Signal loss, poor battery life and inflated monthly bills may be some of the most annoying smartphone-related issues users complain about. But one device the size of a Wi-Fi router may offer a fix in the coming years. Called pCell – short for “personal cell” – and conceived by Artemis, the new technology may solve connectivity issues, reduce battery strain and decrease costs for carriers. All the while, the device could provide data speeds that are 1,000 times faster than 4G, Business Insider says. More →
Intel might have given up on TV, but the company is looking to take the smartphone world by storm with the introduction of its first 2G, 3G and 4G LTE data modem, the Intel XMM 7160. The new modem will support 15 LTE bands simultaneously to allow for global LTE roaming, and is also capable of voice-over LTE (VoLTE). The modem has been in testing for quite a while but will be commercially available for the first time in the 4G version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, which has already started shipping in Asia and Europe. Intel also announced new PCIe M.2 LTE modules to allow for data connectivity in other devices, such as tablets and ultrabooks. These modules should begin shipping next year.
Carriers have long complained about data-hungry smartphone users clogging up their networks, but a new study from Juniper Research suggests that their plans to limit their customers’ data consumption might be working a bit too well. Juniper’s latest report “forecasts that almost 50% of data traffic generated by mobile phones, tablets and other 3G/4G connected devices, will be offloaded to Wi-Fi and Small Cell networks this year.” While this is on the surface good for carriers because it relieves congestion on their networks, Juniper points out that it could also lead to more consumers choosing cheaper data plans with low bandwidth caps if they become accustomed to hooking onto Wi-Fi for most of their mobile data needs. Juniper notes that “in response, operators are actively partnering with existing Wi-Fi networks and launching their own carrier grade Wi-Fi solutions” so they don’t get completely left out in the cold.
As people continue to look for ways to “cut the cord” and move away from traditional cable services, right now they largely have no choice but to continue subscribing to ISPs’ Internet services even if they cancel pay-TV. Over the next few years, however, that need might fade in many regions. According to new research from ABI, LTE-FDD (frequency-division duplex) will expand to cover 57% of the global population by 2018 while LTE-TDD (time-division duplex) will cover 52% of the population by that point in time. More →
The United States has outstanding LTE coverage compared to other markets, however worldwide carriers are beginning to upgrade their networks to deliver the high-speed wireless technology to their customers. According to a new report from ABI Research, the total mobile data traffic for 2012 amounted to 13,412 petabytes, an increase of 69% from 2011 when 3G data usage accounted for 46% of all traffic. The accelerated adoption of 4G LTE is expected to increase in 2013, however. The research firm estimates that LTE data traffic will grow an astonishing 207% year-over-year in 2013, compared to 99% growth for 3G traffic. The increase for LTE traffic comes as a result of added 4G deployments in developed markets throughout the world. There are still a number of markets that have not yet upgraded to the technology, though.
2012 will likely go down as the year when LTE became a standard smartphone feature rather than a luxury. Strategy Analytics has put out new research this week showing that the fourth quarter of 2012 “witnessed phenomenal +1100% annual growth for LTE handset volumes, led by Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (005930) in developed markets.” 2012 was certainly a banner year for LTE in the United States after Sprint (S) finally got around to launching its own LTE services and both Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) continued expanding their LTE networks to cover the majority of major markets throughout the country. With much of the U.S. now covered, carriers’ next big milestone will be deploying Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services that will let users make calls over LTE and thus potentially end the need for separate voice and data plans.
In many ways, the United States is way ahead of the curve when it comes to LTE service since we have three major carriers that offer LTE in the majority of major markets throughout the country. But GigaOM points us to a new study from British network-testing firm OpenSignal showing that while America has the most overall LTE networks of any country, it only ranks eighth in terms of network speeds with an average download speed of 9.6Mbps. In this respect, the U.S. trails LTE speed champion Sweden, whose networks deliver average download speeds of over 22Mbps, as well as its northern neighbor Canada, whose networks deliver average download speeds of just over 18Mbps. More →
It took Sprint (S) a little longer than its rivals to get LTE services up and running, but the carrier has made admirable progress on getting the United States covered ever since its first launch this past summer. Sprint on Wednesday announced that it has deployed LTE to 49 markets over the past six months and is planning on several new launches for early 2013. In all, Sprint says it plans 150 new LTE launches “in the coming months,” an ambitious target that would go a long way toward helping the carrier catch up with rivals Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T).
High-speed 4G LTE networks are the future of mobile data in the United States and around the world. A number of major wireless providers have already deployed LTE networks and others are expected to follow soon. The Yankee Group found that by the end of 2012 there will be 152 commercial LTE networks across 65 countries, an increase from 47 networks in 2011. The research firm predicts that in 2013 there will be roughly 114 million mobile subscribers utilizing the high-speed technology, a number that is expected to more than double to 258 million by the end of 2014. The global voice and messaging revenue mobile operators are expected to make is also predicted to fall from $769 billion in 2011 to $697 billion in 2016. As a result, Yankee expects service providers to bundle additional content apps and services with LTE subscriptions, as well as increasing their cloud-based storage offerings. More →
Sprint (S) is on a roll with its 4G LTE coverage build out in the United States. Only two weeks after it revealed it will bring 4G LTE coverage to nine additional U.S. markets, the wireless carrier announced on Monday it is adding 11 more cities and counties to its high-speed network. Currently available in 43 markets, Sprint’s 4G LTE coverage will hit locations in Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia over the next weeks and months. More →
Sprint (S) is expanding its 4G LTE network as fast as it can. Last month, the carrier announced its plans to roll LTE out to 22 additional U.S. markets over the next few months and now it’s adding another nine more U.S. cities to the list. The nine new cities that will be getting Sprint’s fast 4G LTE include: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; Oakland/Fremont/Haward, California; Key West, Florida; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Michigan City/La Port, Indiana; Bloomington, Indiana; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Ardmore, Oklahoma; and McAllen/Edinburg/Mission, Texas. More →
Why settle for using either LTE or Wi-Fi when you could use both? That’s the question that researchers at several major universities have tried to answer by developing a new wireless technology capable of opening up more bandwidth by delivering the best of both wireless worlds. According to Technology Review, the new wireless tech has been developed by “researchers at MIT, the University of Porto in Portugal, Harvard University, Caltech, and Technical University of Munich” and is able to “seamlessly weave data streams from Wi-Fi and LTE” to deliver data more efficiently. More →
Yes, America, we really are paying too much for our monthly data plans. The New York Times reports that a new study from the GSM Association’s Wireless Intelligence research team has found that American Verizon (VZ) subscribers pay around $7.50 for each gigabyte of data they download, compared to European users who pay $2.50 per gigabyte. A Verizon spokesperson defended the company’s pricing to the Times and said that the study didn’t take into account that Verizon’s plans also offered unlimited voice and texting and weren’t straight-up data plans. Even so, taking voice and text prices out of the equation shows that Verizon customers pay $5.50 per gigabyte, more than double the European average. More →