Says location and timing of testing is 'just coincidental'
By a 'coincidence' according to the company, T-Mobile will be upgrading network coverage inside the Moscone Center in San Francisco to test a 1900MHz HSPA+ "4G" network during the time that Apple's WWDC convention will be there, thus making it possible for unlocked iPhones and other smartphones to utilize the service. While T-Mobile does not officially carry the iPhone, it has been aggressive in seeking iPhone customers, and sells microSIMs and plans tailored to iPhone users.
No city list or timeline for rollout
On May 16, British mobile telecom carrier O2 announced that they are building out a DC-HSPA wireless network capable of 42Mbps wireless downloads in the UK's largest cities. Samsung has jumped on board the effort by announcing yesterday that the Samsung Galaxy S III would connect to the DC-HSPA network. The Galaxy S III is expected to launch in the UK on May 29.
Tablet to take advantage of faster network speeds
Research In Motion has announced that it is working on two new PlayBook variants that will support LTE and HSPA+ networks. The company has yet to name which carriers will receive the device, however the choice of cellular standards is the latest confirmation of availability from carriers aside from Sprint. Verizon is set to deploy its LTE network, while T-Mobile and AT&T support HSPA+.
New tech said to be twice as fast as HSPA+
T-Mobile is reportedly set to formally announce launch details surrounding its faster HSPA+ network next month at CES in Las Vegas. Although the company already highlighted plans to deploy its "HSPA+42" network sometime in 2011, additional information, such as a time-frame and supported devices, has yet to surface.
LTE still not due until 2011
AT&T has unveiled its first USB modems designed to work with LTE and HSPA+ networks. The USBConnect Shockwave, built by Sierra, represents the carrier's first HSPA+ modem, while the Shockwave, manufactured by LG, is its first to offer future upgradeability to LTE.
Nokia sells wireless modem unit for $200 million
Renesas on Tuesday bought Nokia's wireless modem business for nearly $200 million. Under the deal, Renesas will control about 1,100 Nokia researcher and development staff in Finland, India, the UK and Denmark. The two companies will also form a long-term partnership to develop HSPA+/LTE modem technologies.
Other additions coming to Memphis, Vegas
T-Mobile has announced ongoing expansion of its HSPA+ network which brings faster 3G data speeds for subscribers. The company's HSPA+ network has been broadened in the New York City metropolitan area, including New Jersey and Long Island, along with other New York Cities such as Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse.
Ericsson shows 56Mbps HSPA
Ericsson announced on Tuesday that it will demonstrate HSPA data speeds as fast as 56Mbps at the CTIA Wireless convention, which kicks off on Wednesday. The speeds should double those of 28Mbps-capable networks launching in North America, Germany and Italy. At Mobile World Congress in February, Ericsson successfully demonstrated speeds in a similar network operating at a peak of 42Mbps. The next step in the evolution of the HSPA technology, dubbed HSPA+, involves the use of a combination of multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) and multi-carrier HSPA technology.
3G hardware development
In brief: Gameloft is currently working on a new iPhone game that is based on the Apple II classic "The Oregon Trail". The game has been updated for the iPhone platform and will have several new features to take advantage of the devices capabilities. No release information has been detailed yet but several screen shots have been released. The WebObjects Community Association has started conducting their annual survey for collecting information from its community. The collected information is used to plan ahead for next year and also to help plan for the next WOWODC. In other news, nova media has released a new hardware development kit for 3G devices based on a 3G embedded wireless module.
Sony VAIO netbook exposed
Sony's long-anticipated netbook has been revealed through filings with the FCC, a report from Engadget suggests. Two versions, known as the PCG-1P1L and PCG-1P2L, have been through wireless testing with the government body; the PCG prefix is known to represent Sony's VAIO portable line. More crucially, the computers match typical netbook dimensions, at approximately 9.5 inches long by 4.5 inches wide. This should make them smaller than many rival systems.
Apple's next move in terms of MacBooks will be to add built-in 3G connectivity, says analyst Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics. Mawston contends it is a "logical next step" for Apple, and that the technology could be added to the Pro, Air, and/or regular notebooks. The incentive would be not so much outstanding demand, as the ability of carriers in the US and Europe to sell Macs to people who have already been lured to a phone network by the iPhone.
AT&T/Lenovo 3G notebooks
Carrier AT&T and PC builder Lenovo say they have collaborated on a project meant to drive down the cost of 3G broadband on notebooks. Buyers of Lenovo notebooks in the ThinkPad T, X and SL series will get a free 30 days of AT&T's DataConnect service, if they sign up for a two-year contract; more critically, models with the necessary Ericsson module will not cost any more than a regular version, which the companies claim will save as much as $150 per computer. The arrangement is being targeted mainly at small- to medium-sized businesses.
Verizon anti-iPhone tract?
Verizon Wireless is distributing a guide to sales agents in a bid to retain customers tempted by an iPhone 3G, a leak claims. The sheet, labeled "3G iPhone Myths," attempts to challenge key selling points of the iPhone, which in the US is carried only by AT&T. The guide notes, for instance, that AT&T's HSPA (3G) network covers "only 40-50%" of Americans, approximately half the amount handled by Verizon's EVDO Rev. A technology. Similarly, while it is now cheaper to buy the actual iPhone hardware, Verizon observes that the extra $10 per month on data plans from AT&T means that, by the end of a two-year contract, the 3G iPhone ultimately costs more than the original 2.5G model, without even the benefit of text messages.
Fix for iPhone 3G drops
Unusual reception problems with the iPhone 3G are indeed attributable to Infineon's 3G chip, say two anonymous sources. Described as "well-placed," the individuals claim that approximately 2 to 3 percent of iPhone traffic is suffering from connection troubles, which may also include continual shifting between 3G and 2.5G networks. By comparison, the normal rate of dropped calls for AT&T is about 1 percent.
ATT Full 3G by Late June
AT&T will have a complete HSPA-based 3G cellular network by the end of June, the company has announced on Wednesday. The carrier plans to have added the faster, more upload-driven HSUPA component of the spec to six of its remaining 3G markets by the end of next month, giving those areas DSL-like access speeds over wireless: users can anticipate real-world speeds of as much as 1.4Mbps downstream and between 500Kbps to 800Kbps for uploads, AT&T claims.
Ericsson/Dell HSPA laptops
Swedish telecom company Ericsson is collaborating with Dell, in a bid to put HSPA modems into the latter's notebooks, the companies have announced. HSPA is one of the most widely-used forms of 3G cellular broadband, and typically supports download speeds of up to 3.6 or 7.2Mbps; in the United States, AT&T runs a national 3.6Mbps network, and T-Mobile is expected to offer a rival service of some sort later this year. In buying a notebook with HSPA built in, users can connect to the Internet without using Wi-Fi or an add-on external modem.
Ericsson on Wi-Fi hotspots
The end for Wi-Fi hotspots may already be in sight, claims the chief marketing officer of telecom multinational Ericsson. Speaking today at the European Computer Audit, Control and Security Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, Johan Bergendahl commented that at least in Europe, cellular broadband is growing so rapidly that it is surpassing any rate ever achieved by either mobile or fixed voice networks. "In Austria," says Bergendahl, "they are saying that mobile broadband will pass fixed broadband this year."
Gigabyte 3.5G/GPS modem
Umbrella technology company Gigabyte has offered a brief peak at a new cellular modem, the MD800. Buyers will have the option of three different interfaces -- ExpressCard, mini-USB or PCMCIA -- and gain access to 3.5G-level broadband, likely some form of HSPA. The card should also be the first to combine this with both GPS and assisted GPS abilities, expanding the functions of phones and/or computers.
AT&T Option HSPA Cards
AT&T on Thursday expanded its data card options for its newborn HSPA 3G network with two adapters from Option. Both the ExpressCard/34-based GT Ultra Express and the standard GT Ultra (pictured) for older PC Card-equipped notebooks provide access to the HSUPA component of the carrier's network, permitting faster speeds in areas with the faster coverage: practical download speeds range between 600Kbps and 1.4Mbps while uploads run between 500Kbps and 800Kbps, AT&T estimates.
HSPA broadband modems
Sierra Wireless has introduced two new HSPA mobile broadband modems -- the AirCard 885E ExpressCard and Compass 885 USB modem. Both devices boast a small form-factor and offer the latest high-speed mobile broadband technology for use worldwide. Both the AirCard 885E ExpressCard and the Compass 885 USB modem are slated for shipment in mid-2008, and are compatible with Mac as well as Windows systems.
Novatel Ovation MC930D
Novatel today upgraded its Ovation USB adapters with the MC930D. A variant on the MC950D, the new modem exchanges the tri-band HSDPA of the earlier model for full-fledged HSPA access in Europe: on advanced portions of networks from Vodafone and other carriers, the device can download at rates up to 7.2Mbps and upload at a far faster 2.1Mbps than usual. Its design is less than half an inch thick and is built to be pocketable when not plugged into a notebook.
S-E EC400 Card and Headset
Sony-Ericsson has finished up its announcements in Barcelona with word of a 3G ExpressCard line and a stereo headset. The EC400 and its GPS-equipped counterpart the EC400g are Sony-Ericsson's first mobile Internet cards to provide HSPA while using the ExpressCard format; both plug into the EC/34 slot of Mac OS X and Windows PCs to provide up to 7.2Mbps downstream in peak conditions as well as up to 2Mbps for uploads. An auto-configuring process ensures a near pain-free setup process, the company explains.
ATT 3G Expansion in 2008
AT&T today said it would rapidly expand its third-generation (3G) cellular data network over the course of 2008, greatly improving coverage of the relatively fledgling service. The carrier intends to introduce its HSPA-based Internet access to 80 new cities throughout the year to include a total of 350 areas. Many if not all of these current and future areas will be upgraded to use the faster HSUPA (High Speed Upload Packet Access) format, AT&T adds. Practical speeds for these networks are estimated to range between 600Kbps and 1.4Mbps with downloads and between 500Kbps and 800Kbps for uploads, enabling video uploads as well as more two-way Internet features.
HSPA Plus Chipset
Texas Instruments today said it had reached a major milestone by introducing a new platform for HSPA+, a new form of "3.5G" high-speed cellular Internet access that builds on today's normal HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) connections. The technology, currently based on a new signal processing chip, would effectively turn a cell tower's base station into a standard IP (Internet protocol) router that uses standard Ethernet to make its connection. This plus other optimizations should permit downloads as quick as 42 megabits per second and uploads at 11 megabits per second; the uplink speed would be roughly double that of already advanced 5.8Mbps HSPA uploads, while downstream access would be as much as six times faster.
3G iPhone is 'niche tech'
Although a 3G iPhone has been guaranteed for 2008, its importance has been overrated, says Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. HSPA 3G is intermittent in Europe and Japan, Wu says, let alone in the United States; so while the technology can offer speeds up to 3.6Mbps (through the likes of AT&T), users end up defaulting to 2G technologies such as EDGE most of the time. 3G also comes with increased costs: parts such as power amplifiers may add as much as $15 to the price of building a phone, an amount that may then be saddled onto the backs of shoppers.
Qualcomm 700MHz 3G
In an aggressive step, Qualcomm on Monday announced the RTR6570, the first new cellular chipset designed with upcoming 700MHz wireless networks in mind. The transceiver explicitly supports the longer ranges and higher speeds made possible through the new frequency, even if they use competing standards: a device using the chipset could connect both to a CDMA network (such as Sprint or Verizon) as well as an HSPA or UMTS (AT&T and potentially T-Mobile) networks adapted to the newly opened airwaves.