Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh announced that they have discovered a means of wirelessly transmitting data thousands of times faster than current standards, PCMag reported on Wednesday. The team is led by Hrvoje Petek, a physics and chemistry professor at the university, who has theoretically found a way to transmit data between devices in the terahertz frequency. Petek’s discovery of “a physical basis for terahertz bandwidth” could potentially be used to leverage the “portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between infrared and microwave light” and transmit data at rates 1,000 times faster than today’s wireless standards, which are limited to the gigahertz frequency. “The ability to modulate light with such a bandwidth could increase the amount of information carried by more than 1,000 times when compared to the volume carried with today’s technologies,” Petek said. “Needless to say, this has been a long-awaited discovery in the field.” More →
AT&T wants customers who are still using 2G phones to upgrade to the company’s faster 3G and 4G networks, MarketWatch reported last week. The carrier is in the process of sending notices to customers asking them to upgrade their devices. “Your current, older-model 2G phone might not be able to make or receive calls and you may experience degradation of your wireless service in certain areas,” AT&T said in the letter. Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman, said the company is looking to use some of the 2G spectrum for newer technologies. “We’re simply urging them to upgrade to a new device if they want to,” he said. Siegel confirmed that the carrier sent notices to customers in the New York metropolitan area and may soon send them to other customers. He noted, however, that the program was voluntary and only affected a small number of subscribers. He also noted that most 2G phones will continue to work. “We are still supporting the 2G network,” Siegel said, although he did state that customers who continue to use 2G cell phones that operate on AT&T’s 1900-megahertz band will eventually lose service.
A country that was recently the butt of jokes due to its ongoing reliance on CDMA networks now finds itself a global leader in next-generation cellular technology. According to a new report from Pyramid Research, the United States will account for the largest share of 4G LTE subscriptions in the world this year. Twenty-six carriers around the globe have launched LTE networks thus far according to the GSA, but just three will account for 47% of all LTE connections in 2011: Verizon Wireless, MetroPCS and AT&T. Read on for more. More →
According to a new report from Retrevo, consumer “confusion and skepticism” could impede the adoption of 4G devices. We’re not surprised. The labeling on 4G devices is apparently so confusing that 34% of iPhone 4 owners and 24% of BlackBerry users actually believe they have a 4G-capable device, but neither RIM nor Apple currently offer a phone capable of running on any 4G networks. 30% of those polled said data plans currently cost too much for them to upgrade to 4G, and 19% said they didn’t know enough about the new technology. The study also found that less than 25% of the respondents had plans to jump to using a new 4G device or network in the near future. Retrevo’s report came from an online survey of more than 1,000 people across the United States. More →
Earlier this week T-Mobile announced the Rocket 3.0, a new USB data stick built by ZTE that’s capable of running on T-Mobile’s new upgraded 42Mbps HSPA+ 4G network. As our luck would have it, the friendly FedEx guy just dropped off the Rocket 3.0. T-Mobile’s newly upgraded 42Mbps network is available in new markets 55 markets, as well as in New York City, Orlando, and Las Vegas. In our office we averaged 1.17Mbps on the downlink, and 1.07Mbps on the uplink. That’s slow, and in New York City and that throughput is a far cry from what we get with Verizon’s 4G LTE network — but again, we’re not in the 42Mbps coverage area. However, there are parts of New York City that offer optimal data connections, and we’ll be sure to visit them in our full review. The build design of the device is nearly identical to earlier webConnect Rocket products, and we definitely prefer less bulky MiFi devices to USB sticks. The Rocket 3.0 is available for $99.99 from T-Mobile now with a new two year contract. T-Mobile hopes to cover 150 million people with its 4G network this year. Check out our hands-on gallery and hit the jump to see if you’re in one of T-Mobile’s 42Mbps markets.
It’s no secret that Clearwire’s going through a rough patch and, in an interview with CNET, Clearwire’s chief operating officer Erik Prusch said that the carrier may eventually switch from WiMAX to LTE. “WiMAX to date has been a very good technology choice for us,” Prusch said. “We were able to take advantage of the speed to market before LTE was even a glimmer in anyone’s eye. But we recognize the ecosystem in the U.S. will be larger for LTE than WiMAX, so we are conscious of that.” Last summer Clearwire confirmed that it would begin testing 4G LTE trials in the U.S., and it expected to demonstrate that it “[could] deliver significantly higher performance using LTE technologies than any other operator.” It’s unclear how those tests went, but Prusch did backtrack a bit and say that a switch isn’t definite, and that Clearwire needs to keep its eye on LTE and its ecosystem before pulling the trigger and setting a definite timeline. Last month Sprint — which owns a majority stake of Clearwire — said that it has agreed to pay the company $1 billion through 2012 for fees associated with the use of Clearwire’s 4G WiMAX network. More →
A study published by U.K. based paper The Telegraph tries to shed some light on the mobile data disparity. The report, which was commissioned by Bytemobile, indicates that 10% of mobile broadband users account for 90% of data traffic across wireless networks. The news, while not all that surprising, comes as mobile carriers the world over warn that the data demand may exceed their ability to build-out networks capable of handling the increased traffic. Over the past year, wireless providers have been adjusting the prices and data allowances associated with monthly plans trying to strike a profitable balance. Hopefully, here in the U.S., the arrival of all these “4G” networks will alleviate some of the stress carriers — and our wallets — are beginning to feel. More →
Waiting for Verizon Wireless to light up 4G LTE in your hood? Droid-life has got a hold of what they are reporting to be some of the next cities Verizon looks to be launching 4G service. At the end of 2011, we should see at least 140 markets be blanketed with LTE coverage, and by 2013, Verizon is aiming to have at least 2/3 of the country covered. Hit the break for some of the rumored 2011 markets.
Update: Sorry, folks. This slipped by me — it’s confirmed by Verizon.
A study conducted recently by network technology firm Arieso showed that Android users move more data over cellular networks than any other group of smartphone users. The study mentions high-resolution cameras along with video recording and sharing capabilities as being among Android’s biggest bandwidth hogging features. Due to Android’s rapid growth, carriers find themselves struggling to keep up with the ever-increasing congestion on their networks. “Smartphone subscriptions are rising and so too is subscriber appetite for mobile data. It’s a trend that’s set to continue,” Arieso CTO Michael Flanagan told Reuters. The move to next-generation “4G” network technologies like WiMAX and LTE will help carriers accomodate the demand for data, but rolling out these new networks takes a tremendous amount of time and resources. Sprint began lighting up its WiMAX network last year but coverage is still very limited, and Verizon Wireless just flipped the switch on LTE in 38 cities, though it currently does not offer any LTE-compatible cell phones. AT&T and T-Mobile will not begin rolling out LTE until next year. More →
AT&T might not call its HSPA+ network “4G” like T-Mobile does, but trust us when we tell you… AT&T’s enhanced 3G network can move. The screen shot above, taken just outside New York city on Wednesday afternoon, shows an iPhone 4 enjoying download speeds of 5Mbps on AT&T’s HSPA+ network. According to AT&T CTO John Donovan, 80% of AT&T’s network is now covered by HSPA+, though he did not elaborate on average speeds are experienced in various regions. Donovan also discussed the growth rate of data traffic on the carrier’s network, which is up 3,000% over the past three years — from approximately 1 billion MB in Q3 2007 to a staggering 30.3 billion MB in Q3 2010. Growth has slowed in recent months, from 50% growth in Q2 of this year to 30% in Q3, but the carrier isn’t expecting its data growth rate to continue decreasing. AT&T is currently preparing to launch an LTE network next year that will be even faster than its HSPA+ network, which has a theoretical downlink limit of 21Mbps. AT&T has not publicly stated firm speed expectations for its LTE network. More →
Yesterday, the New York Times reported that Google and Verizon were, “nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.” The Federal Communications Commission has been trying, and failing, to prevent such deals from occurring, thanks largely in part to an April court ruling that stated the FCC “lacked the authority” to prevent service providers from slowing or blocking certain connections. According to the Times’ source, Google would, “agree not to challenge Verizon’s ability to manage its broadband Internet network as it pleased,” if the deal is approved. Today, both Google and Verizon have refuted the New York Times’ story, calling it “entirely incorrect,” and saying that their, “goal is an Internet policy framework that ensures openness and accountability, and incorporates specific FCC authority, while maintaining investment and innovation.” What is your stance on net-neutrality? More →
This information comes from a new tipster, but we have very good reason to believe that Verizon will begin rolling out its LTE network in 25 markets starting on November 15th. While 25 markets might not sound like a lot, but apparently they’re enough to give 100 million subscribers access to the next-generation wireless network. LTE handsets will not be immediately available at launch, but Verizon is planning to release “a slew of new devices” on Black Friday which is on November 26th. LTE data plans will indeed be tiered, but Big Red won’t be pulling a Sprint and charing a $10 premium for access to its 4G network. Oh, and don’t be surprised if Verizon starts harping about how its “empowering the user” with open devices.
Thanks, C.! More →
Verizon has marked yet another milestone on the road to LTE, as the carrier announced it has completed LTE technical trials in Boston and Seattle. Said David Clevenger, executive director of public affairs at Verizon Wireless, “technical trials are staged [and] tiered in accordance with industry standards. They’re [now] completed.” Verizon’s next step will be to initiate “friendly user trials” in which people, presumably employees, will test the network in five cities. Verizon expects to have its LTE network up and running in up to 30 markets before the year’s end.