Boston, Dallas, Hartford, Las Vegas first to offer unlocked device service
MetroPCS has launched its Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) service, and is starting with a small initial area rollout. Rumored earlier this month, the BYOP service will allow customers to bring unlocked GSM devices they already own to the carrier, and will initially work in Boston, Dallas, Hartford, and Las Vegas before becoming more widely available.
Adds two GSM phones to roster, will allow unlocked GSM devices on network
MetroPCS will soon start to allow customers to use the T-Mobile GSM network instead of the existing CDMA one, according to leaked internal documents. The carrier will be adding two new GSM devices to its catalog in the near future, following its successful merger with T-Mobile, and will start offering a Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) service for GSM devices.
Latest model is compatible with both of the largest networks
Chinese regulatory authorities on Tuesday certified the iPhone 5 as being compatible with the country's GSM and CDMA networks, meaning that the iPhone 5 is now cleared to be sold in China. While it is still unknown when Apple will launch it in China, it is possible that the phone will appear soon on at least China Unicom's GSM network. Both a CDMA (known as A1442 on a chart provided by Sina) and a GSM (A1429) model have been approved, also providing an opportunity for China Telecom.
Will also feature nano-SIM component
When Apple's iPhone 5 launches, it will do so in three models: CDMA, CDMA EV-DO Rev. A, and CDMA EV-DO Rev. B. As was previously expected, the new iPhone will also feature the nano-SIM design proposed by Apple and accepted as standard by international telecom standards bodies. The reason for the different models for the newest iPhone is thought to be related to the LTE infrastructures of some wireless carriers.
Droid 4, RAZR, RAZR Maxx, HTC Rezound
Verizon has announced that four of their phones will receive a patch to enable global roaming on the GSM network. The Droid 4 upgrade was previously announced, and today's announcement adds the Droid RAZR, Droid RAZR Maxx, and HTC Rezound. No specific patch release date has been made public. Following the patch, owners of the four phones will be able to take their smartphones overseas and (for a fee) use voice service in more than 220 countries and receive data in more than 205 countries.
Verizon's first LTE global handsets?
LG's Spectrum and HTC's Fireball handsets may be the first of Verizon's 4G LTE devices to offer global roaming capabilities. A leaked screenshot from Verizon's internal systems, which was posted on Droid-Life, suggests both devices have received the "global phone" designation that would allow users to take advantage of GSM networks while travelling.
Samsung launches "Soul"
Samsung Electronics on Sunday announced the launch of the previously announced 'Soul' mobile phone, calling it the company's flagship product in the first half 2008. Beginning later this month (and next), the "Soul" will be available in France, UK, and Germany through major European mobile operators and in most of GSM supporting open markets. The tri-band phone features a 5-megapixel camera with a 4x digital zoom, face detection, image stabilizer and Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) as well as 7.2Mbps HSDPA data access for advanced 3G network support. Soul is available in three different colors: 'Sterling Steel,' 'Soul Gray' and 'Platinum Silver" for €400.
BenQ on Friday revealed details of its super-slim T60, measuring just over a third of an inch (8.9mm) thick and packing a 2.2-inch 320x240 resolution LCD screen along with a 3.2-megapixel camera. Software includes a caller black list function that screens out user-selected numbers. BenQ is pitching the GSM phone as a high-quality fashion accessory akin to fountain pens and money clips.
iPhone in New Zealand?
An expansion to New Zealand's cellular networks may open the way for the iPhone, a research firm observes. TeleGeography says it has learned from Telecom New Zealand's director of mobile operations, Martin Butler, that it is a "good inference" that the company will bring over the iPhone. It is in the middle of building a new, $300 million NZD ($241.2 million US) GSM/EDGE network, which should support the 850MHz frequency of the iPhone. Commercial rollout of the network is expected sometime in November, and should reach 97 percent of New Zealand's population.
JD Power network survey
J.D. Power and Associates on Thursday released the first volume of its 2008 Wireless Call Quality Performance Study, which rates the major wireless carriers in seven specific areas relating to quality based on surveys of users. The bi-annual report rates each provider on a demerit point system, measuring their performance on a problems per 100 calls (PP100) scale, with lower scores translating to better performance. The report concluded Alltel, T-Mobile, Verizon and US Cellular are the top-ranking providers in their respective regions.
ITC hands victory to Nokia
One final victory has been granted before the temporary ceasefire begins between Nokia and Qualcomm. The US International Trade Commission has affirmed a ruling it issued in December, which said that Nokia had not violated three patents relating to GSM, GPRS and EDGE technology. The case in fact backfired for Qualcomm, as the ITC determined that one of the patents was invalid.
Air France tests cellular
Air France has become the world's first airline to equip an international flight with a form of regular cellular technology, says the Associated Press. One of the company's Airbus A318s now lets users send e-mail and text messages through an onboard GSM antenna, which connects to a satellite that in turn transmits to the ground. The main obstacle for the service, at the moment, is infrequency; aside from only being a part of a six-month test, not all flights on the A318 will have access. To this end a "No Mobile" light has been installed in the plane.
Chinese iPhone knockoff
A new Chinese iPhone knock-off is being sold on the internet, billed as "High quality copy UNLOCKED IPHONE AV-P688 SIMILAR STYPLE IPOD GSM CELL PHONE WITH MP3 MP4 FUNCTION”. iTech News Net reports that performing a Google search for the device yields several results for sites that are selling the imitation iPhone. While the iPhone features simplistic finger-driven touch functionality, the doppelganger uses four physically movable buttons surrounding the home button to navigate around the device, and reportedly requires a stylus for the screen. The CECT P168 sells for $200.
3G iPhone, EU estimates
AT&T chariman Randall Stephenson confirmed a 3G-capable iPhone arriving some time next year, coinciding with hopes expressed by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in September. "You'll have it next year," Stephenson told Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster, referring to a faster 3G iPhone. What's more, iPhone estimates from Apple's wireless carrier partners in Europe expect roughly 100,000 iPhone sales for each carrier during 2007. Meeting those sales goals would put a quarter million iPhones in the hands of European customers, bringing Apple's global iPhone sales count to around 2 million.