Since last March or so Verizon has been testing out their new HomeFusion Broadband network and now the carrier says it’s ready to deploy nationwide. The service should be rolling out wherever LTE service is currently available which Big Red says is 230 markets. For those deeming it reasonable to upgrade, they can sign up for the new service at any Verizon Wireless store and they’ll soon receive an antenna professionally installed in their home. Reported speeds were estimated to be 5-12 Mbps down and 2-5 Mbps on the up-link. Whether or not it sounds like something worth upgrading to is going to be up to the consumer. Why? The service begins at $60 per month giving you 10GB’s of data or $120/mo for 30GB’s. As usual, there is a $10 per 1GB overage charge for either tier. In addition, the hardware installation will run you a one time $199.99 fee which supplies you with the modem and router. As of now, it’s not making much sense to upgrade from your current cable Internet. Furthermore, Verizon is currently offering a “double data” deal which supplies the user with 20GB’s of data for $80 per month while the HomeFusion plus hardware installation fee is significantly higher. Only time will tell whether or not this deal kicks off or it gets quickly revamped to make more sense in Vz’s lineup of services and offerings. What do you think?
LightSquared, the company which has spent billions of dollars developing a whole-sale only wireless broadband network, filed a document with the FCC regarding stricter standards of GPS devices. LightSquared believes that signals that are used as part of GPS bands are the culprit of interference on the spectrum that they’ve chose to use for their services. Originally, that spectrum was supposed to be a satellite-only type of deal, but the FCC cleared it for terrestrial use back in 2005. The FCC also granted the company a waiver so LightSquared could run a terrestrial-only network.
Now, due to Sprint delivering an ultimatum, LightSquared is pressed for time in achieving a resolution for all these interference issues. Losing a long-term multi-billion dollar deal like the one struck with Sprint could be potentially catastrophic for LightSquared, especially when you couple it with LightSquared’s largest investor, Harbinger Capital Partners, who last year reported a whopping 46.6 percent value loss. Although the potential of LightSquared can be valued quite high in my opinion, it seems that if it can’t strike a deal with the FCC, we might be seeing a little more sinking than swimming.
I’m not sure if you guys remember T-Mobile’s “Yes, Every Smartphone Is On Sale, Sale” and how great the deals were on smartphones. In the spirit of the holidays and to get an early jump on other carriers Black Friday promotions, T-Mobile is offering up yet another great opportunity to score a new handset at a killer price.
This Saturday, November 19th, T-Mo is having a one day sale that will be known as “Magenta Saturday” where you can get select smartphones or broadband devices (like the G-slate or Streak 7) for a down payment of a mere $49.99 or less after mail-in rebate. The only caveat. You have to pay an additional $10-$20 a month on top of your monthly bill and must be willing to sign up for a new Unlimited Value plan of 2GB or more. For example, if you were to buy a new HTC Amaze 4G, the down payment would be $49.99 after a $150 mail-in rebate, but you will also have the additional $20 added to your monthly bill.
These deals also apply to existing customers who are eligible for an upgrade but again, must sign up for the previously mentioned Unlimited Value plan. Sounds like there are still some decent deals to be had even though you will be paying off the device throughout your contract. This may be your chance to grab that new Samsung Galaxy S II that you have been scoping out, but now with the ability to pay it off over time. Does this sound enticing to any of you?
Join us after the break for further details and full press release. Anybody thinking about visiting T-Mo’s Magenta Saturday?
The 4G wars are officially raging. Sprint had a bit of a head start, but they’re not just resting on their laurels. They have 2 4G handsets out, and just launched 4G service in two new markets, bringing their total count to 70. Sprint customers in Denver, CO and Bridgeport, CT with 4G handsets can now take advantage of that premium data charge. Press release below.
Verizon’s CEO Ivan Seidenberg mentioned at an investor conference that he imagines Verizon’s 4G LTE network to be a “modest substitute” to the home broadband internet and cable services. Even more hilarious about this right now is that he also imagines regular customer data usage to be around 10GB a month.
I know I use a lot more than 10GB a month on home internet and cable, especially with new services like Google TV, Netflix and Apple TV coming out, all offering HDTV over broadband. That’s a lot of data usage. I wouldn’t go cutting my cable cords just yet if you’re in areas that support it, but I’d be interested if I were in an area that had no cable to my door, and I could use 4G then.
I’m sure once 4G LTE is rolling for most carriers next year, pricing will be a bit more realistic.
Net neutrality has been an ongoing hot debate in the mobile industry. One such case that has added fuel to the topic involves a case filed way back in January 2010 by T-Mobile who claims that their network was overloaded by an Android IM app. The unknown app essentially brought their network to a crawl after it started gaining popularity with users.
T-Mobile does not specify which Android app, vendor, or developer was involved in the network issues, but it has sparked arguments on how carriers will handle the ever-increasing network traffic, and how they should handle the bandwidth. Should it be monitored, throttled with different data packages available or channeled depending on the type of app and how it connects to the networks?
Verizon Wireless has given us more light on the 4G LTE network deployment and its expected coverage of 38 metro areas. Looking at the coverage map released by Verizon Wireless, it’s pretty red (red = coverage = 4G heaven). The coverage area also include 62 airports in the US. That combined with the metro areas listed in the Press Release below makes the coverage hitting one third of all Americans.
With the rise of Android OS in the mobile market, and the launch of new devices at CES in January 2011, we should see a large amount of 4G Android devices ready for activation from Verizon.
A full list of metro areas covered is detailed in the Press Release after the break.