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Sprint Lights Up 17 New 4G LTE Markets

Posted by Tim-o-tato July - 31 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Sprint lit up 17 new 4G LTE markets across the US this morning, bringing their total market count to nearly 500. Considering its LTE network launched in 2012, it has been a long road for Sprint, but now that it is live in Eureka and even Fortuna, CA, I can say that the rollout has pretty much made it to the end of the road.

Of course, Sprint will continue to deploy and enhance its network across the country, hopefully enabling additional bandwidth for data-hungry users. There is always work to be done on that front, and that goes for all US carriers, not just Sprint.

Take a look below at the full list of new LTE markets. 

New Markets

  • Auburn, N.Y.
  • Bethesda, Md.
  • Bloomsburg/Berwick, Pa.
  • Burlington, N.C.
  • Danville, Ill.
  • Dubuque, Iowa
  • Eau Claire, Wis.
  • Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, Calif.
  • Hattiesburg, Miss.
  • Hopkinsville, Ky.
  • Indiana, Pa.
  • Marion/Herrin, Ill.
  • Mt. Vernon, Ill.
  • Pittsburgh
  • Redding, Calif.
  • Rochester, Minn.
  • Utica, N.Y.
Via: Sprint

Sprint Lights Up 17 New 4G LTE Markets is a post from: Droid Life

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Nokia XL updated with 4G LTE edition in China

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Six months after the Nokia XL announcement, China Mobile and Nokia are launching the Nokia XL with 4G LTE connectivity in China. Sadly, the 4G LTE edition will not work elsewhere as it supports LTE Bands 38, 39 and 40 (TD-LTE or TD-SCDMA) only.

Other than added with 4G LTE supports, the Nokia XL is also updated with more RAM memory and a better processor. It now comes with 1GB RAM (768MB previously), and powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor instead of a 1Ghz dual core processor on the original Nokia XL. Interestingly while the Nokia XL 4G LTE edition measures in the same size, it is only weighted at 158 grams. The original Nokia XL is much heavier at 190 grams.

Other specifications remain the same, there is a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi b/g/n, 4GB internal storage and a microSD card slot.

Microsoft has recently announced that Nokia X series’ future products will be powered by Windows instead of a custom Android OS. The Nokia X2 introduced last month and Nokia XL 4G LTE edition are likely the last Android smartphones from Nokia.

VIA: GSMAreana

FreedomPop to offer LTE-enabled tablets with free voice, text and data

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

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FreedomPop has announced that they will be adding the Apple iPad Mini and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 to their portfolio of devices, giving users the opportunity to get a 4G LTE-enabled tablet with voice and text message service. In addition to those devices, FreedomPop will let users bring off-contract Sprint LTE tablets over to the service. A 16GB iPad Mini will sell for $319 while the 16GB Samsung Tab 3 will go for $199. These will be refurbished units.

FreedomPop says the purchase of one of the tablets will give users access to 500MB of LTE data, 200 voice minutes and 500 text messages per month for no monthly fee. The accounts can be upgraded for $10 per GB of additional data or unlimited calling and texting can be added for $20 per month. According to FreedomPop, the tablets will receive their own phone numbers not tied to any other account or device. However, if a user also has a FreedomPop smartphone, calls can be setup to come in to both their phone and tablet.

The company plans to expand their tablet portfolio in the future and may include some Nexus tablets. FreedomPop says they have already planned for “low tens” of thousands of units to be able to meet expected demand. Initial sales will be limited to markets where Sprint LTE service is available, but will eventually expand to non-LTE markets.

source: FierceWireless

Come comment on this article: FreedomPop to offer LTE-enabled tablets with free voice, text and data

T-Mobile’s Simple Choice Family plan has 10GB data offer

Posted by wicked July - 29 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

T-Mobile CEO John Legere really doesn’t pull any punches when calling out his competitors’ claims to offer the “Best Ever Pricing” when it comes to offering family plans to their consumers. What he is boasting about though is that his company is the only one among the carriers that can really back up this claim, particularly with their new Simple Choice program that gives four lines 10GB worth of data connection on an LTE network.

Based on a comparative table they posted on the T-Mobile blog, the normal monthly charges for a normal family plan for four mobile phones is $160. But the Simple Choice plan is just at $100 a month, which means each family member gets 2.5GB on LTE, which is apparently the average size of data that average people consume on a monthly basis. But aside from that, the plan also offers unlimited texts, calls and data (non-LTE of course), as well as tethering to use your phone’s fast connection on your desktop or other gadgets.

If international charges are your concern, the Simple Choice plan also has unlimited text and data in more than 120 countries, and there is no additional charges for this. Music streaming services are also part of the bundle, including T-Mobile’s own UnRadio, an Internet music service created in cooperation with Rhapsody with over 20 million songs on its database.

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The Simple Choice bundle is available for new sign-ups to T-Mobile starting July 30 and will be open to sign-ups until the end of September. With your $60 savings, as compared to the other carriers’ plans, this seems like a deal that is good to pass up. Think also of all the apps and games you can buy on that saved amount!

VIA: SlashGear
SOURCE: T-Mobile

Verizon Makes It Official: Throttling Comes to Unlimited 4G LTE Customers in October

Posted by Kellex July - 25 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Verizon took a minute this morning to confirm our report from yesterday, announcing that they are indeed going to include unlimited data customers with 4G LTE devices in their version of throttling, which they refer to as “Network Optimization.” Starting in October, if you fall into their top 5% of data hogs bracket and have unlimited data, you could see slowed speeds when attached to a cell site that is experiencing high demand. 

Verizon’s “Network Optimization” is different than other carriers’ throttling in that you should only see slowed speeds when on a cell site experiencing that high demand. Once you leave that site and attach to a new cell site without high demand, your speeds return to normal. Other carriers often throttle you no matter what throughout the end of a billing cycle. With that said, Verizon does note in their policy that if you are in the 5% of data users, they could slow your speeds through the current billing cycle and onto the end of the next.

In order to see slowed speeds under Network Optimization, you have to meet the following criteria:

  • Top 5% of data users (you use 4.7GB of data per month or more)
  • Enrolled on an unlimited data plan or feature
  • Have fulfilled their minimum contract term
  • Are attempting to use data on a cell site that is experiencing high demand

MORE Everything and other tiered data plans are not affected.

Verizon’s Network Optimization policy can be found here.

Via:  Verizon

Verizon Makes It Official: Throttling Comes to Unlimited 4G LTE Customers in October is a post from: Droid Life

Back in September of 2011, Verizon introduced a new initiative called Network Optimization that only affected unlimited data customers. What is Network Optimization? Well, it’s a little bit like throttling in that Verizon can slow down your data connection if you meet a list of factors, because they don’t want you to ruin the data experience for the rest of their customers.

The thing is, up until now, Network Optimization only affected the 3G connection of those with unlimited data plans. Since most of you are all on 4G LTE now, it really didn’t matter much. But according to sources of ours, along with at least one reader who has been notified of the change, LTE will become a part of the “optimization” starting October 1. Like before, this only affects unlimited data customers.

This is what we know. 

On October 1, Verizon will expand its existing Network Optimization policy to include unlimited data customers who use 4G LTE devices and “have fulfilled their minimum contract term.” That “optimization” occurs when an unlimited data customer meets specific criteria and hops onto a cell site that is experiencing high demand. This is only a temporary reduction, not a billing cycle throttle. Once that customer leaves the cell site under stress, their connection should return to normal.

Update:  The policy is changing somewhat on how long you could be throttled. From information we have received from sources (and now reflected on Verizon’s own policy), the throttling could last through a current billing cycle and on to the end of the next, should a user be on a cell site experiencing high demand. This is the exact wording for the potential throttling – “The customer may continue to be impacted for the rest of the current billing cycle and through the next billing cycle, but only while on a cell site that is experiencing high demand.”

In order to see reduced speeds, you have to be a customer that meets all of the criteria below (again, ALL of the criteria):

  • Top 5% of data users (you use 4.7GB of data per month or more)
  • Enrolled on an unlimited data plan or feature
  • Have fulfilled their minimum contract term
  • Are attempting to use data on a cell site that is experiencing high demand

According to Verizon’s Network Optimization page, as of March 2014, you qualify as being in the top 5% if you use 4.7GB of data or more per month. That could fluctuate over time, though we aren’t sure how often Verizon updates this number.

If you are worried that you may be impacted by Network Optimization, Verizon has options for you, though you you may not love them:

  • Migrate to a MORE Everything plan or usage based data feature
  • Use your device’s Wi-Fi options
  • Use VZW tools to track and manage data usage:
  • View real-time data use information on My Verizon and My Verizon Mobile
  • Predict data needs by using Verizon’s Data Calculator
  • Install the Data Usage Widget (available on most smartphones)
  • Dial #DATA from the device to receive a text with data use information

Beginning August 1, Verizon will notify its customers of this change with the following message:

Wireless strives to provide its customers with the best wireless experience when using our network. In 2011, Verizon Wireless launched Network Optimization, which slows the data speeds of its unlimited data subscribers with 3G devices who are in the top 5% of data users when they connect to a cell site experiencing high demand. Effective October 1, Verizon Wireless will expand its existing Network Optimization policy to include its unlimited data subscribers using 4G LTE devices who have fulfilled their minimum contract term. Based on your plan and recent data usage, one or more lines on your account may experience a reduction in data speeds when connected to a cell site experiencing high demand. Customers on MORE Everything or other usage-based data plans are not subject to Network Optimization. For more information about our Network Optimization, please refer to www.verizonwireless.com/networkoptimization.

The changes on Verizon’s site to reflect this move are already taking place. Take a look at the screenshots below of Verizon’s Network Optimization page today compared to what it looked like back on July 20. There used to be references all over it to Network Optimization only affecting those with 3G connections, and that if you wanted to avoid being throttled you should buy an LTE device. But now, those references have all been removed. The new page is setup perfectly to cover all unlimited data users, including those with 4G LTE connections.

verizon network optimization

Again, this only affects 5% of their unlimited data customers, which are those who use more than 4.7GB of data per month (as of March 2014). In order to experience the “optimization” or slowness, you also have to meet other criteria. This is not a full billing cycle throttle, it is only temporary until you leave a cell site that is under high stress. Edit: It could actually be for more than one billing cycle, if on a cell site under high demand.

Just wanted you to be aware.

Update 2:  Verizon has made the news official.

Starting October 1, Verizon Will Include Unlimited 4G LTE Customers in “Network Optimization” is a post from: Droid Life

Qualcomm is Ready to Bring You LTE Direct, Battery-Friendly Contextual Awareness

Posted by wicked July - 24 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Lots of apps nowadays – from Google Now, to Foursquare, to Keep – rely on locational awareness (more commonly referred to as “geofencing”) to serve contextually sensitive information, such as the number of nearby restaurants and friends. That’s all good and fine, but those features typically rely on a combination of GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth signals to function, which means using them requires sacrificing power.

Qualcomm thinks it may have a solution in LTE Direct. The technology, a device-to-device discovery service, piggybacks on LTE spectrum to help smartphones and tablets – thousands of devices at a range of around 500 meters, to be precise – to exchange information. 

The chip maker states that LTE Direct has several advantages over technologies like Bluetooth, most important of which is battery preservation. Because the standard offloads tasks like timing and resource allocation to the LTE network, the impact on battery is minimal; devices with LTE Direct capability can wake up and search for each other “synchronously,” instead of pinging constantly.

LTE Direct is also privacy sensitive, to a degree. Devices don’t reveal their identity or precise location to others. Because LTE Direct has much better range than competing standards and is platform agnostic, Qualcomm thinks it is well suited for applications in push advertising, searching, and loyalty services.

It’s highly unlikely we will see LTE Direct deployed this year, as it is currently undergoing operator trials, but the technology’s possibilities are exciting, to say the least. Qualcomm will be showing off unique use cases for LTE Direct at a developers conference on September 18-19 in San Francisco.

Via: Qualcomm [2]

Qualcomm is Ready to Bring You LTE Direct, Battery-Friendly Contextual Awareness is a post from: Droid Life

AT&T Launches Eight New 4G LTE Markets Across US

Posted by Tim-o-tato July - 24 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

This morning, AT&T announced yet another set of cities/towns that have been graced with their 4G LTE network. It seems that the network won’t stop its rollout, at least until every US resident is bathed in faster data speeds.

As for the competition, Verizon announced the end of its 4G LTE rollout quite some time ago, and we actually expected the same from AT&T, as both carriers are now focusing on LTE-Advanced in select markets. Verizon is also beefing up large chunks of its LTE network to XLTE, which simply boosts bandwidths in struggling sectors. 

But what about T-Mobile and Sprint? Well, both seem to rather announce new LTE markets at press events, thinking its best to light up 100 markets at a time, instead of gradually rolling them out. While it makes a better headline to do that, it’s hard to keep track exactly of the progress both companies are making for their customers.

Check below for the full list of new markets for 4G LTE from AT&T.

New Markets

  • Connersville, Ind.
  • Mankato-North Mankato, Minn.
  • Escanaba, Mich.
  • Van Wert and Mansfield, Ohio
  • Clearlake, Calif.
  • Huntington and Johnstown, Pa.
Via: AT&T

 

AT&T Launches Eight New 4G LTE Markets Across US is a post from: Droid Life

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Verizon Multicast LTE video coming in 2015

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

IMG_9890 hotdigitalnews

Recently, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo mentioned that their upgraded multicast wireless video capabilities will be commercially available in 2015. According to Light Reading, Shammo is quoted as stating that Verizon will start to embed multicast chips in handsets by the end of 2014 while the LTE network will be ready in 2015.

Shammo went on to explain the difference between 4G wireless streaming video and multicast video as:

“If everybody in this room was to watch the same video today we would probably bring down the cell site, because there wouldn’t be enough channels in that cell site to deliver the same video to everybody. With multicast, it’s one channel and one cell site and you can all watch the same video on the same channel.” - LightReading

I think that says more about the fragile nature of Verizon’s 4G network but we digress.

Multicast video is based on evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services. Verizon is hoping that this technology will allow it to compete with broadcasting. Additionally, Verizon hopes that LTE Multicast will solve the many issues that carriers have with be the ability to serve large numbers of customers gathered in one place such as a stadium without broken functionality in that area.

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One of the biggest issues continues to be the fact that existing devices cannot receive the service. Another issue is that Broadcasters see this as a direct threat to them.

“It is clear that in the future we have laid out for us that the wireless carriers wish to be our primary competitor. We have said this repeatedly over the past many years: We are at war with the wireless carriers. They want our spectrum; they want our viewers; they want our advertisers; they want our business.” - TVNewsCheck, Mark Aitken, VP of advanced technology at Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Verizon offers ALLSET PLANS for 4G LTE smartphone owners

Posted by wicked July - 17 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

So you finally have the 4G LTE device that you’ve been dreaming of. But then your connectivity leaves a lot to be desired so the LTE part of your smartphone is practically useless. Verizon is offering device owners a great deal to make the most out of their phones’ 4G LTE connection with their ALLSET PLANS, offering unlimited talk, text and at least 500 MB of data per month.

Starting at $45/month, the plan offers all these plus fast connectivity that they promise will make owning a 4G LTE smartphone doubly worth it. If you think however that 500MB of data per month is too low for your Internet needs, you add $5 for additional 500MB of data. If that’s still not enough, they’re offering BRIDGE DATA where you can add usage allowance when you think you’ll exceed your current one. Some of the options available are additional 1GB for $10 and 3GB for $20, both expiring in 90 days.

Another offering from Verizon would be useful for those traveling to the US’ North American neighbours. If you’re going there anytime soon, you can let family or friends living in the area know that you’ll be there. The ALLSET PLANS’ unlimited texting lets you send test messages to Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico without incurring additional charges.

Those already with 4G LTE devices can avail of the ALLSET PLAN and would just need to activate their contract. Those who want to avail of the plan plus a handset can choose from several handsets including the HTC One, Moto X, Samsung Galaxy S 4 and Samsung Galaxy S5. They are also offering for a limited time the LG Lucid 3 ($149.99) and LG G2 ($299.99) together with the plan, both in the online and retail stores.

SOURCE: Verizon

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