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.
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 →
If you’re a die-hard BlackBerry lover, there is no place in the world you’d rather be right now than New York City. We’re in the Big Apple for the RIM/AT&T BlackBerry Torch 9800 announcement event, and we’ll be reporting live as soon as the festivities get underway. Check back in a little bit (probably around 10:45AM ET) for the live coverage to start flowing! In the meantime, anyone have any absolute wishes for the BlackBerry Torch 9800? Hit the break for our play-by-play! More →
After away slaving for many months, AT&T announced today that it has completed its 3G network upgrades in the New York City region. Now a 7.2Mbps network that relies heavily on the urban-friendly 850MHz band, AT&T says that the reworked network should deliver “improved 3G wireless voice and data connectivity and performance, especially during peak hours.” To support these claims, AT&T notes that call quality has improved 47%, while data speeds have gone up 25%. So tell us, AT&T users in NYC. Have things improved, or are things still as bad as they ever were? More →
AT&T’s come up with a pretty novel solution to address its network congestion woes in New York City’s Times Square. Instead of giving its cellular network a much needed boost at the north central area of Times Square near 7th Avenue between 45th and 47th Street, AT&T has announced it will instead offer free public Wi-Fi to all of its customers with 3G smartphones, 3G LaptopConnect cards and AT&T High Speed Internet plans. Anyone with an AT&T 3G smartphone with Wi-Fi enabled with have their device automatically connect to the giant hotspot. Although it’s simply a pilot project, AT&T has said it will consider deploying free Wi-Fi to other busy locations across the US if all goes well in Times Square. Just promise us you’ll be careful crossing the street while playing WoW on your netbook, okay? More →