Verizon Wireless on Thursday announced that its lightning fast 4G LTE network now covers more than half of the U.S. population. We have repeatedly called Verizon’s LTE network the fastest cellular network we’ve ever used, and the fact that the carrier has been able to roll it out so quickly with only a few hiccups is nothing short of impressive. ”In eight short months we’ve introduced our 4G LTE network to more than half of the U.S. population, while continuing to offer the nation’s most reliable 3G network coast to coast,” said David Small, chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless, in a statement. “This matters to millions of Americans because they can take advantage of faster 4G LTE speeds both at home and when they travel throughout the country – today and in many more markets to come this year. Each new market and expansion is significant as it brings us closer to delivering on the promise to bring our 4G LTE network to more than 185 million Americans by the end of 2011.” Verizon Wireless’ full press release follows below. More →
T-Mobile on Thursday announced that it has doubled its network’s theoretical data speeds in 47 new markets including Albuquerque, NM; Cleveland and Columbus, OH; Sacramento and San Diego, CA; Salt Lake City, UT and San Antonio, TX. While the theoretical ceiling of T-Mobile’s 4G network is now 42Mbps in these markets, the carrier says the average download speed on its network is now approaching 10Mbps. The T-Mobile Rocket 3.0 — the only device compatible with T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 42 service for the time being — is said to offer peak download speeds of up to 27Mbps. T-Mobile’s full statement can be found below. More →
Earlier this week T-Mobile announced the Rocket 3.0, a new USB data stick built by ZTE that’s capable of running on T-Mobile’s new upgraded 42Mbps HSPA+ 4G network. As our luck would have it, the friendly FedEx guy just dropped off the Rocket 3.0. T-Mobile’s newly upgraded 42Mbps network is available in new markets 55 markets, as well as in New York City, Orlando, and Las Vegas. In our office we averaged 1.17Mbps on the downlink, and 1.07Mbps on the uplink. That’s slow, and in New York City and that throughput is a far cry from what we get with Verizon’s 4G LTE network — but again, we’re not in the 42Mbps coverage area. However, there are parts of New York City that offer optimal data connections, and we’ll be sure to visit them in our full review. The build design of the device is nearly identical to earlier webConnect Rocket products, and we definitely prefer less bulky MiFi devices to USB sticks. The Rocket 3.0 is available for $99.99 from T-Mobile now with a new two year contract. T-Mobile hopes to cover 150 million people with its 4G network this year. Check out our hands-on gallery and hit the jump to see if you’re in one of T-Mobile’s 42Mbps markets.
Moments ago, Verizon Wireless confirmed that its 4G LTE network is back online. The network went down early yesterday morning and remained out of service for more than 24-hours in some areas. We’ve confirmed a signal with our Samsung DROID Charge here in New York City as well. Verizon has yet to say whether or not it will issue any sort of rebate to customers affected by the outage. More →
LG hasn’t launched a high-end Android smartphone in the U.S. for some time now — sure, it shipped the Optimus on multiple carriers, and Verizon launched the Ally a few years back, but neither was capable of holding a candle to other first-rate devices. That all changes with the G2x however, which is no doubt LG’s answer to Samsung’s Galaxy S family of smartphones in the United States. Its spec sheet is enough to leave other phones shaking in their boots. Dual-core processor, 4G radio, 1080p video — it has all the trappings of a top-of-the-line handset. I have been using, abusing, and confusing the G2x for the past few days and am ready to levy judgement on LG’s first serious smartphone contender. Want to know if the T-Mobile G2x has what it takes to be your next high-end smartphone? Hit the jump to find out.More →
On a call with investors Monday morning, AT&T confirmed its plans to use the AWS spectrum gained in the potential T-Mobile acquisition for its 4G LTE network. Following the carrier’s announcement on Friday that it will acquire T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom pending regulatory approval, AT&T on Monday revealed one of many factors that motivated it to offer $39 billion for the nation’s No. 4 cellular carrier: spectrum. According to the roadmap pictured above, AT&T will free up T-Mobile’s 1700MHz AWS spectrum by migrating T-Mobile subscribers off the frequency. The carrier then plans to pair its 700MHz spectrum with T-Mobile’s newly-cleared AWS to cover 95% of the U.S. population with 4G LTE service. We know how important 4G is to carriers right now, so the move will potentially give AT&T a huge bump in the race against Verizon Wireless, which has already deployed LTE service in several markets.
It’s rare that we get a glimpse into the thoughts and processes it takes to make a smartphone like the HTC ThunderBolt, which launched on Verizon Wireless as its first 4G LTE device yesterday, but HTC has posted a great 4-minute video where some HTC designers and employees discuss the ThunderBolt, the Sense UI, and what excites them about both. The clip doesn’t necessarily share anything new about the ThunderBolt, but we did enjoy checking out the HTC designer sketchbooks at the 0:27 mark and listening to HTC Sense UI designer Drew Bamford talk about the challenges of creating a product that appeals to the masses. If you want more ThunderBolt action, be sure to check out our unboxing, too — video after the jump. More →