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EE Rook offers 4G and Android for just £49

Posted by wicked July - 7 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

EE-Rook1

Another day and another carrier device, this time from the UK’s largest carrier; EE‘s latest own-brand device definitely pushes the boundaries of affordable devices and is aimed specifically at the entry-level Pay As you Go (PAYG) market.

The Rook launches today and is priced at £49 for new customers (plus a mandatory £10 top-up) and £39 for new customers and EE is calling it “the UK’s lowest priced 4G smartphone” which is technically correct as it costs £1 less than the Vodafone Smart Turbo 4 on PAYG. EE estimate that 44 percent of PAYG customers spend up to £50 on a smartphone and the Rook is designed to offer the UK’s only 4G experience at that price point

What do you get for your money? Aside from double-speed 4G, you’ll get a 4-inch 480×800 pixel display, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, a MediaTek 64-bit quad-core 1GHz processor and a 1500mAh battery. Also onboard is a 5MP rear camera sans flash and autofocus and a VGA front camera.

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The specs certainly won’t wow you but they definitely push the boundaries of what you can expect at the sub-£50 price point. The Rook runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, although we’re not sure how well it will run on the low-end hardware.

Sharon Meadows, Director of Devices at EE, said:

At EE, we believe everyone should have access to 4G and the experiences it offers on the go. The Rook provides a great 4G smartphone at a compelling price – allowing even more people to enjoy the benefits of our superfast mobile network from high speed web browsing and downloads to gaming and streaming.

EE’s decision to produce a budget entry-level device is certainly interesting given that both EE and rival Vodafone have – recently until now – focused on producing the best devices possible at an acceptable price. However, a tactic successfully implemented by some OEMs is producing entry-level devices to capture some of the lucrative volume market and the Rook is EE’s attempt to do the same.

Mystery Motorola Phone Hits FCC, Looks Like an Unlocked Turbo Charging Flagship

Posted by Kellex July - 6 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

A mystery Motorola phone stopped off at the FCC (ID IHDT56UC2) a couple of days ago looking like a phone that could be the company’s next unlocked flagship. I say that because the phone is slightly bigger than the DROID Turbo, supports almost every single LTE band (sans Verizon’s), 802.11ac MIMO WiFi, carrier aggregation (LTE Advanced), and works with Motorola’s Turbo Charger. 

There have been rumors floating about recently suggesting that Motorola may introduce a phone with a 5.5-inch QHD display, which would fit the description of a phone that measures in slightly bigger than the Turbo with its 5.2-inch display. In fact, a benchmark of a Motorola phone under codename “Kinzie” said specifically that Motorola has a phone with a 5.5-inch QHD display.

Take a look at the measurements of the phone below. This Motorola phone under model number “5137” sports measurements of 153.6×75.3mm and a diagonal length of 161.8mm. The DROID Turbo weighed in at 143.49×73.33mm and a diagonal length of 154.49mm. See, slightly bigger. (Also, side note, but the diagonal measurement is not of the display, so don’t try to convert that to screen size. It’s a measurement of the top corner of the phone to the opposite bottom corner.)

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 7.03.49 AM

Outside of measurements, we are seeing support for LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 17, 25, and 41. It also supports GSM bands 2, 4, and 5, which should make this perfect for either AT&T or T-Mobile. Seeing Sprint LTE bands in there is a bit odd, though, because we couldn’t find any mention of CDMA compatibility.

Update:  Not to get too wild on the hypebeasting, but a couple of readers pointed out that the with the Sprint LTE compatibility here, we are venturing into that whole realm of Project Fi compatibility. Just a thought.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 7.02.18 AM

As I mentioned above, we are also seeing testing for MIMO WiFi and LTE Advanced, so this phone should be really fast when you attempt to download almost anything. Qualcomm introduced carrier aggregation (LTE-A) with the Snapdragon 800 line, so there is a pretty good chance that this phone is running either the Snapdragon 808 or 810.

In terms of sneaky lit tidbits tucked inside these FCC docs, we may have stumbled onto a couple of things. First, the phone was tested with one of Motorola’s Turbo Chargers, so we know it supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology. With that said, the FCC actually tested the phone with 3 separate chargers. One is a regular Motorola AC adapter, another is the Turbo Charger (SPN5864A), and the third is a mystery, but does have a model number similar to the Turbo Charger. We did a search for it (SPN5886A) and came up empty. Perhaps, Motorola has an even better (or just smaller) Turbo Charger in the works for this year’s line of phones.

On a related note, we found mention of the battery as model FX30, but like with the charger, came up empty through searches.

Also, the FCC ID information has been tucked inside the phone’s Settings menu, which the FCC says can be accessed by heading into Settings>About Phone>Regulatory Information.

Finally, and don’t put too much into this, but I did find mention of a microSD card in one of the testing configurations. So keep open the idea that Motorola may give us a microSD card slot once again.

If we find more, we’ll update this post.

Via:  FCC
Cheers Justin!

Mystery Motorola Phone Hits FCC, Looks Like an Unlocked Turbo Charging Flagship is a post from: Droid Life

Unannounced 4G-enabled HTC smartphone passes through the FFC

Posted by wicked June - 29 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Unannounced HTC

This weekend, an unannounced HTC-branded smartphone passed through the United States of America’s official certification authority — the FCC. Information included in the brief filing documentation reveals that we could be looking a brand new mid-range handset for the Desire lineup.

Unfortunately, the paperwork doesn’t reveal anything about the internals of the device, but we do know that the it’s set to pack a variety of different connectivity options, including support for 700MHz, 850MHz, 1700Mhz, 1900Mhz, and 2600 MHz frequency bands for the FDD-LTE 4G network, in addition to Bluetooth Class 1, 802.11b/802.11g/802.11n Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS.

If you wish to view the full FCC filing – just click the source link below.

Source: FCC

Come comment on this article: Unannounced 4G-enabled HTC smartphone passes through the FFC

LG to invest $155m on R&D in India, could begin producing phones

Posted by wicked June - 22 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

lg-g4-first-look-aa-22-of-32

LG has announced plans to begin producing smartphones in India once its market share reaches 10 percent in the country, which is expected to happen by the end of the year thanks to the just-launched LG G4. The Korean manufacturer also plans to invest Rs 1,000 crore (approx. $157.4 million) this year on Research & Development (R&D) and marketing in India.

Soon Kwon, Managing Director at LG India, told the EconomicTimes,

“I reckon G4 is one of the best smartphones introduced in India lately. Leveraging this, my aim is to double our market share and increase the contribution of the mobile business to 15 per cent towards our overall revenue. Once we hit the 10 per cent market share (in cellphones), manufacturing will eventually follow.”

According to market research firm Gfk, LG has a market share of just under 5 percent in India but the LG G4 – which launched on Friday at a cost of Rs 51,000 (approx. $802) – is expected to be a big seller. Kwon said the company aims to sell 100,000 G4 smartphones in the next three months and the company will also add around 20 handsets to its portfolio across a range of price points before the end of the year in a bid to reach its target market share of 10 percent.

Indian R&D contributed significantly towards development of this device. It’s the first premium phone with dual 4G SIM support.

Opening manufacturing and R&D operations in India will see LG join the likes of global players such as Xiaomi, Motorola and Asus and local companies such as Micromax, Lava and Karbonn who have invested in manufacturing in India. One reason behind this is that the Indian government applied levies against imported devices meaning companies are now looking towards local manufacturing plans and knowledge to circumnavigate the large taxes due if imported into the country.

LG currently offers eight LTE-enabled smartphones in the Indian market which Kwon said makes the company the largest single LTE handset provider in the Indian market. Other players such as Micromax, Xiaomi and Lenovo all offer 4G devices in India – with Lenovo recently introducing the cheapest LTE device in the country – but LG’s vast range of LTE devices gives it the best chance of capturing the expanding LTE market.

The LG G4 tops the list of devices and offers the most credible alternative to rival flagship devices. Featuring a specs list that includes a Quad HD display, Snapdragon 808 processor, 16MP camera with color spectrum sensor and laser autofocus and an overall impressive experience, LG will be hoping the G4 does sell in the volume required to give the company ten percent market share.

The biggest challenge for LG however, is that the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Apple iPhone 6 are both available for cheaper – at 49900 and 42489 respectively – than the G4 and with a new iPhone due in a few months, the larger selling price could be a potential stumbling block for LG’s plans.

South Korea’s KT launches 1.17Gbps GiGA LTE

Posted by wicked June - 16 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

KT Giga-LTE promotion

South Korea’s largest telecommunications company, KT, has announced the world’s fastest commercialized mobile data service, based on its GiGA LTE technology. By combining traditional LTE coverage with localized WiFi networks, the service is able to provide consumers with data speeds up to an incredible 1.17Gbps.

KT has 200,000 LTE base stations and 140,000 Wi-Fi hotspots installed across the country and hopes to have the majority of the population covered with GiGA LTE. Current high-speed multi-band LTE-A implementations tend to top out in the region of 300Mbps, making GiGA LTE up to four times faster than existing networks. Although real world traffic usage and handset speed restrains will lower the achievable results, speeds will certainly be noticeably faster than before.

As well as offering consumers higher data speeds, KT is looking to GiGA LTE to help accommodate future demands on network bandwidth, which is expected to increase up to 1,000 times by 2020. KT suggests that this will be as a result of 8K video content and UHD hologram services.

Rival South Korean mobile carriers SK Telecom and LG Uplus have also announced that they will be launching their own network technologies that make use of simultaneous Wi-Fi and LTE data connections later this month.

“Around five to six more high-end and mid-end Samsung handsets, compatible with the GiGA LTE, will be released in the latter half of this year along with some LG Electronics handsets,” – KT

Of course, consumers are going to need compatible smartphones to make use of the technology. The first supported handsets will be the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which will begin receiving an update from today to make them compatible with KT’s GiGA LTE network. Other compatible handsets will be launched later in the year.

What is GiGA LTE?

GiGA LTE is part of the drive towards the still not fully defined 5G standard, which aims to increase available network bandwidth once again. Multi-antenna LTE-A technology was the first step down this road and combining long range wireless data transmission with high-speed local hotspot network access is what some envision for 5G.

KT has teamed up with Samsung Electronics for the past nine months to develop the GiGA LTE technology. Although we don’t have the exact details on how GiGA LTE works, you may recall that Samsung has been working on a similar type of aggregation technology for quite a while.

samsung galaxy s5 download booster screenshot

Samsung’s Download Booster technology showed us the possibilities available with aggregated LTE and Wi-Fi networks a while back.

The “Download Booster” feature found in flagship handsets like the Galaxy S5, Note 3 and Note 5 looks like the starting point for GiGA LTE. Last year US carriers chose to block network access to Samsung’s Download Booster, but they hadn’t invested in the infrastructure to offer consumers this type of network experience anyway.

The implementation of dedicated small node Wi-Fi signals is enabling KT to offer 1Gbps speeds to consumers over such a vast area. Samsung is most likely supplying the know-how on the mobile hardware and software side, to ensure compatibility with KT’s network and hotspots.

Qualcomm has also been talking a lot about this type of small node, big network concept for a while now and recently unveiled details on its own LTE-Unlicensed initiative. This aims to supplement LTE data with LTE-U small cell networks operating in the unlicensed 5GHz spectrum usually used by WiFi networks. Although hardware support across a range of carriers and network services is really needed to make LTE + Wi-Fi technology ubiquitous and suitable for a 5G standard.

Qualcomm Small Cell aggregation

Qualcomm has unveiled plans for its own LTE-U 5GHz based aggregation technology.

As usual, South Korea is leading the way with commercialized advanced mobile technologies, but GiGA LTE is a sign of things to come for all of us further down the line.

4G and 5G wireless: How they are alike and how they differ

Posted by wicked June - 10 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

5G Logo Huawei 2015-3Mobile network technology is moving at a relentless pace, and it’s being built around not one, but two industry juggernauts: Fourth-generation wireless or 4G and fifth-generation wireless or 5G. The assimilation of the Internet of Things (IoT) world into both 4G and 5G technologies makes this wireless labyrinth even harder to get around.

Android Authority takes a closer look at both 4G and 5G wireless realms as they exist today and show where the two worlds intersect and where they have clear distinctions. It’s is also important to define 4G and 5G, because the wireless tribe is an industry in a hurry when it comes to the generation game.

Ericsson research executive, Magnus Frodigh, has already shown his keenness to talk about the 6G cellular technology at the recent Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 in Barcelona. The generation game not only keeps the innovation spirit alive, it also earns the wireless industry precious marketing mileage that would otherwise take billions of dollars.

So let’s begin with a clear and succinct understanding of 4G.

The anatomy of 4G

4G is synonymous with Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, which is an evolution of the existing 3G wireless standard. In fact, LTE is an advanced form of 3G that marks an audacious shift from hybrid data and voice networks to a data-only IP network.

There are two key technologies that enable LTE to achieve higher data throughput than predecessor 3G networks: MIMO and OFDM. Orthogonal frequency division multiplex (OFDM) is a transmission technique that uses a large number of closely-spaced carriers that are modulated with low data rates. It’s a spectral efficiency scheme that enables high data rates and permits multiple users to share a common channel.

The wireless industry is broadly targeting 2020 for the widespread deployment of 5G networks.

Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technique further improves data throughput and spectral efficiency by using multiple antennas at the transmitter and receiver. It uses complex digital signal processing to set up multiple data streams on the same channel. The early LTE networks support 2×2 MIMO in both the downlink and uplink.

The LTE standard uses both forms of duplex operations: Frequency division duplex (FDD) and time division duplex (TDD). However, governments across the world have rushed to auction the frequency spectrum for LTE, and make money, without any planning and consultation. The outcome is the proliferation of LTE operation to a messy number of 44 bands.

Finally, a quick note about the LTE categories. There are different categories of LTE networks, and from a consumer perspective, they mainly differ in terms of theoretical speed. It’s worth noting that these speeds are theoretical numbers that are used to compare the maximum potential of the LTE network under ideal conditions.

LTE Categories

LTE-Advanced: The bridge between 4G and 5G

LTE Advanced or LTE-A is the evolution of the original LTE technology toward even higher bandwidths. LTE-A promises nearly three times greater speed than the basic LTE network and comprises of the following five building blocks:

  1. Carrier Aggregation
  2. Increased MIMO
  3. Coordinated Multipoint (CoMP)
  4. Relay Station
  5. Heterogeneous Network or HetNet

LTE-Advanced

Carrier aggregation or channel aggregation is a transmission scheme that allows up to 20 channels from different spectrums to be combined into a single data stream. Next, LTE-A raises the MIMO bar to 8×8 antenna configurations to increase the number of radio streams using the beamsteering technique.

Third, CoMP or cooperative MIMO, allows mobile devices to send and receive radio signals from multiple cells to reduce interference from other cells and ensure optimum performance at the cell edges. SK Telecom, which claims to have launched the world’s first LTE-A network in summer 2012, actually deployed an early form of CoMP.

LTE-A standard creates a bridge between 4G and 5G worlds.

Fourth, a relay in an LTE-A setting is a base station that uses multi-hop communications at the cell edges; it receives a weak signal and retransmits it with an enhanced quality. Fifth and the most crucial one is HetNet, a multilayered system of overlapping big and small cells to pump out cheap bandwidth.

HetNet, a gradual evolution of the cellular architecture, is a vastly more complex network as small cells add hundreds or even thousands of entry points into the cellular system. The self-organizing network (SON) concept is one of the key enabling technologies being considered for LTE-A applications.

Here, it’s worth noting that while LTE-A standard creates a bridge between 4G and 5G worlds, in many ways, the notion of HetNet is serving as glue between LTE-A and 5G worlds. That’s why many wireless industry observers call 5G wireless an enhanced form of LTE-A.

That makes sense because the main concept behind 5G systems is to expand the idea of small cell network to a whole new level and create a super dense network that will put tiny cells in every room.

Enter 5G

The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance defines 5G as below:

“5G is an end-to-end ecosystem to enable a fully mobile and connected society. It empowers value creation toward customers and partners, through existing and emerging use cases delivered with consistent experience and enabled by sustainable business models.”

Essentially, LTE-A is the foundation of the 5G radio access network (RAN) below 6 GHz while the frequencies from 6 GHz to 100 GHz will explore new technologies in parallel. Take MIMO, for instance, where 5G raises the bar to Massive MIMO technology, a large array of radiating elements that extends the antenna matrix to a new level—16×16 to 256×256 MIMO—and takes a leap of faith in wireless network speed and coverage.

5G TD FDD TDE LTE 4G Connectivity Carrier Network Tower Radio MBB Connected City IoT -9

 

The early blueprint of 5G pilot networks mostly comprises of beamforming technology and small cell base stations. The companies like Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung have launched pilot projects using these two technology building blocks and so far results have been encouraging.

The goals of 5G technology can be summarized in the following value points:

  • 1,000x increase in capacity
  • Support for 100+ billion connections
  • Up to 10Gbit/s speeds
  • Below 1ms latency

How 4G and 5G differ…

1. First and foremost, while the LTE-based 4G networks are going through a rapid deployment, 5G networks mostly comprise of research papers and pilot projects. The wireless industry is broadly targeting 2020 for the widespread deployment of 5G networks.

2. Wireless networks till 4G mostly focused on the availability of raw bandwidth, while 5G is aiming on providing pervasive connectivity to lay grounds for fast and resilient access to the Internet users, whether they are on a top of a skyscraper or down under a subway station. Although LTE standard is incorporating a variant called machine type communications (MTC) for the IoT traffic, 5G technologies are being designed from grounds up to support MTC-like devices.

3. The 5G networks are not going to be a monolithic network entity and will be built around a combination of technologies: 2G, 3G, LTE, LTE-A, Wi-Fi, M2M, etc. In other words, 5G will be designed to support a variety of applications such as the IoT, connected wearables, augmented reality and immersive gaming.

Unlike its 4G counterpart, 5G network will offer the ability to handle a plethora of connected devices and a myriad of traffic types. For example, 5G will provide ultra-high-speed links for HD video streaming as well as low-data-rate speeds for sensor networks.

5G - Mitsubishi

4. The 5G networks will pioneer new architectures like cloud RAN and virtual RAN to facilitate a more centralized network establishment and make the best use of server farms through localized data centers at the network edges.

5. Finally, 5G will spearhead the use of cognitive radio techniques to allow the infrastructure to automatically decide about the type of channel to be offered, differentiate between mobile and fixed objects, and adapt to conditions at a given time. In other words, 5G networks will be able to serve the industrial Internet and Facebook apps at the same time.

Best for 4G: Galaxy S6 v Huawei P8 v LG G4

Posted by wicked June - 1 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off
Huawei-P8-vs-LG-G4-vs-Galaxy-S6-Edge-AA

I often get asked which handset has the best network performance and reliability and usually the answer is Samsung, as for many years now the company has had by far the fastest LTE speeds on mobile devices.

With the change in build from plastic to metal and glass on the Galaxy S6 however, the company was faced with having to redesign its network antennae, so is the performance as good as past Samsung devices? How does it compare to the plastic-clad LG G4 and the metal-built Huawei P8, which comes with Huawei’s own extensive knowledge of mobile networks.

Which of these has the most reliable network connection, including call success rate, antenna strength and 4G Speed Tests? Let’s find out:

N.B. All handsets were tested using the same network – EE, which supports speeds of up to 300Mbps in the London area – and at the exact same time. The results below are based on a sample of 52 tests in 11 different areas spanning a distance of 170 miles.

Network Switch Rate

Galaxy-S6-Edge-vs-Huawei-P8-14

One problem with most current LTE networks is that VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) isn’t supported in large parts of the network, meaning handsets need to switch down to a 3G connection when attempting to make a call while connected to an LTE connection. Often, the time taken to locate and switch to a 3G network can result in a dropped call; both, when making a call or receiving a call.

The purpose of this section was to test the handset’s ability to switch from LTE to 2G/3G and vice versa, while also determining which handset remained connected to the fastest network for longest. During our testing, we found the following:

  Galaxy S6 LG G4 Huawei P8
Average Time taken to switch to fastest network 1 minute 48 seconds 52 seconds 41 seconds
Number of dropped calls when connected to LTE 21 dropped calls 11 dropped calls 6 dropped calls
Time connected to fastest network 49 seconds 1 minute 3 seconds 2 minutes 9 seconds

The network switch rate on the Galaxy S6 is certainly surprising given that past Samsung devices – albeit they were made of plastic – would usually latch onto the best network. The LG G4 certainly performs well but Huawei’s network coverage shone through in testing, with the Huawei P8 switching the fastest and remaining connected to the best network for longest.

Antenna Strength

lg-g4-vs-samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-quick-look-aa-2-of-14

This section tests how strong the antennae performance on each smartphone actually is. To test the antenna strength, we used the figures reported in the Settings > About Phone > Status screen. A signal rating of -60 dBm is recognised as near perfect while anything above -110 dBm is considered call-dropping quality.

Our testing shows that:

  Galaxy S6 LG G4 Huawei P8
Average antenna strength -91 dBm -74 dBm -62 dBm
Ratio of average connection (3G:LTE) 4:1 1:5 1:8
Occurrences of zero signal (out of 52 tests) 13 3 3

The Galaxy S6 again fails to excite here, with the handset often not even connecting to LTE. Considering that this particular unit may have been faulty, we decided to test with an alternate handset and found similar levels of performance: the second Galaxy S6 was on average 6 dBm better than the first handset and not enough to warrant the first unit as faulty.

The LG G4 again performs relatively well, with a relatively strong network antenna, but the Huawei P8 is again the best (and this time, by far).

LTE Speed Tests

Galaxy-S6-Speedtest-1

Now to the final section and probably the most interesting: superfast LTE speeds. This was a simple test to conduct; each handset was using the latest version of Ookla’s SpeedTest application and was connected to 4G.

Our testing found:

  Galaxy S6 LG G4 Huawei P8
Average speed test: download 50.03 Mbps 53.37 Mbps 58.31 Mbps
Average speed test: upload 15.69 Mbps 18.38 Mbps 20.04 Mbps
Fastest LTE speed recorded: 78.39 Mbps 88.46 Mbps 91.44 Mbps

The results were very surprising, given that the Ascend P7 was slower than both the LG G3 and the Galaxy S5. The G4 is better than the G3 thanks to the addition of Cat 6 support and the Huawei P8 is a marked improvement over the Ascend P7, with Huawei’s network knowledge really shining through thanks to the dual antenna system.

The Galaxy S6 tests showed that the handset is significantly slower than the Note 4 and Galaxy S5, despite the newer internal hardware and LTE Cat 6 support (which the Galaxy Note 4 also has). The Galaxy S6 also failed to latch onto 4G+ (Cat 6) – which offers downloads speeds of up to 300Mbps – and was instead limited to Cat 4, which offers a maximum download speed of 150Mbps.

Conclusion

Looking at all the tests and the various results, I think it’s safe to say that the Huawei P8 is the best handset for LTE, while the LG G4 comes second and the Galaxy S6 is significantly further back. Samsung’s adoption of metal and glass certainly worked for most parts of the handset but the network antenna seems to have suffered as a result of the switch, which could be expected given the problems others have had with metal builds.

With the G4, LG have made the antenna stronger than the G3 and the result is much better performance overall. The G4 is certainly impressive in holding onto a network connection and with Cat 6 support, the maximum download speeds have also vastly improved. The dual antenna system on the Huawei P8 clearly prevents any antenna-gate issues – where holding the handset the wrong way can affect your signal – and the handset can intelligently switch between the two antennae, depending upon which is the strongest.

Now read the reviews:

Huawei P8 Review
LG G4 Review
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Review
Samsung Galaxy S6 Review

What do you think? Is LTE performance and network resilience important to you? Let us know your views in the comments guys!

Verizon’s XLTE Hits 1-Year Anniversary, Adds Six New Markets

Posted by Kellex May - 19 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Just over a year ago, we exclusively reported that Verizon was going to put to use their AWS spectrum (band 4 LTE) in markets across the country to double the 4G LTE bandwidth of their current network and improve speeds in areas that were starting to suffer from heavy amounts of traffic. We reported then that they would call this major upgrade XLTE. A week after our report, Verizon confirmed the news by launching XLTE in more than 250 markets across the US.

So here we are exactly 1-year from the launch of XLTE and Verizon has some info to share, along with a few new markets to introduce. 

According to Verizon, XLTE is now in over 400 markets, which includes both major cities and rural areas. They have over 40 devices available that support XLTE and its two LTE bands of 4 and 13, including the Galaxy series, DROID Turbo, and iPhones.

As for the new markets, there are six of them:

  • Madisonville, KY
  • Marshalltown, IA
  • Martinsville, VA
  • Meridian, MS
  • Owensboro, KY
  • Traverse City, MI

To top off Verizon’s celebration, they also put together this infographic that walks through some of the numbers I just mentioned plus some other tidbits about their total number of 4G LTE markets, percentage of the US that is covered by LTE, etc.

After you check that out, let us know what your Verizon LTE has been like since they launched XLTE. Are you seeing faster speeds again?

xlte-infographic-2014-05-19

Via: Verizon

Verizon’s XLTE Hits 1-Year Anniversary, Adds Six New Markets is a post from: Droid Life

Straight Talk offering up to 5GB of 4G LTE data if you bring your own phone

Posted by wicked May - 7 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

straightalklte

American prepaid carrier Straight Talk has now made some changes to its Unlimited 4G LTE data plans. The carrier mentions that users will now be able to get 5GB of high speed LTE data, beyond which the speeds will be throttled to 3G or 2G depending on your location.

To avail this offer, customers will have to bring their own device and will not be able to use one of the many handsets on offer from Straight Talk. The carrier’s $30 ‘All You Need’ plan is exempt from this promotion.

Interestingly, this deal is applicable for both existing and new customers of Straight Talk. The carrier points out that this is a special offer which means that it might not be available for long, so interested users will need to hurry before the carrier changes its mind.

Source: Straight Talk
Via: Phandroid

Come comment on this article: Straight Talk offering up to 5GB of 4G LTE data if you bring your own phone

AT&T updates data throttling policy on legacy unlimited plans

Posted by wicked May - 6 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

att_data_throttling_image

Late last year, despite claims that throttling on legacy 4G plans was not automatic, users discovered that AT&T was in fact throttling data speeds whether the network was congested or not. The carrier promised to change the policy sometime during 2015 and it looks like the time may have come based on a change to some information on their web site.

According to AT&T, once a user with a legacy 4G plan exceeds 5 GB of data usage, their speed may be reduced at times or in areas where they are “experiencing network congestion.” This change mirrors the way AT&T handles unlimited data use on 3G/4G plans, although those plans see the limit kick in at only 3 GB of usage.

Despite this slight loosening of restrictions on unlimited data usage, AT&T likely hopes this will still be enough to encourage customers to switch over to new plans that have data caps.

source: AT&T

Come comment on this article: AT&T updates data throttling policy on legacy unlimited plans

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