Letter from Chairman Wheeler asks Verizon to justify its network management
Last week, one of the largest mobile carriers in the United States announced it would begin throttling some unlimited accounts that access 4G LTE. Verizon stated that it would begin the effort in October, but it would be limited to only the top five percent of data users on unlimited plans. While the slowdown won't have an effect on all LTE customers, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler believes that the new policy is running afoul of several regulations.
Merger between Asia Pacific Telecom, Foxconn subsidiary expected in June
Foxconn is looking to acquire a large stake in Taiwan-based Asia Pacific Telecom, in order to have a greater influence on the country's 4G cellular phone services. The deal, said to be worth T$11.6 billion ($390 million), will be a precursor to a merger, where the telecoms company would join up with a Foxconn subsidiary, which could complete as early as this June.
Google rolls out hands-free Voice Search to all desktop Chrome versions
Google has started to roll out its hands-free Voice Search to all desktop Chrome users. Initially released in the beta version of Chrome in February, the option allows Chrome users to start a voice search from a new tab or from Google.com by stating "OK Google" followed by the search query. Engadget reports the feature is currently available in the United States with browsers set to US English, but it could add support for other languages in the near future.
Wi-Fi hotspots, Android tablet offered with 4G connectivity
British carrier EE, formerly Everything Everywhere and formed by the joining of Orange and T-Mobile, has started to extend its 4G (LTE) service to smaller towns in the country, as well as introducing new devices. It has completed its second phase of the roll-out, bringing the high-speed cellular network to 2,588 villages and small towns with populations under 10,000 people in the United Kingdom, including regions with as few as 65 residents.
XLTE service makes use of Verizon's expansion into advanced wireless services band 4
Plans from Verizon have leaked, indicating the provider will announce an expansion of their LTE service. The rebranding will be labeled as XLTE, but will only be available in select areas of the United States. The limited number of cities that will see improvements are tied to LTE bandwidth increases in areas where advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum as been added.
Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin first to get AT&T HD Voice
AT&T will start to roll out HD Voice across its cellular network from May 23rd, the company has announced. The service, which will operate on an all-IP Voice over LTE (VoLTE) network, will allow customers to make clearer calls over its network, while at the same time being able to continue to use the device's data connection at 4G LTE speeds.
Samsung adds baby monitoring feature to Galaxy S5
The Samsung Galaxy S5 can be used as a baby monitor, when used in conjunction with a Gear smart watch. SoyaCincau discovered the Samsung flagship includes a "Baby crying detector" feature that will send a vibrating alert to a paired Gear if it hears a nearby child makes a sound. Leaked screenshots note it will work best when the smartphone is placed within 1 meter (3 feet) of the child in a room with no background noise, followed by a large number of parental warnings and disclaimers.
LeBron James reveals phone issue in Samsung Twitter mistake
Despite Samsung recently enjoying success with marketing on Twitter as part of the Oscars, the company has suffered a social media misstep. Brand ambassador and Basketball star LeBron James posted a message claiming his phone, a Galaxy Note, "just erased everything it had in it and rebooted," and though Apple Insider notes the tweet was subsequently deleted, it was not removed before a contingent of the star's near-12 million followers retweeted the message. The Twitter account has since claimed data has been restored on the device, but did not detail if there was any intervention by Samsung.
LTE-equipped mid-range device 8MP, 5MP cameras
Huawei has launched its Ascend G6 4G smartphone at Mobile World Congress, among other devices. The mid-range smartphone, said to be based on the Ascend P6 in some aspects, offers LTE connectivity in a device measuring 7.85mm (0.31 inches) thick. Electronista briefly put the Ascend G6 through its paces at the trade show, and found it to be a pretty useful mobile device, albeit with some reservations.
Six-inch LG G Flex offers multitasking features, curved screen
T-Mobile has expanded its 4G LTE smartphone line-up with the addition of the LG G Flex. A curved, flexible smartphone, the G Flex offers users a thin, light and flexible sx-inch plastic OLED display, with a rear key control for convenience of using one index finger to power the device on or off and adjust volume. Its 'self-healing' paint on the back cover limits daily wear and tear use, and its 13-megapixel HD camera can produce high-quality images and video.
First LTE devices from Archos to be shown at CES next week
Archos is using CES to launch two more mobile devices in its smartphone range, with the pair of phones being the first from the manufacturer to offer 4G LTE connectivity. Joining the wearable devices and network-connected home monitoring sensors the company has already teased will be the 45 Helium, with a 4.5-inch 854x480 IPS display, and the 50 Helium with a 5-inch 1280x720 IPS version.
Home broadband service will use 2.5GHz Sprint LTE spectrum
Dish is working with Sprint to develop a fixed wireless home broadband service for areas underserved by normal wire-based broadband, the company has announced. Using Sprint's 4G LTE network, the service will use the 2.5GHz bands Sprint acquired from Clearwire, with Dish installing either an indoor or ruggedized outdoor router with high-gain antennas at the customer's location.
AT&T signs deal with EE for 4G roaming in UK, will offer similar connection in early 2014
AT&T has signed a deal with Everything Everywhere in the United Kingdom, allowing the US carrier's subscribers access to the 4G network when visiting, in a similar deal to one between AT&T and Rogers in Canada. Though the pricing of the deal were not disclosed, Pocket Lint reports that EE customers will be able to get 4G speeds from AT&T's network in the US in the first half of 2014.
Wireless spectrum purchase put to use by Verizon in cities
Even though the carrier is undergoing a restructuring of ownership, Verizon Wireless has managed to improve its LTE network in a number of cities. The carrier has reportedly increased the amount of bandwidth available to customers, with some markets seeing Verizon tripling its LTE capacity, thanks to its earlier $3.9 billion wireless spectrum purchase.
Three removes roaming charges for UK users in US, Indonesia, Macau, Sri Lanka
British carrier Three has expanded its Feel At Home scheme to four more countries. Subscribers visiting the United States, Indonesia, Macau, and Sri Lanka will be able to use their call, text, and data allowances in the same way they already do at home, without any extra roaming charges. The carrier also advised that it would be rolling out its 4G service to customers throughout the winter, and aims to have all subscribers with a 4G-capable device able to use its 4G network by the end of the first quarter of 2014.
European flight change follows device rule changes by FAA, EASA
Passengers on flights in Europe may be able to use their smartphone's data connection in the future, after the European Commission has revealed new rules allowing the use of 3G and 4G LTE connections in flights. The new rules come shortly after both the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) allowed the use of electronic devices set in flight mode at takeoff and landing for travel in the US and Europe respectively.
AT&T deploys LTE network in 13 more cities
AT&T has continued its ongoing LTE deployment, bringing the 4G service to 14 new markets across the US. The expansion includes Fairbanks Metropolitan Area, Arkansas; Galesburg, Macomb and Peoria, Illinois; Des Moines, Iowa; Maysville and Madisonville, Kentucky; Cumberland, Maryland; St. Cloud, Minnesota; St. Joseph, Missouri; Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Big Spring, Texas and Winchester, Virginia.
Sprint 4G LTE network now covers 230 markets
Sprint on Tuesday announced the expansion of its 4G LTE service to 45 new markets across the United States. The addition of the new markets means that Sprint's 4G LTE service now covers 230 markets. In addition to adding 4G LTE in new markets, Sprint made a sizable expansion of its enhanced 3G service, improving signal strength, coverage, and call quality.
Amazon opens pre-orders for Kindle Fire HD, HDX in UK, Canada
Amazon has opened up pre-orders for its new Kindle Fire HDX and updated Kindle Fire HD in the United Kingdom and Canada. The lower-resolution Kindle Fire HD will be shipping in both countries from October 24th, starting from £119 and $149. While those in the UK will have to wait until November 19th to receive their HDX models in both 7-inch and 8.9-inch forms, starting from £199 and £329 respectively, Canada will have to wait until November 26th, with the tablets priced at $254 and $399.
Option to pay extra for faster connection, international roaming
British carrier Everything Everywhere, known as EE, has made a number of changes to the way it offers its service to customers. Monthly price plans for the 4G service have been restructured to include tiers with extra speed and more data, with the carrier also offering a prepaid 4G service to its customers for the first time.
Network could reach 150Mbps maximum thanks to 4G cable licenses
Verizon could be working on increasing the speed of its phone network in New York, by performing a new LTE rollout. The carrier has apparently been spotted operating a new LTE network, which is shown to be providing network speeds of around 80Mbps downstream, and peaking at almost 23Mbps for uploads.
New markets range from Florida to Washington
AT&T has announced the latest cities to receive LTE coverage as the company continues to deploy its 4G network across the US. The rollout arrives in 11 cities for the first time, while the coverage footprint has been expanded in another 11 cities that previously had limited availability.
BBC adds podcast download options to iPlayer Radio app
The BBC has updated its iPlayer Radio app for iOS and Android, adding the option to download podcasts from the broadcaster. Downloaded shows will appear under the new "My Downloads" part of the app, with the option to force the app to only download podcasts while connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot, in order to avoid potential extra data charges from carriers.
Pebble to go on sale through AT&T website, retail stores
AT&T has made a number of announcements, for both its wireless network and devices offered through it. The carrier has expanded its wireless-based home phone service into more markets, rolled its 4G LTE coverage into more areas, and has become the exclusive US carrier of the Kickstarter-funded Pebble smartwatch.
Plans to cover 98 percent of UK population by end 2015
British mobile phone network Three has revealed more details about its 4G LTE roll-out in the United Kingdom. New areas have been added to both its 2013 and 2014 4G launch lists, with five more cities joining the already-announced London, Manchester, and Birmingham network updates for 2013, and a total of 42 more cities by the end of next year.
O2, Vodafone agreement allows networks to roll out simultaneously
British carriers O2 and Vodafone have launched their 4G networks in the United Kingdom. The launch of both high-speed phone networks in the country, following behind established 4G network EE, is accompanied by a confirmation from competitor Three that it will begin to roll out its own 4G network from December onwards.
New growth expands into portions of 26 states
AT&T plans to roll out 4G LTE in at least 50 additional markets by the end of this year. AT&T 4G LTE currently covers more than 225 million people and 370 markets; with this expansion by the end of 2013, coverage is expected to expand to nearly 270 million people and more than 400 markets.
Access to music, videos, games part of O2 4G service in UK
O2 has revealed more details for its 4G offering in the United Kingdom, set to start on the 29th of August, the same day as Vodafone. The new tariffs are a bit more involved than Vodafone's simpler £5 ($7.76) addition, but the carrier will be bundling games from Gameloft, access to free music tracks and videos for 12 months, and Priority Sports videos for a number of major events.
New ZTE processors to be shown in late September at Chinese event
ZTE is working on developing its own applications processor for smartphones, according to a report. The Chinese smartphone producer is alleged to be developing a chip for its future mobile devices, with the processor design said to use ARM cores and include support for 4G LTE connections, though no other major details have been revealed by the company.
Update for XBMC on Android adds AirPlay capability, improved CD ripping
XBMC on Android has been updated to include support for Zeroconf, effectively allowing it to be used for AirPlay. The update to the media player software also includes the ability to rip CD audio directly to the music library, ripping support for WMA and AAC encoding, the option to lock settings on a profile, and new descriptions for the settings menus.
Top 25 markets to gain faster T-Mobile LTE speeds by end of this year
T-Mobile is looking to speed up its 4G LTE network in its top 25 US markets before the end of this year, at the same time as continuing the build-out of the network to markets. The carrier hopes to achieve speed increases by widening the channels available for LTE connections from the current 2x5MHz channels to 2x10MHz versions.
LTE goes live in areas of Florida, Texas, other states
Sprint has expanded the reach of its 4G LTE service into a number of new markets, following on from adding coverage to parts of New York City and revealing its 20,000 Network Vision sites achievement as part of its quarterly report. The extra 41 new markets across the US brings the total Sprint footprint of LTE to 151 markets.
Brooklyn, Bronx LTE to launch July 30th, other areas to follow
Sprint has revealed that it will be rolling out its 4G LTE network in New York, albeit in a limited capacity. The carrier will be providing coverage to customers using the New York City subway system in the future, and a number of above-ground locations will also receive 4G LTE and improved 3G coverage in the coming weeks.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 to receive update to enable T-Mobile 4G LTE
T-Mobile has revealed it is extending its range of mobile devices that will work on its 4G LTE network by three, at its Jump program launch today. The Sony Xperia Z and the Nokia Lumia 925 will both become available on the carrier in the future, while owners of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 will also gain access in a software update.
Group version of Simple Choice Plan introduced with up to 5 lines per account
T-Mobile will be allowing customers to be able to upgrade their phones far earlier than other carriers, through a new program launched at its "Boldest Moves Yet" event by CEO John Legere. Customers will be able to upgrade their devices twice every twelve months through the new Jump subscription, at a cost of $10 per month, per phone.
HTC One hinted at release on Verizon this summer with image
The HTC One is heading to Verizon in the future, according to the EVleaks Twitter account. A picture showing the silver version of the smartphone is displayed along with the "for Verizon" claim, but there is no mention of price, an expected release date, nor if there will be any other color options. The carrier has previously said it will start selling the HTC One "later this summer," but the on-screen clock in the image offers the date September 5th, which could be a potential launch date.
Translates to 40 percent share of North American 4G smartphones
Following on the heels of -- and almost precisely in line with -- a Comscore study of US marketshare, ad network Chitika reports that when looking at just the "4G"-capable segment of the overall smartphone market, the iPhone 5 (Apple's only "4G"-capable phone) dominates web traffic just as the iPad does in the tablet arena. When looking at only 4G/LTE smartphones released since July of last year, the iPhone 5 by itself accounts for just over 75 percent of North America 4G web traffic, and when considering all still-active 4G/LTE smartphones it commands about a 40 percent share.
Extra 10MHz of spectrum to help coverage in Mississippi Valley region
T-Mobile has signed an agreement to secure an extra 10MHz of Advanced Wireless Spectrum (AWS) from U.S. Cellular for $308 million. The deal for extra spectrum, which still requires approval from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission before being finalized, will help improve 4G LTE coverage in the Mississippi Valley region, which covers 32 million people in 29 markets.
Verizon LTE to go live in Alaska next month, VoLTE in 2014
Verizon is looking towards offering smartphones made to run just on a 4G LTE network when it introduces VoLTE. Comments made by Verizon chief network officer Nicki Palmer about the LTE-only smartphones come at the same time as the network effectively completes its initial LTE build-out, and activated 4G LTE in its 500th market.
Galaxy S4 LTE-A gains Snapdragon 800 running at 2.3GHz
Korean carrier SK Telecom has launched its LTE-A network in the country, the first of its kind in the world. The network, which offers connection speeds as high as 150Mbps and was seen in launch event tests to run at 100Mbps, is also accompanied by an updated version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 with LTE-Advanced compatibility.
Early contract termination, free LTE device included as options
Sprint has updated its terms and conditions for its subscribers, detailing what the carrier could do once it shuts down its WiMAX service. The change, made on May 22nd, takes the form of a single paragraph, and provides customers three different choices, including the option to deactivate the service without being charged an early termination fee.
Announcement confirms details spotted in FCC LTE filing
AT&T has confirmed it will carry the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 on its network. Last seen passing through the FCC with support for the same LTE bands that AT&T uses, the tablet will work on the carrier's 4G LTE network, and brings along the same 1280x800 eight-inch display that Electronista tried out at Mobile World Congress in February.
Follow-up to G'zOne Commando retains ruggedness, outdoor widgets
A new smartphone from Casio will be making its way to Verizon, according to a leaked image. The Casio Commando 4G LTE, the follow-up to the Casio G'zOne Commando released in 2011, appears to retain most of the angular and ruggedized appearance of its predecessor, but adds in LTE connectivity and is likely to have other improved internals.
New network additions has AT&T covering 239 markets with LTE
AT&T has rolled out its 4G LTE network into 11 new markets and expanded in six others, as part of its national roll-out of the high-speed data network. New areas in six states, including Virginia and Washington, have had LTE access turned on today, while six markets in five states will have a wider coverage area.
Move would become second time BT creates a mobile network
British Telecom will be using the spectrum it picked up in the United Kingdom's 4G spectrum auction to start up its own 4G network. BT CEO Ian Livingston claims it is "highly possible" that BT-branded SIM cards could be issued out to customers by this time next year, with the cellular usage being paid for through current landline bills.
Included display provides usage statistics, remaining allowance
AT&T has added to its range of 4G LTE connectivity devices with a built-in display. The AT&T Beam from Sierra Wireless is a USB modem that connects to the carrier's 4G LTE network, and like the MiFi Liberate, it comes with its own LCD panel to provide important details, such as the strength of the signal and how much data is remaining in the monthly allowance.
Knowledge of TD-LTE spectrum to help Sprint in rollout
SoftBank's CEO is continuing to talk-up his company's $20.1 billion offer to buy out Sprint, by claiming SoftBank's experience with 4G will help the US carrier. Network enhancements, such as SoftBank's single frequency network technology for reducing interference, will help Sprint in the long run alongside other benefits, according to CEO Masayoshi Son.
Leaked markets get LTE coverage later than expected
Sprint has expanded its 4G LTE network to cover another 21 markets, the same locations detailed in a leak last week. The carrier is also adding another 34 markets to its existing 170-market LTE-rollout roadmap, which means that its 88 currently-active LTE markets will be joined by another 204 areas by the end of this year.
Areas of Los Angeles, Memphis to get coverage
Sprint is rolling out its 4G LTE network in a number of new markets later today, according to a leak. The network, which is said to offer speeds between 6 to 8Mbps and a peak of 25Mbps, may end up being turned on with little to no fanfare in a similar way to how areas of New York City, Washington D.C., and San Francisco quietly went live in February.
New AT&T 4G LTE markets include Napa, Santa Rosa-Petaluma
Shortly after stating it will build a Gigabit fiber network to compete against Google in Austin, AT&T has expanded its 4G LTE network into six new markets. While this means the carrier is currently covering 182 different markets, AT&T also plans to add another 77 markets to the list by this summer, as the carrier tries to catch up to Verizon Wireless and its 4G LTE network.