Tag Archives | LTE

I’m Going to Want a Car With Built-In LTE…Eventually

GM equips new vehicles with broadband and hotspot capability
Buick 4G LTE

Buick owners enjoying their car’s built-in LTE in a photo provided by GM

Last week, General Motors invited me to a press event at which it showed off some new Buicks. Normally, such events involve driving new cars. But when we hit the road during this one, I willingly sat in the back seat and fooled around with my phone and tablet–because the primary purpose of the event was to demonstrate the 4G LTE broadband and Wi-Fi hotspot features built into the cars.

Across its brands, GM is being particularly aggressive about rolling out in-vehicle LTE connectivity. Most Buick models, for instance, are getting it now; all of them will have it by the 2016 model year. No other company has announced plans to put LTE into so many vehicles so soon.

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Verizon’s LTE Network Goes Down For The Count

Your “blazing fast” LTE connection with Verizon seem a whole lot less speedy? There was a reason for it — for an as yet undisclosed reason there was some type of failure that affected connections nationwide. The issues were first reported by Engadget’s Vlad Savov early this morning, and were later confirmed by the company in its official Twitter account.

Specifically, users of the company’s recently released Thunderbolt 4G device seemed to have the most issues. Data connectivity wasn’t completely out: instead the phones were connecting at slower 3G speeds, and voice calls were not affected. The issues mark the first time there has been any serious disruptions with Verizon Wireless’ high-speed network.

The issue appears pretty widespread, and there are a significant amount of tweets complaining about issues, as well as posts from customers nationwide to Verizon’s support forums.

Ina Fried over at All Things Digital mentions the ironic timing of the outage: it came just two days after Verizon vice president Nicola Palmer boasted how smoothly the rollout has gone so far. Oops.

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Report: iPhone 5 “Production Roadmap”‘ Nowhere to Be Found

DigiTimes says that touch-panel manufacturers have yet to receive a roadmap for production of the next-generation iPhone, giving more credence to increasing reports that the device will not be released this summer as usual.

There’s been a variety of different reasons mentioned as to why Apple is deciding to “delay” the launch of the iPhone 5: whether it be to line up with the holiday shopping season, the (late) launch of the Verizon model, or as DigiTimes claims component shortages and continued high sales of the iPhone 4.

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Verizon’s First LTE Hotspot Goes on Sale

Ready for some 4G hotspot goodness? Verizon has begun selling its Samsung LTE router on its website, available for $99.99 after a $50 online instant rebate and with a two-year service plan. The device is 3G backwards-compatible, so in areas where Verizon’s LTE network is not available yet you’ll still have data access.

Up to five devices can share a connection using the MiFi-like device, and it supports 802.11b,g, and n. It’s also VPN capable.

The unit is not the first to allow the sharing of Verizon LTE data connections via Wi-Fi–that honor goes to the HTC Thunderbolt. However, in order to use the data feature you’re going to need to have a plan that supports it, increasing the monthly cost of ownership.

Of course, the price of admission onto Verizon’s LTE towers isn’t cheap. The Samsung hotspot requires a data plan at $50/mo, which gives you 5GB of bandwidth each month. But if you’re truly using this as a hotspot, that cost spread out over several devices sounds more reasonable.

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Why Wireless Carriers Both Promote and Dread 4G

Here at the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says that with the planned summer launch of HTC’s 3D EVO and 4G EVO tablet, Sprint will have 22 4G devices, more than any of its rivals. Verizon says it will bring its 4G LTE network to 147 markets by year’s end, while AT&T is simultaneously building out its HSPA network while preparing to launch its LTE network later this year.

No question, 4G is the next mobile battleground for what shapes up to be a smaller field of national carriers. But at a day of sessions on the subject (sponsored by Fierce Wireless, which among other things publishes a first-rate daily newsletter on the wireless industry), the dominant theme seemed to be that the carriers may not be ready to deal with the enormous bandwidth demands their fast devices and networks will inevitably produce.

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AT&T-Mobile Is a Win for T-Mobile’s Customers

It seems as if the popular take among tech pundits in light of Sunday’s announcement of the AT&T and T-Mobile merger is that it is a bad situation for everyone involved. Among the reasons I’ve seen so far are a further consolidation of an already top-heavy industry, the threat of rising prices as a result of less alternatives, and a loss of one of Android’s most stalwart partners.

But let’s step back a minute from the insta-reactions of most of the tech world and look at the bottom line: merger or not, T-Mobile’s customers stand to benefit the most by far. The deal is written in such a way that even if regulators scoff at it, T-Mobile will exit in a much stronger position than it is currently in.

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