Category Archives: 4g

T-Mobile introduces new next-gen coverage map w/ customer data updated biweekly

T-Mobile’s 4G Network | Check Your Coverage | T-Mobile Blazing Fast 4G Coverage 2015-03-30 10-33-05

T-Mobile has today unveiled what it hopes will be the next-generation of network maps, breathing new life into the carrier coverage maps of old. T-Mobile says that its new “Next-Gen Network Map” is the industry’s first crowd-sourced map, and reflects “near real-time customer experiences.”

“It’s our nature to expose and eradicate broken wireless industry norms,” T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in the company’s blog post announcing the new coverage map. Not only does the new map bring in customer-verified coverage data for sections as small as 100 square meters, but T-Mobile is also bringing in information from third-parties like Speedtest.net, Inrix and others, to verify that this data is accurate and complete.

The new data is based on 200 million actual customer usage data points, and will be updated every two weeks—and T-Mobile says this compares to data from other carriers that could be months or years old. There have been far better technologies available “for some time now,” the company says, and this map will be the first to take advantage of them.

Features of our new coverage map include:

  • Customer-verified coverage based on actual customer usage, resulting in a vastly more transparent and accurate map, showing, for example, exactly where you can expect 4G LTE, 4G, 3G or other levels of coverage.
  • A Verified Coverage icon indicating where the majority of data is provided by T-Mobile customers reporting their actual network experience, providing an added layer of confidence.
  • Data that’s updated twice monthly − compared to data presented on the carriers’ maps, which is already dated by the time it’s printed and published and may be months or even years old.
  • Speed test data from trusted third party apps showing average download speeds from customer speed tests over the last 90 days.

To see the new map in action, head over to T-Mobile’s website. You’ll see that as you zoom in that there are hexagons with little check marks inside them—this means that these blocks are using the new real-time customer verified data.


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: 2G, 3G, 4G, 4G LTE, average coverage speed, coverage, coverage map, crowd-sourced map, crowd-sourcing, customer data, Data, Edge, Inrix, John Legere, LTE, Map, Network Map, Neville Ray, next-gen, Real-time data, service, service map, speed, speed test, speed test data, Speedtest.net, T-Mobile, un-carrier, update

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Apple’s comms chip supplier Qualcomm fined almost $1B in Chinese anti-trust case

qualcomm

Qualcomm, which makes baseband communications chips for Apple and licenses 3G and 4G patents to other smartphone manufacturers, has been fined almost a billion dollars by the Chinese government in an anti-trust case. The company was found to have abused its dominant position in wireless chip technology by charging “unfairly high” licensing fees to manufacturers of smartphones and tablets.

The 6B Yuan ($960M) fine is the largest fine ever imposed on a foreign company, reports the GuardianChina’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said that the fine was calculated as 8% of Qualcomm’s 2013 revenue in China. China is responsible for around half of Qualcomm’s total revenue.

Chinese regulators said that Qualcomm bundled together patent licenses, forcing Chinese companies to buy unwanted licenses in order to get the core 3G and 4G ones they needed. Qualcomm said that it was disappointed by the ruling, but has agreed to separate out its licenses to allow companies to purchase only the ones they need.

The ruling is unlikely to impact Apple this year, as the company orders its baseband chips from Qualcomm rather than licensing patents, but may have an impact next year. KGI predicted last month that Apple would be buying 30% of its baseband chips from Intel in 2016.

Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: 4G, china, License, Mobile phone, National Development and Reform Commission, Qualcomm, W-CDMA (UMTS)

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T-Mobile teases a new uncarrier deal livestreaming tomorrow as it claims 50% faster LTE in NY

uncarrier-8

T-Mobile has announced that it will be unveiling its latest contract-free deal in a livestreamed ‘fireside chat’ tomorrow, Un-carrier 8.0.

Un-carrier 8.0 is ready to roll, and you’re invited to join us for the unveiling of one of our biggest and boldest moves yet! This one is so big we had to keep it a surprise.

Join John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, as he unveils the news during a live fireside chat with David Pogue of Yahoo! News. David will be taking questions for John from Twitter through @JohnLegere and @Pogue and the #Uncarrier8 hashtag.

The company hasn’t hinted at any of the details, but we’ll of course let you know … 

T-Mobile has also announced that its new Wideband LTE service is now live throughout the greater New York City metro area, and is claiming a speed boost of “up to 50 percent.”

Already, T-Mobile customers in the metro area have reported download speeds in excess of an unprecedented 100 Mbps. In addition to Manhattan, Wideband LTE now covers T-Mobile customers in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island and Northern NJ.

White Plains, Scarsdale and Central New Jersey will follow “soon.”

T-Mobile claims the service allows un-carrier customers to download a 90-minute HD movie in 3.5 minutes, and a music album in nine seconds – though notes that these claims rely on a “theoretical” peak speed of 110Mbps, with the real-life average so far of a rather more sedate 22.2Mbps. The company says this is, though, “faster than AT&T and Verizon and more than two times faster than Sprint’s network speeds.”

Competition among carriers has been heating-up of late, with Sprint announcing a ‘cut your bill in half’ promo for AT&T and Verizon switchers a couple of weeks ago, and T-Mobile announcing a 2-line unlimited data family plan for $100/month.


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: 4G, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, Staten Island, T-Mobile, T-Mobile Uncarrier, T-Mobile USA, uncarrier, Uncarrier 8.0, Verizon Communications

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iOS 8 supports voice over Wi-Fi, but what about voice over LTE?

One of the nuggets to come out of Apple’s iOS 8 launch was the iPhone’s upcoming support for Wi-Fi calling. It’s a feature that not only will let consumers take advantage of carriers’ voice-over-Wi-Fi service, but is also the first step toward voice over LTE (VoLTE), which will put all mobile communications on IP networks.

The feature showed up as a mere bullet point in a long list of iOS 8’s new capabilities shown on screen at WWDC 2014, but T-Mobile immediately jumped, announcing it would bring its voice-over-Wi-Fi service to the iPhone when the new operating system becomes publicly available this fall. We’ll probably see a similar announcement shortly from Sprint and other global carriers offering Wi-Fi calling.

While there are plenty of apps that will let you make phone calls over the iPhone’s data connection, it’s been very difficult to make those services work with the iPhone’s main dialer. That’s why T-Mobile has been integrating Wi-Fi calling directly into its Android and Windows phones for years, but on iOS it has been forced to go over-the-top. For a while T-Mobile offered a separate VoIP calling app for iOS called Bobsled.

Image: Shutterstock / Sputanski

Image: Shutterstock / Sputanski

Over the years carrier Wi-Fi calling services have shrunk in importance since most voice plans have moved over to unlimited buckets, though for people living or working in a dodgy coverage zone or international travelers, those calling features are still a godsend. But VoLTE is a just a hop away and it could have a much more substantial impact on consumers and business users.

AT&T and T-Mobile rolled out their first VoLTE services last month, though right now they’re limited to a handful of Android phones and cities. Both carriers are offering HD voice, but VoLTE promises a lot more than just higher-quality phone calls. Verizon has said it will launch VoLTE nationwide this year with integrated video calling, which could compete directly with Apple’s Facetime.

A host of other features like presence, instant messaging and integration with enterprise phone networks are other possibilities. While you get many of those services through third-party apps, VoLTE would integrate them directly into the dialer and attach them to your phone number.

I reached out to Apple about whether VoLTE support would be available on iOS but haven’t heard back yet. In its most basic form, VoLTE isn’t much different than Voice over Wi-Fi. It’s another IP connection, though carriers will be able prioritize voice and video calling traffic over their own 4G networks.

wwdc-ticker

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iOS 8 supports voice over Wi-Fi, but what about voice over LTE?

One of the nuggets to come out of Apple’s iOS 8 launch was the iPhone’s upcoming support for Wi-Fi calling. It’s a feature that not only will let consumers take advantage of carriers’ voice-over-Wi-Fi service, but is also the first step toward voice over LTE (VoLTE), which will put all mobile communications on IP networks.

The feature showed up as a mere bullet point in a long list of iOS 8’s new capabilities shown on screen at WWDC 2014, but T-Mobile immediately jumped, announcing it would bring its voice-over-Wi-Fi service to the iPhone when the new operating system becomes publicly available this fall. We’ll probably see a similar announcement shortly from Sprint and other global carriers offering Wi-Fi calling.

While there are plenty of apps that will let you make phone calls over the iPhone’s data connection, it’s been very difficult to make those services work with the iPhone’s main dialer. That’s why T-Mobile has been integrating Wi-Fi calling directly into its Android and Windows phones for years, but on iOS it has been forced to go over-the-top. For a while T-Mobile offered a separate VoIP calling app for iOS called Bobsled.

Image: Shutterstock / Sputanski

Image: Shutterstock / Sputanski

Over the years carrier Wi-Fi calling services have shrunk in importance since most voice plans have moved over to unlimited buckets, though for people living or working in a dodgy coverage zone or international travelers, those calling features are still a godsend. But VoLTE is a just a hop away and it could have a much more substantial impact on consumers and business users.

AT&T and T-Mobile rolled out their first VoLTE services last month, though right now they’re limited to a handful of Android phones and cities. Both carriers are offering HD voice, but VoLTE promises a lot more than just higher-quality phone calls. Verizon has said it will launch VoLTE nationwide this year with integrated video calling, which could compete directly with Apple’s Facetime.

A host of other features like presence, instant messaging and integration with enterprise phone networks are other possibilities. While you get many of those services through third-party apps, VoLTE would integrate them directly into the dialer and attach them to your phone number.

I reached out to Apple about whether VoLTE support would be available on iOS but haven’t heard back yet. In its most basic form, VoLTE isn’t much different than Voice over Wi-Fi. It’s another IP connection, though carriers will be able prioritize voice and video calling traffic over their own 4G networks.

wwdc-ticker

Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:
Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.

AT&T announces rollout of voice-over-LTE ahead of likely iPhone 6/iOS 8 integration this fall

United States-based carrier AT&T today officially announced its rollout of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) calls. The VoLTE rollout comes in tandem with AT&T HD Voice launch, which provides better sounding phone calls. Starting on May 23rd, IllinoisIndianaMinnesota and Wisconsin will be the initially supported markets for these features, but AT&T says to expect a more complete rollout as time goes on:

Beginning May 23, AT&Ti is introducing High Definition (HD) Voiceii on an all-IP, Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) network in select markets. At AT&T, you won’t have to choose between faster data speeds and crystal clear conversations. HD Voice customers can simultaneously talk while surfing the Web at 4G LTE speeds, all on the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE networkiii – it’s the best of both worlds.

AT&T touts the features as being supported by Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Mini, but some of Apple’s products should also be able to support HD Voice. Back in 2012, Apple announced that the iPhone 5 would have HD Voice calling on supported carriers, so it is likely that iPhone users in the AT&T/HD-Voice-supported markets will be able to get better sounding calls. But what about voice-over-LTE support?

While the iPhone’s chipset can support calling over LTE, the iOS software does not actually have the ability to make calls over LTE networks. According to people briefed on Apple’s plans, this may change this fall with iOS 8 and the iPhone 6. As we reported a few weeks ago:

Another significant addition being considered for iOS 8 and the next-generation iPhone is voice-over-LTE support (VoLTE), according to carrier sources. Currently, when an LTE-capable iPhone needs to make a phone call, the actual call is placed over last generation networks such as 3G. With VoLTE, calls will be transmitted over the same type of network that LTE data is processed through, and this can allow for benefits such as improved call quality.

Of course, carrier support is needed for this functionality, and some countries around the world have carriers that have already rolled out support for VoLTE. For those in the United States, T-Mobile’s network (thanks to its agreement with Metro PCS) supports VoLTE while Verizon Wireless and AT&T are actively testing the functionality for a rollout later this year. Of course, it’s plausible that iOS 8 support for VoLTE will be pushed back if enough carriers are unable to meet the rollout timeframe.

Besides AT&T, major Japanese carrier (and close Apple partner) DoCoMo announced that it will begin supporting voice-over-LTE calling in June. As for other U.S. carriers, Verizon Wireless is actively testing voice-over-LTE functionality, and T-Mobile already supports it. T-Mobile also supports HD Voice functionality for the iPhone, as does Sprint, while the other major U.S. carriers are also actively testing support.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: 4G, Apple, AT&T, iPhone, LTE, United States, Verizon Wireless, Wideband audio

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Save Big With The FreedomPop Samsung Galaxy SII Phone Bundle [Deals]

The Samsung Galaxy SII might not be the hottest phone on the market right now, but it still has a 1.2 GHz Dual Core processor, crisp 4.52″ screen, and dual cameras packed into an elegant design. And you can get