In comments made today at the Wells Fargo Securities Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, Verizon’s CFO Fran Shammo indicated the carrier was on schedule to complete the deployment of its LTE network by the middle of 2013. According to Shammo, this is about six months ahead of schedule and will result in the LTE footprint matching the 3G footprint.
Shammo indicated the LTE network has been well received by customers with 14.9 million postpaid LTE devices in customer hands. Shammo said 35 percent of Verizon’s overall data was traveling over the LTE network as of the end of September. The LTE network already covers 250 million people, about 80 percent of the U.S. population. For comparison, Verizon’s competitor AT&T will not reach the 250 million mark for its LTE network until the end of 2013. On a related note, Shammo commented that adoption of Share Everything data plans are still higher than expectations with at least 13 percent of the customer base now on one of these plans. According to Shammo, customers average 2.6 devices per account on a shared data plan.
Multi-regional carrier US Cellular has announced an additional slew of new 4G LTE markets today, expanding its previous road map in several states. According to the company’s official PR; Wisconsin, North Carolina, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Oklahoma are all set to receive additional, new 4G LTE markets beginning November 5th. In addition to these expansions, US Cellular has also listed four new markets that are to receive expansions at some point before the end of 2012. In total, the carrier hopes to cover 58 percent of customers by year’s end. Hit the break for today’s press release. Read more
It’s no secret that 4G LTE has been a luxury only to a select few in the UK, but now more customers will be able to get in on the action thanks to wireless carrier EE. It has announced it will launch the incredibly fast network service to its customers in 11 markets including Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton. While that’s a major start, EE doesn’t stop there as it has announced it plans to bring 4G LTE service to an additional 5 markets by year’s end. This means that those of you who plan on owning the Galaxy S III or HTC One XL will have a lot to look forward to— especially since you’ll likely be taking advantage of cutting edge features like streaming high-quality audio or video and the ability to access much more content or download faster on the go.
As we’ve previously reported, T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy Note 2 does have LTE. According to reports, hardware wise T-Mobile’s Note 2 is exactly like AT&T’s, and that means LTE bands as well. Obviously, T-Mobile’s LTE network isn’t up and running yet so the bands aren’t turned on out of the box.
The Galaxy Note II features a Qualcomm 9215M chipset which provides the hardware capability to support both HSPA+42 and LTE. T-Mobile plans to reach more than 200 million Americans with LTE by the end of 2013. The Galaxy Note II will not automatically access T-Mobile’s LTE network. We will share more information on how and when the Galaxy Note II will support T-Mobile’s upcoming LTE network when the network is available.
My guess is a software update in the near future will enable them so that 4G LTE will be able to be used. I feel that this is great news as it essentially future proof’s the Note 2. Does the fact that it has LTE make you want the Note 2 even more now? Let us know!
source: The Verge
Sprint announced today some additions to their 4G LTE service area. The new locations include Hutchinson and McPherson, Kansas. These cities join Kansas City, Lawrence, Manhattan-Junction City, Topeka, and Wichita as 4G LTE enabled areas in Kansas. Along with the new 4G LTE locations, Sprint also announced they were rolling out improvements for some customers on their 3G network as part of their Network Vision program in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Throughout the U.S., Sprint is working on improving the speed, quality, and coverage of their 3G network while they attempt to catch up with other carriers in deploying a 4G LTE network.
Yesterday and today, Verizon issued a series of press releases noting new 4G LTE markets throughout the U.S. Things got rolling with expansions of existing LTE markets in Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee yesterday. Today the 400th market milestone was reached with the flipping of the switch in Marquette, Michigan. Some of the other cities joining the 4G LTE ranks include: Read more
As Softbank’s deep pockets have suddenly opened up a new challenger to Verizon & AT&T, it’s only natural for Sprint & Softbank to make an official statement confirming the major news. In a press release unveiled this morning, Softbank announced it will acquire Sprint Nextel for a whopping $20.1 billion ($12.1 billion in cash consideration & $8 billion in capital). The major highlight of this is the deal is the fact this will give Softbank a 70% stake of Sprint and 30% ownership, effectively giving it full control over the Now Network. The hope of this deal is Softbank will effectively give Sprint a better platform to use in rolling out not just its LTE network, but an LTE network with a significantly better structure than its competitors. Here’s Sprint CEO Dan Heese:
“This is a transformative transaction for Sprint that creates immediate value for our stockholders, while providing an opportunity to participate in the future growth of a stronger, better capitalized Sprint going forward. Our management team is excited to work with SoftBank to learn from their successful deployment of LTE in Japan as we build out our advanced LTE network, improve the customer experience and continue the turnaround of our operations.”
Of course all of this will be pending regulatory approval– so hopefully we won’t see some sort of mishap like we’d seen before. Hit the break for the full presser.
Following the lead of MetroPCS, Verizon Wireless is set on bringing voice over LTE (VoLTE) to its customers by late 2013 or 2014. According to Nicola Palmer, VP of network and CTO for Verizon Wireless, Verizon will begin a formal consumer trial at some point within the next year, with a subsequent formal rollout shortly after. Verizon is quick to point out the benefits of its testing of voice over LTE too. As opposed to using an old-school 3G voice-based network, voice over LTE has voice calls broken into data bits and transmitted across the LTE network— similar to an email transmission or song streaming over the internet. The hope is this technology will be more efficient than traditional wireless voice services, allowing for clearer calls and other services that can be linked to it. In addition, this feature will finally allow for Verizon customers to surf the internet while on a call using their cellular device.
While VoLTE is exciting news, this may possibly bring not just confusion to the average customer of how this works— but it will likely end traditional cellular minutes as we know it. Because VoLTE does not utilize a traditional voice network to transmit voice over an LTE network, mobile users are actually using 4G data packets to make and receive phone calls. This means that if you’re on one of Verizon’s Data Share plans, you’ll need to pay special attention to how many phone calls you make as it will certainly contribute to your overall monthly data usage and thus— those unlimited minutes would likely be well you know, useless.
The good thing is while we have our fair share of concerns with Verizon’s intentions, we have at least a year to see Verizon work out its various kinks and issues. This means we should see much more clarity as we near its release hopefully around this time next year.
Sprint has announced the addition of four new devices to its 4G LTE portfolio. They indicate the devices will be available for customers to order sometime this fall. The devices include:
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 able to access both Sprint’s 3G and 4G LTE networks, the 10.1-inch tablet boasts a 1.5GHz dual-core processor running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich;
- LG Optimus G running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor running a 4.7-inch HD display;
- LG Mach, an entry level QWERTY slider device capable of full HD video recording and playback;
- Plug-in-Connect, a tri-mode USB device that users can plug into their computers to enjoy broadband wireless connectivity.
Buyers of these new devices will have to sign up for a Sprint Everything Data plan. Hit the break to read the full press release from Sprint about these new options for their customers. Read more
AT&T has long been praised for its lengthy return policy for new devices and service contracts, but that’s all coming to an end. The company has revealed a new policy via its official website, shrinking the return window from 30 to 14 days.
“AT&T has updated its device return policy. Consumer customers will have 14 days to return a device for any reason and cancel service without paying an Early Termination Fee. While this begins on October 7, AT&T customers will continue to have the option to update their voice and data plans at any time.”
The new policy goes into effect beginning today, meaning from this point forward subscribers will have just two weeks to decide if they are satisfied with both their smartphone/tablet and AT&T’s service. The carrier has also confirmed that purchases made on or before October 6th will still fall under the old 30-day schedule. For more on the specifics, head past the break.