You may want to put down your cell phone if you’re planning on having kids anytime soon. According to an article in the latest Journal of Andrology, recent reports have suggested there is a “possible link between cell phone use and semen quality.” The author of the article, Dr. Sandro La Vignera from the University of Catania, refers to one 2008 report which studied 361 men in an infertility clinic, which concluded that there was a direct link to the “duration of cellular phone possession” and decreased semen quality. One study performed on rabbits found that those who were exposed to a mobile phone emitting at 800MHz for 8 hours a day over 12 weeks had a decrease in sperm concentration just six weeks into the study. Sperm motility, or how properly a sperm can swim towards can egg, began to falter in the tenth week. Similar results were found in rats and mice, too. Read on for more. More →
Apple has yet to release a MacBook with an integrated 3G modem, but that doesn’t mean the company hasn’t toyed with the idea. A 2007 15-inch MacBook Pro has surfaced on eBay with a built-in 3G antenna and a SIM-card slot. The seller says he or she originally purchased the 3G-capable MacBook Pro “for parts,” from a former Apple engineer and said “it was immediately clear this was no normal MacBook Pro.” The machine’s SIM card slot is still recognized by OS X 10.6.8 Leopard but the seller has been unable to get the data connection working properly, and noted that “it’s entirely possible it never worked.” The high bid for the one-of-a-kind MacBook Pro was $11,211.11 at the time of this writing. Read on for a few more images. More →
Wireless carriers around the world are digging themselves into a deeper hole by neglecting to experiment with innovative pricing models for 4G LTE services. While consumers have exhibited concern surrounding tiered data plans and bandwidth throttling, Ovum believes such models are necessary to combat the growing capacity crunch plaguing cellular service providers. This crunch, of course, is serious enough that AT&T is hoping to soon $39 billion in order to acquire T-Mobile USA and use the carrier’s precious spectrum for its 4G LTE network build-out. Smartphone and mobile broadband users are pumping more data over wireless networks than ever before, and speedier 4G LTE service only stands to exacerbate the situation. Additionally, carriers are missing the opportunity to find new ways to squeeze more revenue out of this new premium high-speed service. “We looked at the LTE pricing strategies of operators in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the US, and were disappointed with our findings,” Ovum analyst Nicole McCormick said in a statement. “LTE provides operators with the opportunity to experiment with new and innovative pricing models, which allows them to find the best way of deriving revenues from the premium service. However, most operators have not grasped this opportunity. Instead, LTE tariffs in the regions Ovum analysed are dominated by unlimited offerings and large data buckets, which can be problematic.” Ovum’s full press release follows below. More →
Mobile data connections are poised grow 11% in 2011, driving global mobile data revenue to $314.7 billion. Market research firm Gartner on Thursday said mobile data connections will reach 5.6 billion this year compared to 5 billion in 2010, driving global revenue from mobile data up 22.5% from the $257 billion earned last year. “Mobile data traffic will increase significantly as more people will have access to mobile data networks, there is a migration toward smartphones and an increase in sales of media tablets,” said Gartner analyst Jessica Ekholm in a statement. “Mobile data volumes will continue to grow as mobile data networks become faster and more ubiquitous, while at the same time the number of data users and data usage per user is expected to grow.” Gartner sees global mobile data connections growing steadily over the next few years, reaching 7.4 billion in 2015 creating $552 billion in revenue. Preparing networks for this growth is something carriers need to focus on. “What carriers currently need are innovative ways to increase data revenue while finding smart solutions to manage a growing demand in data,” said Gartner research director Sylvain Fabre. “Ultimately, it will be the consumer who chooses the content he or she wants to use, and carriers need to ensure that the quality of experience is good. A substandard user experience may lead to higher churn.” Gartner’s full press release follows below. More →
As you can see from the above image, the destruction and slow reconstruction of AT&T is quite a story. With the T-Mobile merger currently being debated by Congress, potentially adding another chapter to the saga, we thought it might be a good idea to look at the genesis of AT&T Mobility as it stands today. It all started back in 2001 with AT&T Wireless… More →
Details of Samsung’s first official Chrome OS netbook, dubbed Alex, have surfaced in Google’s code repository. According to the Chrome OS development site, the Alex netbook will be powered by a 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550 processor and sport 2GB of RAM. A SanDisk solid-state harddrive of an unknown capacity, a 1280 x 800 pixel display resolution, Wi-Fi, Ethernet port, front-facing webcam, and Bluetooth along with support for 3G cellular connectivity and a Synaptics TouchPad will also be included. Google’s I/O developer conference is in just a few short weeks… perhaps Sir Alex will make an appearance.
Let all those questioning their open-source smartphone overlord be silent. Responding to the recent ruckus caused by an O’Reilly article and subsequent report by The Wall Street Journal, Google has let it be known that it is not tracking your location… unless you give it permission. In a statement to blog TechCrunch, Google writes:
All location sharing on Android is opt-in by the user. We provide users with notice and control over the collection, sharing and use of location in order to provide a better mobile experience on Android devices. Any location data that is sent back to Google location servers is anonymized and is not tied or traceable to a specific user.
The Wall Street Journal called in to question the notion that data sent to Google was, in fact, anonymous. Google addressed this claim, stating that when users opt-in to the service data is often linked with a phone’s unique identifier . The unique identifier is not, however, then partnered with a phone number, serial number, name, or email address — making it difficult for Google to associate the location information with a specific user. Apple has yet to issue a statement about the utility of its gathered location data. More →
Several researchers at O’Reilly have discovered an extremely troubling feature of iPhones and 3G iPads running Apple’s iOS 4. In a blog post and accompanying video, the site details that Apple is storing the GPS coordinates of cellular iDevices locally, in an unencrypted and unprotected file. “Ever since iOS 4 arrived, your device has been storing a long list of locations and time stamps,” reads the post. “We’re not sure why Apple is gathering this data, but it’s clearly intentional, as the database is being restored across backups, and even device migrations.” O’Reilly goes on to note that along with a list of timestamped GPS coordinates, the file also contains a list of Wi-Fi access points that the affected device has been in range of. “Anybody with access to this file knows where you’ve been over the last year, since iOS 4 was released,” the brief continues. The file in question — named consolidated.db — is present in the backup file created when syncing a cellular iOS device with iTunes, and, obviously, on the iOS device itself. “Why this data is stored and how Apple intends to use it — or not — are important questions that need to be explored,” writes the team. Apple’s security team did not respond to O’Reilly‘s request for comment. The video made by the researchers is after the break. More →
The nation’s fifth largest wireless provider — MetroPCS — announced the addition of Tampa, Florida to its LTE portfolio. “As we have built-out our 4G LTE service across the nation, we continue to be dedicated to making our customers’ lives easier by providing them with feature-rich smartphones that let them do more on our network,” said the company’s president, CEO and chairman Roger D. Linquist. Tampa joins Atlanta, Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Sacramento and San Francisco on the list of cities blanketed with MetroPCS’s LTE network. The full press release is after the break. 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 →
In a report titled Emerging Wireless Consumer Devices published this month by Berg Insight, the firm claims that sales of connected consumer devices will grow 77% in 2011. Berg estimates that 22 million consumer devices with embedded cellular connectivity were sold in 2010, and that number will nearly double in 2011 to 39 million. In 2015, Berg thinks over 270 million connected consumer devices will be sold globally, representing a compound annual growth rate of 65%. The category, as defined by Berg, includes devices with integrated cellular connectivity such as tablets and eReaders, and it excludes cell phones. The firm also notes that connected portable gaming consoles such as Sony’s NGP will be a new and significant entrant into the category later this year.
Today, U.S. wireless provider Sprint published a press release outlining its “Network Vision” to be implemented over the next several years. As the PR reads:
Today, Sprint uses separate equipment to deploy services on 800MHz spectrum, 1.9GHz spectrum and, through its relationship with Clearwire, 2.5GHz spectrum. Under the terms of the new contracts, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung will install new network equipment and software that brings together multiple spectrum bands, or airwaves, on a single, multimode base station.
Sprint notes that the shift to multimode towers will enhance service quality, create network flexibility, reduce operating costs, and improve environmental sustainability. Network executives estimate the cost of Network Vision at between $4 billion and $5 billion, but it should save the company between $10 billion and $11 billion after 7-years.
The same announcement also contains a short note about the future of Sprint’s iDEN, push-to-talk service. “During the nationwide implementation of Network Vision, PTT customers will continue to receive a superior customer experience on the iDEN network, currently performing at best-ever levels,” the release reads. “As the Network Vision transformation unfolds, Sprint expects to launch the next-generation of PTT services in 2011 on the CDMA network, offering customers sub-second call setup time along with robust data capabilities. [...] As the shifting to more broadband-centric PTT applications on the CDMA network occurs, it is expected that iDEN cell sites will be phased out. This phase out is expected to begin in 2013.”
Hit the jump to check out the full release. More →
GigaOM is reporting that T-Mobile is testing a completely solar-powered cell phone tower here in the States. The single tower — located in Chalfont, PA — generates enough power to keep the site off the grid and, at times, feed power back into the country’s aging electrical system. Pike Research estimates that 4.5% of all cellular stations worldwide will use solar or wind energy by 2014. The report indicates that although the tower does cost 2 to 3 times more than the standard, grid-powered equivalent, savings in the long run — in electricity, tax benefits, and initial setup costs — could very well make up for the difference over the life of the tower. Hit the read link for the full report. More →