AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint are all launching the iPhone 4S next Friday, but AT&T is doing its best to ensure consumers know that not all iPhones are created equal. The presence of HSPA 14.4 gives the iPhone 4S a theoretical download speed ceiling of 14.4Mbps, but only if you’re on an HSPA network. Here in the U.S., Verizon Wireless and Sprint both employ EV-DO 3G networks while AT&T customers will enjoy speeds over HSPA that are twice as fast, the company says. “We can’t wait for our customers to experience the incredible new iPhone 4S on our 4G network and enjoy download speeds of up to twice as fast,” said AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega in a statement. “When you combine the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network with iPhone 4S, as well as our new pricing for iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, we think we have the best iPhone line up in the industry.” AT&T’s full press release follows below.
AT&T will begin to throttle data speeds during the first week of October, 9to5 Mac reported on Thursday. The carrier could move to throttle the data speeds of its biggest data users in an effort to ensure network stability for its first LTE devices, which are expected to launch later this year. It remains unclear how low AT&T will knock the throughput down to, but 9to5 Mac says Virgin currently forces data hogs down to 256Kbps until the next billing cycle after they use more than 2.5GB. T-Mobile also throttles its data speeds after users go over their monthly 5GB “unlimited” cap. The move should actually be beneficial for most AT&T customers looking for stable performance and will only affect those who use much more data than the average customer according to the report. More →
Japanese blog Macotakara.jp is reporting from parts makers in Asia that Apple’s upcoming MacBook Air refresh, expected in the next two weeks, will use super-speedy 400Mbps NAND flash storage chips. In addition to being incredibly fast — even faster that the current MacBook Air solution, which uses an mSATA connector to connect the SSD to the motherboard — these new NAND flash storage chips would be soldered directly to the motherboard, bypassing any connector. If true, this new change would result in 100-times performance increase over the current solution, and coupled with a rumored bump to i5 / i7 processors, the new MacBook Airs should absolutely fly. More →
Let’s face it… not all 4G is created equal. When Verizon Wireless’ LTE launched in its first few markets last year, bloggers and media saw blazing fast data speeds in their tests that put other 4G networks to shame. So did we. In fact, on numerous occasions and in numerous device reviews, we called Verizon’s LTE the fastest cellular data service we had ever tested. But a common sentiment rang throughout the Internet: Verizon’s 4G LTE is fast now, but that’s because the network is empty. And Verizon Wireless’ competition mirrored the opinion, of course. In a private conversation about the discrepancy in performance between Sprint’s 4G WiMAX and Verizon’s 4G LTE, a Sprint executive told me that Verizon’s network was so fast because it was empty. “Wait until it fills up,” the exec chuckled. “Then we’ll see if the ThunderBolt still deserves its name.”
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T-Mobile has just announced that the carrier is doubling the 4G network speed to a whopping 42Mbps in 55 markets. In addition to bumping the network’s speed, T-Mobile is also launching a new product, the Rocket 3.0 USB data stick. The 55 markets that will be able to immediately take advantage of the $99.99 with contract 42Mbps-capable USB data stick are:
- Albany, GA, Athens, GA, Auburn, AL, Augusta, GA, Austin, TX, Bentonville, AK, Boulder, CO, Chattanooga, TN, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL, Denver, CO, Detroit, MI, Durham, NC, El Paso, TX, Fort Collins, CO, Gainesville, FL, Gainesville, GA, Greeley, CO, Honolulu, HI, Houston, TX, Jacksonville, FL, Long Island, NY, Los Angeles, CA, Long Beach, CA, Santa Ana, CA, Macon, GA, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Miami, FL, New Orleans, LA, Oklahoma City, OK, Olympia, WA, Omaha, NE, Oxnard, CA, Thousand Oaks, CA, Ventura, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Pittsburgh, PA, Ponce, Puerto Rico, Portland, OR, Salinas, CA, San Francisco, CA, Oakland, CA, Fremont, CA, San Jose, CA, Sunnyvale, CA, Santa Clara, CA, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Santa Cruz, CA, Watsonville, CA, Santa Rosa, CA, Petaluma, CA, Savannah, CA, Seattle, WA, Spokane, WA, Tampa, FL, Tulsa, OK, Valdosta, GA, Vellejo, CA, Fairfield, CA, Warner Robins, GA, Wichita, KS.
The Rocket 3.0 USB data stick, manufactured by ZTE, goes on sale starting tomorrow, May 25th, and T-Mobile expects over 150 million people to be covered in the company’s increased 4G network speeds in 2011.
AT&T’s “4G” message may be a bit convoluted when its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network begins to bear fruit. The company has already branded its HSPA network as “4G”, although the coverage and real world speeds are less than impressive — especially when compared to other HSPA+ networks, like that of T-Mobile. But that hasn’t stopped the nation’s second largest carrier from working on a second 4G network and, thankfully, this one seems to be bringing the downlink goods. Recently, blog GigaOM was treated to a tour of AT&T’s Foundry laboratory in Texas. The site reports seeing “real world speeds” of 28.87Mbps on the downlink and 10.4Mbps on the uplink. Much better than the paltry 5Mbps down and 1Mbps up being pumped out by the company’s current 4G, HSPA network. AT&T plans to launch its LTE network in several markets by the end of this year and hopefully… these speeds hold up. More →
Regional wireless provider U.S. Cellular has officially thrown its hat into the 4G ring. “U.S. Cellular, in conjunction with its partnership with King Street Wireless, announced today that it will deliver high-speed 4G LTE services and 4G-enabled devices to more than 25 percent of its customers across two dozen markets in time for the holiday season,” declares the company’s press release. U.S. Cellular plans to have LTE-enabled devices in market “during the first phase of its 4G LTE rollout” with additional devices populating the carrier’s lineup in 2012. Milwaukee, Madison and Racine, Wisconsin; Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport, Iowa; Portland and Bangor, Maine; and Greenville, North Carolina will be among the first markets to be covered by the new, high-speed network. The full press release is after the break. More →
Web browsers always look to strike a balance between speed and functionality, but not enough focus on the former can easily spoil a user’s experience. Mozilla has put a great deal of time and effort working speed improvements into the latest version of its Firefox browser but sometimes all that hard work is for naught due to slow add-ons from third-party developers. In an effort to raise awareness and to push developers to optimize their plugins, perhaps, Mozilla has published a list of the add-ons that slow down Firefox the most. Among the worst offenders are FoxLingo, AniWeather, FoxyTunes and Xmarks Sync. In a bit of irony, an add-on called “FastestFox” that is supposed to speed up browsing by simplifying repetitive tasks is No.8 on Mozilla’s list. If you’ve been experiencing some slowness in Firefox and are wondering which add-ons might be the culprit, hit the read link for Mozilla’s complete list. More →
BGR on Friday reported on a massive 1,000-test 4G speed study conducted by BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk and his team. Piecyk’s controversial study found that Verizon Wireless’ new 4G LTE network handily beat Sprint’s 4G WiMAX network in the head-to-head speed tests. The tests used the mobile hotspot functions on Verizon’s HTC ThunderBolt and Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G, and found that Verizon’s 4G network averaged 9Mbps down and 5Mbps up while Sprint’s 4G speeds hovered around 1Mbps in each direction. With regard to Sprint and its WiMAX network, these findings are not in line with BGR’s experience. As such, we reached out to Sprint for comment. More →
Sprint is no longer the “4G king,” BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk proclaimed on Friday following a massive speed test that pitted Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G against Verizon Wireless’ HTC ThunderBolt. Piecyk and his team conducted more than 1,000 speed tests in New York City to determine which was faster: the ThunderBolt, running on Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network, or the EVO 4G, running on Sprint’s 4G WiMAX network. The analyst found that Verizon’s offering was consistently and significantly faster than Sprint’s 4G phone. The speed tests were conducted using the integrated mobile hotspot functions on both devices, and the testers were equipped with both an Apple iPad 2 and a Toshiba laptop for the tests. In the tests, Verizon’s LTE network averaged speeds of 9Mbps down and 5Mbps up while Sprint’s WiMAX network averaged about 1Mbps both down and up. Verizon’s LTE speeds peaked at 19Mbps down and 10Mbps up during the tests. Piecyk also found that Verizon Wireless’ LTE network was more reliable than Sprint’s WiMAX offering, and it offers better coverage. Adding insult to injury, he says the ThunderBolt has better battery life than the EVO 4G as well. Hit the break for a chart mapping out BTIG’s findings.
While Verizon Wireless just announced two new 4G LTE devices that are going to serve up insanely fast mobile broadband speeds, Samsung’s 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is the first one in our hands. We’ve been rockin’ and rollin’ over Verizon’s 4G LTE network for a little while thanks to the new mobile hotspot, and we’re happy to report extremely fast speeds around 12Mbps down and 5.5Mbps up on average — the fastest speeds that the device is rated for. In terms of size, it’s just a tad thicker than the original Novatel MiFi unit we rely on for our mobile connectivity. We haven’t had enough time to test battery life for ourselves, but we’ll report back. The Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is available online from Verizon Wireless starting today, and will be in stores beginning tomorrow for $99.99 with a two-year service agreement. Check out our hands-on gallery with some comparison photos!
4G. It’s everywhere. It’s on the tech sites you read. It’s on the televisions you watch. It’s plastered in advertisements all over the city streets you walk. It was probably in the sandwich you ate for lunch. Cellular carriers around the world are betting the bank on 4G — be it LTE, WiMAX or the newly knighted HSPA+ — and 4G-enabled gear is already starting to flood the market despite the lack of nationwide coverage. More →