mainly of patents related to mobile technologies and features found in high end smartphones as well as standard essential patents for 3G and LTE. The company stated that this will give them the additional intellectual property assets needed in order to continue to expand.

No information has been released yet as to how much the company paid for the patents. This is not a rare move made by Lenovo as it recently paid $100 million to purchase 21 patent families owned by Unwired Planet related to 4G and LTE technologies.

Source: DigiTimes

Come comment on this article: Lenovo acquires 3G and LTE patents from NEC

EE’s introduces Kestrel, a 4G LTE mid-range device

Posted by wicked March - 26 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

The UK has their first true LTE mid-range device. EE is responsible for bringing this one to the masses, with their self-branded Kestrel. The device, in addition to being an LTE capable handset, has another feature many will be interested in: a staggeringly low price tag.


If you choose to get one with a contracted subsidy via EE, the device is free (frEE?). EE also has a new plan they’re launching with the device: £13.99/month for 500 talk minutes, unlimited text, and 500MB 4G data. If that plan doesn’t suit you, the device is still free so long as you choose a plan similarly priced or higher. If you choose a pay-as-you-go scheme from EE, the device will set you back a mere £99.99.

We know, you want specs. The device isn’t a world beater, but it does have some honorable heft to it. A 4.5-inch 540×60 screen fronts a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400. You’ll get 1GB RAM, 8GB Memory with microSD card support, WiFI, Bluetooth, and a 2,000mAh battery. There is a rear-facing 5MP camera capable of 720p video, and a 1MP front-facing camera as well. It currently runs Android 4.3, too.

If you’re suspect of a device void of a big name, rest assured knowing Huawei was responsible for bringing the device to EE. That’s a solid OEM backing a very respectable carrier device, and a low price to get it in your hands. We can’t complain with this one; its an all-around good deal.

Via: The Next Web

T-Mobile has best latency figures amongst major carriers

Posted by wicked March - 18 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Latency is one of those under-the-radar tech terms that is largely forgotten. T-Mobile, however, hasn’t forgotten about it — they’ve got the best latency figures, according to Open Signal. The Uncarrier has some of the fastest latency figures when compared to the other three major network providers, blowing one out of the water.

Latency is a pretty simple concept, really. In a macro sense, latency has to do with the time it takes for the carrier to send your device a packet of information. When you hear about an HSPA network , that stands for High Speed Packet Access (T-Mobile is HSPA), but all mobile technologies send and receive packets, and have latency because of it. Latency is measured in milliseconds, so keep that in mind when you look at these figures. A lower latency means a fster network, as it takes less time to transfer info.

T-Mobile’s LTE latency figures show they are between 75-80 milliseconds, which is about the same as AT&T. Verizon lagged behind ever-so-slightly at 85 milliseconds, while the Sprint remains the rooster that says “goodnight, everybody!” instead of waking you up with latency numbers of around 100 milliseconds.

When it came to other technologies, t-Mobile had similar advantages. Their UMTS network was faster than AT&T’s (104ms to 128ms), and their HSPA+ network also schooled AT&T (112ms to 123ms). When it came to regular HSPA figures, AT&T edged little magenta ever-so-slightly at 131ms to 134ms. Verizon and Sprint, who share similar EVDO technologies, were slower across the board.

Though they don’t have the coverage others might, T-Mobile’s speeds are certainly impressive enough. This is also not counting their upcoming 20+20 LTE rollout, which should improve T-Mobile’s figures, here.

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