Archive for: cellular

AT&T Launching Smartphone Security Service In 2012.

  • May 16, 2011 1:21 pm

Thanks to a recent interview between AT&T’s enterprise captain John Stankey and Reuters, it has been revealed that a consumer-grade security service for smartphones is coming in 2012. As smartphones become more important in the daily lives of consumers and traditional computing device usage wanes, hackers will turn their efforts towards the mobile world. Currently, the security/anti-virus/anti-malware service is being focused on enterprise enterprise customers, however, Stankey admits that the company is also looking at the consumer sector.

Unfortunately, while the new security service was acknowledged, any features we might see as well as supported platforms were left out. If we assume that the service will require some sort of client-side app or service, we can effectively rule out Apple’s iPhone which doesn’t allow non-sanctioned apps outside of the Apple App Store to be installed (legitimately). That leaves Android, BlackBerry, and webOS as the only other major contenders. Though the unstoppable popularity of Android and recent increase in Android-related attacks signals that said platform is high on the list of AT&T’s concerns.

It’s inevitable that our smartphones will one day have anti-virus/malware software and services like our desktop and laptop computers given the increasing power they contain. Perhaps that day is closer than we thought?

Unlucky Woman Tricked Into Using Stolen SIM Card. $193,187.43 Overage Bill Ensues.

  • May 3, 2011 11:51 am

Every once in a while we’ll see a story of an unlucky parent or oblivious mobile user who ventures into roaming land and racks up a several thousand dollar data overage bill. For all of those people, we say “shut up”. No one has it as bad as one unlucky Tasmanian lady by the name of Kylie Monks. A harmless online chat session with a “man of desire” turned into a donated (stolen) SIM card. The SIM card wasn’t the helpful man’s, but instead a local utility company’s. The man requested Kylie download the movies and then mail back physical copies to him because his modem was broken. Kylie unintelligently began a data sucking marathon that lasted between November 19, 2009, and February 9, 2010 which totaled almost 100 GB! She says that besides general web surfing and app downloads, she also download a ton of movies by way of her laptop and burnt them to DVDs — which explains the insanely high data usage in such a short span of time.

Unfortunately for Kylie, each MB of overage data cost the utility company ~$2, ultimately adding up to a $193,187.43 bill that said victim received in the mail as well as a 6-month prison term which she was forced to serve.

Moral of the story: Don’t use SIM cards from strangers. They’re probably stolen.

Larger Carriers Don’t Want FCC To Mandate Interoperability On 700MHz Networks.

  • April 26, 2011 1:44 pm

In a move that shouldn’t surprise most, AT&T and Verizon are voicing their disapproval of a proposed plan by the FCC to mandate interoperability between 700MHz networks and the accompanying hardware. The growing problem is that as carriers build out their networks (specifically LTE networks) across the recently auctioned off 700MHz spectrum, roaming from one network to another will be increasingly difficult and costly because there isn’t yet one “do-it-all” chip. Instead, individual carriers have hardware designed specifically for their network frequency.

It makes sense for smaller carriers to want this interoperability so that roaming is affordable and possible. Larger carriers such as AT&T and Verizon, however, add that requiring interoperability will add cost and size to future handsets. Not only that, but a universally supportive chip will take years to develop — or so they say.

We’ll go out on a limb and say that most people won’t mind a millimeter or two here or there if it means consistant access across the country regardless of network. Hell, we’d take a slightly thicker phone if it meant 30-60 minutes more battery life. Hopefully an agreement can be formed so that both sides — larger and smaller carriers — are relatively satisfied.

The Closed Future Of Android.

  • April 2, 2011 10:03 pm

Since late 2008, Android has been the anti-Apple to the smartphone world. Where Apple restricts, Android creates opportunities. But that may not always be the case if cellular carriers, hardware manufacturers, and now Google have their way…

Next-gen 802.16m WiMAX Standard Gets Approved By IEEE

  • April 2, 2011 3:18 pm

Despite the slow uptake of the so called 4G technology publicly known as “WiMAX”, the IEEE is hard at work prepping said technology’s successor — 802.16m. This new standard will no doubt carry the name “WiMAX 2″ when the time comes for a mass rollout. For now though, that name is uncertain. What is certain, however, is that 802.16m will be fast. The theoretical maximum as stated by the IEEE is 300Mbps which puts it at twice the rated speed of LTE. However, when compared to LTE-advanced and its 1Gbps peak download rate (theoretical), it’s not nearly as exciting. Nevertheless, WiMAX supporters should be pleased seeing as the current adoption and real-world speeds attained with current WiMAX networks leave quite a bit to be desired.

Presser after the break…

Infograph: The Disbanding And Re-arming Of AT&T.

  • March 29, 2011 2:03 pm

AT&T has gone from giant to plethora of government created competition and back to giant in just two decades. We could post up all kinds of boring news articles, spreadsheets, and legal paperwork perfectly detailing the happenings, or, we could enlighten you all with a handy infograph showing not only AT&T’s last few decades, but the other major carriers’ as well. here’s to hoping someone intervenes to stop the travesty that is unfolding. Hop on past for the full-res image…

Sprint: AT&T/T-Mobile Merger Is Bad, Bad News.

  • March 21, 2011 7:32 am

Still recovering from the bombshell news that dropped yesterday concerning AT&T purchasing T-Mobile USA? You’re not alone. Sprint is still pretty shocked themselves for reasons fairly similar to ours — they realize such a merger could destroy consumer choice and bring wireless innovation to a halt. Sprint has gone on the record saying that the AT&T/T-Mobile merger will “dramatically alter” the wireless landscape in the U.S. while also demanding that the U.S. Department of Justice and FCC thoroughly scour over every stone in the AT&T/T-Mobile merger deal. We’ve already stated that nothing good (for consumers) can come from this merger. Hopefully the powers that be can withstand the countless lobbying dollars being thrown at them and actually put the people first for a change.

T-Mobile Launching Jet 2.0 4G March 23rd.

  • March 16, 2011 6:56 am

TmoNews has scored some news regarding the next generation of laptop 3G/4G sticks to drop on the Magenta carrier’s network. Specifically, the latest 4G-capable Jet 2.0 4G will be hitting retail shelves March 23rd. Picking up the new hardware will net users up to 21Mbps speeds on the downlink side of things and an integrated memory card slot. If the only thing holding you back thus far from picking up a 3G/4G wireless modem has been price, T-Mobile prides themselves in being one of the best values in town. Though, now that the recent price increase on *usable* data plans has brought things up to $49.99, they aren’t quite as lust-worthy as before. Nevertheless, options are options…

NFC Not Debuting On iPhone 5.

  • March 14, 2011 12:01 am

Despite persistant rumors saying otherwise, new evidence is pointing to an iPhone 5 without NFC capabilities. Such claims were apparently made by Apple during meetings with European cellular carriers. According to reports from the Independent, Apple is waiting on clearer standards as well as waiting for their own NFC technology to mature before they make their move. Apple’s NFC technology would unsurprisingly revolve around iTunes for the exchange of cash.

Similar rumors pegged the iPad 2 as debuting with NFC technologies as well. Though as we’ve all seen, such rumors never quite came to fruition, as the iPad 2 is NFC-less. With projected sales of NFC payments slated to hit €110bn by 2015, it’s definitely in every mobile manufacturer and cellular providers’ best interests to get a grip on this technology sooner rather than later. Hopefully 2012 brings clearer standards and/or Apple’s own NFC technology ready to battle with the likes of Google’s own NFC-capable Android devices and any other contenders that enter the market space.