Mobile broadband to reach 1 billion users in 2011

By on January 12, 2011 at 3:23 AM.

Mobile broadband to reach 1 billion users in 2011

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 →

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Hands-on with the Verizon iPhone’s personal hotspot feature

By on January 11, 2011 at 12:46 PM.

Hands-on with the Verizon iPhone’s personal hotspot feature

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.

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T-Mobile introducing 21Mbps HSPA+ mobile router in March 2011

By on December 21, 2010 at 7:16 AM.

T-Mobile introducing 21Mbps HSPA+ mobile router in March 2011

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 →

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New Verizon FiOS offering boasts ‘fastest mass-market broadband service in the nation’

By on November 22, 2010 at 11:45 AM.

New Verizon FiOS offering boasts ‘fastest mass-market broadband service in the nation’

If you’re a Verizon FiOS residential broadband customer, with a need for Internet speed, listen up. Big Red has just announced a new plan that boasts some ridiculously fast, lust-worthy uplink and downlink speeds. How fast you ask? How about 150Mbps down and 35Mbps up.

“With a downstream speed of 150 Mbps, consumers can download a two-hour, standard-definition movie (1.5 gigabytes) in less than 80 seconds, and a two-hour HD movie (5 GB) in less than four and a half minutes,” quips the press release.

“The 150/35 Mbps residential offer will be available to the majority of FiOS-eligible households, and sold as a stand-alone service starting at $194.99 a month when purchased with a one-year service agreement and Verizon wireline voice service.”

As you can see, the new service does not come cheap, but if you can afford, justify, or write-off the new hotness, we recommend giving Verizon a call and ordering the high-test connection. The press release is awaiting your scrutiny after the break. More →

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Google to build ultra high-speed broadband network at Stanford

By on October 21, 2010 at 1:20 PM.

Google to build ultra high-speed broadband network at Stanford

This isn’t the first time Google has discussed its intentions to build out a ridiculously fast 1Gbps broadband network, but it looks like its ultra high-speed efforts are finally set to materialize. The Internet giant announced Thursday that it reached an agreement with Stanford University to build an experimental network for approximately 850 homes on the campus’ Residential Subdivision. Google plans to begin building the broadband network early next year. Stanford’s upcoming high speed network is clarified to be completely separate from the “Fiber for Communities” project Google announced earlier this year. While Google’s community effort is still in the planning stages, it looks as though Stanford will be the company’s opportunity to show the world what a 1Gbps residential network can do. The next due date for Stanford University’s early action admissions is November 15th, so you’ll have plenty of time to get in good with faculty living in the school’s Residential Subdivision before Google-net is built out. More →

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Current Analysis: Verizon launching $80, 5 GB prepaid mobile broadband plan

By on August 24, 2010 at 9:30 PM.

Current Analysis: Verizon launching $80, 5 GB prepaid mobile broadband plan

FierceWireless is reporting that Verizon Wireless will unveil a prepaid $80 per month 5 GB mobile broadband data plan in the coming months. The plan will complement the company’s current prepaid broadband plans which are $15/day for 75 MB, $30/week for 250 MB, and $50/month for 500 MB. The reported plan, as Current Analysis analyst Deepa Karthikeyan writes, “offers contract-phobic, high-end users with a viable option.” Given Virgin Mobile’s announcement this morning, would you pay double for Verizon’s network?

UPDATE: The new prepaid plans can be found here. The available plans are now: 100 MB (1 day) $15, 300 MB (7 days) $30, 1 GB (30 days) $50, and 5 GB (30 days) $80. Thanks to everyone who sent this in. More →

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Virgin Mobile USA officially launches $40 unlimited, prepaid mobile broadband plan

By on August 24, 2010 at 8:36 AM.

Virgin Mobile USA officially launches $40 unlimited, prepaid mobile broadband plan

Today, Virgin Mobile USA announced that it would do away with its currently tiered $20, $40, and $60 prepaid mobile broadband plans and replace them with a prepaid, unlimited, $40 per month offering. Via a press release, Virgin wrote: “A recent study from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that the self-employed and independent workers represent approximately 30% of the nation’s workforce. The study determined that this segment of the self-employed population, consisting mainly of small business owners and freelancers, represents a large market of consumers who need to stay connected, mainly with email and internet browsing, without the constraints of a contract.” Virgin also noted it would offer a $10 per month, 100 MB plan for those users who need connectivity infrequently. Virgin currently offers an Ovation USB data-stick priced at $79.99 and a MiFi 2200 device priced at $149.99. What do you think? Prepaid, as you need it, mobile broadband. Any takers? More →

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U.S. residential broadband speeds average 50% of advertised speeds

By on August 19, 2010 at 3:33 AM.

U.S. residential broadband speeds average 50% of advertised speeds

The megabit wars are pretty comical on both the residential and wireless broadband fronts. Companies promise internet speeds “up to” a certain number of megabits and label their network technologies with catchy phrases like “power boost.” Recent news stories that come to mind include: a report that WiMax 2 would provide speeds up to 100 Mbps, Verizon has achieved nearly 1 Gbps with a residential FiOS deployment, and T-Mobile is rapidly expanding its 4G-ish HSPA+ network at up to 21 Mbps. All the speeds boasted are usually preempted by the words “peak” or “theoretical” making them, like that 35 mpg highway rating on your Cadillac Escalade, unlikely.

Thanks to the FCC, and data from comScore and Akamai, these megabit myths (on the residential broadband side0 have been governmentally confirmed. The FCC concluded that, “the median actual speed consumers experienced in the first half of 2009 was roughly 3 Mbps, while the average (mean) actual speed was approximately 4 Mbps.” Contrast this with the average advertised download speed of 6.7 Mbps in that same period,and you can see there is a bit of an actual speed deficit. The FCC concluded that when you look at the actual speeds consumers are experiencing they are far slower than the speeds they are promised in advertising. As Ars Technica reports, the FCC findings recommend that “a standard truth-in-labeling form should be drafted by the FCC,” in order to make broadband speeds clearer. Sort of like those super-accurate MPG stickers on new cars.

We want to know: what is your ISP, what speeds were you promised, and what are your actual speeds? Do you think a broadband report card is a good idea? More →

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FCC redefines broadband, 14-24 million Americans still without access

By on July 23, 2010 at 12:17 AM.

FCC redefines broadband, 14-24 million Americans still without access

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In a press release dated July 20th, the FCC announced that between 14 and 24 million Americans are still without access to broadband internet, and that the “immediate prospects for deployment to them are bleak.” The report also goes on to define “broadband” as a connection that provides a 4 Mbps downlink and 1 Mbps uplink. Prior to the report, broadband was defined as providing a 768 Kbps downlink connection. The report goes on: “In an era when broadband has become essential for U.S. jobs, economic growth, global competitiveness, and democratic engagement, millions of Americans live in areas without broadband. Many of these Americans are poor or live in rural areas that will remain unserved without reform of the universal service program and other changes to U.S. broadband policy that spur investment in broadband networks by lowering the cost of deployment.” What do you think? Is 4 Mbps an acceptable speed? Should the government push telecoms to provide broadband access to more rural areas?

Thanks, Henry! More →

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The big winner in the wireless data wars is Sprint/Clearwire

By on July 22, 2010 at 6:21 PM.

The big winner in the wireless data wars is Sprint/Clearwire

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With the #1 and #2 wireless carriers scrambling to beef up their network and limit data usage by instituting tiered data plans, Sprint/Clearwire is sitting pretty on to a treasure trove of 100-120 MHz of spectrum across much of its coverage area. In this dawning age of data hungry devices, Sprint/Clearwire has three to four times the spectrum resources of its closest, upcoming competitor Verizon Wireless and could theoretically build out a network capable of supporting 540Mbps of capacity per cell. With all that available capacity, Sprint/Clearwire is in a prime position to buck the the trend of tiering data and offer a competively priced, unlimited data plan that provides consumers with the best price per bit. If given a choice, what would you chose – unlimited WiMax/LTE data from Sprint or capped LTE data from a competitor? More →

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Broadband internet a legal right in Finland

By on July 1, 2010 at 5:48 PM.

Broadband internet a legal right in Finland

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Thanks to a new law that comes into effect today, every single citizen of Finland now has a legal right to a wired broadband connection with a minimum speed of 1Mbps. According to communication minister Suvi Linden, the reason for the law is due to the fact that “internet services are no longer just for entertainment” and that it is a necessary to have to live in their “information society.” In Finland, all but 4% of households currently have broadband connections. This, says the government, equates to about 4,000 households, all of which should be compliant with the new law in short order. And just in case you’re curious, no, the Finnish government isn’t going to go totally ape if people who benefit from this law get into piracy. According to Linden, the most the Finnish government will do if someone is illegally downloading copyrighted material is send them letters. More →

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OnLive gaming service launches with a free one year subscription

By on June 17, 2010 at 11:45 PM.

OnLive gaming service launches with a free one year subscription

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OnLive, the much ballyhooed online gaming service, has finally made its official debut. Having been in beta and available for select users since September 2009, OnLive has begun activating new accounts for the general public As an incentive to garner interest and beef up subscriber numbers, gamers who sign up between now July 15th will receive one free year of service, after which the cost will be $4.95 per month. Beta testers will receive the same subscription offer with a free game thrown in as a bonus. Before you jump for joy over a year of free gaming, this free one year offer is for the monthly subscription only and does not include the cost of games which will range from $5 to $55. Launch titles include Assassin’s Creed 2, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Mass Effect 2, NBA 2K10, DiRT 2, and more. If you have an Intel Mac or a Windows PC with a broadband Internet connection, then head on over to OnLive and sign up for the free trial. What do you have to lose except for precious time lost with loved ones due to non-stop, console-free online gaming? More →

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AT&T to count 3G MicroCell usage against customer's data caps

By on June 17, 2010 at 5:47 PM.

AT&T to count 3G MicroCell usage against customer's data caps

3G-MicroCell-ATT

AT&T may want to be the darling of the US wireless carriers, but some of its policies are seemingly designed to turn a customer into an enemy and not an ally. Such is the case with its 3G MicroCell which is promoted as being a solution for those with cellular coverage issues. For those unaware, the 3G Microcell is a hardware device that lets customers use their broadband Internet connection to make and receive phone calls and, in the case of AT&T’s 3G-enabled MicroCell, to utilize the 3G data capabilities of their phone. On the surface, this sounds like a win-win solution with customers receiving solid 3G cellular coverage and AT&T offering a solution for customers with coverage issues. Unfortunately, AT&T seems destined to shoot itself in its foot by instituting a data usage policy that counts data used through the MicroCell against your cellular data allotment. Seems a bit counter-intuitive that AT&T is charging for data used through the MicroCell when the bulk of the data transmission is carried by your broadband Internet provider, no? More →

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