Which 3G and 4G Networks are the Fastest?
Because we can't help incite enough wireless network flame wars, we're going to start the morning with what we'll call an "update" to the usual comparison between wireless network speeds in the United States. PC World performed a little test between major carriers, and the results are actually a little more surprising than what you might've guessed.Read on...
Analysts Say iPhone 5 Won’t Appear Until LTE Technology is Ready for Smartphones
Disappointed that Apple announced a somewhat incremental update to the iPhone yesterday with the 4S, rather than dropping a whole new number on us with the iPhone 5? Well, analysts are speculating that the reason why we all collectively sighed at the iPhone 4S yesterday instead of immediately left work to camp outside of our nearest iPhone for the iPhone 5 is because the iPhone 5 won't drop until LTE technology is ready for compact smartphones. With the penchant for sleek design Apple has had ever since they ditched the old multicolored clamshell MacBooks, also known as the Legally BlondeBook, coupled with the tiny printed circuit board sitting pretty inside the iPhone 4, the current state of the iPhone wouldn't allow enough room for an extra chip to enable LTE, without shrinking the size of other integral components within the phone, like the battery.Read on...
ClearWire ISP May Have Deceived Customers
The 4G wireless Internet service provider Clearwire is now the focus of a lawsuit alleging that the company inaccurately portrayed their coverage area in order to deceive customers into buying the service. Email evidence submitted with the suit seems to show that Gabe Suarez, the Director of Engineering at Clearwire, instructed employees to watch for connection issues after changes were made to the coverage map. The email states that the coverage area was expanded by one mile in order to allow more users to sign up for the service.Read on...
Verizon’s 4G Speeds are the FastestRootmetrics, a self-proclaimed independent source of carrier performance, performed an extensive study of 4G carriers in the Seattle area. Their study--the results of which are picture in the above chart--found what most Verizon users already know: Verizon is currently the fastest and most reliable (out of the big names) 4G network available. Rootmetrics found that Verizon's LTE network had a 100% data success rate, with average data speeds between 4 and 14.5 times faster and average upload speeds 4.7 to 49.3 times faster than their competitors. The phone models used in the tests include T-Mobile's HTC Thunderbolt, AT&T's HTC Inspire, Sprint's HTC Evo and Verizon's Samsung Galaxy S, though Rootmetric's CEO Paul Griff claimed the smartphone model didn't have much to do with the test, as it was almost entirely network related. Rootmetrics also found that Verizon's 4G download speeds were larger than 10 Mbps about 90% of the time, while the upload speeds fell between 5 and 10 Mbps 100% of the time, noting Verizon's reliability. The most impressive finding? Verizon's average upload speeds were found to be faster than every other network's average download speeds by 37%. Head on past the break to see a breakdown of how often each carrier reached a range of download speeds.Read on...
President Obama’s New Wireless Plan
The President has recently announced a new plan to free up huge chunks of the wireless spectrum, increase the national coverage of 4G networks, and install a wireless public safety network. These are ambitious goals being set by the administration, perhaps the most being the 4G investment which the President has pledged will cover 98% of Americans. To make this all work, the White House is planning to raise $27 billion in spectrum auctions, and then turning that money around to fund the investment in these areas:
- $5 billion to bring 4G internet connections to rural America
- $3 billion for 4G research and development to coincide with the construction
- $10.7 billion for the wireless public safety network, which was called for years ago by the 9/11 commission
- $9.6 billion for budget deficit reduction
"America's businesses are building out 4G networks to much of the nation," the White House said in a statement. "Nevertheless, absent additional government investment, millions of Americans will not be able to participate in the 4G revolution. This investment will ... extend access from the almost 95 percent of Americans who have 3G wireless services today to at least 98 percent of all Americans gaining access to state-of-the-art 4G high-speed wireless services within five years."Commentators have noted, however, that the entire plan hinges on the money brought in from auctions. As any eBay patron can tell you, those don't always work out how you want. But the emphasis on bringing Internet connectivity (and public safety) to the nation as a whole, is a worthy one. Keep in mind, this isn't so much about 4G as it is bringing the Internet to mostly poor, isolated, outlying communities. Hopefully this initiative, however it really pans out, will give every American a more equal footing in the burgeoning information economy. Perhaps it will be little things like someone making some extra money on Etsy, or bigger things like a farmer finding a better price for his crop. Either way, it will bring us a step closer to all being united, as as a people, underneath that glorious community that truly identifies this country: Facebook. I mean, uh, the American dream. (Via Engadget, Networkworld)Read on...
Verizon LTE Can Burn Through Its Monthly Data Allotment in 32 Minutes
Everyone likes high-speed Internet access, and it's a convenient thing to have on the go, but combine it with data-capped mobile plans and it can present a secret curse to consumers who care about budgeting. When PC Magazine's Sascha Segan tested out Verizon's newly unveiled 4G LTE network, she found that her tests maxed out at 21Mbps; just 32 minutes of data usage at that speed could burn through Verizon's 5GB data allotment. While Verizon also offers a higher-capacity data plan -- 10GB for $80/month versus the 5GB data plan's $50/month -- it no longer offers an unlimited data plan, and customers who go over their allotted caps must pay an additional $10 for each gigabyte they go over the cap. Segan concedes that this test is not indicative of average user experience of the network, since the LTE network won't hit speeds that high once it's loaded with people; however, Verizon claims that it'll still max at 8.5Mbps; an hour and eighteen minutes of data usage at that speed burns 5GB. Or, if you're focused on real-world applications, Netflix HD, at 3.8Mbps, could blow past 5GB in under three hours, less than the length of longer feature films. TechDirt's Mike Masnick is withering in his criticism: "Maybe, instead of just focusing on more speed for press releases, they should focus on building capacity so that people could actually use these next generation networks." At the least, hopefully as the network gets more populated, Verizon will offer lower prices and unlimited data plans, but until then, customers will want to monitor their usage carefully. (PC Mag via TechDirt)Read on...
Verizon Announces 4G LTE Network, Goes Live December 5
Verizon has announced that their 4G LTE network, which they're claiming is ten times faster than 3G, will become available this Sunday, December 5, starting in 38 markets and in over 60 major airports.Read on...
Woot acquired by Amazon (TechCrunch)
Grandfather performs Lady Gaga, hilarity ensues (Urlesque)
Craigslist "For Sale" ad hall of fame (Nerve)
Brace yourself: Mark Millar's working on an Old Man Logan sequel (Robot6)
Jason Robert Brown wins the hearts and minds of copyright fraudsters (Jason Robert Brown)
Will Verizon's 4G network be better than Sprint's? (DVICE)
"People are playing Farmville because people are playing Farmville." (A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz)
(title image via ComicsAlliance)Read on...
From Triple Play to Home Run: Why Your Cable Company Should Offer Cellphone Service
Recently, a number of cable companies have been dropping hints about offering cellphone / wireless Internet service. So far they’ve just been baby steps, with a small test rollout here, or a limited test deployment there. But thus far, none of the CableCos really have much to show for all their talk.
But the cable companies need to think bigger, much bigger: If they do, both you and they will end up winners. Here's why:Read on...
Sprint Announces World’s First 4G Phone, HTC Evo – We Announce What “4G” Means
Sprint, the country’s third largest wireless provider, announced the HTC Evo today, showcasing the world’s first 4G phone at the communication industry’s annual CTIA event in Las Vegas. This new phone is by all accounts a beautiful beast, decked out with a 4.3 inch screen, two cameras, and Android 2.1; but more importantly, it is the first phone to run on a 4G network.
However, this souped-up phone raises one extremely important question: what exactly does 4G mean?Read on...