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.
T-Mobile USA’s new CEO Phillip Humm confirmed at an event on Thursday that the carrier will soon launch a pair of new “4G” HSPA+ phones. Humm noted that T-Mobile will soon announce a 4G version of Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone as well as a 4G addition to the popular Sidekick line that will run Android. “We will launch as new the Samsung Galaxy S 4G … and coming soon, will also be a Sidekick 4G. Everybody knows the Sidekick, and we’re going to relaunch the Sidekick and bring it as a 4G device, Android based, into the market,” Humm said at the event. While he didn’t refer to the Vibrant 4G by name — instead, he called it a “Galaxy S 4G” — Humm’s confirmation certainly firms up our exclusive report from earlier this week. We can likely expect both handsets to be announced next month at Mobile World Congress, and Humm confirmed that both devices will launch in the first half of this year. T-Mobile also said at the even that its current Vibrant smartphone will finally receive a software update “very soon,” and that the carrier will not offer Apple’s iPhone in the near future due to the device’s incompatibility with its AWS 3G network.
UPDATE: Check that. It looks like T-Mobile went with the “Galaxy S 4G” moniker instead of “Vibrant 4G.” Since it’s basically the same phone with the addition of newer HSPA+ compatibility from the looks of things, the carrier likely wanted to distinguish it from its predecessor as much as possible. More →
Hey, hey, hey! You thought we were going to let the latest (and arguable best) Android handset slip away from your potential grasp? Not a chance. We have a brand new Google Nexus S to giveaway to our fine readers, and here is all you have to do to win one. Ready? Official rules are below!
- We just soft launched a Buying Guide on BGR — it’s a great resource where we choose our favorite winners for different phone/gadget topics. Check it out and let us know what you think, ok? Feedback is appreciated, so hit us with some comments below!
- We’ll run the contest for a week, until December 19th at 11:59PM
- The contest is open worldwide, but you must be at least 18 years or older.
- The phone is unlocked and supports the 900/1700/2100MHz UMTS bands. This means it’s 3G compatible with T-Mobile in the US, a few Canadian providers, and most European/Asian providers.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook if you’d like!
That’s it! Good luck
P.S. Google tells us that the packaging our Nexus S came in will slightly differ from the retail packaging. The unit you will receive if you win will be a retail unit in retail packaging.
After being ousted by Amazon’s Web Services, the controversial site WikiLeaks has run into another snafu, this time with its DNS provider, EveryDns.net. Via a statement, EveryDns stated that due to “interference issues” that are affecting the service of others, the company has ceased resolving wikileaks.org; the service was provided to WikiLeaks for free. In response to the DNS shutdown, WikiLeaks tweeted the following message:
WIKILEAKS: Free speech has a number: http://188.8.131.52
In a subsequent tweet, the company then announced that it had moved to Switzerland; the site’s new domain name is now wikileaks.ch.
A very vocal opponent of the WikiLeaks cable publishings has been the Independent Senator from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman. The Senator has introduced legislation, dubbed the SHIELD (Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination) Act, that would make it illegal to publish information “concerning the human intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government” or information relating to “a classified source or informant.” We have to wonder where Sen. Lieberman’s legislation was when CIA operative Valerie Plame was outed. No word on when the new legislation will hit the Senate floor.
Meanwhile, Amazon has released a statement stating that the reason for its removal of WikiLeaks’ data from its AWS servers was not a result of denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks or government pressure, but rather the fact that the site did not operate within Amazon’s terms of service. More →
Well that didn’t take long. Hours after the Best Buy snafu, Engadget managed to get their hands on a half-dozen images of the next “Google phone.” So here’s what we know. The device will carry the model name GT-I9020 (the unbranded Galaxy S is the GT-I9000) have a front-facing video camera, Wi-Fi b/g/n, and — according to a model that recently crossed the FCC’s desk — T-Mobile’s AWS 3G bands. All that’s left is for the official unveiling from Google and or Samsung. Hit the read link to check out the other images.
Samsung announced Monday the addition of the Samsung Contour to MetroPCS’ lineup of affordable feature phones. While the Contour is short on bells and whistles, it will certainly be a great option for customers who make value a priority. MetroPCS offers contract-free unlimited plans for as low at $40 per month including taxes. Samsung’s Contour compliments the carrier’s affordable monthly plans nicely, featuring a clamshell form factor, a VGA camera, a basic Web browser and 3G connectivity. The Samsung Contour is available immediately online and in MetroPCS stores for $49. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
No, sadly it is not another 4G, LTE device for MetroPCS, but it is a new phone nonetheless. Today, Samsung announced that the Freeform II would be immediately available for U.S. wireless carrier MetroPCS. The Freeform II is a candybar-style, full-QWERTY messaging device with a 2.2-inch QVGA display, 1.3 megapixel camera, micro-SD card slot, and Bluetooth. The device will run on MetroPCS’ 3G network and also support the company’s MetroNavigator GPS feature. Hit the read link for the full release. More →
Verizon isn’t the only wireless company making LTE news today. Canadian carrier Rogers Communications has announced the launch of a “comprehensive Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless network technical trial with Ericsson Canada in the Ottawa area.” The company will initially use AWS spectrum for the trial, but notes that it is “working with Industry Canada to secure a development license to use 700 MHz spectrum.” Bob Berner, Rogers’ EVP and CTO, said, “Through this trial we will validate how LTE technology will perform in real world situations across a variety of spectrum frequencies in urban, suburban, and rural environments. Furthermore, we will verify LTE data throughput speeds, performance quality, and interoperability of LTE with our existing advanced HSPA+ network ensuring that future commercial deployment enables the best customer experience.” Welcome to the 4G party Canadian friends. More →
It seems as though the mobile phone stork delivered a set of twins to Engadget… smartphone twins that is. The blog was gifted with two Dell Thunder Android smartphone prototypes, and they’ve done the honor of shedding some light on just what we’re looking at. The Thunder will pack a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor with Qualcomm Adreno graphics (think Nexus One), 4.1-inch touch-screen display, 512 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM, 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, and (possibly) a front-facing VGA camera. The two units were sporting different operating systems and screen resolutions. One unit was running a developer build of Android 1.6 while the other was running Android 2.1. As mentioned above, the screen resolutions on the two units are also not identical, one has a resolution of 800 x 600 and the other 1,280 x 768. The gang found evidence in the software of a CDMA test suite, indicating the potential for a Verizon or Sprint model, and one unit had AT&T’s HSPA 3G bands while the other had T-Mobile’s AWS 3G bands. Furthermore, the device has a 3.5 mm headphone jack, 1,400 mAh battery, and micro-SD card slot. The Thunder’s glass screen is also slightly beveled, which Engadget described as “as useless as it is cool.” So if you like Dell hardware, and the Streak is too much phone for you, what do you think about the Thunder? More →
Man, news on RIM has been quiet as of late. And why wouldn’t it? RIM has some interesting products coming up, but let’s not beat around the bush — they can not really compare to the mind-blowing devices that have just been released. From the simply amazing iPhone 4, to the incredible Incredible, to the super-large super-capable Droid X, it’s hard being a mid-range player with a mildly dated operating system. With that said, we’d like to officially welcome the BlackBerry Curve 9300 into the BGR offices. Here are some first hand impressions of the unreleased device:
It’s, uh, just like the BlackBerry 8520. Literally. Same camera, same size (we believe off hand), same feel, same screen, same keyboard, same buttons. So what’s changed? Besides a glossy metallic plastic finish on the case, and the inclusion of a UMTS radio…not much. As we just mentioned, the BlackBerry 9300 we have features T-Mobile’s AWS 3G bands, so if that’s something to push you over the edge to upgrade from your existing 8520, you’ll be pleased as punch.
We also wanted to get your feedback before we do a full hands on gallery/review. Anything you want to see featured? Maybe size comparison photos to a specific handset, or possibly some network speed tests on the BlackBerry 9300 over 3G? Let us know and we’ll include as many of your requests as possible!
AT&T is no longer the only American carrier to officially have a variant of Samsung Galaxy S coming soon, as T-Mobile has finally gotten around to admitting that it will be releasing the Android 2.1 smartphone under the name Vibrant. Sporting a chrome bezel that is reminiscent of the first three generations of iPhone, the Vibrant has the same 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 4″ WVGA Super AMOLED display, and 5 megapixel camera as the Galaxy S. No word yet on a release date or pricing, but we imagine we’ll learn next week, be it by press release or leak. More →
Despite a rash of rumors which would have the iPhone landing on Verizon Wireless before the end of the year, Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu believes it’s more likely we’ll first see an AWS 3G version of the iPhone offered by T-Mobile. Although it might come as a shock to some considering AT&T’s exclusive on the 3G iPad and the impending retail launch of the iPhone 4, Wu believes that Apple is eager to “attack Android more directly” and argues that Apple would need to get the iPhone into the line-up of carriers that currently tout Android. “While the general consensus is around Verizon (which we believe will happen eventually), we continue to believe that T-Mobile USA is the most likely candidate given its use of similar cellular technology as AT&T,” said Wu who added “we are picking up that T-Mobile views the iPhone as key in winning back lost customers and as such could be more likely to agree to Apple’s terms.” So what do you think? Is Wu, the man who claimed that iTunes.com and a refresh to the Mac Pro were coming to WWDC, off his rocker, or do you think this is possible? More →
Alright, Vancouverites, you’ve been a bunch of good sports politely clapping as WIND Mobile rolled out in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton, but your time has finally come. Starting today, much of Metro Vancouver will be transformed into a WIND Home Zone with the flip of a switch by Chairman Tony Lacavera and friend of BGR CEO Ken Campbell. Launch day festivities will kick off at 10am for members of the media, but Joe and Jane Public will be able to hit up the Yaletown store at 11am to get a first-hand glimpse of what WIND’s all about. Just exactly how far WIND’s coverage will reach in Lotus Land we’re not sure, but here’s to hoping that WIND’s outrageous roaming fees won’t bite too many people in the backside. More →