Apple’s iPhone 4S became the fastest-selling smartphone of all time when it launched last month. It also finally arrived on Sprint’s network, making it available from three of the four top wireless carriers in the United States. Despite the fact that we now have a single iPhone model that supports both GSM-based networks and CDMA networks, not all iPhones are created equal. A new report from performance analytics company Metrico Wireless Inc. looks at iPhone 4S performance across each of the top three carriers in the U.S. to determine where the iPhone 4S, and the previous-generation iPhone 4, shine brightest. Read on for more. More →
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 →
Let’s face it… not all 4G is created equal. When Verizon Wireless’ LTE launched in its first few markets last year, bloggers and media saw blazing fast data speeds in their tests that put other 4G networks to shame. So did we. In fact, on numerous occasions and in numerous device reviews, we called Verizon’s LTE the fastest cellular data service we had ever tested. But a common sentiment rang throughout the Internet: Verizon’s 4G LTE is fast now, but that’s because the network is empty. And Verizon Wireless’ competition mirrored the opinion, of course. In a private conversation about the discrepancy in performance between Sprint’s 4G WiMAX and Verizon’s 4G LTE, a Sprint executive told me that Verizon’s network was so fast because it was empty. “Wait until it fills up,” the exec chuckled. “Then we’ll see if the ThunderBolt still deserves its name.”
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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 →
In line with earlier rumors, T-Mobile confirmed on Monday that it will launch its first 4G mobile hotspot on Wednesday, April 13th. Built by ZTE, the T-Mobile 4G Mobile Hotspot will allow up to five devices to connect via Wi-Fi and share T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ cellular data service. The unit will run $79.99 with a new two-year contract, and a new $84.99 data plan will be available at launch. The new plan provides 10GB of mobile broadband per month with no overages — instead, data speeds will be throttled when the 10GB soft cap is reached. More →
While Verizon Wireless just announced two new 4G LTE devices that are going to serve up insanely fast mobile broadband speeds, Samsung’s 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is the first one in our hands. We’ve been rockin’ and rollin’ over Verizon’s 4G LTE network for a little while thanks to the new mobile hotspot, and we’re happy to report extremely fast speeds around 12Mbps down and 5.5Mbps up on average — the fastest speeds that the device is rated for. In terms of size, it’s just a tad thicker than the original Novatel MiFi unit we rely on for our mobile connectivity. We haven’t had enough time to test battery life for ourselves, but we’ll report back. The Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is available online from Verizon Wireless starting today, and will be in stores beginning tomorrow for $99.99 with a two-year service agreement. Check out our hands-on gallery with some comparison photos!
AT&T on Thursday responded to a Better Business Bureau complaint alleging that the carrier is capping data speeds on new “4G” devices like the Motorola ATRIX 4G. The BBB grievance was part of a series of complaints, both public and private, pertaining to slower than expected upload speeds on devices like the ATRIX 4G and HTC’s Inspire 4G. AT&T responded to BGR’s request for comment earlier this week, but the carrier’s statement left some room for interpretation. Now, any vagueness has been eliminated, at least in the case of the ATRIX. “Be assured that AT&T has not ‘capped’ the upload speeds on the ATRIX,” an AT&T appeals manager stated in a letter to a customer. “The ATRIX is a HSUPA-capable device, and we currently are performing the testing and preparations necessary to ensure that, when we turn this feature on, you will continue to have a world class experience.” This confirmation that the ATRIX 4G will have HSUPA enabled in the future should help ease the tension among users who are currently experiencing slow upload speeds, though AT&T has not commented on why HSUPA was disabled to begin with. Hit the break for AT&T’s full response. More →
Some Motorola ATRIX 4G and HTC Inspire 4G owners on the AT&T network have been up in arms since purchasing their new 4G handsets. Despite the presence of “4G” in each moniker, users are experiencing slower than expected upload speeds on the devices. Some users like Zack Nebbaki have been so upset by the slow upload speeds, they’ve gone as far as to create a petition to voice their discontent. While we wish we had something more concrete to report, we just received the following comment from an AT&T spokesperson that may help put some minds at ease: “We have a number of HSUPA devices today and we will have more HSUPA-enabled devices in the future — new devices and updates to existing models.” The statement does not specifically refer to the ATRIX or Inspire so nothing is confirmed, but the mention of “updates to existing models” should at least give users hope that their 4G phones might be updated in the future.