AT&T has a lot of work to do before its emerging 4G LTE network provides coverage that even approaches Verizon Wireless’s year-old LTE network. Verizon LTE covers more than 200 million people across 190 U.S. cities as of December 15th — though the network suffered a major network outage early Wednesday morning — and the carrier is committed to continuing its rapid expansion in 2012. While AT&T’s 4G LTE service is only live in a handful of cities right now, a recent study conducted by wireless device testing firm Metrico Wireless shows that AT&T’s LTE network is no slouch when it comes to throughput. Read on for more. More →
4G is a hot topic here on BGR and as such, we’ve likely become more numb than we should when it comes to advertised data speeds. We’re so used to seeing “theoretical limits” that are so far from reality we just chuckle and move along. The wireline broadband industry, however, is a different beast. According to a study recently conducted by the Federal Communications Commission, major broadband Internet service provides in the U.S. deliver data speeds that are generally between 80% and 90% of the speeds they advertise. The Associated Press reports that the FCC’s study measured data speeds delivered to thousands of U.S. broadband subscribers this past March from 13 of the nation’s top ISPs including Time Warner, Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. The three most popular wired broadband technologies were covered by the study — DSL, cable and fiber — and data rates were said to have been close to the advertised speeds during both peak and off-peak times. The AP notes that the FCC’s study didn’t delve into speeds delivered by wireless data services, which is a study we would love to see. More →
Cablevision’s Optimum Wi-Fi service, free for subscribers, has been extremely popular in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut tri-state area, giving customers access to fast Wi-Fi from tens of thousands of locations. Today, Cablevision is announcing that the company has bumped up speeds at all Wi-Fi locations to 15Mbps down and 4Mbps up — the same speeds home subscribers get with entry-level Optimum Online service. Over 500,000 people use Optimum’s free Wi-Fi service, and this move makes Optimum’s Wi-Fi faster than any 3G or 4G network, barring Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network, which we’ve seen trump those numbers from time to time. Additionally, Cablevision previously partnered with Time Warner and Comcast to allow customers of all three providers to roam onto all three provider’s Wi-Fi networks, so this change affects Time Warner and Comcast subscribers as well which is great. The full press release is after the break, and the new download and upload speeds are already available across the tri-state area. More →
We just received our HTC ThunderBolt from Verizon Wireless and we’ve dug through the very black and red packaging to pull out a 4.3-inch 4G Android device — and we even photographed it. In all seriousness, the HTC ThunderBolt is one feature-packed handset, and it’s the first one to run on Verizon’s new 4G LTE network which spits down hyper-fast speeds. We already spent some hands-on time with the unit, but some more quick first impressions? We’re really digging the styling, it looks great in person. The screen is very attractive — it looks beautiful — colors are super rich, and text is very crisp. The device is reasonably thick, and pretty large, though that’s obviously due to the internals and that amazing 4.3-inch display. We’ll be putting the HTC ThunderBolt through our review process ASAP, but in the meantime, make sure to check out some unboxing photos of one of the most anticipated handsets of the last few months.
According to a PDF memo available on Verizon Wireless’ website (for now), the company will begin to throttle the data-throughput speeds of customers that consume an “extraordinary amount of data” and “seamlessly” optimize content for smartphones. Hit the jump to read all the details. More →
Despite AT&T’s current lack of 4G branding, the carrier announced Monday that its mobile broadband network is currently the fastest in the U.S. The new claim comes on the back of a “comprehensive third-party drive test” performed by Global Wireless Solutions (GWS). The findings show that AT&T’s wireless network delivers the fastest average download speeds in the country compared to other major wireless carriers. According to a nice color-coded graph that helps AT&T dance around having to name its competition, we can see that Verizon Wireless’ network was found to be a whopping 60% slower, on average. Sprint had the next fastest network according to GWS, but it was 55% slower than AT&T. T-Mobile’s “4G” network fared better but it still delivered download speeds that were an average of 20% slower than AT&T. Hit the break for the nifty color-coded chart that helps illustrate GWS’ findings while also helping to keep AT&T out of hot water. More →
AT&T released an official statement Wednesday regarding T-Mobile’s recent claims about 4G. AT&T’s problem was a bit different than ours… you know, that all 4G talk is bogus right now. Instead AT&T pointed out that T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network is in fact not the largest in the country. Instead, AT&T possesses the biggest HSPA+ network — and it will still have the biggest HSPA+ network when T-Mobile finishes its 2010 expansion. AT&T’s statement:
T-Mobile’s claims about 4G are based on the same HSPA+ technology we have deployed to 180 million people today, more than T-Mobile’s reported 140 million, and we’ll have it rolled out to 250 million people by the end of this month, substantially more than the 200 million T-Mobile says it will have by year-end.
AT&T also pointed out that T-Mobile’s claims about its HSPA+ network speeds are inaccurate. T-Mobile suggested that AT&T’s network has a 14.4Mbps ceiling — but AT&T said its HSPA+ is just as fast as T-Mobile’s network, with theoretical limits of 21Mbps. More →
WiMAX Uno hasn’t been fully deployed in the U.S., and wouldn’t you know it, WiMAX Dos is on the way. Samsung and UQ Communications recently demoed WiMAX 2 — 802.16m — at the CEATEC exhibition in Japan. The two companies showcased dozens of HD and 3D videos simultaneously streaming to four large-format displays. The WiMAX 2 standard should be finalized sometime next month; speeds of up to 330 Mbps have been achieved using the beta version of WiMAX 2. More →
Sprint has officially announced a maintenance-release software update for the Samsung Epic 4G; an update that was pseudo announced yesterday via a forum administrator. The details on the update are as follows:
9/30 – Samsung Epic Maintenance Release
- WiFi standby battery drain
- Amazon MP3 cannot download in 4G
- Large emails lag in upload speeds
- Increased 3G upload speeds
Update your software
- The software will be automatically downloaded to your phone since this is a recommended update.
- A System update screen will prompt the user to ‘Install now’ or ‘Install later’.
- If ‘Install later’ is selected, a reminder will be sent once or twice a day to install the update.
- If ‘Install now’ is selected, the phone will power down and then reboot.
- This update will take approximately 7-8 minutes to download and 7-8 minutes to install.
- The new software version is: S:D700.0.5S.DI18
- This update is available OTA (over the air) and will be pushed to your device. It is being pushed in stages, beginning on 9/30 12:00AM EST, and will be rolled out to users over several days.
- Your device must be on software version DI07 to perform the update to DI18. If you are still on DG17 or DG27, a Sprint Service and Repair Center should be able to update your device to DI07. The update from DI07 to DI18 is not yet available to the Service and Repair Centers. As soon as it is, this post will be updated.
Let us know when your Epic 4G gets the goods… and if it cures all that ails you. More →
Is this a screen shot of speeds achieved on Verizon’s 4G, LTE network? If you’re to believe a poster in the dslreport.com forums, then yes. The speeds, almost 13 Mbps down and 4.4 Mbps up, are reportedly from someone testing Verizon’s LTE network in Edinboro, PA. The list of initial Verizon LTE cities is still unknown — except for San Francisco and Philadelphia — but we do know general areas that should be getting LTE soon; thanks to a previously leaked map. Edinboro, which is fairly close to Erie, appears to be marked as an LTE city on the leaked document. Also, the part of the IP address that is visibile is: 198.226; 184.108.40.206 appears to be owned by Verizon Wireless. It’s all speculative at this point, but isn’t it speculation that makes the anticipation even greater?
Thanks, Ryan! More →
According to an administrator on Sprint’s official forums, the company will be releasing a software update for the Epic 4G to address issues with data speeds being capped. The thread, titled “3G Upload Capped,” has well over 500 replies. The administrator’s response is as follows:
Good news – an update will be released tomorrow 9/30. It will be rolled out over a 4 day period so not everyone will get it on day 1.
I will have the standard MR information (fixes included, rollout schedule, etc) available tomorrow morning and will post it in a new featured thread.
Hopefully this will squash he data speed issue that Epic 4G users have been reporting.
The megabit wars are pretty comical on both the residential and wireless broadband fronts. Companies promise internet speeds “up to” a certain number of megabits and label their network technologies with catchy phrases like “power boost.” Recent news stories that come to mind include: a report that WiMax 2 would provide speeds up to 100 Mbps, Verizon has achieved nearly 1 Gbps with a residential FiOS deployment, and T-Mobile is rapidly expanding its 4G-ish HSPA+ network at up to 21 Mbps. All the speeds boasted are usually preempted by the words “peak” or “theoretical” making them, like that 35 mpg highway rating on your Cadillac Escalade, unlikely.
Thanks to the FCC, and data from comScore and Akamai, these megabit myths (on the residential broadband side0 have been governmentally confirmed. The FCC concluded that, “the median actual speed consumers experienced in the first half of 2009 was roughly 3 Mbps, while the average (mean) actual speed was approximately 4 Mbps.” Contrast this with the average advertised download speed of 6.7 Mbps in that same period,and you can see there is a bit of an actual speed deficit. The FCC concluded that when you look at the actual speeds consumers are experiencing they are far slower than the speeds they are promised in advertising. As Ars Technica reports, the FCC findings recommend that “a standard truth-in-labeling form should be drafted by the FCC,” in order to make broadband speeds clearer. Sort of like those super-accurate MPG stickers on new cars.
Computerworld is reporting that the second iteration of the WiMax 4G technology — known as WiMax 2 or 802.16m — is ready to be finalized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) this November. After approval, the WiMax 2 Forum hopes to see WiMax 2 handsets in the marketplace by the end of 2012. Mohammad Shakouri, the VP of the WiMax Forum, has said that the goal is “to deliver average downlink speeds of more than 100Mbps to users.” The newer, faster WiMax will not saturate areas any better than its predecessor, although it will offer backwards compatibility to the first generation WiMax (802.16e). At it’s current rate, Internet traffic is predicted to double every year from now until 2013. Experts estimate that the world will consume roughly 1.3 million terabytes of data per month… in video alone. Bearing that in mind, it’s good to see the bandwidth threshold of these 4G technologies continue to rise! More →