Archive for: 4g

HTC Toys With Our Hearts Again. Launches New 4G Teaser Page With Veiled Phone. #htc #4g

Looks like HTC wants to poke and prod our hearts for the next week and a half (and counting) until CES starts on Jan. 6th. On that day, HTC (and presumably Verizon) will unveil the next 4G phone in HTC’s portfolio, highly believed to be the HTC Meca/Incredible HD and believed to pack quite a punch hardware wise. While we don’t have hard specs on it yet, it’s basically a cross between an Evo 4G and T-Mobile G2 — except better. Why better? Because it will have LTE.

Hands-on time will be coming soon enough…

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LTE Packin’, Android Powered, Samsung SCH-I520 Image Leaked. #samsung

We already know that Verizon is preparing an onslaught of LTE handphones for early 2011. They’ve already got an impressive LTE network up and running, with next year promising to be many times better. On that note, we’ve already seen a couple of LTE phones leaked such as the HTC Incredible HD and Motorola Olympus. And now, we can add a third device to that list of leaked phones — the Samsung SCH-i520.

Truth be told, the SCH-i520 is very likely close in design and style to the current Galaxy S variants (SCH-i500), with the only major difference being the LTE radio stuffed inside. While we’d like to see a freshened design, we’re certainly not complaining.

CES 2011 is in less than two weeks. I’m sure we’ll have plenty to talk about regarding Verizon and LTE in the very near future.

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T-Mobile’s HSPA+ Network Tops Sprint In Top 100 Cities. #4g

Now that every one of the major carriers’ next-gen wireless plans are officially considered 4G, the trash talking and competition is only going to increase. On that note, Sprint has maintained from the beginning that they were the one, true 4G network. There’s certain expectations that come with such a claim, namely fast speeds. And while Sprint’s WiMax network is pretty brisk, numerous speed tests by various third party groups have found it to be rather lacking all things considered. With that said, T-Mobile pumped out a press release today citing another 3rd party study that found T-Mobile the fastest wireless carrier in the top 100 cities. But there’e a catch — The study was run between June 2010-November 2010. Verizon’s new LTE network was likely not part of that. And so far, “average” speeds have been in the ~8Mbps range with lows down around 3Mbps with bursts all the way up to 30Mbps! T-Mobile’s equally fast HSPA+ network has seen averages a bit lower, hovering around !4-6Mbps generally.

But even if we throw out the fastest title and give it to Verizon, there’s certainly no denying T-Mobile’s impressive achievements. Just a few short years ago as Verizon and AT&T were bragging about massive 3G networks, T-Mobile was sticking by their 2.5G EDGE network and claiming 3G wasn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, leaving many to wonder how T-Mobile would fair in a world full of super fast 3G networks. Interesting what a few years difference makes, isn’t it?

But the fun isn’t over yet. Next year, Verizon will greatly increase their LTE footprint while T-Mobile will once again upgrade their HSPA+ network from the current max of 21Mbps to 42Mbps. Sprint will continue their pokey rollout of WiMax, and AT&T will begin their LTE rollout as well. Exciting times ahead…

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Even With New SIM Cards, Verizon LTE Phones May Not be so Open. #vzw4g

Since the battle between GSM and CDMA began many years ago, GSM supporters have constantly pointed towards GSM’s use of SIM cards as one reason why the technology is better and more consumer friendly. Since a customer’s information is tied to a removable and portable card instead of the device itself, they can move around from device to device and service to service with relative ease. Once it was made known that Verizon would be employing SIM cards for their LTE devices, the mobile world lit up with glee as Verizon, one of the largest U.S. mobile carriers, was finally joining the world of SIM cards and all that great features the provide. But there are a couple of problems with that theory.

For starters, just because Verizon uses SIM cards now doesn’t mean you can just pop the SIM card in any other SIM card-loving device nor can you use any SIM card-supporting device on Verizon’s network. The frequencies that the two devices in question make use of must match. And in the case of Verizon’s LTE network, there really isn’t any other carrier that shares the same 700MHz frequency.

But there’s a much more grim roadblock ahead and it once again deals with carrier control…
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Sprint Launching WiMax in San Fransisco on December 28th. #wimax

U.S. CDMA carrier, Sprint, announced confirmed today that the company will officially launch WiMax in San Fransisco on December 28th, though he carrier has been testing the next generation network since early September. Once San Fransisco WiMax goes live, it will give Sprint a total of 71 markets now covered with the company’s 4G service.

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Novatel USB551L Does Verizon LTE For Windows and Mac. #vzw4g

Some may question the need for yet another LTE modem running on Verizon’s network, but we here at Gadgetsteria say “the more the merrier”. On that note, this particular Novatel USB551L LTE modem stands out from the current of modems offered by LG and Pantech by not only supporting Windows machines, but Macs as well. Finally, OS X users can enjoy the super speedy bits that LTE provides. One other, less boast-worthy feature is still an unknown at this point, though is nonetheless worth a mention. All we’ll say is that the flyer above makes no mention of backwards compatibility with older EVDO/3G networks. If the Novatel is in fact LTE-only, it will leave you with quite the tie-breaker — Mac support or wider coverage with 3G/4G capabilities? Decisions decisions…

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T-Mobile Releasing HSPA+ MiFi in Q2 2011. #4g #tmobile

Now that the ITU considers HSPA+ “4G”, T-Mobile is pushing ahead even harder with their HSPA+ network and accompanying devices. While we already have the Web Rocket 2.0 HSPA+ USB Data stick, one thing that has been missing so far in T-Mobile’s big marketing push is a speedy HSPA+ MiFi router piggybacking on said network allowing not only you, but several other devices to enjoy the speedy network as well.

Thanks to the leaked document above, it appears that we won’t have to wait too much longer as T-Mobile will be joining the rest of the civilized 4G world in Q2 2011 with their very own HSPA+ MiFi device. According to the documentation above, the HSPA+ MiFi will support 21Mbps speeds at launch, though no word on if a software upgrade will bring support for the faster 42Mbps speeds T-Mobile is aiming to roll out next year is made. But considering that HSPA+ has so far been giving increased speeds to other hardware via software upgrades means there’s a good chance the same thing will apply here as well. Above all else, HSPA+’s backwards compatibility is a very big selling point in the next-gen wireless wars, especially because it allows extremely quick upgrades network wide.

For now, there isn’t any information regarding a specific launch date, device pricing, or data plan pricing. With that said, we figure T-Mobile will follow the other carriers who have already done the whole MiFi thing — Expect to drop anywhere between $0-$200 on the device itself and ~$30-$50 on the service.

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Verizon Confirms LTE Handsets Will be on Display at #CES2011

With Verizon’s LTE 3G spec now considered a real 4G technology, marketing hype behind Verizon’s next gen network will only increase. They’ve already been dominating the web advertisements for the last week boasting of their 4G data card while simultaneously teasing us with bits and peaces of future 4G-equipped smartphones. Speaking of which, many people including myself were hoping Verizon would show us some of their upcoming 4G devices at CES 2011. Thankfully it appears that VZW will in fact oblige with the latest tweet from @VerizonWireless using the ‘ol peanut butter and chocolate analogy, solidifying the notion that we’ll get some more info and hands-on time with a few of 2011′s LTE smartphones in a mere two weeks!

Be sure to stay glued to Gadgetsteria the first week of January as we’ll be bringing you non-stop CES 2011 action!
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Attn Bridgeport, CT and Denver, CO Residents: WiMax is a Go! #wimax #sprint #4g

Sprint customers in Bridgeport, Connecticut and Denver, Colorado have a new reason to be Merry this Christmas season for Sprint has just flipped the switch on WiMax (now considered “real” 4G) in said areas. As of writing, the two new markets bring the grand total to 70 WiMax-enabled locales across 27 different states. On that note, Sprint’s WiMax rollout has been anything but fast, taking over two years now to reach that 70-market figure. Though hopefully as new markets are added, the speed at which they come is increased as well. Nonetheless, I’m sure the residents of Bridgeport and Denver aren’t going to be complaining anymore…

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ITU Changes Direction. Now Considers HSPA+, LTE, and WiMax 4G Standards. #lte #wimax #hspa+ #4g

As HSPA+, LTE, and WiMax continue their rollout across the country, cellular carriers’ marketing departments have been hard at work pushing the “4G” nomenclature even though said technologies aren’t truly “4G” according to the ITU’s definition. Well, that was then and this is now. Following the ITU’s December meeting and after many weeks of deliberations, the following changes were voiced in an official press release:

Following a detailed evaluation against stringent technical and operational criteria, ITU has determined that “LTE-Advanced” and “WirelessMAN-Advanced” should be accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced. As the most advanced technologies currently defined for global wireless mobile broadband communications, IMT-Advanced is considered as “4G”, although it is recognized that this term, while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed. The detailed specifications of the IMT-Advanced technologies will be provided in a new ITU-R Recommendation expected in early 2012.

Basically, they’re saying that because the term “4G” was being marketed so heavily with no real chance of reversing any of the carrier’s claims or positions, it was they (the ITU) who had to change. From here on out, it looks like HSPA+, LTE, and WiMax will join LTE-Advanced and WiMax 2 as true 4G technologies under the new definitions.

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T-Mobile USA-Backed, Long Term HSPA+ Evolution to Reach 650Mbps.

In the grander scheme of next gen 4G-networks-that-really-aren’t-4G, T-Mobile is the odd man out. Though when we consider all of the latest cellular technologies being employed by the big 4 US carriers in regards to speed/bandwidth, they’re all rather similar — claims T-Mobile. Sprint, with their WiMax network and Verizon pushing LTE will beg to differ however, and chop down T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network as nothing more than plain ‘ol 3G, and inferior to the their next-gen networks. But the latest submission to the 3GPP highlighted by Nokia Siemens regarding another speed bump in HSPA+’s upper limits has us excited. How does 650Mbps sound?

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Verizon Wireless Acknowledges 3G to LTE Handoff Lag. Promises Fix is in the Works. #vzw4g #lte

Today, December 13th, Verizon Wireless officially came forward and recognized a widespread issue that new users of the week-old LTE modems have been experiencing — hand off lag. More specifically, users of Verizon’s new LTE modems can take up to two minutes when switching from 3G -> LTE even when they’re in a strong LTE signal area — this according to VZW spokesperson, Jeffrey Nelson. For now, the only fix is it unplug the modem and then plug it back in if you don’t want to wait the full two minutes out.

While it is a relatively minor inconvenience, two minutes seems like an awfully long time for something that should be quite simple and quick in 2010. Nonetheless, Verizon Wireless says that a software fix is in the works. On that note, there isn’t any ETA as to when an update will be released, or even as to which particular modem is seeing the hand-off issue. Though, according to Alley Insider, the LG modem is the problem child.

Hopefully VZW can get to the bottom of the problem sooner rather than later. While it’s a minor inconvenience at best, it still something that should be left to run rampant for too long.

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