FCC chair claims need to prevent Obamacare website-like debacle in auction
Citing a need for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to "get the enabling technology right," new chairman Tom Wheeler has delayed a spectrum auction. The auction pays television broadcasters for unused spectrum left unused after the shift to digital television. The FCC will then auction off the reclaimed spectrum to wireless carriers to expand wireless networks.
StarTech's travel router connects mobile devices to wired networks
StarTech has announced the availability of its latest product, the Wireless-N Travel Router, which lets users create a WiFi hotspot from a wired network connection. Able to connect wireless-only mobile devices (such as tablets or smartphones) to a wired network, the Wireless-N Travel Router can be powered from an iPad wall charger or any computer USB port.
PlayOn announces availability of PlayCast channel in Roku channel store
MediaMall Technologies, owner of PlayOn media server software for streaming
video content, has announced the availability of its new PlayCast channel in the Roku channel store. PlayCast allows users to send any video from a PC browser to a Roku-connected TV, much like Google's Chromecast service. When used with PlayOn, PlayCast gives users the ability to cast videos from an Internet browser. PlayCast is available in the Roku channel store; PlayOn, which can be accessed through subscription, is available in monthly, annual and lifetime payment options, starting at $9 per month.
Addonics' Wi-Fi Drive Adapter enables wireless sharing of USB drive, micro SD card
Addonics Technologies has announced its network device for wireless sharing of a USB drive or micro SD card, or for use as a wireless hotspot. The Wi-Fi Drive Adapter can share drive or card content upon insertion into the adapter. To share an Internet connection, a hotspot can be created by connecting the Wi-Fi Drive Adapter to a Local Area Network with an Internet connection. Including one RJ45 socket for 10/100Mbps Ethernet connections, the Wi-Fi Drive Adapter supports the 802.11b/g/n standard with a range of up to 150 feet. Priced at $50, the Addonic Wi-Fi Drive Adapter can be purchased online.
Series branded as Immaculate Wireless Sound
Bang & Olufsen has introduced its first wireless speakers, taking advantage of the 24bit/96kHz WiSA standard. The lineup can be used as separate modular components, or as a complete set comprising the compact BeoLab 17 bookshelf speakers, the BeoLab 18 floorstanding columns, and the BeoLab 19 subwoofer. Electronista attended the company's Manhattan launch event to hear if the new set fulfills its promise of "Immaculate Wireless Sound."
New router boasts USB 3.0 connectivity, beamforming technology
Networking company Netgear has launched its newest dual-band 802.11ac wireless router, the Nighthawk AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7000). The Nighthawk combines a powerful 1GHz dual-core processor with a USB 3.0 port for peripheral connectivity and Netgear Beamforming+ to boost speed, reliability of connection, and best possible range for Wi-Fi 802.11ac connectivity in the home.
Wireless speaker fits in car cupholder
Accessory maker iCreation's Siri and S Voice-enabled Bluetooth wireless speaker, SpeeCup, was launched yesterday. At eight inches tall, the speaker is intended to fit in a car's cupholder, as well as be conducive for listening in various other settings, such as a boat, RV, or at a desk. SpeeCup's range is standard for Bluetooth speakers -- up to 30 feet -- and its battery capacity can last up to 20 hours. Compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled devices, the SpeeCup is sold online in three colors (black, white and red) for $130.
Win a Minx Go portable Bluetooth speaker
Since 1968, Cambridge Audio has been in the business of making amplifiers, tuners and later CD players. Fast forward to 2013, and the company has taken on building speakers for both the budget-minded and the most discerning audiophile looking for the best of the best. On the consumer end of the scale is the Minx wireless speaker range. The Minx Go Bluetooth speaker is the smallest of the bunch, but promises to offer "big music anywhere." Electronista has one to give away to our readers.
Neutrino Thunder D3 expected for release by end of September
Akitio announced its upcoming release of its latest external storage product, the Neutrino Thunder D3. With Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports, the Thunder D3 is set to be available by the end of September. The two-bay unit is designed to hold 2.5-inch hard drives or SSDs with a drive height of up to 15mm, enabling greater versatility than other form factor enclosures. The Thunder D3 will be available in capacities up to 4TB, and upon release can be purchased online from Akitio, Amazon and retail outlets, though pricing has not yet been announced. For reference, however, the similar Thunder Duo enclosure starts at $300 with no drives.
Win one of two Satechi Bluetooth wireless smart keypads
Ever since Apple first brought their Bluetooth wireless keyboard to the market, fans and newcomers alike have cursed the design for its lack of numeric keypad. Oh sure, it's still possible to get the classic wired keyboard from Apple with a numeric keypad, but who wants to be shackled to their desk with a wire these days? Finally there is a wireless solution, the Satechi Bluetooth wireless smart keypad, which is the perfect compliment to Apple's Bluetooth keyboard. MacNN has two of these to give away to our readers.
BearExtender 1200 shipping on Aug 15
BearExtender has announced the availability of two new Wi-Fi products designed for Macs. The first, the BearExtender 1200, is a 1200mW receiver that works on the 2.4GHz 802.11n band. Featuring an upgraded high gain 5 dBi antenna and new high sensitivity receiver, the BearExtender 1200 offers up to 70 percent more power than the original BearExtender. The device is expected to ship on August 15, and preorders are currently being accepted online at the discounted price of $40. Meanwhile, the BearExtender Turbo is planned for release in October and will bring 802.11ac wireless capabilities to any Mac with a USB 3.0 port.
D-Link N300 cloud router, cut to $23
Currently, Rakuten.com has the D-Link wireless N300 cloud router for $35, which is 36 percent off the list price of $55, and until July 8, buyers can save $12 when coupon code '4E10552' is used at checkout lowering the price even further to $23 with free shipping. This router features speeds of up to 300Mbps with four Ethernet ports, and is able to let users keep an eye on things while on the go with the myDlink Cloud Services App. A one-year limited warranty is included from D-Link.
iFixit's tear down reveals one of Apple's most repairable products
Tech site iFixit has uploaded a new teardown for the latest AirPort Extreme, Apple's first 802.11ac wireless base station. Opening the device revealed an interior space to allow for a hard drive to be installed, however hopes of at-home storage upgrades were dashed by no available plug-in options on the logic board. The AirPort Extreme offers a Delta Electronics 12V, 5A power supply, much akin to Mac Mini technology. Thanks to a simply disassembly iFixit staff have categorized the wireless base station, along with Apple TV and Mac Mini, as the most repairable Apple product in recent history.
Wi-Fi boosting, weather resistant cases highlight of some models
D-Link today expanded its line of myDlink-enabled Cloud Cameras with the introduction of the Pan & Tilt Day/Night Network Camera (DCS-5020L); the Outdoor HD Wireless Day/Night Network Camera (DCS-2332L); the Day/Night Cloud Camera 1150 (DCS-933L), and the Cloud Camera 1050 (DCS-931L). Each model is designed for around-the-clock surveillance and monitoring.
New consumer bill of rights cuts contracts from three to two years
The supervisory Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) unveiled a new code of conduct for wireless providers, which (among other things) allows customers to cancel wireless contracts after two years, similar to US contracts, without cancellation penalties. Other notable changes include caps on roaming charges with a corresponding cessation of service, and the ability of the consumer to request a subsidized phone's unlock after three months as a customer in good standing.
Fee consistent with industry, added effective May 1
AT&T Wireless has started billing customers $0.61 per month as a mobility "administrative fee." The new charge came into effect May 1, and has been applied to all consumer bills, in addition to business accounts where the user pays the amount due. The new fee will add nearly $500 million to AT&T's coffers in a year.
Possibly compatible with previous models, facilitating third-party upgrades
A new Broadcom chipset spotted on a Chinese website may be a component of future Mac updates, bringing 802.11ac (known as "Gigabit Wi-Fi") and Bluetooth 4.0 to new models on a single chipset. Not only will the chip handle all wireless communication for future Mac models, but the new chip appears -- at first glance -- to be backward compatible with similar parts in recent models, opening up the possibility of aftermarket upgrades.
New model removes 30-pin dock in favor of wireless connectivity
Boutique sound system manufacturer Geneva has announced the new Model S Wireless Bluetooth streaming speaker set. The new Model S Wireless offers completely re-engineered components than the original Model S, higher-grade electronics, better speakers, drivers and the convenience of wireless connectivity.
Verizon and AT&T express interest in the general idea
According to recent reports, media companies with high-bandwidth apps are considering deals with wireless carriers to ensure users can consume the content without being slapped with data overage fines. Reportedly, sports network ESPN has had discussions with at least one carrier to subsidize users' wireless data usage, with the company paying to offset data used by subscribers.
Four million iPhones activated on Verizon in quarter
Verizon has managed to secure an extra 677,000 subscribers to its postpaid wireless service in the first quarter of this year. Quarterly financial results released by the carrier show it as having a total of 720,000 net retail connections for the quarter, with its entire wireless subscriber base hitting 98.9 million, a year-on-year increase of 6.4 percent.
Experimental radio service to work around Google headquarters
Google is intending to build an experimental wireless service around its Mountain View headquarters, for currently unknown purposes. The search company has sent a request to the FCC for a license to allow the radio service to operate, and plans to test up to 50 base stations and 200 user devices during the licensed period.
Proposal frees spectrum in the 5GHz band, aiding Wi-Fi congestion
At the Consumer Electronics Show, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a proposal before the FCC to open up a "substantial" quantity of additional wireless spectrum for Wi-Fi, which would in theory allow for increased speed on wireless devices. The spectrum to be made available currently belongs to several Federal agencies such as the Department of Defense, and is mostly unused at present.
One input selector, two video streamers added to lineup
Accessory manufacturer IOGear added three new products to its lineup today at the Consumer Electronics Show. The Wireless 5x2 HD Matrix, Wireless Mobile and WiDi to HDTV, and the Wireless 1080P Computer to HD Display Kit were all shown. All three devices will be available at retail shortly after conclusion of the expo.
New larger Las Vegas event to start September 2014
CTIA is combining two mobile trade shows into one larger industry event, starting from next year. The US wireless industry group will merge the existing CTIA spring event, held in Las Vegas during May, with the fall event, renamed MobileCon in 2012 and takes place in San Jose in October, and create a single show that will be held between the two.
All boast better speeds, longer ranges than replaced models
D-Link today enhanced its line of cloud-enabled products with the availability of the Cloud Router 2500 (DIR-836L), Cloud Router 1100 (DIR-626L) and SharePort Mobile Companion (DIR-505L), all of which boast increased wireless speeds, extended coverage and enhanced feature sets for the home and users on-the-go.
Dish in talks with number of non-industry parties
Google is rumored to be in talks with Dish Network over creating a new wireless carrier, competing against Verizon and AT&T. Though it is not clear if a Google-supported mobile phone network will come to fruition, the software giant's move to wireless mirrors early discussions it had over its gigabit fiber project in Kansas City, and could potentially end up disrupting the mobile carrier industry.
Ongoing success with iPhone, iPad allowed Apple to redefine industry
The iPhone, Apple's single largest-selling product and the device that completely redefined the mobile industry, has helped catapult CEO Tim Cook to the top of Fierce Wireless' 25 Most Powerful People in Wireless survey. Cook was ranked just above Google's Larry Page and the CEOs of all four major US wireless carriers, among others in the industry. Together, Apple and Samsung garner more than 100 percent of the cell phone industry's profits, and the iPhone remains the single most popular brand in the industry.
Dell Latitude 6430u premieres new co-developed chipset
Wilocity, developer of 60 GHz multi-gigabit wireless chipsets, announced today that it is jointly providing tri-band wireless chipsets with Qualcomm Atheros, for Dell's first WiGig enabled Ultrabook for business, the Latitude 6430u. Dell announced the Latitude 6430u last week and demonstrated its multi-gigabit wireless docking and networking capabilities at the Windows 8 launch attended by Dell and Microsoft executives in New York City.
Webcam has 50-foot range, Ustream compatible
Logitech has formally announced its new HD Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam aimed at bloggers and video professionals. Previously leaked under the name "Wireless Webcam for Mac", the camera can wirelessly transmit 720p video at a distance of up to 50 feet over Wi-Fi to an iOS device, a Mac, or a Ustream account.
Device boasts enhanced MIMO antenna, low-complexity configuration
Western Digital has revealed the My Net Wi-Fi Range Extender to expand wireless home networks into out-of-reach areas of the home. Following the introduction of its first line of wireless home networking products, the My Net family of HD dual-band routers, the new selectable dual-band range extender provides more reliable wireless network coverage to Wi-Fi connected devices that suffer from a weak Wi-Fi signal.
Moves may require 3GPP approval to extend LTE standard
According to FCC Director Julius Genachowski, the FCC has plans underway to make 300MHz of new spectrum available by 2015 to high-speed mobile carriers. The announcement was made on Thursday during a speech given at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. The agency is scheduled to auction several parcels of wavelength in the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) band, including a portion where a commercial user would share the spectrum with government users.
Evaluating plans for purchase, consolidation, future sale of spectrum
In February, Congress passed legislation allowing the FCC to re-allocate wireless spectrum by acquiring it from television broadcasters. The three-phase plan to re-acquire bandwidth has entered the rule-making process on Friday. The reverse auction process will allow the FCC to rearrange the remaining broadcasters to make larger blocks of spectrum available for other uses, such as existing wireless internet technology, or other future technologies. Unallocated spectrum will be placed up for auction, with the government expecting to make more money on the auction that it did buying the bandwidth freed by the shift to digital broadcasting. The FCC is seeking public comment on the details of the plan.
Fire HD should make November 20 release date, assuming no issues
According to preorder confirmation emails, Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch 4G tablet has yet to be approved by the FCC for sale. FCC approval is required for all wireless communication products, to assure safe operation that does not interfere with other devices, or broadcasts nearby on the spectrum. Amazon its accepting pre-orders now and is anticipating shipment on November 20.
Open meeting scheduled September 21, methodology to be discussed
Expanding a service already in place monitoring traditional wired broadband promises and performance, the US Federal Communications Commission has announced a program to monitor performance of wireless Internet service using actual data collected by volunteers. An open meeting is scheduled for September 21 at the FCC headquarters to discuss the proposal to start a program that will "develop information on mobile broadband service performance in the United States utilizing the collaborative model underlying the success of its fixed broadband program."
Universal equation considered to replace per-purchase rules
According to reports, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski plans to order a review of the "spectrum screen" used to analyze whether a company has acquired too much wireless spectrum. The FCC uses the rules to decide whether or not to approve mergers and purchases. Deals that violate the spectrum screen are given closer analysis before approval.
Bill will force renovation of dated absorption metrics
On Friday, Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced bill HR 6358 to Congress, which could spawn a new national research program to study cell phones and force the FCC and EPA to update the Specific Absorption Rate methodology for determining the potential damage that radio frequency emissions can cause. The bill, should it be passed, will "examine, label, and communicate adverse human biological effects associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields from cell phones and other wireless devices, and for other purposes."
AT&T could face net neutrality charges for 3G FaceTime fees
In the wake of the discovery of a dialog box implying AT&T will charge for FaceTime over 3G above and beyond existing wireless fees, Sprint has gone on record opposing the move. Sprint remains "committed to our unlimited data, and that means not charging for data consumption based on the application." When queried earlier this week, AT&T CEO Randall L. Stephenson said that it was "too early" to address FaceTime fees, and AT&T was working closely with Apple on the developer build of iOS 6. Verizon's statement was even more terse, saying only that "the timing of any pricing conversations related to future versions of iOS is premature.”
Amazon first foreign company to become an NVMO in Japan
Amazon will be the first foreign company to offer a prepaid wireless service in Japan. Nikkei [account required] reports prepaid SIM cards with 500MB preallocated to it will be sold for 1,980 Yen ($25) through the website, and as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), will be carried by NTT Docomo's LTE network. This takes place ahead of the expected Japanese launch of the Amazon Kindle in the summer.
Subwoofer interacts wireless system
Sonos has introduced the Sub, a wireless subwoofer designed to work alongside the company's amplified systems with wireless support. The resin cabinet integrates a pair of acoustic ports and speaker cones, each facing inward in a configuration that is claimed to eliminate buzz or rattle, while dual Class D amplifiers provides the power.
Buffalo releases new-gen 802.11ac wireless router, media bridge
Buffalo has announced that its 802.11ac next-generation Wi-Fi solution is now on the market. It has jointly made available its AirStation WZR-D1800H wireless router and its WLI-H4-D1300 wireless media bridge available so users can hook straight up to Wi-Fi speeds 3 times faster than 802.11n and 30 percent faster than Gigabit Ethernet. The new router is also dual-band capable and will support older Wi-Fi devices.
System said to offer space reduction
IDT Wireless Power has introduced new wireless charging components that are claimed to slash the time that it takes to charge mobile devices such as cellphones and tablets. The company's latest system is said to bring a 50-percent cost savings, 67-percent reduction in component count, and 73-percent total system efficiency compared to the previous generation.
Researchers 'twist' airwaves, boost bandwidth
A team of Swedish and Italian physicists has developed an experimental technique that has the potential to dramatically increase both speed and bandwidth using the electromagnetic wireless spectrum. According the BBC, the method exploits a property of physics that can be observed in space known as the ‘orbital angular momentum’ of airwaves. Already in discussions to commercialize the technology, the researchers have used the phenomenon to impart the waves with a ‘twist’ to fit multiple data streams where previously there was only room for one.
Tim Donahue may replace Sanjiv Ahuja
Beleagured LightSquared, the LTE data company that is facing stiff government resistance to its GPS-fouling technology for implementing wireless networks, is said to be considering hiring former Sprint chairman and Nextel CEO Timothy Donahue to head the company following the resignation of former CEO Sanjiv Ahuja. The veteran telecommunications executive could help the company fight government opposition to its high-speed network plans.
FCC puts up $300 for Phase 1 of Mobility Fund
The FCC has scheduled a reverse auction to help facilitate a build out program to expand 3G services to rural regions. The agency has compiled a $300 million Mobility Fund for Phase 1 of the project as it aims to give US citizens ‘universal broadband and advanced mobile coverage by the end of the decade.’ The money has been made available as part of the Connect America Fund.
Wireless speakers for home and auto
SuperTooth, a French Bluetooth accessories maker best known for their line of wireless car speakers, has announced two new products at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The first is a complete re-design of its previous Disco portable speaker into the Disco2, which features an angular vertical look but maintains the high sound quality. Also debuting is Crystal, the company's latest sun-visor-mounted Bluetooth speaker for smartphones.
Products for home, portable and live events, more
Consumer electronics manufacturer Behringer has introduced its 2012 lineup of products, many of which are aimed at iOS devices under the umbrella moniker of Eurosound. Offerings in the 50-product lineup include a sound-bar-and-subwoofer set, a wireless iPod sound system, a portable Bluetooth speaker, a PA system with an iPod dock built-in and more. The company has brought its notorious iNuke and its new lineup to the CES show.
Improved wireless and USB drive speeds
Cisco today launched an updated version of its dual-band "N" home router, now dubbed the E4200v2, which features networking speeds of up to 450Mbps in each of its two bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz), totalling up to 900 Mbps performance. The company also launched an app for iOS and Android devices to allow users to make configuration changes to the network.
Available in either white or black
Verbatim has re-worked its Bluetooth Wireless Mobile Keyboard to add features specific media control and function keys suited to iOS devices while keeping the keyboard compatible with other tablets and compatible smartphones. In addition, the Bluetooth capability of the device has been upgraded to allow pairing with up to six devices. The compact, foldable keyboard also includes an iPhone stand to put the smaller device at a comfortable angle while typing.
Exits business less than 1 year after launch
Cox Communications is exiting the wireless carrier business. Engadget has
posted internal Cox email that indicate the cable, broadband, and long distance carrier will unveil as soon as Tuesday night that it will be getting out of the cellular business by the end of March. It would stop selling new cellphones and wireless service effective Wednesday.
Move to halt continuing increases
The US House of Representatives has voted in favor of legislation that places a temporary halt on increases to taxes on cellular service. The approval will prevent state and local taxes on cellphone and wireless broadband service from increasing in the near future, though the bill only freezes the tax hikes for a period of five years.