Tag Archive: 4g


We already knew Verizon was planning to hit one third of the country with LTE this year with plans to expand dramatically after that, but things are starting to come into sharper focus: the carrier today said that it’ll light up 30 “NFL cities” with 4G by the end of the year. Now, there’s only 32 teams, so it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out where that’s going to be — and considering the plan is to hit “major metropolitan areas,” we’ll go ahead and guess Green Bay isn’t on the list, even though the Packers are by far the best team in the league. (Buffalo and Jacksonville also spring to mind — and let’s not forget that the NFL still isn’t in LA, despite Ari Gold’s best fictional efforts on Entourage.) The plan is to first upgrade each cell site’s backhaul connection to Gigabit Ethernet so they’ll have the necessary bandwidth to support the 5-12Mbps down and 2-5Mbps up speeds with 30-150ms latency promised for Big Red’s LTE network at launch. Ambitious, but hey — we’d love nothing more than to be streaming the Super Bowl over LTE when all’s said and done.

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The CDMA-equipped Samsung Galaxy Tab has so far been nothing more than a sticker in a random snapshot and some whispers about Verizon, but Boy Genius Report is saying that the Tab’s also bound forSprint‘s network this November, on both its 3G and 4G (i.e. WiMAX) network — à la the Galaxy SEpic 4G. No word from Sammy HQ on this one, but it’s worth noting that in our briefing, a Samsung rep mentioned that an American carrier could put Qik on it and, well, that’s kind of Sprint’s thing.

A recent SEC filing seems to indicate that WiMax provider Clearwire is planning a new, pay-as-you-go cellular data service. The filing reads, Clearwire “plans to serve a new pay-as-you-go customer segment.” It’s unclear exactly what Clearwire has planned — if anything — but analysts speculate the move was prompted by MetroPCS’ impending entry into the pre-paid 4G market place. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has said that his company has considered offering pre-paid 4G data services, but has yet to make a move; Sprint is the majority owner of Clearwire. Clearwire’s network is resold by Best Buy, Comcast, Sprint, and Time Warner; it is unclear how this move will affect the services offered by those companies.

For all of you T-Mobile users who are eagerly awaiting 4G to arrive, don’t hold your breath.  Rene Obermann, CEO of T-Mobile USA’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, stated that there are currently no plans for building a 4G network in the US for at least 2 years.   Obermann instead affirmed that, “With HSPA+ we’re in a very good position. We still have plenty of capacity, so we are competitive.” It seems as if the T-Mobile brass are satisfied with their current 3G offerings, and are not overly concerned about competing with early US 4G adopters like Sprint, at least not right away.  For now, the most T-Mobile customers can expect is continuous upgrades to the existing 3G network, which is reported to be hitting speeds of up to 42 Mbps sometime in 2011.

Well the phone is coming officially on August 31st. Pre orders start tomorrow which is August 12. The price of the phone is $249.99 after an instant rebate and mail in rebate. I think i will pick me one up i like the Galaxy S phones. Please let me know what do you think ? Is this one going to be better then the EVO or not ?

Here is a video of the phone from sprint:

According to an article over at Boy Genius Report, Verizon is now showing off the fact that they have successfully made LTE data calls in 34 markets across the US. Considering their test markets currently encompass 38 markets, it looks like VZW is well on their way to being ahead of schedule for their LTE launch. Rumors still speculate that they expect their 4G market to be publicly available in 35 market by the end of 2010. Kansas City not one of them.

T-Mobile might be smallest of the big four national carriers, but their upgraded 3G network is going to top anything that their larger competitors have to offer this year. Sprint’s launch of the first 4G phone, the HTC EVO, has generated a lot of buzz (which is deserved) but I wanted to take a moment and cover a few simple reasons why I think T-Mobile deserves some more attention.

1. More coverage

T-Mobile HSPA+

What good is a super fast network if you can’t access it? Sprint is gradually expanding their WiMAX network and plans to cover 120 million people this year, but T-Mobile has already surpassed them in coverage area and will provide 4G speeds to 185 million people by the end of 2010.

T-Mobile has an advantage in coverage thanks to their late transition to 3G. They were the last major carrier to roll out a nationwide 3G network so their equipment was newer and able to support HSPA+ after a software update (and upgraded backhaul to their towers).

Sprint on the other hand chose WiMAX for their 4G strategy and this requires new network equipment to be installed in each market. Their 4G network will continue to grow, but it will be at a slower pace than T-Mobile’s HSPA+.

2. More devices

T-Mobile phones

One of the major benefits of T-Mobile’s new HSPA+ network is that it is fully backwards compatible with existing devices. This means that current T-Mobile customers with older Android phones can take advantage of advanced speeds when HSPA+ comes to their city.

T-Mobile currently offers 16 devices that support HSPA 7.2 Mbps, which includes their entire Android lineup. Many of our readers are already taking advantage of the network upgrade and havereported impressive speeds. Best of all, these faster speeds are available to existing customers with no changes to their calling plans or additional fees.

In the coming weeks, T-Mobile is expected to unveil their first HSPA+ handset which should launch later this summer.

3. Faster speeds

HSPA+ speedtest

There are many different types of WiMAX and HSPA+ that are capable of a wide range of speeds, but the implementation of HSPA+ that T-Mobile is using offers twice the theoretical speeds of Sprint’s WiMAX network. Sprint’s current theoretical max is 10 Mbps and T-Mobile is offering 21 Mbps.

Sprint advertises their 4G network is 10x faster than existing 3G networks and claims download speeds of 3-6 Mbps while capping uploads at 1 Mbps. I tested their network using the HTC EVO 4G and found it was extremely reliable, but I was unable to surpass 3 Mbps downloads.

When I tested my Nexus One on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network in Houston, I found I was able to hit 5 Mbps down and over 1 Mbps up. Those speeds are impressive and they will only improve once a HSPA+ handset is available later this year.

Theoretical maxes and real world speeds can vary by quite a bit, but after spending hands-on time with both networks I have found that T-Mobile can be twice as fast as Sprint. Comments from our readers have also confirmed that people in HSPA+ markets are seeing faster speeds than those in 4G WiMAX areas.

If you need some more evidence, here are just a few hands-on reports from T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. Kevin Tofel of jkOnTheRun was able to acheive speeds of 9 Mbps down and nearly 3 Mbps up when he performed his latest round of testing.

Closing thoughts

This post wasn’t meant to bash on Sprint, but I wanted to show that “4G” is not always better than 3G. Sprint offers some great calling plans, but they are limited to a single 4G handset that is currently sold out online.

While we are talking about carrier networks, we might as well mention AT&T and Verizon too. AT&T is also upgrading to HSPA+ in 2010, but they have a slower implementation (14.4 Mbps) than what T-Mobile is using. Their network could rival T-Mobile, but we don’t have any detailed timelines on the rollout or handset launches yet.

Verizon will roll out 4G LTE to 25-30 markets in 2010, but they are not expected to have any LTE handsets till the summer of 2011. There is a good chance they could eventually have the fastest 4G handset, but we won’t know that for another year.

The carrier landscape is always changing, but if you want an Android handset on the fastest network (this summer), keep an eye on T-Mobile. Of course I could eat my words several months from now, but another reason I stick with T-Mobile is because they don’t force me to. T-Mobile is one of the few major carriers to offer no-contract plans and I’ve saved quite a bit of money since I switched to their Even More Plus plan last year.

With all the talk lately of Verizon’s LTE and Sprint’s WiMax, T-Mobile wants to remind everyone that it’s aggressively pushing HSPA+ and its up-to-21MBps speeds (theoretical, of course) to compete with Verizon and Sprints’s offerings. It now says 85 million people are already blanketed in 50 areas, with 185 million in 100 areas to be covered before 2010 is out. The newest cities include:

Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Waco, Texas; Baltimore, Md.; Baton Rouge and Lafayette, La.; Birmingham, Ala.; Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale and Jacksonville, Fla.; Greenville, S.C.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Indianapolis, Ind.; Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Portland, Ore.; and Wichita, Kan.

The just-released Samsung Vibrant was specifically named as one of “more than a dozen smartphones” to “benefit from enhanced speeds” when in HSPA+ coverage. In addition, TMO promises more information on their first fully HSPA+ capable phone “later this summer”. T-Mobile also mentioned the launch of a new “webConnect Rocket 2.0” USB Laptop Stick with HSPA+ and a Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook with webConnect.

Check out the full press release (minus the boring legal stuff) after the break.

“BELLEVUE, Wash.—July 21, 2010— Today, T-Mobile USA, Inc. announced the continued expansion of its super-fast mobile broadband network to more than 85 million Americans—the most pervasive network to offer 4G speeds1 in the country. T-Mobile® is on track to deliver HSPA+ speeds in 100 major metropolitan areas with backhaul in place, covering 185 million people in the U.S. by the end of this year. Now HSPA+ network service is available in nearly 50 major metropolitan areas across the country, with the newest additions including Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Waco, Texas; Baltimore, Md.; Baton Rouge and Lafayette, La.; Birmingham, Ala.; Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale and Jacksonville, Fla.; Greenville, S.C.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Indianapolis, Ind.; Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Portland, Ore.; and Wichita, Kan. In addition, T-Mobile has expanded coverage in cities in previously announced metropolitan areas including Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. 4G speeds are now available for customers in Alexandria, McLean and Reston, Va.; Anaheim, Burbank, Glendale, Irvine, Long Beach, and Ontario, CA; Annapolis, Bethesda and Chevy Chase, Md.; and Asheville and Hickory, N.C.
In addition, 16 of T-Mobile’s current 3G devices, including more than a
dozen smartphones,2 can benefit from enhanced speeds when they’re on the
super-fast HSPA+ network in all of these major metropolitan areas, including the newest smartphone available from T-Mobile—the Samsung Vibrant. And later this summer, T-Mobile will unveil its first HSPA+-capable smartphone. More details will be available in the coming weeks.
“T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network now offers 4G speeds to more people than any other wireless network in the country,” said Neville Ray, chief network officer for T-Mobile USA. “The aggressive pace of our HSPA+ network rollout means our customers can enjoy a better mobile broadband experience on more devices in more places today—but we’re not done yet. Our first HSPA+ smartphone is coming soon and our footprint will double between now and the end of the year.”
Complementing the network expansion is wider availability of the T-Mobile® webConnect® broadband products in T-Mobile retail stores in all HSPA+ areas including the webConnect Rocket™ USB Laptop Stick, the first HSPA+-capable device from a national U.S. wireless carrier and the Dell™ Inspiron™ Mini 10 with T-Mobile webConnect, T-Mobile’s first netbook. Also beginning today, T-Mobile is introducing the webConnect Rocket 2.0 USB Laptop Stick, an updated form factor of its first HSPA+-capable device. Featuring a new rotating swivel USB form factor, the webConnect Rocket 2.0 is designed to deliver the same home broadband experience on the go as its predecessor, so customers can surf the Web, download large files or watch video from a laptop anytime on-the-go with a blazing-fast connection. The webConnect Rocket 2.0 enables customers to take full advantage of T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network in areas where the service is available—delivering 4G speeds.
T-Mobile network service is currently available in the following major
metropolitan areas: Albany, N.Y.; Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Baton
Rouge, La.; Birmingham, Ala.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Charleston, S.C.; Charlotte,
N.C.; Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, OH; Dallas/Ft. Worth; Dayton,
Ohio; El Paso, Texas; Fayetteville, N.C.; Ft Lauderdale, Fla.; Greensboro,
N.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Hartford, Conn.; Honolulu; Houston; Indianapolis;
Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City, Mo.; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Memphis,
Tenn.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Minneapolis, Minn.; New Orleans, La.; New York; Oklahoma City; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; Providence, R.I.; Rochester, N.Y.; San Antonio; Seattle; St. Louis, Mo; Syracuse, N.Y.; Tampa, Fla.; Tulsa, Okla.; Waco, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and Wichita, Kan. The HSPA+ network expansion is on track to reach 100 metro areas by year end. For more information, please visit http://t-mobile-coverage.t-mobile.com/coverage”

Hardware: The Epic may not have a 4.3-inch screen like the Droid X or EVO, but at 4 inches, it’s close — and for all practical purposes, it appears to be just as large. The slide-out physical keyboard doesn’t add as much girth as we expected, though it still adds to the height of the phone. While the curved edges give it a similar look to the Galaxy S we’ve seen overseas, it has four touch sensitive buttons along the bottom instead of those physical buttons. Oh, and about that physical keyboard, it’s pretty glorious — the keys are slightly raised and there’s a bit of space between each of them. We have to admit it looks a bit odd to have a keyboard with such a big screen, but if anything it’s a throw back to UMPCs or MIDs. Overall, though, the phone felt quite sturdy.

Screen: The Epic 4G has the same 4-inch Super AMOLED display as the Galaxy S and Captivate. But we aren’t letting that diminish our love of it — every time we see it we are pretty blown away by the crispness. Yet again, we didn’t get to test the display in sunlight, but indoors it was seriously bright, albeit glossy. (Oh, and if you missed it, check out our head-to-head between Samsung’s Super AMOLED screen and Apple’s Retina display.)

Software: The Epic 4G will run Android 2.1 at launch, but Sprint tells us it will be rolling out the 2.2 update not too long after it hits the market. Just like the Captivate, it has the latest version of Samsung’s TouchWiz skin, which isn’t too distracting and actually polishes up Android a bit. It’s also preloaded with Swype and Qik as well as a few Sprint applications — including the mobile hotspot app, notably. Speaking of Qik, we did confirm that the Epic 4G has a VGA front facing cam, while the one on it’s backside will take 5 megapixel shots.

Performance: Unlike the early version of the Captivate that we saw, the Epic 4G’s 1GHz Hummingbird CPU was zippy. As you will see in the video, scrolling was super snappy and there was no noticeable lag in opening applications like Amazon’s Kindle app or firing up the camcorder. Video playback also looked super smooth. Sprint’s still not giving out information on pricing or availability, though we’re told the price will be aggressive and the handset will be available before the end of Summer.

On that note, until we get our hands on a review unit, we leave you with a brief, standard def video of what’s clearly shaping up to be Sprint’s Android phone of the month:

via Samsung Epic 4G preview — Engadget.

By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard about all the big features of both iPhone 4 and iOS 4 (the artist formerly known as iPhone OS 4, which we heard about previously). But something that Apple didn’t address too much today was a feature I’m most looking forward to: background tasks. I was pretty sure that being able to run apps likePandora in the background while I do other things on the iPhone was going to be awesome. And I confirmed that today.

During the hands-on time after the keynote today at WWDC, I got a chance to play around with a new version of Pandora — one that runs in the background with iOS 4. As you can see in the video below, the way Apple does this is both smart and seamless.

There are a new set of music controls at the bottom of the screen when you double-click the home button and swipe once to the left. Normally, these controls are for the iPod app on the iPhone, but when you start a song on Pandora and then leave, Pandora is able to take over these controls. This means that not only can you listen to Pandora music in the background, but you can control it without having to go back into the Pandora app itself.

Simply put: this is a killer feature and will make one of the most popular apps of all time on the iPhone (Pandora) even more popular. Those new investors must be happy.