Archive for the ‘Cellular’ Category

Motorola XOOM LTE Module Passes Through FCC.

  • July 12, 2011 2:15 pm

What once started as a several week delay turned into a “summer 2011″ blunder. Yes, we’re talking about Motorola’s XOOM LTE upgrade program. And while Motorola may be tight lipped, obscure and unwilling to share any information regarding the previously promised LTE upgrade for current 3G-enabled XOOMs, the FCC isn’t. Look what just passed through — FCC ID IHDP56LU2 (read: XOOM LTE Module).

While this is certainly good news for the legions of increasingly impatient XOOM owners, we’ll still have to wait for Motorola and Verizon to get their ducks organized accordingly seeing as how they’ll have to do the dirty work. Though given the quickly disappearing summer days on the calendar and now official FCC validation, victory can’t be too much further, right?

Any XOOM owners planning on sending their device in for the week-long upgrade process?

“iPod Touch 3G” Concept Hits The Web.

  • July 12, 2011 11:48 am

If history repeats itself (and it will), this September will see the launching of new iPod Touches. And like the rumored iPhone refresh also coming in September, the next-gen iPod Touch is said to be getting rather minor upgrades with most of the change coming under the hood. The most exciting rumor we’ve seen thus far has Apple finally stuffing a 3G radio inside. Doing so will fulfill the dreams of countless Apple die-hards looking for a smaller iPad of sorts as that’s basically what a 3G-enabled iPod Touch would be.

Aside from internal features, the external ones will again be small in nature. Nevertheless, we won’t turn down a good concept image. And the one above created by the iPhoneDownloadBlog is just that — a good concept. What do you think? Worthy of the “iPhone Lite/iPod Touch 3G” name?

AT&T Ups Data Allotment On Global Data Plans — They Still Suck.

  • July 12, 2011 11:21 am

AT&T is feeling a bit more generous these days towards globe trotters made evident by some newly revamped global data plans. The only problem, however, is that the plans are still grossly overpriced and give end users far too little data. The most generous 800 MB — yes, 800 megabytes — costs $199/month! As we’ve mentioned before, if traveling abroad for any length of time, getting your phone unlocked and a pre-paid SIM from a local carrier is a much, much better option.

AT&T’s super fantastic global data pricing:

  • 50 MB: $24.99/month
  • 125 MB: $49.99/month
  • 275 MB: $99.99/month
  • 800 MB: $199.99/month

For the record, the old plans followed the same pricing scheme but came in at 20 MB/50 MB/100 MB/200 MB respectively — they went from downright abysmal to merely terrible. Yay for progress AT&T!

We’re pretty sure — no, we’re really sure — AT&T’s percentage of the aforementioned roaming fees are not nearly high enough to justify the exorbitant costs being levied upon customers.

As previously stated, get a local pre-paid SIM. You’ll be happier (and far wealthier) for doing so.

Apple To Pass On LTE Chip In Next iPhone Update?

  • July 10, 2011 4:56 pm

Speculation that Apple was going to add the LTE chip in the iPhone 5 update has been said over and over again. There were rumors way back in the day saying that the iPhone 4 was supposed to get the new technology. With the iPhone 5 (4S) update just around the corner, Wayne Lam of iSuppli makes his case against Apple adapting the 4G Long-term evolution:

“It remains to be seen whether the next Apple iPhone set for introduction in September will support 4G LTE,” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for IHS. “However, if it does, two things are clear. First, the iPhone’s minuscule printed circuit board (PCB) will have to grow in size in order to support the first-generation LTE baseband processor as well as all the supporting chipset. Second, the next iPhone’s BOM value certainly will increase substantially compared to the iPhone 4 if LTE is implemented in the same manner as in the HTC Thunderbolt.”

As the specs show, adding LTE to the HTC Thunderbolt added an additional $39.75 which upped its bill of materials to $262 - which is the highest BOM cost of any cellphone currently IHS has had the privileged to tear down. If Apple were to add the technology to it’s upcoming update, Wayne says that it’ll add an additional $40 to the core costs - $211 up from $171. This of course is from the February tear down of the CDMA iPhone 4 currently on the Verizon network.

Adding the LTE chip will greatly increase the size of the iPhone, and with all the current rumors saying we’ll see a thinner iPhone it wouldn’t make sense to thicken it up. Reports of a small enough chip needed to keep the iPhone at a similar size aren’t to be released until mid-2012. Does anyone out there think a thicker iPhone would be warranted to add such a new technology as LTE? I would say a bigger screen, longer battery life and a better camera are a higher priority than the 4G speeds.

Rogers Launches First LTE Market In Ottowa. Promises 25 Total Markets By End Of 2012.

  • July 8, 2011 7:32 am

3G is soooo 2006. 4G, well, what carriers claim is “4G” is the new hotness. Here in America Verizon Wireless is dominating the next-gen wireless market in both raw speeds and coverage while lesser players — hey AT&T, what’s up! — are still lagging sorely behind. But what does the situation look like abroad?

Our friends up north in Canada can now officially join in the fake 4G party thanks to Rogers’ new LTE network. Currently only available in Ottawa, Rogers will work on expanding LTE networks to Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal as 2011 wears on and 21 more markets in 2012. Although Rogers says theoretical top-end speeds will touch 75 Mbps, real-world results are likely to rest somewhere between 12-25 Mbps — which is still insanely fast.

We invite any Rogers customers to drop us a line with some screencaps, personal accounts, or whatever else you feel like sending our way detailing Rogers’ new wireless waves. In the meantime, users wanting to know about future LTE coverage coming to their neck of the woods can F5 attack for the latest updates in new LTE expansions. You can of course stop by GS as well — we tend to follow these things…

Verizon Unlimited Data Plan Officially Dead. Did You Switch?

  • July 7, 2011 7:09 am

That’s a wrap, folks! Verizon’s $30 unlimited plan is gone (likely forever). In its place are overpriced tiers offering a pittance of data at their respective price levels. If you managed to squeak into Verizon yesterday solely for the purpose of keeping a grandfathered data plan, we congratulate you.

While we are critical of Verizon’s new data plans we do have to give them some credit. While Verizon is allowing you to keep your unlimited data plan moving forward, they’re also allowing you to receive new phone upgrade discounts and tack on the $20/month 2 GB or $30/month unlimited tethering plan on top of your existing unlimited data plan. AT&T on the other hand refuses to allow those with grandfathered unlimited data plans add any tethering packages to their accounts. In turn, AT&T customers have to decide if they want unlimited data or the ability to tether — with plans that are also grossly overpriced.

If you weren’t on Verizon prior to the ending of their unlimited data plan, are you now? As it stands now, Sprint and T-Mobile are the only players left in the “unlimited” race. T-Mobile throttles data speeds after you surpass 5 GB while Sprint offers 5 GB/unlimited data depending on their 3G and 4G networks respectively.

VZW Brochures Confirm Tiered Data Plan Pricing, Allotment.

  • July 5, 2011 11:17 am

The tiered VZW data plans and their too high pricing have been rumored and leaked a couple of times over the last several weeks. But it is only today, a mere 2 days before the official July 7th launch date, that we finally receive some concrete evidence.

Exhibit A: VZW brochures that clearly lay out the new data plan tiers and pricing above.

  • 75MB - $10
  • 2GB - $30
  • 5GB - $50
  • 10GB - $80

Unlimited data plan users can still keep their data plan as long as they sign up before the 7th. After July 7th VZW is doing AT&T one better by allowing contract changes and phone upgrades while continuing to allow customers to keep their unlimited data. New lines added to your account after July 7th, however, will no longer have the unlimited data option.

Overage charges come in the form of $10/75 MB on the lowest tier to $10/GB on the higher tiers. 3G tethering will cost $20/2 GB and the recently leaked 4G tethering plan will come to market at $30/Unlimited 4G/LTE data.

Again, old news. But it’s confirmed old news.

Verizon To Offer $30 Unlimited 4G Tethering Plan Starting July 7th!

  • July 2, 2011 3:58 pm

Verizon’s new data plans launching on July 7th have already been detailed rather extensively. While most of the new tiers give too little data for much too high a price, the fact that Verizon is allowing people to grandfather their unlimited data plans even when upgrading phones on new 2-year contracts is somewhat pleasing. What was uncertain, however, was what Verizon would do after the free 4G/LTE hotspot promo expires on July 6th…

Verizon: “New Regulatory Charge Increase Won’t Let You Cancel Contract Sans ETF.”

  • June 30, 2011 8:17 am

Whenever carriers make a material change to contracts, disgruntled customers jump for joy as it is their meal ticket to freedom sans ETF. All too often (read: every damn time) unfortunately, the carrier in question finds some excuse to say why a particular contract alteration doesn’t qualify for this ETF-free contract cancellation.

So it is with great sadness and disdain we announce that Verizon’s recent regulatory charge increase from $0.13 to $0.16 will not allow customers to cancel their contracts without paying the ETF…