Verizon to add five new 4G LTE markets and expand in three others on January 19th

By on January 18, 2012 at 6:30 PM.

Verizon to add five new 4G LTE markets and expand in three others on January 19th

Verizon Wireless is kicking off 2012 by flipping the LTE switch in five new markets and expanding in three current markets. On Thursday, January 19th, the company will turn on its 4G LTE network in Glens Falls and Utica, NY; Lawton, OK; and Brownsville and McAllen, TX. Verizon will also be expanding its network in Atlanta, Houston and Spokane. “As we enter 2012, Verizon’s 4G LTE network remains the largest by far in the United States, and we continue to grow the network and bring Verizon’s unparalleled 4G LTE services to more and more people,” said Verizon’s chief technical officer David Small. Verizon’s 4G LTE network now covers more than 200 million people in 195 different markets. Read on for the carrier’s press release. More →

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iPad still on top as tablet competition heats up

By on January 18, 2012 at 4:05 PM.

iPad still on top as tablet competition heats up

Apple’s iPad is currently responsible for 15% of all mobile traffic according to new research published recently by Chitika. While the iPad’s lead in the tablet market is obvious, it’s becoming more clear there’s strong competition for market share below it. The Amazon Kindle Fire represented an average of 2.4 ad impressions on Chitikas network for every 100 iPad impressions, but RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook wasn’t far behind; it viewed an average of 1.8 ad impressions for every 100 iPad impressions on Chitika’s mobile ad network. That’s followed closely by the Samsung Galaxy with 1.6 ad impressions and the Motorola XOOM with 1.55 ad impressions. Chitika wasn’t clear which Samsung model was included in the study but we presume it was the Galaxy Tab 10.1. “Despite the iPad’s stronghold in the tablet market, other tablets are continuing to carve out and hold their own places – a trend that is continuing even past the expected gains that the holiday season brought,” Chitika said. “It has taken some time for other players to elbow their way in to the market, but with these tablets paving the way and the demand for tablets continuing to grow, perhaps the coming year will bring more opportunities for other players to enter the field and bring their own innovations to the table.” More →

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LightSquared and former FCC chief engineer say GPS tests were rigged

By on January 18, 2012 at 11:15 AM.

LightSquared and former FCC chief engineer say GPS tests were rigged

LightSquared and former FCC chief engineer Edmond Thomas on Wednesday said the GPS test devices that were used by the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Executive Committee (PNT EXCOM) to test its new network were rigged by “manufacturers of GPS receivers and government end users to produce bogus results.” The company said that devices from GPS manufacturers, which have claimed LightSquared’s network interferes with GPS communications, were “cherry picked” in secret and that independent authorities were not allowed to partake or oversee the tests or test results. In addition, LightSquared said the tests focused on obsolete technology that is only used in “niche market devices” and that are “least able to withstand potential interference” from wireless networks. Read on for more. More →

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Verizon blames IP Multimedia Subsystem for 4G LTE outage

By on December 30, 2011 at 9:40 AM.

Verizon blames IP Multimedia Subsystem for 4G LTE outage

Verizon Wireless was the first major carrier to launch its super fast 4G LTE network in the United States. Being the first comes with its fair share of problems, however. Earlier this week Verizon’s 4G LTE network suffered its third major outage in the month of December. In an interview with GigaOM, Verizon Wireless vice president of Network Engineering Mike Haberman responded with:

Being the pioneers, we’re going to experience some growing pains. These issues we’ve been experiencing are certainly regrettable but they were unforeseeable.

Haberman went on to blame all three outages on the process of replacing old signaling architectures used in 2G and 3G networks while on 4G, known as the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). Ever since April, IMS has caused problems leading to network failures. After fixing various software bugs, users were able to again reconnect to 3G EV-DO and 4G LTE services. However, the IMS glitches returned in December and have caused the company headaches. The first outage on December 7th was caused by the failure of a back-up communications database. The second, last week, was the result of an IMS element not responding properly, while Wednesday’s outage was caused by two IMS elements not communicating properly, Haberman told GigaOM. In a statement released by the company, Verizon says that it will not rest until their 4G LTE network performs at the highest levels that customers have come to expect. More →

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Looking back at 2011: 4G LTE takes off

By on December 26, 2011 at 2:20 PM.

Looking back at 2011: 4G LTE takes off

LTE quickly became one of the most talked about wireless topics this year, but before 2011 it was a term most consumers probably had never heard of. A standard developed by the Third-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), long-term evolution (LTE) is a progression of UMTS/HSPA and GSM/EDGE networks. Just a year ago, 4G LTE wasn’t available to the general U.S. public and now, as we begin to enter 2012, a massive chunk of the U.S. population has access to it. 4G spread like a wildfire during 2011, so let’s take a look at some of this year’s LTE highlights. More →

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After brief outage, Verizon 4G LTE network is ‘returning to normal’

By on December 21, 2011 at 3:40 PM.

After brief outage, Verizon 4G LTE network is ‘returning to normal’

We received a number of reports this morning from Verizon Wireless customers complaining that the carrier’s 4G LTE network was down in various parts of the country, and Verizon has confirmed that the network is now returning to normal after the outage. “Verizon Wireless 4G LTE service is returning to normal this morning after company engineers worked to resolve an issue with the 4G network during the early morning hours today,” a Verizon spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge. “Throughout this time, 4G LTE customers were able to make voice calls and send and receive text messages. The 3G data network operated normally.” This is the second time that Verizon Wireless’s 4G LTE network has suffered a nationwide outage this year. More →

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Verizon to launch 11 new 4G LTE markets on December 15th

By on December 14, 2011 at 10:30 PM.

Verizon to launch 11 new 4G LTE markets on December 15th

Verizon Wireless announced Wednesday that it will activate its 4G LTE network in 11 new markets on Thursday, December 15th. The carrier will also expand its coverage in 7 existing LTE markets. Verizon’s 4G LTE network will blanket a total of more than 200 million people in 190 U.S. markets following Thursday’s roll-out. The new markets include: Dover, Del.; Lafayette, Ind.; Fitchburg/Leominster, Mass.; Duluth, The Rochester Area and St. Cloud, Minn.; Manchester/Nashua, N.H.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Findlay/Tiffin and Youngstown/Warren, Ohio; and Indiana, Pa. Verizon will also expand its existing LTE networks in San Diego and San Francisco, Ca.; Washington, D.C.; Savannah, Ga.; Chicagoland, Ill.; and Baltimore and Hagerstown, Md. “Introducing the 4G LTE network has been the fastest rollout of any next-generation network in our history,” Verizon Wireless CTO David Small said. “In one year and 10 days, we have brought 4G LTE to more than 200 million people. That’s more than twice as fast as our 3G network rollout.” Verizon’s full press release follows after the break.  More →

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Sprint, Cleawire near deal for 3-5 year network-sharing agreement, report claims

By on October 28, 2011 at 10:30 PM.

Sprint, Cleawire near deal for 3-5 year network-sharing agreement, report claims

Sprint and Clearwire are close to inking a deal that will extend an existing network-sharing agreement an additional 3-5 years, Bloomberg Businessweek said Friday. The current agreement will terminate at the end of 2012. Allegedly, the deal is not final and could still fall through. If it is finalized, Sprint is poised to pay less for access to Clearwire’s network than it currently does. Clearwire has been seeking additional funding to help it build out a 4G LTE network, which is expected to cost $600 million, but Sprint will not provide any of the financing. “This would likely help [Clearwire] get funding, because it would provide increased visibility into revenue-getting opportunities and reduce the risk profile,” Mizuho Securities analyst Michael Nelson told Bloomberg. Clearwire most recently began courting AT&T and Verizon Wireless in a bid to raise cash for its new network. More →

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Sprint to roll out LTE-Advanced network by mid-2013

By on October 26, 2011 at 1:59 AM.

Sprint to roll out LTE-Advanced network by mid-2013

Speaking during the 4G World conference in Chicago on Tuesday, Sprint’s vice president of network development and engineering Iyad Tarazi confirmed that Sprint will begin to roll-out a 4G LTE-Advanced network in its 800MHz frequency spectrum by the middle of 2013. LTE-Advanced offers faster data throughput than the first generation of LTE, among other enhancements, and Tarazi explained that Sprint’s LTE-Advanced network should offer download speeds between 12-15Mbps. During its Strategy Update meeting in October, Sprint confirmed that it will begin to roll out its first 4G LTE network in mid-2012 with completion scheduled by the end of 2013. The initial LTE network will be deployed on Sprint’s 1900Mhz frequency spectrum and the first round of LTE devices will still route voice calls over its CDMA network. The first voice-over-LTE devices will arrive during the first quarter of 2013, Fierce Wireless said. Tarazi also noted that Sprint will offer at least a dozen LTE devices next year. More →

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Verizon 4G LTE rolling out ahead of schedule, more than 186 million Americans covered

By on October 24, 2011 at 9:50 PM.

Verizon 4G LTE rolling out ahead of schedule, more than 186 million Americans covered

Verizon Wireless announced on Monday that its 4G LTE network is rolling out faster than originally planned. The carrier provides 4G access to more than 186 million Americans, which means it has already exceeded its goal to cover 185 million U.S. residents by the end of the year. Verizon Wireless confirmed it will roll out 4G LTE to 13 more markets on November 17th, for a total of 178 markets, and said it will continue to activate its 4G network in new cities in December. Verizon Wireless said it will soon offer a total of 15 4G LTE devices, including the newly announced DROID RAZR and Samsung Stratosphere, and that it has more 4G LTE announcements planned for November and December. Read on for the announcement from Verizon Wireless. More →

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Sharp to manufacture smartphones and tablets for LightSquared’s 4G LTE network

By on October 3, 2011 at 6:20 PM.

Sharp to manufacture smartphones and tablets for LightSquared’s 4G LTE network

Wholesale wireless reseller LightSquared announced on Monday that Sharp will manufacture smartphones and tablets capable of running on its 4G LTE network. LightSquared said that it will demo the first devices during the upcoming CTIA Wireless trade show in San Diego, California. “Sharp has a rich history of producing unique products that push the extremes of design and functionality, and we’re proud that they will be developing innovative devices for LightSquared’s 4G-LTE network,” LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said. “LightSquared’s wholesale-only business model and open network will provide Sharp with a platform from which they can aggressively expand into the U.S. wireless market with an exciting portfolio of smartphones and tablets.” Sprint announced an LTE partnership with LightSquared on July 28th, and we expect to hear more about its 4G LTE plans on Friday during its Strategy Media Update event in New York City. Read on for the full press release from LightSquared. More →

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Sprint to deploy 4G LTE network early next year

By on September 27, 2011 at 8:20 PM.

Sprint to deploy 4G LTE network early next year

Sprint will deploy its 4G LTE network early next year and has already started to deploy the required equipment, CNET reported on Tuesday. Reportedly, Sprint is also already testing the network, although sources speaking to CNET did not reveal where the tests were occurring. The move is enabled by Sprint’s “Network Vision” plans, which it first discussed in December 2010. During our recent tour of Sprint’s facilities in Overland Park, Kansas, when Sprint CEO Dan Hesse confirmed that the carrier’s 4G plans would be discussed this fall, we were able to snap a few photos of an Ericsson E-Node Base Transceiver System (BTS). Sprint explained at the time that, should it decide to move to an LTE network, engineers just had to add an LTE card to the BTS and perform the required tests to get a new network up and running. Sprint has also already announced a deal with Lightsqured to deliver 4G LTE support to its customers, although it has not yet been discussed when the roll-out will occur. BGR will be attending a Sprint “Strategy Update” in New York City on October 7th where we expect to hear more about Sprint’s future 4G plans. More →

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Verizon finally launches 4G LTE in Kalamazoo (and 25 other markets)

By on September 14, 2011 at 9:40 PM.

Verizon finally launches 4G LTE in Kalamazoo (and 25 other markets)

Verizon Wireless announced on Wednesday that it will activate its 4G LTE network in 26 new markets on Thursday, September 15th. The new areas include Kalamazoo and Saginaw, Michigan; Fargo, North Dakota; Moorhead Minnesota; Canton, Lima and Mansfield, Ohio; Reno, Nevada; Iowa City, Iowa; Fort Smith and Jonesboro, Arkansas; Daytona, Florida; Shreveport, Louisiana; Las Cruces, New Mexico; Dyersburg, Tennessee; the Tri-Cities in Tennessee and Virginia; Austin, Beaumont/Port Arthur, Wichita Falls and El Paso, Texas; San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, California; Bloomington/Normal, Champaign/Urbana, Rockford, Springfield and Quad Cities, Illinois. Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network now covers more than 160 million U.S. residents in 143 markets, and the carrier hopes to cover 185 million Americans by the end of this year. Read on for a press release of Verizon’s expansion in Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota. More →

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