Following AT&T’s failed attempt to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion, AT&T had to pay a lofty break-up fee as per the terms of its agreement. AT&T’s related expenses totaled $4 billion, and included in that sum was the transfer of AWS spectrum licenses to T-Mobile in 128 different markets. On Wednesday, T-Mobile announced that the Federal Communications Commission has approved the transfer. “We applaud the FCC for acting swiftly to approve the transfer of these spectrum licenses,” T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in a statement. The nation’s No.4 carrier will use its newly acquired spectrum to help build out its next-generation 4G LTE network, which it hopes to launch next year.
Sprint’s highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Nexus is no longer available for pre-order after initial stock sold out this week. Pre-order availability began just this past Monday, and Sprint’s pre-sales launch inventory was depleted by Thursday evening. It is difficult to gauge demand since the number of Galaxy Nexus handsets Sprint had allocated for pre-sales is unknown, but a source told BGR that “pre-sales supply was healthy” ahead of the device’s launch on April 22nd. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus features a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display with 720p resolution, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, a 5-megapixel rear camera, 32GB of internal storage, NFC and 4G LTE connectivity, though Sprint’s LTE network has not yet launched. The Galaxy Nexus is not compatible with Sprint’s current 4G WiMAX network.
4G LTE devices are apparently so hot this year, Sprint is selling LTE phones without a network to support them. Sales of 4G-equipped smartphones, tablets, portable hotspots and other devices are set to explode in 2012 as carriers continue to expand 4G coverage and roll out new networks. In a recent report, market research firm ABI Research said that 4G device sales will balloon nearly 300% to 87 million units in 2012. ABI notes that higher prices are still a barrier to 4G devices in some regions, however, and consumer confusion is an issue as well. “As evidenced by the Australian iPad 3 promotion fiasco, when iPad 3s were being promoted as being ‘LTE-ready,’ even though the modem is unable to access the Australian LTE spectrum band, the number of LTE spectrum bands will hamper initial pricing and product roll-out,” ABI analyst Philip Solis said. “Nevertheless, in addition to 61 million 4G handsets being shipped in 2012, we estimate 26 million 4G non-handset products will be shipped. In the short-term, most of that will reflect customers purchasing USB dongles for legacy laptops and netbooks, followed by customer premise equipment, or home modem, purchases.” ABI’s press release follows below. More →
We have been informed by a trusted source that HTC’s One X, one of the best smartphones ever to come out of Taiwan, will be available on AT&T as early as this week. We have also been told that AT&T may announce availability details tomorrow, and that the handset’s release should follow within five to seven days of the carrier’s announcement. AT&T’s version of the HTC One X swaps out the quad-core Tegra 3 processor for a dual-core Snapdragon CPU in order to accommodate 4G LTE connectivity, but unlike the complete redesign we saw on Sprint’s EVO 4G LTE, the AT&T version should be nearly identical to the international model.
Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus has been available around the world for quite some time after officially making it’s debut on Verizon Wireless in December. Sprint’s version of the handset, which supports the company’s brand new LTE network, is currently slated for an April 22nd release according to one of our sources, which is in line with earlier rumors. Stores should be receiving merchandising materials shortly, and sales are set to start soon after. Whether you’ll actually be able to get an LTE signal, however, depends on if you’re a 1%-er — Sprint’s LTE network has gone live in a few regions during testing, but isn’t set to go live in launch markets until June. Sprint also plans to launch the LG Viper 4G LTE on April 22nd.
Sprint announced last week that pre-orders for one of its first 4G LTE-enabled smartphones were going live on April 12th, and now the carrier has made launch details official. LG’s affordable Viper 4G LTE will become available in just over a week on April 22nd for $99.99 on contract. While this makes LG’s new smartphone one of the most affordable LTE-equipped smartphones on the market — in line with the Nokia Lumia 900’s retail price, though the phone is free for the time being — buyers will be hard-pressed to find LTE service for the time being. The LG Viper 4G LTE features a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, a 4-inch 800 x 480-pixel display and Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Sprint’s full press release follows below. More →
HTC and Sprint have a big press conference scheduled to take place this evening, and all signs point to a new flagship smartphone. Persistent rumors suggest the flagship HTC One X will be the star of the show, and with specs that include a 4.7-inch 720p HD display, a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor, a remarkable 8-megapixel camera, Beats Audio and 4G LTE on board, there’s no question it would make a great star. A recent report suggests the One X could launch on Sprint later this year as the EVO One, but nothing is set in stone until we hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. BGR will be reporting live from the event in New York City, so be sure to check back for all the news as it breaks.
Bookmark this link, which will go live shortly before the event begins tonight, and make sure to head there for our live coverage of Sprint and HTC’s press conference! Coverage will begin just before 5:30 p.m. EDT / 2:30 p.m. PDT.
While speaking at the Competitive Carriers Global Expo, Sprint’s senior vice president of networks Bob Azzi said that while the company has experienced success with its WiMAX handsets, it will not launch any additional WiMAX devices. The announcement comes after Sprint previously confirmed that it would continue to offer 4G WiMAX devices through 2012 and support the service through 2015. Instead, the company plans to focus on its Network Vision project and upcoming 4G LTE netowrk, Fierce Wireless reported on Thursday. “We are wrapping up final field integration tests,” Azzi said. “The technology works and delivers more benefits than we expected.” The executive noted that the company’s Network Vision project will result in a 50% reduction in cost-per-gigabyte to deliver data and cost-per-minute to deliver voice. “This is a huge benefit to us,” he said, adding that there are between 5,000 to 6,000 people devoted to the project, which is slated to be completed by the end of 2013. More →
Apple’s hot new iPad tablet has been a massive global success. The company recently announced that it sold more than 3 million new slates in fewer than four days of availability, making it the second most successful launch in the Apple’s history behind the iPhone 4S. Heat issues aside, Apple found itself in a bit of hot water earlier this week when Australian regulators took issue with Apple’s use of the term “4G” in its advertising. The new iPad indeed supports 4G LTE networks internationally, but is it not compatible with Telstra’s Australian 4G network. Apple argued in Federal Court on Wednesday that its iPad can connect to Australian HSPA networks which are considered to be “4G” in other markets, but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission didn’t bite and neither did the court. In the end, ABC News in Australia reports that Apple agree to issue a statement clarifying that the new iPad does not support Telstra’s LTE network, and it will offer a refund to any buyers who feel they have been misled by Apple’s 4G claims. More →
Verizon Wireless on Tuesday announced an upcoming new addition to its 4G LTE smartphone lineup. Launching on March 29th, the entry-level LG Lucid features low-end specs and last year’s Android build, but it also sports one of the lowest launch prices we’ve seen so far for a 4G LTE-equipped smartphone. Specs include Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 5-megapixel camera and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. Verizon notes that the Lucid can be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, however no details were made available regarding when the update might roll out. At $79.99, Verizon and LG have undercut AT&T’s upcoming Nokia Lumia 900, which will tout a $99.99 price tag when it is released on April 8th. The Lumia 900 is positioned as a flagship device, however, so the sub-$100 price tag is still an impressive feat. Verizon’s full press release follows below. More →
In addition to the Nokia Lumia 900, AT&T on Monday announced the upcoming availability of another sleek Windows Phone with 4G LTE connectivity. While initially expected to launch in mid-March, HTC’s Titan II will hit store shelves on April 8th for $199.99 on contract. The sequel to the original HTC Titan features a 4.7-inch Super LCD display, a 16-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash, 4G lTE connectivity and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 operating system. BGR took a hands-on look at the Titan II during the Consumer Electronics Show this past January, and while it offers clear advantages over the original Titan — namely LTE connectivity and the new camera — we preferred the unibody aluminum case on the original model to the sequel’s plastic exterior.
Global 4G LTE smartphone shipments reached 6.8 million units in the technology’s first year. According to a study from market research firm Strategy Analytics, global LTE smartphone shipments could surge tenfold to 67 million units in 2012. It is expected to be a breakout year for LTE technology, with Apple, Samsung, HTC and others planning to launch 4G LTE phones in the United States, Japan and South Korea. “The mobile industry is entering a breakout year for 4G LTE technology. Multiple operators and multiple phone vendors will be launching dozens of LTE models across numerous countries worldwide,” said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. “LTE has quickly become a high-growth, high-value market that no operator, service developer, device vendor or component maker can afford to ignore.” Read on for Strategy Analytics’s press release. More →
The next-generation iPhone has been rumored to include an embedded LTE radio on several occasions. Until now, however, it has only been speculation and unconfirmed reports. iDownloadBlog reported on Thursday that according to code strings in iOS 5.1, the next iPhone will indeed feature 4G LTE connectivity. “Enabling 4G will end your phone call. Are you sure you want to enable 4G,” the new iOS 5.1 code said. The references to a phone call make it clear that this is an iPhone warning rather than an iPad one. In the end, the code shows that the Cupertino-based company is at the very least testing an LTE-enabled iPhone. Apple’s next-generation smartphone is expected to feature a faster processor, a larger display and a unibody aluminum case. BGR exclusively reported this past December that the handset will also feature a redesigned antenna system, and it will launch this coming fall. iDownloadBlog’s video follows below. More →