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Qualcomm Announces 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 Announces 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

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

Verizon Announces 4G LTE Connectivity for ALLSET Prepaid Plan, Launches July 17

Posted by Kellex July - 15 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Two weeks ago, we exclusively reported that Verizon would introduce 4G LTE connectivity to its ALLSET prepaid plan starting July 17. Today, Verizon made it official. After keeping 4G LTE out of its prepaid plans for years, Big Red will now allow you to “bring your own device” to ALLSET and not have to worry about contracts. Even XLTE-ready devices will work with ALLSET going forward.

The plan works like this - $45 will get you unlimited talk and text, plus 500MB of data. If you want more data, you can pay for BRIDGE DATA at $5 for another 500MB, $10 for 1GB, or $20 for 3GB. BRIDGE DATA expires after a certain amount of days if you don’t use it ($5 data after 30 days, $10 and $20 after 90 days). You can add up to two BRIDGE DATA packages at a time.

If you sign-up for auto pay, Verizon will also give you another 500MB of data at no cost. 

With Verizon ALLSET, you can essentially pick and choose the data package that would work best for you, like say the base plan (500MB), with auto pay (free 500MB), and $20 in BRIDGE DATA (3GB), which would give you 4GB of data for $65. That’s not bad.

Verizon will also make a select number of devices available for prepaid, like the Moto X, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, and HTC One. But again, if you already own a Verizon 4G LTE device, you can activate it on ALLSET prepaid, starting this Thursday.

From what I can tell, there isn’t a catch to ALLSET. For example, you should see full 4G LTE speeds and have no limitations.

Any takers?

Via:  Verizon [FAQ]

Verizon Announces 4G LTE Connectivity for ALLSET Prepaid Plan, Launches July 17 is a post from: Droid Life

MediaTek reportedly ready with 4G, QHD octa-core processor

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

mediatek_m6595m

According to a report out of China, MediaTek is getting ready to fan the flames of the processor market by releasing an affordable processor with support for 4G LTE and Quad HD displays. The MT6595 will be an octa-core 32-bit processor capable of running at speeds of up to 2.5GHz.

The MT6595 supposedly incorporates four Cortex-A17 cores and four Cortex A7 cores. Three variants of the chip will be made available to manufacturers. First, the MT6595M running at 2GHz and then the MT6595 running at 2.1-2.2GHz. The top of the line will be the MT6595 Turbo clocked up to 2.4-2.5GHz.

The China sources also indicate MediaTek is still on track to start produing a 64-bit chip before the end of 2014. MediaTek is really pushing chips with support for 4G LTE onboard, planning to produce 15 million such chips this year, as the Chinese telecom market starts to deploy 4G networks.

This move should also put pressure on companies like Qualcomm and Samsung to make 4G and QHD compatibility available on chips going into mid-range devices as these features start to make their way down the market.

source: cnBeta
via: phoneArena

Come comment on this article: MediaTek reportedly ready with 4G, QHD octa-core processor

Samsung Exynos ModAP joins the LTE big leagues

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

Samsung has just announced a new Exynos chip and this time it doesn’t bear the usual four-digit name. Simply called the Exynos ModAP, this latest SoC brings together a quad-core CPU with a Category 4 LTE modem, which will allow future Exynos-bearing Samsung smartphones to be available in more LTE-enabled markets.

Samsung’s self-made Exynos chips are no underdogs, being one of the first to implement octa-core CPUs and Heterogeneous Multi Processing (HMP) using ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture. Their use in Samsung’s devices, however, have been relatively few, foiled primarily by the lack of LTE support. That all changes with the Exynos ModAP. This chip is capable of handling Cat4 LTE, with theoretical speeds of 150 Mbps on downlink, support for duplex modes and support for both FDD and TDD bands, ensuring that the chip can be used in as many regions as possible.

The LTE feature alone might be enough to make the Exynos ModAP interesting, but of course there’s more. The chip is equipped with an Image Signal Processor (ISP) that is capable of handling 8 megapixels at 30 frames per second. According to Samsung, this allows for high resolution recording and playback, though it doesn’t really say up to what resolutions it can handle. There is also a 6.4 GB/s high memory bandwidth that allows more data to be shuttled faster to and fro processors and memory, translating to smoother performance even in more graphics intensive situations.

Curiously, the Exynos ModAP is noted to only have four cores, manufactured using a 28nm process. Not your usual Samsung octa-core flair. This could imply that the first beneficiaries of this new SoC will be Samsung’s mid-tier smartphones and not the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 as expected. But now that Samsung has the technology in place, particularly its new Exynos Modem 300, it is also possible that an octa-core version might be found inside the upcoming phablet as well.

SOURCE: Samsung (1), (2)

Sprint the latest carrier to push LTE as a replacement for fiber

Posted by wicked July - 7 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

screen-shot-2012-08-29-at-10-15-52-am 9to5mac

As this site has previously reported, wireless carriers are making it a point to push their wireless service plans to customers in areas that the carriers simply do not want to build out to. Considering these providers collect billions from the taxpayers of these areas (by promising to build wired connections to them), it seems rather unbelievable that the carriers could simply not finish building out, receive the benefits of the agreement and then push ridiculously bad plans to those customers.

But, we have seen Verizon do just that several times including recently. Verizon received $13 billion to build fixed-line broadband to the state of New Jersey by 2010, never came close to completing the project and then pushed their LTE technology onto those who didn’t get the fixed-line broadband.

Wireless-Google-Plus-cover

Now, Sprint is pushing a new service by VTel which allows for internet over Sprint’s broadband spectrum to those in Vermont who do not have better options (though to be fair to Sprint, they did not sign any agreement to wire the state like Verizon). VTel has twelve towers working and plans to put up another 157 through strictly private funds by the end of 2015.

“Wireless isn’t as fast as fiber, but wireless speeds are better than other technologies.” - VTel representatives

Those speeds include expensive plans, low data caps and average-at best service. For example, plans for VTel allow customers to buy data buckets ranging from 1 GB per month to 50 GB.

Untitled Three.co.uk

Want to stream Netflix shows on these plans? Are you a console gamer who downloads games digitally? Streaming in 1080p on Netflix takes up 4.7GB/hour. Download the latest Call of Duty: Ghosts takes up almost 40 GB.

IMG_1757 AnandTech

VTel will offer the service to 20,000 customers in 24 towns in Vermont. Sadly, as the Waterbury Record notes, “some areas will receive broadband for the first time.”

 

evleaks confirms Verizon offering of prepaid 4G LTE starting on July 17

Posted by wicked July - 7 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Verizon

On Thursday, July 3, a rumor broke suggesting that Verizon prepaid would be getting 4G LTE treatment. A leak by evleaks all but confirms the service along with the target date of Thursday, July 17, of course, he’s been wrong before. Even so, this should be a welcome speed boost for those who use the service.

What you’ll get with the prepaid service is unlimited talk and text with 500MB of data for $45. You can choose to add 1GB or 3GB for an additional $10 or $20 respectively. The kicker — according to the leakster — is the service will work with any LTE capable phone. So if you have a spare LTE phone and you’re looking to start a line for your teenager, or if you despise contracts, this may be the route to go.

source: evleaks

Come comment on this article: evleaks confirms Verizon offering of prepaid 4G LTE starting on July 17

Verizon 4G LTE rumored to hit prepaid this month

Posted by wicked July - 4 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

While Verizon Wireless prepaid service is a viable option, some may have been turned off due to the lack of 4G LTE speeds. Up until now Verizon has only been offering 4G LTE to postpaid customers, which ultimately means prepaid users have been limited to 3G speeds. But in a bit of hopeful news — it appears this will soon be changing.

Keeping in mind we’ve yet to see any sort of official announcement from Verizon, it is looking like prepaid 4G LTE support will be arriving on July 17th. Details have been shared by Droid-Life, who are reporting this new LTE coverage will be coming to the ALLSET prepaid plan. For reference, that plan includes unlimited talk and text with 500MB of data. In this case the data would be 4G LTE.

That particular plan is $45 per month. Verizon also allows users to add to that 500MB data limit with BRIDGE DATA. Options here range from 500MB for $5 extra per month and climb to 3GB for an extra $20 per month. Of course, we should caution these plans and prices could change with the introduction of LTE data. These prices are all referencing the current setup which includes 3G data.

Again, this is all expected to take effect on July 17th. Further details suggest these plans will be available for current customers (by calling customer service) and also by way of the Verizon website. Naturally, we would also expect to see some 4G LTE devices added to the Verizon prepaid lineup at the same time. For now this has yet to be confirmed, but with an expected launch date just weeks away it seems we should hear something official sooner rather than later.

SOURCE: Droid-Life