On Wednesday we had our very first BGR reader event, and it was a blast. Hundreds of people were lined up around the block, even in the rain, and we were finally able to connect with a lot of people who have been fans of the site for years. Thanks again to everyone that came out, and special thanks to Samsung as well. This is surely only the start of a bigger endeavor, so stay tuned! In the meantime, make sure to check out the photo gallery below, in addition to a video from the event after the break.
We’ve been hearing reports that Apple would open the world’s largest Apple Store on one of New York City’s Grand Central terminal balconies since February of this year. Despite a report in May that the plan had been nixed, the dream of a 15,000 square foot store could finally become a reality. According to The New York Times, The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) board is expected to approve Apple’s bid later this week during a monthly board meeting. Apple really knew how to woo the MTA, too: buried deep in the article was a discussion about how the iPhone maker submitted its bid for the spot in “linen-lined boxes, as if it were a wedding present to transit officials.” We expect to hear more on Apple’s plans in the coming weeks. More →
Sprint, Clearwire and Time Warner Cable announced on Tuesday that the current 4G WiMAX footprint in New York City has been expanded by 21%. The network now covers an additional 91,363 people across the New York metropolitan area in Alpine, Bayonne, Elizabeth, Fair Lawn, Newark, Paramus, Secaucus and Union, New Jersey; and Hartsdale, New Rochelle, New York, Rockville Centre and Yonkers, New York. Clearwire’s 4G network currently covers more than 130 million U.S. residents, including a total of 11,927,000 people in the New York City area. Read on for the full press release. More →
New York City’s mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Thursday that the city will soon offer free Wi-Fi in 20 of its parks. AT&T will power the service, which will be available in popular spots such as Prospect Park, Battery Park, and Central Park, later this summer, but New Yorkers can already surf for free in Battery Bosque Park, the Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx, and Thomas Jefferson Park, among others. The public will have ad-free access to the free networks for at least the next five years. No word on whether you’ll actually be able to use an AT&T phone for voice calling in the parks, however.
[Via The New York Times] More →
Samsung has just confirmed that it is postponing a press event that was originally scheduled for May 24th in New York City. It’s unclear what Samsung was scheduled to announce, although we suspect it could have been a Galaxy S II U.S. announcement, or an announcement detailing carrier partners for its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. Samsung says the event has been “postponed until a later date.”
There isn’t too much to go off of the invite we have just received, but there is no doubt AT&T and Samsung will be out in full force for this announcement. Are we looking at a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for AT&T? Maybe something out of left field? You’ll just have to tune in to see our live coverage on Thursday.
Verizon Wireless’ speedy 4G LTE network hit another milestone on Tuesday night: its first major outage. BGR has confirmed what dozens of tipsters have been telling us all night via email — Verizon’s LTE services are currently unavailable across the country, and they have been unavailable for several hours now. We’ve confirmed the outage here in New York City with our Samsung DROID Charge and have noticed that Verizon’s 3G network also appears to be unavailable. There’s no official word from Verizon Wireless on the outage, so it’s unclear how long it will last.
UPDATE: Verizon posted the following to its official Twitter account: “We’re aware of an issue with the 4G LTE connections and our network engineers are working to resolve quickly. Investigating 4G LTE network issue; ThunderBolts making voice calls, may get slower 1xRTT data.”
Multiple cities have signed on to celebrate “Foursquare Day” on April 16th, but none as prominently as New York City. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has declared April 16th “Foursquare Day” in New York City to celebrate the company and its success — but also to attract new startups to the area. “There is no better place than New York City to start a business,” Bloomberg’s office said. “We are the most exciting and most dynamic place on the market, an international capital of the arts, fashion, and finance. With Foursquare leading the way, we look forward to this generation’s innovators and entrepreneurs making their mark on our City in the years to come.” Foursquare was founded in New York City in 2007 by co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, and the company currently keeps its headquarters there. The social network says it has over 8 million users worldwide and adds roughly 35,000 users each day. If you haven’t tried it yet yet, you’re not too late. The latest version launched early last month and added a ton of useful features, including better specials. Oh, and if you’re wondering why Bloomberg chose the 16th specifically, it’s because four squared is 16 (and April is the fourth month). More →
T-Mobile on Tuesday announced that its 4G HSPA+ network is now available in 10 new markets including Ames, Iowa; Anderson, Indiana; Battle Creek, Benton Harbor and Jackson, Michigan; Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado; Lawrence and Manhattan, Kansas; Springfield, Illinois and Wichita Falls, Texas. T-Mobile also reaffirmed that it will soon double the speed of its 4G network from 21Mbps to a theoretical download speed of 42Mbps in Las Vegas, New York and Orlando. Chicago, Long Island, N.Y. and Northern New Jersey are scheduled to get the speed boost shortly after, and the carrier says it hopes to deliver those speeds to more than 140 million Americans in 25 markets by mid-year. T-Mobile’s 4G network now covers 167 U.S. markets and more than 200 million people nationwide. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
AT&T will deploy Wi-Fi ‘hotzones’ to supplement mobile broadband; New York City, San Francisco first
What’s better than a hotspot? A hotzone of course. Yesterday, the nation’s second largest cellular provider, AT&T, announced a new initiative that will bring free Wi-Fi to large, populous areas. The move will, according to the announcement, “supplement” mobile broadband coverage in certain areas. “Following a successful pilot program, AT&T today announced plans to expand its deployment of AT&T Wi-Fi hotzones to additional locations in major markets, starting with the expansion of its existing Times Square Wi-Fi hotzone and new hotzones near Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral,” reads the press release. “In addition, AT&T plans to launch its next Wi-Fi hotzone in San Francisco’s popular Embarcadero Center.” AT&T says hotzones will “enhance the broadband experience for AT&T customers” who live in these urban areas. More →
Today, Sprint announced that its WiMAX, 4G network is officially open for business in six additional locales: New York; New York, Hartford; CT, New Haven; CT, New Brunswick; NJ, Trenton; NJ, and Tampa; FL.
“Sprint has provided customers with 4G service since 2008 and we’re proud to extend our leadership to six more cities today, including New York City,” said Sprint’s president of 4G, Matt Carter. “Sprint is the first national wireless carrier to make 4G a reality for our customers and with the addition of these six new markets we are now in 61 cities, including Chicago, Baltimore and Houston, and are growing. By the end of the year Sprint 4G plans to light up several major new markets including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Denver and Washington DC to name a few.”
If you’re in the Big Apple, or any of the other aforementioned markets, fire up your 4G device(s) and let us know what kind of speeds you’re seeing. More →
PCMag is reporting that wireless broadband company Clearwire is beginning to make 4G resources available to customers in New York City and Los Angeles. The report reads, “The company is giving selected “early adopters” dual-mode 3G/4G modems, but warning that 4G isn’t fully built out in either city. Early adopters who want to try Clearwire’s service will pay $35 for the first two months and $55 for each following month, with a two-year contract required.” Clearwire hasn’t stated when a fully built-out iteration of its 4G network will be available in NYC or LA, but the availability of WiMax spectrum can’t hurt the chances of it being sooner rather than later. The company also stated that: “During this construction phase, owners of CLEAR 4G devices may also experience 4G coverage while traveling to other cities that Clearwire plans to launch commercially later this year, including: San Francisco; Tampa, Miami, and Orlando, Fla.; Nashville, Denver, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburg.” Customarily, Sprint launches 4G service in a given area one to two months after Clearwire. More →