Allow us to bring you up to speed in case you missed it — Verizon Wireless just announced that it will finally begin carrying the iPhone 4 starting on February 10th. It’s kind of a big deal. There are definitely plenty of positives tied to the Verizon iPhone, of course. For starters, choice is always a good thing and the fact that AT&T finally lost iPhone exclusivity will benefit consumers in a big way. And there are plenty more benefits as well — for example, there’s a redesigned antenna that might reduce the effects of the death grip, and a mobile hotspot option that AT&T iPhone users have been wishing for since Android first popularized the feature. But it’s not all double rainbows and jazz hands, we’re afraid. There are definitely some areas where Verizon’s upcoming iPhone 4 is sorely lacking, and we’ve listed a few of the main missteps after the break. More →
Yesterday, my cohorts weighed in on the question on countless iPhone owners’ minds right now — should I ditch AT&T and buy an iPhone from Verizon? The answer is going to be different for everyone, of course. Some people have a compulsive need to switch phones constantly, so they can’t use a CDMA carrier. Some people have a need for speed and Verizon’s 3G network doesn’t cut it. Well guess what? I have a need for a phone that actually works wherever and whenever I want it to. That need is way more important than any need I have to swap phones every day or download iTunes tracks at lightning-fast speeds. I want to make phone calls. I want to receive emails instantly. I want to load Web pages and refresh apps any time, anywhere. AT&T, fast as it might be, just can’t hang. More →
The image above says it all. It shows a screen capture of an actual speed test performed on an Apple iPhone 4 while connected to AT&T’s 3G network in northern New Jersey. It is not an anomaly. In fact it’s pretty standard in my home town and in the surrounding areas. Sometimes my download speed is faster and sometimes it’s slower, but it generally stays between 3.5 and 5Mbps¹. I can’t give that up. More →
Dell is having a hard time getting its T-Mobile compliant Windows Phone 7 handset — the Venue Pro — shipped in time for the holidays, but that hasn’t stopped the company from sending at second iteration of the device to the FCC for approval. A Venue Pro sporting WCDMA bands II and V — AT&T’s 850MHz and 1900MHz 3G bands — has crossed the government agency’s desk. If you’re an AT&T, Bell, Rogers, or Telus customer, and fancy the vertical-sliding device, this is encouraging news. While FCC approval doesn’t guarantee a release, it is certainly a step in the right direction. Any customers of the aforementioned carriers interested in the Venue Pro?
This morning, Nokia Siemens announced that it would acquire $1.2 billion in network infrastructure assets from telecom giant Motorola. As the press release states: “Motorola’s networks infrastructure business provides products and services for wireless networks, including GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, WiMAX and LTE. This business is a market leader in WiMAX, with 41 contracts in 21 countries; has a strong global footprint in CDMA with 30 active networks in 22 countries; and a robust GSM installed base, with more than 80 active networks in 66 countries; and excellent traction with LTE early adopters.” Some of the highlights of the deal include:
- Transaction expected to significantly strengthen Nokia Siemens Networks’ presence globally, particularly in the United States and Japan.
- Nokia Siemens Networks targeting to gain incumbent relationships with more than 50 operators and strengthen relationships with others.
- Acquisition to enhance position of Nokia Siemens Networks in key wireless technologies; will give company large global footprint in CDMA.
- Motorola retains the iDEN business, substantially all the patents related to its wireless network infrastructure business, and other selected assets.
- The companies expect to complete closing activities by the end of 2010.
The biggest CDMA player in the U.S. — Verizon Wireless — released a statement saying, “This deal brings together two important Verizon suppliers; we look forward to our continuing work with Nokia Siemens Networks.” We’ve got the full press release after the bounce. More →
We haven’t heard anything about this from our connects at either AT&T or Nokia, but a filing made available two days ago by the FCC has us believing that AT&T might be planning on offering up the Internet Stick CS-12. Featuring all of the appropriate GSM and WCDMA bands needed to function on AT&T, the CS-12 is capable of supporting downlink speeds of up to 14.4Mbps and uplink speeds of 5.56Mbps. Of course, AT&T’s network is in no way capable of getting anywhere near those speeds — with most markets still stick in a hellish 3.6Mbps nightmare — as the slow rollout of 7.2Mbps continues. Perhaps this new stick has something to do with Ralph de la Vega’s recent talk of “certain locations” getting access to a 21Mbps HSPA+ network on the way to LTE. More →
We told you earlier this month that the Nexus One would be coming to AT&T and we now have the first sharable shred of evidence that our source was spot on. Spotted emerging from the testing halls of the FCC is an unknown mobile phone with the FCC ID NM899110. For the geeky folk, the NM8 is the FCC Grantee code for HTC while 99110 is the model. People who rock a Nexus One and have a penchant for studying FCC labels would notice that the FCC ID for this mystery handset is only a single digit away from the FCC ID of the current Nexus One (NM899100) and would be quick to recognize that this mystery handset is most likely a kissing cousin to their T-Mobile-friendly handset. Without looking at the FCC documents, one might casually pass this mystery handset off as the upcoming Verizon Wireless CDMA version, but a quick perusal of the testing report reveals that the handset in question is rocking WCDMA bands I, II and V which are decidedly AT&T. Any Nexus One owners crawling on AT&T’s EDGE a bit peeved by this discovery?
Uh oh, you know what this means, boys and girls. No, it’s not that we particularly care what TELUS is up to, it’s that the Motorola MILESTONE TELUS releases will have North American 3G bands (850/1900MHz). But, even though we’re not jumping with joy doesn’t mean you aren’t, and for you our dear Canadian readers, we’ve got the scoop on everything you’d want to know about the MILESTONE.
We’ve been told that it will be coming “only to TELUS” so it sounds like an exclusive to us, at least for a certain amount of time. That early 2010 timeframe is pretty vague, we know, but we’ve been told it is spot on and that Motorola and TELUS are planning to announce something in the next couple of days. Lastly, we’ve confirmed that just like its European brother, the Motorola MILESTONE for TELUS will feature multitouch out of the box.
Pricing is unconfirmed at this time.
News that Nokia’s first foray into notebook territory is on its way to the US — as a Best Buy exclusive — managed to get Booklet 3G hopefuls all riled up recently. While we still have no time line in terms of when the sleek laptop might become available, we may now at least know what Nokia and Best Buy plan to charge for the Booklet. According to a purported screen shot of Best Buy’s inventory system, the Booklet 3G will run $599.99. What’s more, the screen shot suggests that inventory began landing at BBY on September 25th and if that is in fact the case, a launch could occur sooner than we thought. $600 may seem like a tall order for a 1.6GHz netbook with 1GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive but as we’ve said in the past: if this Windows 7-powered lappy comes anywhere close to delivering the 12 hours of battery life Nokia claims, it might be worth just about any price tag Nokia slaps on it.
This morning, AT&T took the wraps off its plan to upgrade 3G in various markets across the US this year. By various markets, we mean exactly six. HSPA 7.2, or High Speed Packet Access capable of providing downlink speeds up to 7.2Mbps, will theoretically provide a tremendous boost to AT&T’s 3G network speeds ahead of its eventual 4G rollout. As you may recall, Apple’s iPhone 3GS handset is HSPA 7.2-ready and owners have been waiting impatiently for word on when they might actually be able to take advantage of the higher-speed data services they were promised. Unfortunately, unless you live in and around Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles or Miami, the answer is still unknown. The six aforementioned markets are due to go live before the end of 2009 and AT&T claims another 19 unnamed major markets will go live by the end of 2010. The majority of AT&T’s remaining 3G footprint is slated to be upgraded by the end of 2011 — while many are (hopefully) already enjoying LTE. So to AT&T customers in the six markets listed above, congrats. The rest of you will unfortunately have to make due with what you have in the meantime.
Nokia’s first LTE modem now available; lifespan projected to be slightly longer than N810 WiMAX Edition
Having theoretically learned something from the N810 WiMAX Edition debacle, Nokia now seems to be letting the market dictate where wireless technology is headed as opposed to trying to cut competition off at the pass. The result: a focus on future-ready products as opposed to tablets no one wants with a broadband connectivity option no one has. This morning Nokia announced the successful trials and partner availability of its RD-3 internet modem. The RD-3 is a modem component that supports an array of GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA and of course LTE bands, making it an ideal development tool for network vendors, OEMs and operators. Nokia, paving the way for LTE development and adoption… We like it.
Ahhh, the Nokia N900. You want it. You need it. You’ve got to have it. If you’re on T-Mobile you’re sitting pretty knowing that 1700 MHz is included in the N900’s three WCDMA bands, just waiting to gobble up T-Mobile’s 3G services. If you’re on AT&T in the US or Rogers up north however, the tears may still be streaming. A glimmer of hope found its way to light last week when rumors that a forthcoming 850/1900/2100 MHz WCDMA version were seemingly substantiated. We just spoke to Nokia however, and yeah… Not so much. Nokia’s official statement:
Regarding the Nokia N900, we have announced a tri-band WCDMA version that utilizes the 900/1700/2100 MHz networks. There have been no announcements regarding a version that supports the 850/1900/2100MHz bands.
As it turns out, The Nokia Blog’s tipster completely fabricated the last line of Nokia’s email — you know, the part that said, “An announcement will be forthcoming” — and the whole story is bogus. We suppose AT&T and Rogers subscribers might be able to keep hope alive considering Nokia still hasn’t flat out denied the possibility of a WCDMA 850/1900/2100 MHz version, but if you ask us it’s time to break out the Ben & Jerry’s and drown your sorrows.
Well boys and girls, welcome to the final installment of Carrier Wars — the series of features in which we call upon our readers who represent each of the four major US wireless carriers to report the 3G speeds they’re experiencing across the country. It’s been quite a trip but the fourth and final carrier, T-Mobile USA, is now accounted for, which means its time to line everyone up side by side and see where the chips fell. So sit back, relax and hit the jump to see how your carrier stacks up against the competition.