Archive for: vzw

Motorola Falling Into The RAZR Trap Once Again?

  • October 2, 2011 8:07 pm


The big news tonight: The unannounced Motorola DROID HD has been found in VZW’s device manager proving the device is coming sooner rather than later. Specs include a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM and a 4.3″ Super AMOLED display. Sound awesome?

To us it sounds like more of the same. The Bionic, DROID X2, DROID HD — they’re all pretty similar. Motorola is starting to go through the same motions that almost sank them a few short years ago…

Motorola XOOM LTE Upgrade Officially Begins Tomorrow (September 29th)!

  • September 28, 2011 6:15 pm


The day we all thought would never come — the day in which early XOOM adopters could mail in their homely 3G unit for a 1-2 hardware swap to more brisk LTE gear. Yes, it’s finally here. All you have to do is to navigate to www.verizonwireless.com/Xoom4GLTEupgrade. After the pre-paid shipping materials arrive at your door, simply drop your XOOM inside and find something to do during the week-long ordeal.

If you haven’t snagged a XOOM yet you may be better off. Beginning on October 13th Verizon will sell Motorola XOOMs with the LTE hardware already installed for $499.

Who’s ready?

Motorola DROID Bionic Uses A Custom In-house LTE Chip.

  • September 28, 2011 9:39 am


That Motorola DROID Bionic doesn’t just make use of Unicorn horn dust to achieve the better than average LTE battery life. According to ABI Research labs vice president of engineering James Mielke, “Motorola has mixed some of the latest technology with quite a few components now considered the norm and a few that have not been seen in phones for years”. (Read: Motorola’s LTE chip is super fancy/special.)

The discovery was made after a full teardown of the phone, and notes that while the LTE chip is custom made, the CDMA portion is your typical generic Qualcomm silicon found any every other CDMA device. But what’s even more interesting than the mere fact that Motorola designed their own LTE chip (Intel/Infineon based) is that they used some pretty old modem technology (10-year old tech specifically) and supports a good deal more “RF frequencies than either Motorola or Verizon advertise”.

If you’re eyes have glazed over, just know this: That extra 9 months Moto took to get the Bionic into public hands was well spent. It’s faster, more potent, and more frugal thanks to a little old school ingenuity.

Verizon Sides With Samsung, Urges U.S. Courts To Reject Injunction Against Samsung Smartphones And Tablets.

  • September 24, 2011 6:17 am


It’s not too often that cellular carriers get into patent battles with hardware manufacturers on their own accord. But Verizon realizing the potential for disaster should U.S. courts grant an Apple-led injunction against Verizon’s top-tier Samsung devices, namely the Galaxy Fuse 4G, Galaxy S 4G, DROID Charge, and Galaxy Tab 10.1, has urged U.S courts to reject any sales bans on the aforementioned devices. By Verizon’s account, allowing such a ban would “negatively affect governmental policy pushing for the expansion of US broadband networks”, not to mention, loosing access to a vast array of LTE equipment would also harm Verizon’s aggressive LTE rollout plans. Verizon even plays one close to home by telling the courts any Samsung hardware ban would hurt “the job growth dependent on that (LTE) network” as outlined by recently passed bills by President Obama.

At this point in the game we’re sick and tired of the legal sissy fighting taking place. We’d much rather see companies put hard earned dollars towards actual innovation and R&D rather than funding some lawyers’ pockets.

As always with tech patent related news, FOSS Patents breaks everything down in detail right over here.

Thoughts?

Verizon CEO To Government: “Not Allowing AT&T/T-Mobile Merger Will Hurt U.S. Wireless Customers.”

  • September 22, 2011 8:38 am

If you thought Verizon’s stance would mirror Sprint/Nextel in opposing the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, you’re in for a world of surprise. During an investor conference on Wednesday, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam stated that the government needs to allow the merger to allow the cellular industry to keep pace with the customer demand.

“We need to be very thoughtful on what the impacts would be to the overall industry if this is a way to regulate the industry without actually passing regulation.”

“I have taken the position that the AT&T merger with T-Mobile was kind of like gravity. It had to occur, because you had a company with a T-Mobile that had the spectrum but didn’t have the capital to build it out. AT&T needed the spectrum, they didn’t have it in order to take care of their customers, and so that match had to occur.”

The statement is somewhat surprising considering AT&T would leapfrog Verizon in total customer base by many tens of millions. So why are they supportive of the merger?

[Update 2: Lots Of Indiana Cities] Verizon Planning Another LTE Love Fest For October 20th.

  • September 20, 2011 11:42 am


So AT&T just launched their 5-market strong LTE network this past Sunday. Good for them. Verizon has 143 markets covered in LTE goodness. And starting October Update: 20th 21st that list will grow by (an assumed) 21 more. The list of new cities gaining LTE hasn’t been fully revealed just yet, though we’re adding to it as new information becomes available…

New Cities

  • Alabama: Birmingham
  • Florida: Fort Myers/li>
  • Indiana: Bedford, Bloomington, Boonville, Elkhart, Evansville, Goshen, Granger, Jasper, Mishawaka, Mitchell, South Bend, and Terre Haute
  • Iowa: Sioux City
  • New Mexico: Albuquerque, Sante Fe
  • New York: Buffalo/Niagra
  • Wisconsin: Green Bay

Expanding Cities

  • California: San Diego and Los Angeles

Stay tuned as we’ll fill out the list above as new/expanded cities become known.

Verizon Posts Web Page Detailing “Network Optimization” On Unlimited Data Plans.

  • September 18, 2011 11:19 am


If you thought Verizon was going to allow grandfathered unlimited data plans to go un-checked for the rest of eternity, think again. In an AT&T-like move, Verizon posted a new page today detailing the company’s new (went into effect September 15th) “Network Optimization” (read: throttling) tactics on so called “unlimited” plans.

According to Verizon the top 5% of unlimited data users on grandfathered plans use more than 2 GB of data per month. These users will now see data speeds cut once the 2 GB threshold is surpassed, though only on congested cell sites. It’s also worth noting Verizon is taking a similar approach to how Sprint handles throttling in that only 3G customers are affected. Customers making use of Verizon’s LTE network will still be able to surf the open web free of any set boundaries as long as they were subscribed to an unlimited data plan before the tiered offerings went into effect.

The change is far from welcome given the very meaning of the word “unlimited”. To be fair, however, they’re not the only carrier employing such measures. As highlighted earlier, Sprint has a similar 3G/4G split, though there’s differs from Verizon’s in that it is actually a hard cap on 3G plans, not a throttling of speed. T-Mobile meanwhile does throttle network speeds over a more generous 5 GB “soft cap”.

If Verizon keeps heavy-handed throttling limited to actual networks bursting at the seams it’s actually a good thing for crowded areas. But as history has shown us, changes to cellular contracts at the whim of the carriers is rarely in consumers’ best interests.

Verizon Director Dishes On The Company’s Roadmap, LTE-Advanced.

  • September 15, 2011 10:59 am


How insanely devoted is Verizon to stomping the competition? Very. Today Praveen Atreya, director of network technology for Verizon mentioned to LightReading that the company is not only working feverishly to get LTE coverage nationwide, they’re already looking towards LTE’s replacement — LTE-Advanced (read: the original, “real” 4G before marketing buzzwords took over). Atreya admitted that such network upgrades were still in the very early stages.

Meanwhile Verizon’s director of technology applications, Larry Rau, told LightReading that VZW is still testing Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) in two pre-commercial markets and that public launches are unlikely until later in 2012. If you recall, one of the original market points of the LG Revolution Android device was that it was supposed to support VoLTE. Unfortunately as we now see, the network just isn’t ready quite yet.

With all that said, we don’t see LTE-Advanced going live until mid-2013(ish) at the earliest considering VoLTE (and data-based LTE) will need to be widely available and robust if VZW is serious about moving away from CDMA in an effort to free up more spectrum for LTE. Multi-year waiting aside, we’re eagerly anticipating LTE-Advanced’s 1 Gbps potential.

Nexus Prime Reportedly Shown Off At VZW Dev Conference. Spoiler: It’s A Beast.

  • September 14, 2011 10:30 pm


Google’s upcoming Nexus Prime handset will be “the” Android phone to close 2011. Considering it’s Samsung built, good design is almost surely guaranteed. But at this point it is the hardcore specs we want to know about.

While we have not been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of any such device called “Nexus Prime” ourselves, Kyle over at The Droid Guy was…