Tag Archive: network

It’s a good day for next-gen network news, apparently — first Verizon promised to bring its 4G network to 30 NFL cities by the end of the year, and now AT&T’s John Stankey says its LTE network will arrive by mid-2011. Trials are already underway in Baltimore and Dallas, and Ma Bell’s pulled some $700 million out of the kitty to fund the buildout, with investment scheduled to go “far beyond that” next year. On top of that, AT&T is also working to upgrade its backhaul connections for its current HSPA 7.2 3G sites to Gigabit Ethernet, and it’s planning to upgrade the vast majority of its 3G sites to HSPA+ for real-world 7Mbps 3G download speeds sometime this year — a seemingly big expansion from the “certain locations” we’d been promised earlier. Why the change? We don’t know exactly, but AT&T is quick to point out that LTE customers will fall back to 3G quite often in the early days, and that Verizon isn’t investing in 3G speeds at all anymore — an interesting claim and potentially a major differentiator if the HSPA+ rollout is completed quickly, but one that won’t matter if Verizon’s network offers sufficient coverage. We’ll see — looks like the next year is going to be mighty interesting.

At last, the first post-E3 firmware update for the PlayStation 3, and as you might’ve suspected, this one’s got PlayStation Plus packed into the mix. We’ve talked about the service a bit so far, but to recap, $50 annual nets you a 50 percent discount on PSN titles, early access to betas, and one hour of demo time on select full titles (among other benefits). If you’re not willing to shell out the Ulysses S Grant, however, however, there’s a few other treats in the software patch, including five-star ratings for content purchased on the Store, video editor and uploader for Facebook and YouTube (note: not a video capture service, gotta use what the HDD already has), and expanded integration into Picasa and Facebook photo galleries. Speaking of Facebook, a new app will appear on the social site for showing off your PSN profile and befriending others. As usual, no exact date for the firmware is given, but if history’s any indication, it won’t be very long at all.

Update: We just checked our consoles and, sure enough, the update is live. We’re downloading now and will let you know if there’s anything peculiar.