4G is a hot topic here on BGR and as such, we’ve likely become more numb than we should when it comes to advertised data speeds. We’re so used to seeing “theoretical limits” that are so far from reality we just chuckle and move along. The wireline broadband industry, however, is a different beast. According to a study recently conducted by the Federal Communications Commission, major broadband Internet service provides in the U.S. deliver data speeds that are generally between 80% and 90% of the speeds they advertise. The Associated Press reports that the FCC’s study measured data speeds delivered to thousands of U.S. broadband subscribers this past March from 13 of the nation’s top ISPs including Time Warner, Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. The three most popular wired broadband technologies were covered by the study — DSL, cable and fiber — and data rates were said to have been close to the advertised speeds during both peak and off-peak times. The AP notes that the FCC’s study didn’t delve into speeds delivered by wireless data services, which is a study we would love to see. More →
Consumers will spend $2.1 trillion on digital information and entertainment products in 2011, Gartner says
According to a new research report from Gartner, consumers are on track to spend a record $2.1 trillion on digital information and entertainment products this year. That figure is expected to hit $2.8 trillion by 2015. $1.2 trillion — 62% — is spent on subscription-based communication services such as mobile, voice, and data services, broadband packages, video services, online gaming, and cable TV subscriptions. $600 billion, 28% of the total $2.1 trillion, is spent on devices themselves, and 10% is spent on content such as computer software, video on-demand, and pay-per-view services. “The three key technology areas that will offer the best opportunity for vendors during the next three years are: wireless broadband, which will enable constant connectivity; location-based services (LBS), which will personalize and take advantage of the constant connected state; and operating systems, which are the foundation for integration applications that can bring it all together,” Mikako Kitagawa, principal research analyst at Gartner, said. Read on for the full release. More →
Verizon Wireless announced on Tuesday that it will expand its 4G LTE network to cover several new markets on July 21st. The following areas will receive coverage at that time: Huntsville, Alabama.; Augusta, Georgia.; Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.; Springfield, Massachusetts.; Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro-Winston, and Salem-High Point, North Carolina; and Knoxville, Tennessee. The carrier also said that it will expand the size of its current 4G LTE network in San Diego and Los Angeles. Read on for a press release describing Verizon’s California expansion. More →
In what is no doubt a response to Sprint’s statement Tuesday morning that AT&T is increasing its spectrum the wrong way by purchasing T-Mobile, T-Mobile’s senior vice president of government affairs, Tom Sugure, has issued a formal statement to those who oppose the acquisition. “The opponents of the AT&T-T-Mobile merger have had their final say as part of the FCC’s formal pleading cycle and, not surprisingly, they have failed to offer any credible arguments to support their view that the Commission should deny the transaction,” Sugrue said in the statement. Sprint, which has lashed back at the acquisition from the get-go has said the purchase will stifle innovation. ”What is surprising, however, is their repeated head-in-the-sand insistence that no spectrum crisis exists,” Sugrue added. “As part of their application, AT&T and T-Mobile provided a compelling showing of their need for more spectrum to continue to provide quality service to customers and roll out new technologies in the future. And the two companies have demonstrated that a combination of their networks and spectrum holdings is by far the best way to solve this problem and ensure improved service and enhanced innovation. The FCC has long acknowledged the harmful consequences of ignoring the spectrum crunch, and we are confident it will approve our proposed market-based solution.”
AT&T will pay T-Mobile $3 billion in cash, a $1 billion roaming agreement, and $2 billion in spectrum if the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice reject AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. The agreement’s 15% breakup fee would shatter global records, Reuters said, noting that the 7.7% breakup cash agreement is already high. On Wednesday, AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson met with the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the acquisition. AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson has argued that there’s already plenty of competition in the U.S. wireless market and that the deal will actually create jobs. Similarly, the Communications Workers of America backs the deal and believes it will be a “victory for broadband proponents. AT&T’s competition isn’t so sure. Sprint’s CEO, Dan Hesse said the deal would “stifle innovation” and the carrier believes it would create a “vertically integrated duopoly.” Verizon has kept to itself, but did note that, if confirmed, the deal could be “an excuse for the government to insert itself into the marketplace.” More →
According to Brief Mobile, Sprint may be revamping its mobile broadband data pricing schema. The report indicates that Sprint mobile broadband devices, including embedded devices like tablets, may get several additional data options starting May 8th. The company will offer a 3GB monthly data bucket for $34.99, a 5GB data bucket for $49.99 and a 10GB data bucket for $79.99. Currently, Sprint offers a 5GB monthly data plan for $59.99 per month — available to both embedded and mobile broadband devices — and a 2GB tablet-only data plan for $29.99 per month; both plans include unlimited 4G connectivity. Sprint declined to comment on the report when contacted by BGR. More →
According to the latest rumor, T-Mobile may be adding a fourth plan to its Mobile Broadband portfolio. Currently, the company offeres three data buckets to its wireless broadband customers: 10GB monthly plan for $84.99, 5GB monthly plan for $49.99, and a 200MB monthly plan for $29.99. Blog TmoNews is reporting, however, that the carrier will be adding a fourth, 2GB monthly option that retails for $39.99 to its repertoire this Thursday, April 28th. The carrier-specific site has a fairly good track record when it comes to T-Mobile pricing and plan changes — we won’t be surprised if this broadband-addition pans out. The four plan menu would give T-Mobile the widest selection of consumer, broadband data plans amongst the quartet of major U.S. wireless carriers. More →
4G. It’s everywhere. It’s on the tech sites you read. It’s on the televisions you watch. It’s plastered in advertisements all over the city streets you walk. It was probably in the sandwich you ate for lunch. Cellular carriers around the world are betting the bank on 4G — be it LTE, WiMAX or the newly knighted HSPA+ — and 4G-enabled gear is already starting to flood the market despite the lack of nationwide coverage. More →
A new report on Sunday states AT&T will soon introduce data caps to its wireline broadband subscribers nationwide. AT&T has confirmed the move, which will go into effect on May 2nd. The caps will be set at 150GB per month for DSL customers and 250GB for U-Verse subscribers. AT&T will charge $10 for every 50GB over the cap, though overages will not be charged until customers exceed the cap in three separate months over the life of an account. The carrier states that only 2% of DSL subscribers will be affected by the change, though it does not specify what percentage of its U-Verse subscribers might be affected. AT&T also confirmed that it will implement a notification system that will “proactively notify customers when they exceed 65%, 90% and 100% of the monthly usage allowance.” More →
Verizon’s Home Phone Connect service just went live on the carrier’s website, though the link for the service is down at the moment. The new offering will let you connect your home phone to Verizon’s wireless network, and it uses a base station that merges your landline phone and Verizon’s cellular network. For $19.99/month, you get unlimited calling or $9.99/month to add your home landline to your existing wireless family plan. Not a bad deal at all, and it’s a pretty interesting concept, especially since it doesn’t use your existing broadband connection. The service was trialed in New York and Connecticut previously, but it looks like general availability starts now.
Thanks, Henry! More →
We are moving towards a more wireless world and Ericsson, the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile network equipment, has reaffirmed that fact with some cold, hard statistics.
“During the course of 2010, a significant milestone in terms of mobile broadband subscriptions was reached as their number surpassed the half-a-billion mark globally,” said Ericsson.
The company goes on to note that this number will double before the close of 2011, pushing the total number of mobile broadband users over 1 billion. Asia is expected to spearhead the spike in users, followed closely by North America and Europe. By 2015, Ericsson estimates that 3.8 billion broadband subscriptions will be up for grabs. It’s no wonder carriers are jostling for mobile broadband market share. 3,800,000,000 users all paying, on average, $30 a month is a lot of loot. More →
We just spent some more time with the Verizon iPhone’s one added feature — a feature that is sure to make GSM iPhone owners jealous — the personal hotspot. The mobile hotspot implementation on the CDMA iPhone is, like all things Apple, pretty simple and takes little effort to get up and running. There’s a blue notification bar that appears on the top of the device’s screen that shows you how many clients are connected and a simple interface to toggle the hotspot on and off and set the password. Mobile hotspot functionality will be available on the Verizon iPhone at launch for an extra monthly fee — likely $20 to line up with other similar services.
Has the addition of the mobile hotspot pushed any of you current iPhone owners over the edge? Ready to switch?
We’ve taken a few more candids for you to take a look at.
According to some intel gathered by blog TmoNews, the nation’s fourth largest carrier will introduce a “4G” HSPA+ mobile router in March of 2011. The router, which will be capable of speeds up to 21Mbps, will likely come in the form of a MiFi-like device. That’s about all the information there is to report at this time. We’ll hit up a few of our Magenta ninjas to see if we can scrape up any more information for you. More →